LONDON, Ont. – May 30, 2017 – Matt Pritiko started his 2017 APC United Late Model Series title chase with an impressive second-place finish during the series season opener at Sunset Speedway last Saturday night.
Pritiko started the night with a fifth-place qualifying effort in his No.21 Global Warranty Toyota. It was a strong run to qualify the London, Ont. driver for the top-five redraw.
“It was pretty amazing right out of the box,” Pritiko said. “We were second fastest in practice and that was only my second time in the car all year. Going into qualifying we thought we had the right stagger, but we were just a little too high. Even though we qualified fifth, we would have liked to do a little bit better. We were quite loose coming out of the corner.”
Pritiko gained the fourth starting spot via the redraw, which gave him a crucial outside lane starting position and immediately allowed him to race into second. He ran in the runner-up spot through a lap 14 restart and on lap 32 looked to the inside of leader Andy Kamrath. Pritiko appeared to have the position in hand, but another caution waved on lap 34.
On lap 40, Pritiko took the lead from Kamrath. A restart on lap 46 was crucial for Pritiko as he used his lane choice to gain the outside groove.
“I kind of realized that on the first to third lap off a restart, the high side worked really well because you’re able to pinch the other guy down coming out of the corner,” Pritiko said. “I took that off one of the restarts and kept him in the low line knowing his car wasn’t working very well down there.”
While Pritiko maintained the lead, he was quickly reeled in by the fifth and final caution of the race at lap 51. On the restart, Brandon Watson was able to use the inside lane to take the lead. A 49-lap green flag run followed through to the end of the race and Watson was able to pull away in traffic while Pritiko ran comfortably in the second spot. Pritiko would have needed a caution in order to catch Watson’s No.9, but felt a yellow flag might have done more harm than good.
“I think we could have probably ran side-by-side with Brandon for a lap or two,” Pritiko said. ”The 89 car of Shawn Chenoweth was coming up pretty quick behind me. We may have benefitted from a three lap dash, but we also could have come out a little worse with the cars coming up behind that definitely had some speed near the end.”
Regardless, Pritiko is happy with his team’s second-place finish to start the new campaign. The strong start allows he and his Global Warranty team to build on their early success.
“We’re really satisfied with race number one,” Pritiko said. “That’s a great accomplishment for the whole Global Warranty team, especially coming off a blown engine in the last race last year. It’s a great turnaround. It really gives us a lot of strength going into round two at Flamboro in two weeks.”
Pritiko’s next action will be in the APC United Late Model Series’ second race of the season at Flamboro Speedway for the Meineke 100 on Saturday, June 10. For additional event information, visit www.apcracingseries.com.
2017 SEASON STATS
Matt Pritiko – 1 Start: 0 Wins, 1 Top-5, 1 Top-10
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, and Aquahydrate.
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