Paul Pepper had been missing for a month and was nowhere to be seen except for the occasional sighting here and there. Rumors of an engagement and a brand new red truck dominated the news concerning the Loud Pedal Motorsports driver, but Pepper would change that quickly when he showed up out of nowhere to grab his first victory of the season Thursday night in the PRL Patriot Fire Series. Starting 10th, Pepper would only lead 18 laps all night but those were enough to grab the surprise win after staying out on older tires to gain much needed track position.
“We are going to be drinking a bunch of beer tonight!” Pepper said from victory lane. “Not really sure why we decided to stay out there, but enough people stayed out with us to give us the cushion we needed from the guys on new tires, I’m so pumped right now I can’t believe it worked”. Pepper went on to thank his teammates on Loud Pedal Motorsports for talking him into starting from the high line on the last restart and being supportive during the race.
Nick Kohan would finish in second after starting in 25th on the night. “I don’t know how we managed to finish so well after the start of this thing, we got a speeding penalty too so I think we were dead last at one point, but we just stayed out of trouble most of the night”. When asked about the difficulty of passing on the hot track “Man, it was really difficult to pass once the track got hot, it was slick all day long, you’re used to running it at night and having more grip so it was a real challenge out there today”. Kohan hopes to build off his great finish early in the year at Daytona next week at another plate track Talladega.
Tim Johnston finished third in the race, driving up from a 24th starting positon. It was Johnston’s best finish of the season and although he was not available for an interview after the race we are positive he was excited about his performance for the night.
The 200 lap race was slowed 13 times for 61 laps and the passing was definitely difficult on the slick surface. Short tempers from the week prior spilled over and should only increase the bumping next week when the series does some plate racing. The race marked the first event of the summer segment that will include just about everything from plate tracks to road courses and everything in between. Each segment consists of 12 races and there is a season championship that will continue throughout all three segments.
The PRL Patriot Fire Cup Series heads to the Talladega Superspeedway next for the Steel Horse Racing 250 on Thursday, May 25th at 9:00 p.m. EST. As with every PRL Patriot Fire Cup Series race, the action can be seen live on the Global SimRacing Channel and the IRacing live stream. For more information on the PRL Patriot Fire Cup Series or the Premier Racing League, visit http://www.premierracingleague.com/
Sparta – Jeff Ward came into the race leading the points, and still with only 1 win on the season back in Auto Club. Consistently picking up the most halfway bonus points was the key to his early season points lead. He got a good look at the field as he put his #89 Ford Mustang on pole by a scarce .009 over Tyler Dalton.
The race started out a little choppy, as two early cautions slowed the pace of the field down. Jeff Ward was staying out front after fighting off challenges from Tyler Dalton and Drew Carroll. Jeff showed why he was able to grab that early season points lead with the early pace of his race.
Scott Eckrich, and Brian Yaczik both started out back. Scott’s car was found with two tires leaking air, and had to start at the back, Yaczik didn’t complete a lap. Both cars didn’t stay back in the back very long. Through a few pit stops and strategy, they were able to work their way up to the top 5 as the race progressed.
A caution flag flew on lap 31, which sent all the field down to pit road.
After the caution was withdrawn, and the Green fell back into the air. Jeff Ward, Drew Carroll and Scott Eckrich maintained a stranglehold on the front of the field. Swapping the lead of the race amongst themselves for the remainder of the event.
A late race caution with 6 laps to go set the field onto pit road one final time. Eckrich took 2 tires because of overshooting his pit stall, and the rest of the field took 4 fresh tires.
On the restart, Ward was able to maintain his 2nd position, as Eckrich found 2 tires to be entirely too loose. Coming out of turn 2 Ward sailed by Eckrich and never looked back to pick up his 2nd win on the season.
Yaczik finished p2, with Tyler Dalton in 3rd, Drew Carroll 4th, and Kevin Pearson rounding out the top 5.
The Sim Racing Apps Grand National series wraps up segment 1 next week on the road course of Mid Ohio.
jeff Ward grew his points lead to 9 over Yaczik with the Segment 1 finale next week at Mid Ohio.
Sparta – Loud Pedal Motorsports driver Drew Carroll has found himself snake bit in the spring segment of the Premier Racing League seasons so far, great runs, strong races, but just never quite could get the finishes he deserved. Starting P5 on the night behind Pole Sitter James Krahula, Drew got to the front of the field and stayed there.
The racing action was intense and door to door in the warm Kentucky night, 5 different leaders paced the field for 8 lead changes.
Green flag was also the name of the game, as the race was only slowed 2 times by caution. The first green flag run was for 58 laps.
The lead cycled between James Krahula, Brian Yaczik, Drew Carroll, and Rick Thompson using a different strategy to try to grab the win.
The first caution came out when the #05 of Tommy Emasie spun off of turn 2, not hitting the wall. The 2nd caution came when the #75 of Casey Campbell had issues off of turn 4, which setup the final trip down pitlane, which saw Krahula get the lead out of the pits over Yaczik and Carroll.
The restart saw frantic action, where every position was up for grabs, and drivers were going 2 and 3 wide around the 1.5 mile oval. Lots of rubbing, but no wrecking.
The winning pass came out of turn 4 with 15 laps to go. From there the 87 and the 4 never got more than 3 tenths apart over the finish of the race.
Drew grabbed his first win of the 2017 campaign.
“I’m so happy to get a win in PRL in any of the series out of the way” said Carroll in the virtual victory lane. “Just proud of everbody at LPM and so happy we could get a win tonight!” James Krahula found the 2nd step on the podium, after a thrilling battle to the end. “I was better on the longer run the entire night” said Krahula, “Overall it was a pretty fun race racing with Brian and Drew”.
Yaczik came onto pit road that final time with the lead, but ended up coming out 3rd. “Yeah, I slid through my stall” said Yaczik to GSRC. “3rd place is acceptable because its a good points night”
Speaking of points, Yaczik continues his points lead by 47 points over James Krahula and Tyler Dalton, who are tied for 2nd in points.
The series is back in action turning left and right at Mid-Ohio for the segment 1 finale next Sunday!
The PRL Sportsman Truck series rolled into the St. Louis area Sunday night, for the Gateway 100 at the oblong Gateway Motorsports Park. Jake Wright and the #27 Survey Systems Chevrolet took the pole with a 34.115 while resident Alien Scott Eckrich completed the front row just .057 seconds behind. The early part of the race saw multiple cautions as drivers struggled with racing and shifting in the tight turn 1-2. After the field settled in Ricky Hardin in the Michelin machine dominated the mid part of the race. As pit stops began to cycle through Ricky Hardin began his march back to the front, reeling in the Advocare Chevy of James Krahula. As Hardin began to wear out Krahula’s bumper, Krahula began to feel the effects of worn tires. With 10 laps to go, something had to give. Krahula’s tires said no more, and broke loose coming out of the fourth corner. After making heavy contact with the inside and ending up on his roof, the Texan came to rest feet from the Start/Finish line. The #99 of Tommy Rhyne took 2 tires just before the caution and led the field to the final green with 8 laps to go. It would come down to 4, Rhyne, Hardin, Mahan, and Daigle. Hardin made contact with the wall, giving Rhyne the lead! Rhyne made contact with the wall with 6 to go, Daigle took the lead going into 3 and would not surrender it back to the field. Mahan managed to get to his bumper in the closing laps but it was all for not. Daigle takes the win and punches his ticket to the chase! Mahan, Hardin, Tommy Rhyne, and Josh King round out the top 5. The Sportsman Trucks will take next 2 weeks off and return July 10th as they head to Lexington, Ohio, to the Mid Ohio Sports Car Course.
The AdvoCare Cup Series rolled into Charlotte for our first AdvoCare Fast 5 Event, where Drew Carroll came out on top after 400 grueling miles! This qualifies Carroll along with the rest of the top 5 finishers, Ricky Hardin, Scott Eckrich, Jeff Ward, and Johnathon Caddell for the next AdvoCare Fast 5 $50 bonus on July 19 at the Brickyard!