LONDON, Ont. (August 7, 2018) – Matt Pritiko finally shook the monkey off his back and ended a 21-race winless streak with the APC United Late Model Series when he drove to Victory Lane at Sauble Speedway in the Spira Beat the Heat 100 on Saturday night. Pritiko used a bump-and-run pass on JR Fitzpatrick with 17 laps to go as the winning move for his first series victory since June 25, 2016.
“It’s been a while,” Pritiko said. “It’s been three seasons, so it feels really good.”
Pritiko started the night with an 11th-place qualifying effort, which lined him up in the same position for the 100-lap main event. Starting outside the top-10 wasn’t a reason for worry though, Pritiko said.
“We didn’t qualify very well, but we raced really well,” Pritiko explained. “The car hooked up with about 30 laps to go. It was insane. We got the lead on lap 83 and I think we won by almost 15 car lengths. It just took off. It was crazy.”
In the early laps, Pritiko sat patiently inside the top-10 as he avoided a flurry of activity including spins and a pair of major wrecks that resulted in the race being red flagged.
“We were just riding it out, trying to avoid all the crazy wrecks,” Pritiko said. “There were way too many.”
Then, his car found another gear with less than 30 laps to go and he quickly rocketed forward to challenge Shae Gemmel and Fitzpatrick up front.
“I passed the three car to get into second and passed JR for the lead,” Pritiko recounted. “I gave him a little bit of bumper, but it was a clean bumper pass. Once we passed him, we set sail.”
Pritiko won’t have much time to savour the victory as the team has a short turnaround to prepare for the seventh race of the season and second of the year at Sunset Speedway in Innisfil, Ont. on Saturday, August 11.
“It’s a short turnaround, but Rick has the car pretty well ready to go for Sunset already,” Pritiko said. “It’s nice when you don’t get into any wrecks like everyone else did.”
Pritiko feels his car is running as well as it has all year after making an engine change prior to the Sauble event.
“We found out we were running on seven cylinders at Flamboro, so we put a new motor in and everything is working well,” he said. “We’re looking forward to Sunset. We run well there. It’s not a lot different than Flamboro or Sauble, so we’ll be fast there.”
Pritiko will employ a similar strategy for Saturday’s AP Exhaust 100 as he did at Sauble. The focus won’t be as much on qualifying as it will be on making sure the car is solid in race trim.
“You don’t need to win qualifying, but you want to be there at the end of 100 laps,” Pritiko said. “We’re bringing a similar setup, so we hope it will hook up right around that lap 70 or 80 mark the way it did at Sauble.”
Race time is 6:00pm for the APC United Late Model Series AP Exhaust 100 at Sunset Speedway on Saturday, August 11. Keep up to date with the latest news on Matt Pritiko online at www.mattpritiko.com or on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram at the links below.
2018 SEASON STATS
Matt Pritiko – 6 Starts: 1 Win, 3 Top-5s, 4 Top-10s
MATT PRITIKO MEDIA
Matt Pritiko is proud to partner with several dedicated marketing partners for the 2018 race season, including Global Warranty, NAPA Certified Bodyshops, Burwell Autobody Ltd., Cadillac Industrial Cleaning, Glencoe Auto Recyclers, SellToWin.com, Wix Filters, Toyota-Town.com and Palasad of London.