The ULTIMATE Northeast Super Late Model Series brought its cast of characters to the red clay of BAPS Motor Speedway in Pennsylvania this past Saturday night for the Smokey Frye Memorial. Also in the house were drivers of the local beat, looking to claim a home victory.
One such local was Rick Eckert, who resides just up the road in York, Pennsylvania. The driver nicknamed "Scrub" overcame a tough start to the night and stormed through the field to take home the $4,000 check.
Eckert called into Speed51’s Morning Bullring Monday morning to talk about how little of that prize money was needed for towing costs.
“BAPS Speedway is only 10 minutes from my house. I’ve only ever raced there in a Late Model years and years ago, and I raced there half a season in a Sprint Car too," Eckert said. "So it was cool to go there, that close to home; I think we left the shop at 3:30 and we were back by 11. That’s unusual for me and it’s pretty cool.”
Following poor performances in time trials and heat racing, Eckert was able to race his Rocket built Super Late Model to its full potential. While he owed much to his crew, he also complimented the track crews on providing a racing surface that he could go to the front on.
“The race track, they did a great job. I dug myself in a hole early, I qualified terrible, I ran terrible in the heat race, and I started tenth in the feature. I got up through there, fortunately the race track had multiple lanes where you could pass. I found where my car could pass and fought up through there.”
Most drivers who started in the top ten clung to the inside rail over the opening laps, while Eckert took the outside with plenty of racing room.
“The race track was one lane and muddy for the heat races, but a lot of race tracks do that for it to be a better racetrack later in the night. I was fortunate enough to start in the outside row, which is the worst row because I started tenth, but I knew everyone else was going to go to the bottom. So I had no option but to go to the top and try to get the top cleaned up to where we needed to go.”
Despite having 40 laps to get to the top spot, Eckert needed less than half of the distance, leading the final 23 laps.
“We just caught those guys off guard, Ross Robinson was leading and doing a good job, he just didn’t realize the top had come in and I got around him before he realized it.”
Early race leaders Ross Robinson and Matt Cosner filled out second and third respectively, while Jeff Rine and Jared Miley rounded out the top five.
Highlights of Saturday night's race at BAPS Motor Speedway can be viewed on the Speed51 Network by clicking here.
The regulars of ULTIMATE Northeast will be right back at it this Saturday night, as they head to Hagerstown Speedway in Maryland for the second time in 2019. Race fans from all over the globe can watch live on Speed51’s Summer Thunder presented by PFC Brakes.
-Story by: Connor Sullivan, Speed51 Northeast Editor – Twitter :@Connor51CT
-Photo credit: Speed51.com