June 1, 2013 - (London, ON) – Matt Pritiko and his Global Warranty / Toyota-Town Toyota Camry unloaded their FT Garage Late Model at Delaware Speedway on Friday May 17th for opening night as the team prepares to chase a championship in 2013.
After turning the second fastest lap in the night’s practice session, Pritiko drew the pole position for his 10-lap heat race and when the green flag dropped he was able to blast away from the rest of the field. Pritiko opened up a small gap on Jay Doerr and picked up some bonus championship points with his first heat race win of the season by almost ½ a second. Matt explained, “We were only able to get one once to test and get ready for the season. The car was good, but not as fast as it had been last season. We’ll see how good it is in the feature.”
The 40-lap feature closed out the evening and Pritiko rolled off from the inside of the fourth row. In just three laps he was able to move into the top-five, running fourth, and trailing Cole Powell, Mat Box, and Jamie Cox. On lap six Box was shuffled out of the groove and both Cox and Pritiko went by, moving Matt to third, and six laps later Cox took the lead, putting Powell in the clutches of Pritiko. Matt measured Powell for a number of laps and on a lap 22 restart he was able to catch Powell on the high side to claim second. He then started to attack Cox, and with seven laps left was able to make a move on the low side of Jamie. As he applied the power the car snapped around and Pritiko spun to the inside. “I had a run on the bottom and I the car snapped around. It was a racing deal, and two guys racing for the win in the same real estate.”
Pritiko restarted 10th, and climbed to seventh before being involved in a tangle with another competitor, forcing him to restart at the back of the field again. As the laps wound down, he rallied back to a sixth-place result. “It was not the finish that we were looking for, but it was still a solid way to start the season. We gained some points with a heat race win, and we’ll look forward to next weekend.”
1. Cox, 2. Jay Doerr, 3. Shawn Thompson, 4. Box, 5. Powell, 6. Matt Pritiko
May 24th was night number two of the Delaware Speedway championship chase, and Pritiko opened the evening with his qualifying heat. He started on the pole, and for the second consecutive week wound up in heat race victory lane, going wire-to-wire with the lead. He said, “We’re after a championship and those heat race points are so big at the end of the season. Our car is pretty good, and I think we’re set for the feature.”
In the main event of the evening, Matt took the green from the outside of the third row and picked up three spots in the first three laps, tucking into line behind Jay Christie and Tyler Hendricks. On lap six Pritiko dispatched Hendricks, and just two laps later he made the move into the lead.
Pritiko paced the field, and despite some challenges from Cox continued to hold serve on every restart until lap 29 when Cox was Pritiko was passed on the outside. Matt tucked into line and tried to battle back to the front, but when the checkers flew had come up one position short. “We were really good once we got going, but it took a couple of laps to get up to speed. If we didn’t have all those cautions in the second half of the race we were in really good shape for the win. We were still able to lead about 25 laps of the race, and have had a couple of good runs to open the season. To win the championship you have to put up top-fives and top-tens, and win heat races – that’s what we’ve done so far this season.”
1. Cox, 2. Matt Pritiko, 3. Powell, 4. Stephen Richmond, 5. Thompson.
Points (after 2 of 12 events) – 1. Cox (176 points), 2. Matt Pritiko (171), 3. Thompson (160), Richmond (160), 5. Powell (156).
Following a week off, the Global Warranty Racing Team will be back in action for a doubleheader weekend, as they on compete Friday June eighth for another regular scheduled night of FT Garage Late Model competition. On Saturday June ninth, the team will head to Flamboro Speedway for the first round of the ‘Grisdale Triple Crown’. The first event of the three-race season will give Pritiko a chance to compete at the Hamilton-area oval, and he’s looking forward to it. “I’m always up for a new challenge. I’ve never even seen the track, but I’m excited about trying another track.”
This weekend, Pritiko will be part of a special event at Delaware Speedway, as part of the ‘High School Challenge’. A number of weeks ago, it was announce that a group of London-area schools would be building Bone Stock Chaos Cars to compete at Delaware. Each school was paired with a Late Model driver who will be piloting the student built cars in a special race, for a feature race on Saturday. “I’m excited to be competing, and representing Thames Secondary School with their car this weekend. The students have done a tremendous job of preparing the car, and have gained a great deal of valuable experience. Hopefully we can turn some of those students into future races and crew members, and I’m looking forward to driving their car on Saturday against some of the other Late Model drivers.”
Matt Pritiko and his car will also be on display Monday June third for the London Charity Golf Classic for Prostate Cancer Awareness at the Highland Golf and Country Club in London, as well as on June 24th for the Lexus of London Golf Classic, at The Oaks Golf and Country Club. The team will be auctioning off a variety of prizes, including Track Days, Ride-alongs, and Karting packages.
For more information on Matt Pritiko, Global Warranty/ Global Warranty Racing, Toyota-Town, Delaware Speedway, please visit www.mattpritiko.com, www.globalwarranty.com, www.toyota-town.com, www.delawarespeedway.com, or firstname.lastname@example.org. Or follow us on Twitter @mattpritiko