LONDON, Ont. – July 5, 2017 – Matt Pritiko raced to a sixth-place finish when he returned to the seat of his Global Warranty No.21 Toyota Camry with the APC United Late Model Series during the Canada Day showdown at Delaware Speedway on July 1.
Pritiko’s car was strong immediately when he unloaded and he ran among the top-three throughout the entire practice session. The car was fast right away and didn’t require much improvement or adjusting, even following an afternoon shower that disrupted the practice schedule.
“Rarely this happens, but it was fast right out of the box and we were on extremely old tires from last race,” Pritiko said. “We did adjust once, but it didn’t really work so we went back to the way it came off the trailer and that’s how we went into qualifying.”
Pritiko’s strong practice efforts allowed him to time trial in the final group of qualifiers, an advantage he used to the fullest. The team’s decision to revert to their original setup was the right one.
“We qualified on the pole,” Pritiko said. “We laid down a pretty quick lap, obviously, since we got the pole.”
In the redraw for the top-five qualifiers, Pritiko pulled the third starting spot for the 100-lap main event. A pair of early cautions shuffled the top-five and Pritiko settled into the fourth spot after the top-two cars pulled away.
“We were pretty much nose to tail for third, fourth and fifth,” Pritiko said. “The No.81 car of Gresel got around Cox for third and I followed him by. Then we checked out.”
Pritiko chased Gresel during a long green flag run that spanned the majority of the race. With five laps to go, the No.21 made his move to get past Gresel and into a podium spot in turn one.
“Coming out of corner two with five laps to go, I got under Gresel which was great because we would have had third place going into corner three, but a caution came out in the same corner,” Pritiko lamented. “That’s kind of where the end of the race happened for us.”
Pritiko restarted in fourth and the outside lane position was detrimental as he fell to sixth over the final three laps.
“I could have easily had third,” Pritiko said. “We had a pretty decent long run car and it had stayed green for quite a while. That restart really killed us.”
The sixth-place effort was still a strong one for Pritiko. His third top-10 finish of the season was certainly to his benefit in the championship standings. He currently sits seventh overall.
“It’s a good points night,” Pritiko said. “I think we gained two spots in the standings. All in all it’s not a horrible night, but not what it could have been if it had stayed green flag the rest of the race.”
Pritiko and his Global Warranty racing team are off for the upcoming weekend and will use the extra time to prepare for the next APC United Late Model Series event at Flamboro Speedway on July 15. Last month, Pritiko battled through engine issues at Flamboro and finish ninth. He’s certainly looking to improve on that mark next time he unloads.
“We have a week off, so we’ll go over every nut and bolt and make a couple of changes to get it ready for Flamboro,” Pritiko said. “If we want to win the championship, we have to win every race from here on out, which we’re definitely capable of doing. We’ve had a decent pass at Flamboro and Sauble Beach. It can definitely happen. We can be in the top-five or event the top-three for the championship, so that’s what we’re going to aim to do.”
For additional event information on the London Recreational Racing 100 at Flamboro Speedway, visistwww.apcracingseries.com and www.flamborospeedway.ca.
2017 SEASON STATS
Matt Pritiko – 4 Starts: 0 Wins, 1 Top-5, 3 Top-10s
MATT PRITIKO MEDIA
Matt Pritiko is proud to partner with several dedicated marketing partners for the 2017 race season, including Global Warranty, NAPA Certfied Bodyshops, Burwell Autobody Ltd., Cadillac Industrial Cleaning, Glencoe Auto Recyclers, SellToWin.com, Aquahydrate and Palasad of London.