This week, the Nascar crew hit super fast Chicagoland Speedway for the 3rd time in the League’s history. Season 2 winner Christopher Herring (CJHerring) jumped in the race as a reserve this week to try and defend his race win. Before we get into the race, I want to give a huge Thank You and shout out to League racer Adam Zemke (Zeke_H30) for sponsoring this evening’s race. Adam is an Illinois native who not only sponsored the race, but for the first time in this League’s history, put up a winner’s prize for his home track. Adam is sending tonight’s winner a race-day shirt from Chicagoland. That is a very awesome gesture from one of the most respected, and fun to race around drivers in the League.
Qualifying was very tight quarters as the draft would have a say in who would start up front. For the 2nd week in a row, Sean Ryan (Sean420Cali) put down the hot lap and took the inside of Row 1, with Kyle Spencer (KDawgHonda777) taking the outside. Michael Caterino (vWardude), Charles Sumner (Hootius), and Christopher Johnson (MeattyLoaf) rounded out the Top 5. For Christopher J., this was a personal best qualifying effort in his PRL Career.
The 20 Lap first Stage was another exciting one. It went caution free and required everyone to stop for fuel. The time spent in the pits fueling up would have the biggest say on the outcome. Charles and Michael only stopped for 1/2 can of fuel, with the rest of the field taking a whole can. However, Michael was running faster laps then Charles and ate up too much fuel and ran out of gas exiting Turn 4 coming to the Stage end. Charles was able to sneak by with only a couple hundred feet to spare and take away the Stage win from Michael. Michael coasted to a 2nd place Stage finish, with Rob Besaw (Xsyse), Sean and Adam Zemke (Zeke_H30) taking home bonus points. After the stage, Charles and Michael both had issues in the pits and would have to start in the back of the pack. This point is where the old saying “Cautions breed cautions” came in to play for the League. It was a battle of wits and survival to dodge wrecks and who could have the best evolving pit strategy as the laps ticked down. We had a long 15 lap green flag run towards the end of the race that gave us a round of green flag pit stops, and then the last caution came out with 5 laps to go, erasing a 3+ sec lead that Charles and Christopher H. had over the rest of the field. Hindsight is always 20/20, but Christopher H. gave up 2nd place to get fresh tires and that would eventually cost him a Top 10 finish. On the final restart, Charles would catch Sean off guard in the restart zone and that would be the gap that he needed to being home his 2nd straight victory in the League, and win the free swag that Adam graciously put on the line. Sean and Adam would trade 2nd place back and forth in the final 2 laps until Sean made the overtake for the final time to snag the runner-up position. Nick Michaud (NickMichaud) and Kyle rounded out the Top 5. Zack Jackson (Action12Jackson) was the Hard Charger of the race for the 2nd time this Season, jumping up 7 spots on his way to a Top 10 finish. Along with his race win, Charles also set the Fastest Lap of the race, shattering the previous track record by over .5 seconds!
**Top 10 Finishing order for Chicagoland**
1. Charles Sumner (Hootius) – 2nd win of the Season; 6th of his Career (1 back of the All-Time record)
2. Sean Ryan (Sean420Cali) – 6th Top 5 of the Season
3. Adam Zemke (Zeke_H30) – 3rd Top 5 of the Season; 10th of his Career
4. Nick Michaud (NickMichaud) – 3rd Top 5 of the Season
5. Kyle Spencer (KDawgHonda777) – 5th Top 5 of the Season
6. Rob Besaw (Xsyse) – 6th Top 10 of the Season
7. Brian Mosser (BrianMosser88) – 6th Top 10 of the Season
8. Zack Jackson (Action12Jackson) – 4th Top 10 of the Season
9. Owen Bridges (Habob69) – 4th Top 10 of the Season
10. Shawn Klein (K1Grizzly) – 1st Career Top 10
In the Driver’s Championship, Sean Ryan (Sean420Cali) is still in 1st Place, but his lead is now down to just 3 points after Charles Sumner’s (Hootius) back to back wins. Kyle Spencer (KDawgHonda777) and Michael Caterino (vWardude) are still within a full race worth of points of Sean, but time is not on their side with only 3 races left in the Season. Rob Besaw (Xsyse) rounds out the Top 5 in points.
Not much changed in the battle for our Team championship, as each time had a driver finish well and another finish poorly. Car Ramrod (Charles and Christopher J.) ever so slightly increased their lead over One-Two Racing (Michael and Nick) to 4 points, but The Bumper Killers (Sean and Noah) stayed even with Car Ramrod and stay only 8 back of the lead with 3 races to go.
Charles has clinched a spot in the Championship 4 with his win at Chicago. Sean, Adam, and Rob are currently in the green, with Kyle, Brian, Zack and Michael on the outside looking in with 2 races to go. However, all 7 Playoff drivers are only separated by 10 points, so everyone is still in it and will come extra motivated for the next race.
Next week we go to another 1.5 mile over, but it’ll be of the quad variety as the crew hits the newly re-constructed Texas Motor Speedway. Please join us, and one of our handful of driver who stream their POVs of the race, on Wednesday nights at 9pm Eastern.