“We found a bunch of brass in the oil filter, so I think a bottom end bearing is starting to go in the motor,” Pritiko said. “We thought it was remnants from the blow up at the end of the year last year, but it wasn’t really the case. We have a feeling there’s something internal wrong with the engine. It started in the third practice to get really hot.”
Pritiko was among the top-five fastest cars throughout the first two practice sessions before experiencing the engine issues in the third session. In time trials, a lack of power due to the engine issue meant Pritiko qualified an uncharacteristic 15th.
Starting in the middle of the pack meant Pritiko had to fight for every position he got. With a lack of horsepower under the hood, Pritiko had to be strategic about how he gained each spot, but did have a well-handling car to his advantage.
“The car handled great. McColl Racing put a great setup into it and we were working on it all day,” Pritiko said. “I couldn’t really run close to anyone because I kept having to duck down out of the draft to get some clean air into the radiator. We finished in a pretty competitive place. We were only three-tenths off the fastest lap, which shows how awesome the car is even though we were lacking a little bit of power.”
In some ways, the lack of power may have played to Pritiko’s advantage. With less horsepower to get to the ground and a need to constantly monitor engine temperature, Pritiko was able to improve tire wear and may have had more grip near the end of the race than his competitors.
“I wasn’t running full out the whole race,” Pritiko said. “I think that can show a little bit how you can conserve your tires and still run somewhat competitively. It shows you that if you take your time though the first three-quarters of the race, than you’ll have tires at the end.”
Pritiko and his No.21 Global Warranty team are more accustom to finishing in the top-five. Given the circumstances, a top-10 finish is an impressive achievement.
“A top-10 finish, you can’t be too hard on yourself about that,” Pritiko said. “It’s a good points night. We’re still pretty decent in the championship. We’re tied in third. We dropped a spot, but we can make it up.”
The team’s back-up motor will be in place for the next race with the APC United Late Model Series, the Hy-Grade Roofing 100 at Peterborough Speedway on June 17.
“It’s still a fast engine,” Pritiko said of the back-up power plant. “We’re sending this one down to be looked at and hopefully it will be ready for Delaware because it’s our number one motor.”
For additional information on the APC Series event at Peterborough Speedway, visit www.apcracingseries.com.
2017 SEASON STATS
Matt Pritiko – 2 Starts: 0 Wins, 1 Top-5, 2 Top-10s
MATT PRITIKO MEDIA
Matt Pritiko is proud to partner with several dedicated marketing partners for the 2017 race season, including Global Warranty, NAPA Certfied Bodyshops, Burwell Autobody Ltd., Cadillac Industrial Cleaning, Glencoe Auto Recyclers, SellToWin.com, Aquahydrate and Palasad of London.