Eckrich kisses the bricks!
Scott Eckrich put on an absolute dominant performance Tuesday night at the Brickyard. Leading 75 of 120 laps, the guy can just go in circles really fast. You can count on one hand the number of races he hasn’t thoroughly dominated. If Jake Wright is has become the road course ringer, Scott Eckrich has become the oval ringer.
285,000 people were in stands to watch a full field of 40 drivers roll to the green flag. At the drop, Scott Eckrich assumed the lead with #27 Survey System tailing him. With Indianapolis providing a different setup for drivers being fast with flat corners. Tires burn off therefore times really drop off and the car becomes a handful towards the end of a fuel run. As with Daytona 2 weeks before the drivers of Advocare Cup series were up to the challenge and the race didn’t see its first caution until lap 93!
The #81 Shredz Chevrolet of Josh Parker used strategy to get himself out front for nearly a segment. As we have seen the short pit strategy will get you out front, it’s all in the timing, how much time can you make up with the newer tires. From a laps led standpoint Parker was the second best car on the track, leading 29 laps.
The first caution of the day came out when the #9 of Brad Fulham made contact with the inside pit wall on entry into turn 1. The #11 of Jonathon Caddell was caught in no-man’s-land and made contact with Fulham, and effectively ending his day. Caddell started in 38th and made a very strong charge to the front and was running 9th at the time of the wreck, so a very disappointing end to his day.
As they say “cautions breed cautions” and this was no exception. As 2 green flag laps later a 3 car incident involving #41 of Brian Mellendorf, #24 of James Krahula, and #60 of Robert Barney. As the decision was made to play 3 car accordion to the tune of “Bent Sheet metal.” With the 2 quick cautions it allowed for drivers to take advatage of the wave around and get new tires for everyone who had fallen back from the blistering pace set by the lead drivers.
The race resumed with 18 laps to go with the #5 Amsoil Chevrolet of Dan Murray leading the field. It took Eckrich all of a 2 laps to resume the lead as he restarted in the 4th position. The 3rd caution would fly, when #5 Dan Murray made contact with the outside wall in turn 1 exit and collect #24 Advocare Chevrolet of James Krahula again. All but 2 lead lap cars pitted at this caution as it would give them the rubber and fuel to make the final run at flank speed.
The #81 of Parker and #28 In-n-Out Toyota of Kalvin Filarski elected stay out with a pack of hungry dogs behind them. The green flag dropped, and as the song goes “the wheels began a spinnin’.” Filarski could not get going, and the cars of Michael Chrobok and Tommy Rhyne took evasive action, and made contact with one another as they raced toward turn one. A chain reaction of contact ensued and 14 cars were involved in the huge melee on the front stretch. The wreck caused heavy damage to most of the mid pack cars, and thick black smoke could be seen billowing from the infield as cars pulled in.
The #81 of Parker retained the lead, and held on to lead the field back to green with 4 to go. Eckrich disposed of second place Chris Westerfield into turn 1 and set his sights on Parker down the backstretch. #15 Ricky Hardin’s Northern Tool Chevrolet moved past Westerfield out of turn 2 and closed in on the bumper of Eckrich going out of the 4th corner. Eckrich moved to the bottom to go into turn 1, and drove hard into the corner, making some heavy contact with the door of Parker! Both maintain control and Eckrich completes the pass and Hardin followed Eckrich through to second. Its easy to catch somebody but its extremely hard to pass. Hardin got to Eckrich’s bumper but couldn’t complete the move, as Scott Eckrich, who dominated from the drop, completed his race at the sharp end.
With the win Scott Eckrich assumes the outright lead on the standings with his series leading 5th win. Top Five in points for the chase are: Eckrich, Wright, Krahula, Carrol, and Caddell.
With that, all 3 series are going to take there talents to the Pocono Mountains. The Tricky Triangle awaits them in Long Pond, Pennsylvania. Designed by Indy 500 winner Roger Ward, the track is 2.5 miles and features 3 distinct corners, all modeled after corners at 3 different tracks. The track provides a tough challenge for the drivers as shifting becomes part of the process of completing a lap.
The Sportsman Truck series will race Sunday Evening, Coastal Safety Auditors Grand National Series run Monday Evening, and the grand finale, CJ’s Automotive 200. Join the drivers of the Advocare Cup Series, and Brian and Tanner in the booth, as the green flag drops at 9:35 Tuesday Evening!