LONDON (September 20, 2019)- ~ It took a 10th-place finish in the 2019 season finale at Delaware Speedway for tour veteran Matt Pritiko to clinch his first APC United Late Model Series championship.
However, as simple as that final step might seem in hindsight, the four month grind of following Ontario’s toughest tour clear across the province was anything but.
“Any time you’re part of a roster like this – with incredible talent from top to bottom – you walk around day after day thinking about what it would mean to be champion,” explains Pritiko.
“That’s never left our mind. For five years we’ve followed this tour and it’s never left our mind what an honour it would be to call ourselves champions”
Pritiko was one of the original regulars on the tour and has campaigned fulltime since it’s inception in 2014. And, following a spate of seasons split between categories of ‘frustration’ and ‘close calls’, Pritiko entered his 2019 campaign with a fresh outlook.
“This was the year that we just knew we were coming on tour not willing to take no for an answer,” offers the London, ON native.
“We pushes ourselves harder this season than we ever have. There weren’t any shop nights missed. There wasn’t a race that we unloaded for that we didn’t feel completely prepared for. This team did absolutely everything in our power to make sure that, when the car came off the trailer, it was good enough to race for a win no matter where we were”
The end result was an APC Series points-battle for the ages, with the lead swapped back and forth between a number of top-tier competitors from one end of the season to the other. Finally, by the time the dust had settled, it was Pritiko standing at the top with a 23-point cushion over the rest of the field.
“There were a lot of nights where we knew we didn’t have any room for error because of how tight the standings were,” admits Pritiko. “Everything ended up playing out better than I could ever have imagined. This season will be the benchmark that we hold every other year to for as long as we’re racing”
“This was the closest season-long points battle I’ve ever been a part of. The guys in this division don’t give you one moment to breathe. It’s pretty incredible”
“From Billy (Schwartzenburg) to Treyton (Lapcevich) to Shae (Gemmell) – we were up there in the standings with some really, really talented guys,” adds the well-spoken veteran. “I learned something from each of them. This year taught me a lot about who I am as a competitor and I’m grateful for every single second of it.”
Thanks to our sponsors Global Warranty, Glenco Auto Recyclers, Napa Auto Parts, Cadillac Industrial Cleaning Services, Toyota Town and Burwell Auto Body Limited for all the support on our Championship Run!
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