PR and Photos by: Maudsley Motorsports
Matt Pritiko and his Global Warranty unloaded their car on Sunday September second for the biggest event of the year for the FT Garage Late Model drivers at Delaware Speedway, 'The Great Canadian Race 200' presented by Keystone Light. The team was hoping to return to winning form after the car sustained major damage in a mid-August crash.
Pritiko said, "We got some practice laps in last night to make sure the car is fine, and we've been working so hard on it since the accident to make sure it's 100% again."
There was a format change to the qualifying, as a timed session with a number of other drivers in the same group was used in favour of two timed laps, and Matt thought this was an advantage. "I'm not as good in two-lap qualifying, and really like having a rabbit out there to chase."
When the results were posted after qualifying, Pritiko was shown in third and would roll from the inside of the second row in front of a tremendous Labour Day crowd at Delaware Speedway.
Matt settled into third very early before going on the charge. He picked off Brandon Watson first, and set his sights on the leader Mark Watson before sweeping into the lead on lap 14. Pritiko set sail and gained some separation on Watson, while putting lap after lap on the scoreboard. The races fourth yellow flew on lap 81, and on the restart, Pritiko was passed by Watson on lap three. Pritiko tried to fight back, but when the field reached lap 100 Matt was still shown in second position. The at lap 100 would count for full Delaware points, and the Global Warranty team would be put into action during the halftime break to make adjustments to the #21 machine.
Watson regained the lead on the next restart, but a few laps later Matt raced his way to the head of the pack again. For the next 63 laps, the Global Warranty Toyota paced the field, keeping a comfortable lead on the competition and picking his way through slower lapped traffic. "We were in really good shape and I was hoping it would go green until the end."
A yellow would fly, closing the field up, and putting Pritiko in a shootout with Watson to decide the 200. Pritiko held Watson off two times on restarts, but on the third try, Watson took the lead. The races final restart came shortly after a lap 179 yellow, but Pritiko couldn't gain the lead and was actually passed by Urlin to start the final run to the checkers. Pritiko moved back into second, but came up 1.659 seconds short of a win in one of the biggest Canadian Stock Car races.
Pritiko spoke about his afternoon, "It was a great day for us. This is the second year that we've finished second in this race, and I wanted to win this for sure. We didn't need the late cautions. On the last restart, I couldn't get enough grip. I'm not sure whether the tires were dirty, or that I cooked them too much earlier, but I couldn't get going and Jonathan was able to pass me for second. I got back by him quickly, but at that point it was too little too late. I think if I hadn't got mixed up with Jonathan, I would've had a shot at Watson at the end."
The Global Warranty Team will be back in action at Delaware on Friday September 14th in addition to Demar Aggregate Championship Weekend on Friday September 21st. Pritiko will enter the final duo of races fifth in the championship point standings, and while a championship seems like a mathematical impossibility, he has the opportunity to move into the top-three. "We're looking forward to the last two races. We know that we have the car fixed after the accident, and now we just have to see if we can put up a pair of wins."
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 at @mattpritiko