LONDON, ON- After spending much of the afternoon practice sessions at the top of the leaderboard, reigning Delaware Speedway champion Matt Pritiko impressed in his first race with the APC United Late Model Series presented by Grisdale Racing Products.
The former road course standout kept his Global Warranty sponsored No. 21 in contention all afternoon long, dodging a number of mid-race incidents to earn an 8th place finish against one of the best fields of Pro Late Models that Ontario could offer.
“Anytime you’re matched against the type of field that we had on Saturday, a top-10 is something to be proud of,” commented Pritiko from his London-area race shop.
“Our team had read the driver roster just like everyone else had, but seeing that much talent lined up on pit road for time trials is when it truly resonated for us”
Unfortunately for Pritiko, a bad set of tires put his team behind the eight-ball in the 100-lap A Main.
“The set of tires we timed in on was way different than what we had practiced with,” explained Pritiko. “It through our entire setup for a loop, and really had an effect on the handling of the car. I could tell as soon as we rolled out for our qualifying lap that something was different”
“Through the first 80-laps of the race, I was just doing my best to hold on,” continued Pritiko. “The car was loose in and loose off. I couldn’t get it to settle down, no matter what I did”
A late-race pit stop would prove fruitful, with the team making a handling adjustment that allowed Pritiko to wage a late-race charge en route to a top-10 finish.
“The whole race I was doing my best to keep the car out of the fence,” said Pritiko. “Once we came in for that adjustment, I was finally able to do something offensive. We made up 5 spots in 10-laps and the car felt awesome”
With a top-10 in their back pocket, Matt Pritiko Motorsports will now turn their attention to Round 2 of the APC United Late Model Series, scheduled for Flamboro Speedway on June 6th.
“If we can get our car working as well as it did during practice at Sunset, then we absolutely will have a chance at a win,” smiled Pritiko. “This car has a lot more in it than what we were able to show in Round 1”
“Flamboro is a track that I’ve become incredibly comfortable at,” continued Pritiko. “I’m looking forward to seeing where we stack up against the tour regulars once we unload there”
“This tour is a game changer in so many ways. The level of talent that has committed to the first season is unreal. This series is not only going to showcase the best drivers, but it will also shine a spotlight on what team can best prepare their car and equipment”
“This is going to be a historical year for Late Model racing in Ontario.”
Pritiko will return to action with the APC United Late Model Series on June 6th at Flamboro Speedway. Details, including gate times and ticket prices, can be found at www.FlamboroSpeedway.ca.
Matt Pritiko’s 2015 season is made possible thanks to the support of Global Warranty, Cadillac Industrial Cleaning, Palasad: London’s Best Entertainment & Eatery, NAPA Certified Body Shop, Burwell Auto Body, SellToWin.com, In2Communications.
Fans can follow along with Matt all season via his Matt Pritiko Motorsports page on Facebook, or on Twitter @MattPritiko and be sure to visit the official www.MattPritiko.com.
By Spencer Lewis (@itsspencerlewis)