MARTINSVILLE – Josh Skroupa was able to avoid most of the carnage at the paperclip and drive to victory lane for his second victory of the season Thursday night in the Premier Racing League Patriot Fire Cup Series. Starting from the NP3 Designs pole, Skroupa battled with several drivers all night trying to maintain track position at the Virginia track, but would lead the majority of laps and ultimately take home the grandfather clock.
“I just bought a house, I could use a clock” Skroupa said from victory lane. “It really got exciting there at the end, once the track got rubbered in it got really difficult to get around, Ricky Hardin raced me hard all night really clean so I gotta give him a shout out for the good racing between us”. Skroupa went on to thank Tommy Rhyne for talking him into his return to the Premier Racing League and that he was looking forward to the summer segment.
Drew Carroll would bring his #87 Clipping the Apex Ford home in second. Carroll or “Mr. Excitement” had been the source of some attention by fellow driver James Krahula when Krahula painted his car to look like the #87 but sponsored by a scud missile. “Yea I don’t have any comment on that, I wasn’t trying to really get into anyone tonight but I seemed to catch a couple guys at bad spots in the corner because of my line, so I gotta apologize to those guys for the contact”. When asked if he thought he had a shot at the victory “No, I actually had some damage like everyone else out here but it is what it is, didn’t make any friends but we will move on to Richmond and take it from there”. Carroll hopes to continue his momentum next week at Richmond.
Nick Kohan emerged as the surprise big winner of the evening after he pulled out the Spring Championship in exciting fashion. “The Rolling Rock is definitely going to be flowing around here tonight boys, man I still can’t believe we won it!”, said Kohan who would end up in a tie with Tommy Rhyne at the end of the segment but was named the champion due to his lone victory of the season at Phoenix as the tie breaker, “I thought the officials were wrong or maybe Steve Harvey was announcing it”.
Tommy Rhyne came home third in the race but was more frustrated with losing the segment championship tie breaker. Tommy tried to snatch the victory at Martinsville with some last minute risky strategy of staying out on nearly 90 lap old tires with only 3 laps to go in the event. The move nearly paid off as the final caution would fly in the first turn of the restart but Skroupa had managed to already pass him on the fresher rubber. “Just frustrated that we let it slip away from us, I keep thinking about what if I had just gotten one more point somewhere, a position here or there, or one bonus point and we have that championship, just goes to show you how important every single position s out here week in and week out” an exhausted Rhyne would say after the event.
The 300 lap event was slowed 12 times for 57 laps and the normal fireworks at a small track certainly flew. Lots of door slamming and short tempers flared as they normally do here at Martinsville. At the end of the race there were not a lot of cars without signs of hard racing being easily identified. At least one driver had to be parked as a result of incidents on the track and others saw the race as a chance to rectify previous injustices. The new “race others how you want to be raced” rule was certainly in effect and being utilized.
Brian Yaczik would finish third in the segment standings with his late push. Brian certainly looks to stay in contention as the summer segment begins and for the season long standings. Tyler Dalton and Bob Bryant would round out the top five in the standings for the Spring Championship. Each segment consists of 12 races and there is a season championship that will continue throughout all three segments.
The Premier Racing League Patriot Fire Cup Series starts the summer segment and heads to the Richmond International Raceway next for the Commonwealth 200 on Thursday, May 18th at 9:00 p.m. EST. As with every 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 Patriot Fire Cup Series or the Premier Racing League, visit http://www.premierracingleague.com/
ELKHART LAKE – Unacceptable Racing driver Josh Skroupa cruised from start to finish and never seemed to lose control of the field for most of the race Thursday night to grab his first victory of the season in the Premier Racing League Patriot Fire Series. Starting from the NP3 Designs Pole, Skroupa battled for what seemed like the majority of the race with road course ringer Brian Mellendorf, leading the majority of laps at Road America to a win at the Wisconsin road course, the second road race the series has seen this season.
“Man, I’m worn out! It’s great to finally get a win after running up front all year without the results we would have liked” Skroupa said from the virtual victory lane. “We really just did a great job of saving the tires throughout the whole run to get the most out of the setup, we were definitely worried about Brian (Mellendorf) back there he is a great road racer so we just tried to keep him behind us”. Skroupa went on to say he was looking forward to getting back to ovals next week and hoped to get some more trips to victory lane.
Skroupa held off road course master Brian Mellendorf, who was trying to get into victory lane for the first time himself this season and came up short one spot. Mellendorf stated he struggled at times with the setup on the car but was happy with his finish. “We didn’t have to pass as many cars tonight as we did last time so that was nice, you just really had to be careful with your corners or you would burn up the tires”. Mellendorf pitted on laps 12 and 26 under green but was unable to surpass Skroupa who pitted the following lap. He was all smiles after the race though with his girlfriend Kaitlyn right by his side to congratulate him on his finish.
Tommy Rhyne was able to finish in third after a few weeks of some horrible luck for the South Carolina driver. “It’s so hard to finish in the top five in this series, guys have really brought their A game this season” Rhyne stated prior to the race. “I had to almost drive a perfect race for me to finish that good tonight, everyone had to really take care of their tires” Rhyne laughed as he left with this comment “I can’t keep up with Skroupa here man, that guy can fly at this place!”
Although there were several small incidents and at least one multi car wreck that caused some drivers to at least question why a yellow wasn’t thrown, the event was only slowed once for the competition caution on lap 16. Everyone would take the opportunity to grab fresh tires and regroup for the final stretch. Contenders Brian Yaczik and Paul Pepper rounded out the top five with good showings and what should help them both in the points standings.
Bob Bryant maintained his points lead on the field with Nick Kohan moving up to second just 20 points behind him. Tommy Rhyne jumped a spot to third in points after his top five finish. Scott Eckrich dropped to fourth before the drop weeks were calculated and is expected to contend with Bryant for the spring championship. Ricky Hardin rounds out the top five in points and hopes to gain more ground next week.
The Premier Racing League Patriot Fire Cup Series heads to the Gateway Motorsports Park next for the Amsoil 200 on Thursday, April 27th at 9:00 p.m. EST. As with every 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 Patriot Fire Cup Series or the Premier Racing League, visit premierracingleague.com.
DAYTONA BEACH, FL – A little over two weeks of preparation came down to just a few feet to determine the 2017 Daytona 300. Ricky Hardin was ahead of Nick Kohan by only .007 when the caution flew for the last time coming to 4 laps to go. Hardin started 37th after a crash in his Patriot Fire Duel a week prior, and found himself running towards the back of the field during the majority of the event. Hardin found a lucky break though when the first yellow flew on lap 79 of the event. Hardin found himself just leaving pit road at the time of the caution and would cycle within striking distance of the lead when the race restarted a few laps later. Hardin fought to the front and found himself in front to claim his 2nd Patriot Fire Cup Series win.
The Goat Rope Racing driver tried to muffle his celebration to not wake his sleeping wife and baby, but the excitement was apparent. “This is awesome man, I can’t believe it.” said Hardin in Daytona International Speedway’s victory lane. Hardin was also quick to thank his team, “We just work together very well as a team and I think it shows how good our team is at these type of events.”
NP3 Designs Pole winner Tommy Rhyne, who pushed Hardin to the victory, finished in 3rd, followed by Loud Pedal Motorsports drivers Scott Eckrich and Paul Pepper. Gary Whitson was the American Pool Supply Half Way Leader, but would finish 15th after being in the race ending crash.
Even though Daytona was the first race, the Patriot Fire Duel’s paid bonus points in the qualifying event. Meaning the season championship has Eckrich leading by 7 points over Gregory McDougal. Hardin with his win on Sunday moved him up to 3rd, followed by Rett McBride and Rhyne.
Along side the season championship will be three segments, and the Spring Segment did not pay points from the Patriot Fire Duel’s. This points battle will also see Eckrich leading, but Hardin will sit 2nd in this battle. Kohan, Rhyne, and McDougal will round out the Top 5.
The Premier Racing League heads further south next week where the league will visit the Homestead-Miami Speedway for the Miami 200 on March 2nd. Coverage of this race will start at 9pm ET on the Global Sim Racing Channel and iRacing Live. For more information on the Premier Racing League please visit PremierRacingLeague.com or at Facebook @PremierRacingLeague.
DAYTONA BEACH, FL – Two races and two winners on Thursday, as the Patriot Fire Duel’s at Daytona setup the starting grid for the Daytona 300 on February 23rd. Points for the first time were also given out for the Duel’s with Bonus Points heading to the Top 10 in each.
Randy Yokum was able to push his way to the front of the field in the closing laps of Duel #1, which put him out ahead of the big-one when net code between Michael Chrobok and Tommy Rhyne left only three cars without damage. Randy was able to stay ahead of Josh King and Greg McDougal to earn his 2nd row starting spot for the Daytona 300. Rich Jette and Reed Rundell were able to limp their cars home in the 4th and 5th positions.
Duel #2 saw James Krahula and Brian Yaczik share time at the front. In the end, it was Yaczik who would find himself out in front when Paul Pepper and Tyler Dalton made contact in the closing laps and end the race under yellow. Scott Eckrich would find himself just feet behind Yaczik to finish 2nd, followed closely by Matt Murphy, Rett McBride, and RJ Williams who avoided the late wreck to close out the Top 5.
The Premier Racing League Patriot Fire Cup Series field is now set for the Daytona 300 on February 23rd. You will be able to catch all of the action at 9pm ET on iRacing Live and the Global SimRacing Channel. For more information on the Premier Racing League please visit PremierRacingLeague.com or at Facebook.com/PremierRacingLeague.
DAYTONA BEACH, FL – Qualifying is always stressful, but there is a little more added pressure when you know that everyone is watching. The Premier Racing League decided to add a little anxiety to the session on Thursday night by sending their Patriot Fire Cup Series drivers out one-by-one to try and capture the NP3 Designs Pole Award for the Daytona 300. Tommy Rhyne was able to set the fastest lap with a 47.316 and will now enjoy knowing that he will lead the field to the start of the 2nd Annual Daytona 300 on February 23rd. “My heart rate was up big time when I made my lap,” said Rhyne post qualifying.
Rhyne will also start on pole for the 1st Patriot Fire Duel on February 16th, which this year will pay 10 points to the winner all the way back to one point for 10th. Rhyne will be joined by all of the odd qualifiers in his Duel. Their finishing position will also make up the inside line for the start of the Daytona 300.
Josh Skroupa was able to lock himself into the 2nd starting spot for the Daytona 300, and will lead the even qualifiers for the 2nd Patriot Fire Duel. The finishing order for the 2nd Duel will determine how they lineup behind Skroupa on the outside line for the Daytona 300, but more important are those bonus points for the Overall Championship up for grabs.
The Patriot Fire Cup Series will be on track next for the Duel’s on February 16th. Both Patriot Fire Duel’s will be live on iRacing Live courtesy of the Global Sim Racing Channel at 9pm ET. For more information on the Premier Racing League please visit PremierRacingLeague.com or Facebook.com/PremierRacingLeague.