LONDON, Ont. – August 7, 2017
– Matt Pritiko’s power surge with the APC United Late Model Series continued during the Series’ annual trip to Sauble Speedway for the Beat the Heat 100 on Saturday
. After qualifying second fastest and starting fourth in the 100-lap main event, Pritiko earned a second-place finish in non-stop race.
Pritiko was happy with his Global Warranty No.21 Toyota Camry all day and was strong in the early afternoon practice sessions even on old tires.
“We new we had a good racecar and we slapped a set of sticker tires on for qualifying,” Pritiko said. “We went out and were second quickest, which was pretty good.”
Pulling the fourth starting position for the Feature was not ideal for Pritiko, who had to start the main event in the outside lane.
“It was brutal,” Pritiko said of having to start on the outside. “We went off head-to-head with Brandon Watson for about 10 laps. It was really fun. Then Andy Kamrath got around me. I worked my way back up and then got stuck in lapped traffic.”
Pritiko ran fourth initially, but was able to work his way up to second midway through the event. The race, however, went caution-free and race leader Brandon Watson’s advantage was too large to overcome.
“I was a little surprised, I thought we would have a caution at least near the end,” Pritiko said. “Lapped traffic definitely played a part. I’d have to catch up to him in lapped traffic and then I’d have to get around the same group and he would gap out on me again. It was definitely a cat and mouse chase. We just didn’t have enough to catch him.”
The 100 consecutive green flags were both a mental and physical challenge for Pritiko and the entire field. It was the first time in the history of the APC Series that a race has gone caution-free.
“That was definitely a tiring race,” Pritiko said. “You rarely go a full race without any cautions. You zone out here and there, but you get your mind back in it because you know you have to catch the guy.”
Has he been able to start on the front row or in the inside groove, Pritiko felt he would have had a better chance to claim the win.
“I think if we were on the inside on the start, we would have had a little better chance,” Pritiko stated. “We got caught up on the initial start and it just kind of gapped us from there.”
Regardless, Pritiko was happy with his car’s consistency throughout the entirely of the 100 laps. While a handful of the top-five starters saw their performance fall off, Pritiko’s No.21 was strong all night.
“The car was pretty much the same throughout the whole race,” Pritiko said. “It started to fall off just a little bit near the end as you would expect. We pushed pretty hard at the beginning of the race, so we knew our tires weren’t as good coming down to the wire.”
After earning their third straight podium finish, Pritiko will turn his focus to the next two weekends. The team will participate in a tire test at Jukasa Motor Speedway on Sunday, August 13 in preparation for the doubleheader event on August 26-27.
“We ran on a lot of big tracks when we did our road course racing,” Pritiko said. “We’re looking forward to going back to a big track finally and getting our speed and braking points and used to racing on a bigger surface again.”
The Global Warranty team will then make a return visit to Sunset Speedway in Innisfil, Ont. on Saturday, August 19. Pritiko hopes he can continue his climb up the Series standings from his current position, where he is tied for third.
“We ran well there the first of the year. It’s a fun track,” Pritiko said of Sunset. “The last string of races with two poles and three top-three finishes has us doing really well. I’m looking forward to getting back to Sunset and fighting for the championship. We still have a hope for it.”
For more information on the APC United Late Model Series’ event at Sunset Speedway, visitwww.apcracingseries.com.
2017 SEASON STATS
Matt Pritiko – 6 Starts: 0 Wins, 3 Top-5, 5 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.