FLAMBORO -- In what is likely to go down as one of the most talked-about APC United Late Model Series finishes, Matt Pritiko utilized a bit of last-lap contact with leader JR Fitzpatrick to earn his third career series win - his first since August 2018.
Pritiko showed speed throughout the day, practicing towards the top of the charts prior to qualifying 4th in time trials and leading a large portion of the race’s middle stages.
“We always seem to have a good package when we come to Flamboro but we don’t always seem to have the results to back that up,” offered Pritiko. “Fortunately, tonight was not one of those nights. These guys worked their tails off on this car in the sun and the heat all day and I can’t thank them enough for that”
“This car just got better as the day went on,” continues the former road course standout. “We were fast in practice and then it got even stronger for time trials and then we were leading by nearly a straightaway midway through the feature. All that’s a product of this team and how hard they work”
Pritiko eventually surrendered the lead to Fitzpatrick prior to a late-race caution, with the pair resuming their battle on the ensuing restart which culminated in their last-lap contact as they battled for the win.
“Any time you’re stepping up to battle with JR (Fitzpatrick) you know it’s going to be a war,” offered Pritiko. “He’s a competitor. He’s one of the best guys on this roster and we all know what it takes to beat a guy like that. You can’t hold back and you can’t second-guess yourself”
“I was able to jump to his inside coming off of (turn)-2 on the last lap and I think his spotter told him that I had a run at the last moment. He did what he could to try and close the door on me but I was already there, he came down and didn’t have anywhere else to go - so we got together and he spun”
“I don’t have any hard feelings about it and I hope that JR doesn’t either,” continued Pritiko. “It was two guys with two fast cars doing everything they could to win one of these events that mean so much to all of us. He did what he had to do and I did what I had to do and I think we sent the fans home feeling like they got their money’s worth”
Post-race, an emotional Pritiko touched on the recent passing of his Mother and dedicated the race win in her honour.
“She was always my biggest fan and my biggest supporter and today was for her. I was thinking about her all day and I’m just proud that I could be standing in victory lane at the end of it all dedicating a win to her - because that’s what she deserves.”
Pritiko’s next appearance will come on June 22nd at Jukasa Motor Speedway for Round 3 of the APC United Late Model Series’ 2019 schedule.
-Thompson Photography Press Release & Photo