This week was Race #2 of the 3rd Season for the PRL's PS4 Hascar Heat league. The nerves going in where high as the crew visited the only short track for this 10 race season, the 3/4 mile tri-oval of Richmond. The league would crown a new Richmond winner in the Hall of Fame, as last season's winner, Christopher Herring (CJHerring), was not in attendance for this race.
I would like to start this recap off by saying that this race was sponsored by Rob Besaw (Xsyse) for a very special dedication. Rob is a New York State Trooper who dedicated this race to a fallen colleague, Trooper Brian Falb. Trooper Falb was an 18 year veteran of the NYSP who lost his life in March 2017, after a 10-month battle with Stage 4 brain cancer. This cancer was deemed to be caused by Trooper Falb's time spent being of service in Ground Zero after the 9/11 attacks. Along with his courageous acts in wanting to help his fellow New Yorkers after that horrendous tragedy, Trooper Falb also spent time in the clean up and recovery efforts in New Orleans in 2005 after Hurricane Katrina, and also in Long Island after Hurricane Sandy in 2012. Trooper Falb was a great man who had a positive influence on the people around him, and was a role model who lead with proper actions. The PRL is very honored to be able to dedicate this race to a gentleman who was very much deserving of the respect.
After pacing several laps to let everyone make their car adjustments, the drivers had only 11 laps to put down their best heater. Kyle Ely (Rocksson2Kyle) captured his 4th career Pole Position, repeating the feat he accomplished in Season 2 at Richmond and just did miss out on breaking his own track record. Round 1: Daytona winner Sean Ryan (Sean420Cali) found the outside of Row 1, and was the only driver was within a tenth of a second to Kyle E. Michael Caterino (vWardude), Kyle Spencer (KDawgHonda777) and Brian Mosser (BrianMosser88) rounded out the Top 5 respectively in qualifying.
The race started out with a 30 lap shootout that marked Stage 1 of the event. The Stage went caution free and quite a bit of back and forth passing throughout the whole field. Kyle E. took home is 1st career Stage win, and the 5 bonus points that came with it. Sean, Charles Sumner (Hootius), Michael and Adam Zemke (Zeke_H30) rounded out the Top 5 of Stage 1. As everyone pitted to prepare for the final remaining 70 laps, we saw more overtaking and another long green flag run before the first caution of the night flew on Lap 60, which happened during a cycle of pit stops. With only a few cars on the lead lap who pitted under yellow, most of the field stayed out to take the wave around and try to get back on the lead lap. We had only a few green flag laps before the caution flag waved again for the 2nd, and final time of the evening. This caution is when the race was decided... we just didn't know it yet. With around 30 to go, several did not pit due to thinking that everyone would just have to pit again, and chose to stay with track position. Those who did pit were not thinking about the finish yet at this point. But as a dozen or so laps started falling off in that final green flag run, that's when we started seeing cars dive in for a splash of fuel to make it to the end. At this point, Charles was the first to drop off of the pace to save fuel and make it to the end without having to pit again. His teammate Christopher Johnson (Meattyloaf), followed suit as well. As Charles was allowing cars to pass knowing that he would be successful in his fuel conservation, Rob Besaw (Xsyse) made the pass for the lead with 10 laps to go... it was just that Charles nor Rob realized it at the time. With just a couple laps remaining and it began to look like Rob had the fuel to make it, Charles lead a late charge to cut the lead down, but it was too little too late. Rob crossed the checkered flag, with the car running on fumes, to claim his first ever PRL victory. Christopher crossed the line 3rd, tying his best career finish. Christopher was also the Hard-Charger award winner for the race, gaining 10 spots from his 13th qualifying position. Those 3 drivers were the only ones to stretch the fuel at the end, and the only 3 cars who finished on the lead lap. Race long front runners Kyle E. and Sean rounded out the Top 5 after the slew of late fuel pit stops. One note to make, while the game has never tracked lead changes for a race, we are all pretty sure Kyle E. and Sean had to have set the record for most lead changes in one race, as those 2 driver put on an amazing show passing back and forth for the majority of the entire race. Kudos to them, and the field as a whole for a very competitive race with many, many overtakes throughout.
**Top 10 Finishing order for Richmond**
1. Rob Besaw (Xsyse) - First Career PRL win
2. Charles Sumner (Hootius) - 1st Top 5 of the Season; 22nd of his career (PRL record)
3. Christopher Johnson (Meattyloaf) - 1st Top 5 of the Season, tied career best finish
4. Kyle Ely (Rocksson2Kyle) - 2nd Top 5 of the Season
5. Sean Ryan (Sean420Cali) - 2nd Top 5 of the Season
6. Nick Michaud (Nickmichaud) - 2nd Top 10 of the Season
7. Michael Caterino (vWardude) - 2nd Top 10 of the Season; 32nd of his career (PRL record)
8. Adam Zemke (Zeke_H30) - 1st Top 10 of the Season
9. Brian Mosser (BrianMosser88) - 2nd Top 10 of the Season; 15th of his career
10. Owen Bridges (Habob69) - 2nd Top 10 of the Season
After 2 races, Sean Ryan (Sean420Cali) currently holds a 4 point lead over Kyle Ely (Rocksson2Kyle). Charles Sumner (Hootius) sits 7 points back of the lead, with Rob Besaw (Xsyse) 12 points back, and Nick Michaud (Nickmichaud) 15 points back to round out the Top 5.
For our Team championship, Driving on Adrenaline (Kyle E. and Rob) hold a 12 point lead over both Car Ramrod (Charles and Christopher) and The Bumper Killers (Sean and Noah Michalski) who are tied for 2nd place.
As the Playoff stands, both Sean and Rob have guaranteed themselves a spot in Round 2. There are currently 10 drivers that are within 10 points above, and below the current cutoff line for the Top 12 Drivers to make it to Round 2.
Next week, the Nascar Heat crew head north to New Hampshire Motor Speedway to tackle the flat, 1-mile oval. Please join us, and one of our handful of driver who stream their POVs of the race, on Wednesday nights at 9pm Eastern.