TROIS RIVIERES, QC- Former road racing regular – and current short track standout – Matt Pritiko returned to the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series presented by Mobil 1 at Circuit de Trois-Rivieres on August 10th, working his way to an 11th place performance in the ‘JuliaWine.com Le 50 Tours’.
“It was awesome to be back at Trois-Rivieres”, smiled Pritiko post-race. “I haven’t competed here since my days racing with the Grand Am Series. The track was the same, but the atmosphere and crowd were larger than ever. The Grand Prix of Trois-Rivieres should be on every race fans list of places to visit”
The London, ON native qualified 23rd in time trials and displayed a veteran’s patience when picking his way through the field come race time.
“So much of our efforts through practice and qualifying were dedicated to just getting a feel for the car”, explained Pritiko. “It was only my second time racing it, so it was paramount for me to understand how the car was going to react and feel comfortable in it”
Pritiko spent much of the event in heavy traffic, eventually racing to within the top-15 through the second-half of the event.
“By the time we were up into the top-15, I felt perfectly comfortable with the car”, said Pritiko. “It was nice being able to settle in. The last time I raced one of these cars, we were fighting mechanical issues all day. Today was a much better experience”
“The learning curve is incredibly tough in this series”, continued Pritiko. “The power and weight of these cars is different than anything I’ve ever driven. Racing this car felt much more natural the second time. The car loosened up quite a bit around halfway, as we burned more fuel. Once we made our pit stop, we topped up the fuel and it improved the handling of the car significantly”
Pritiko took advantage of a number of late-race cautions, slipping past cars on the ensuing restarts and working his way to 11th place at the time of the checkered flag.
“I was fortunate to use the restarts to my advantage all day”, explained Pritiko. “We were able to pick up a spot or two on just about every restart. It made a huge difference. This car cornered like a dream this afternoon”
“We’re incredibly happy with our results. We just missed the top-10 in only our second race with the series. It gives us a lot of confidence heading into Canadian Tire Motorsport Park in a couple weeks”
Matt Pritiko’s NASCAR Canadian Tire Series efforts are made possible thanks to sponsorship from Global Warranty, Toyota Town, Palasad: London’s Best Entertainment & Eatery, Serengeti Sunglasses, AQUAhydrate, NAPA Certified Body Shop, Cadillac Industrial Cleaning, Driven Steering Wheels, Burwell Auto Body, SellToWin.com, Snap’d London and In2Communications.
Matt will return to the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series on August 31st when Pinty’s presents the Clarington 200 at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park.
Fans can stay up to date with Matt at the brand new MattPritiko.com and by following on Twitter @MattPritiko.
By Spencer Lewis (@itsspencerlewis)