2016 PCC Lites: Race 4: Road America

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2016 PCC Lites: Race 4: Road America

Post by Syzygy on Mon Feb 27, 2017 11:35 pm

Press Releases:
Burkhart Takes Third Win of Season

It looks like it's going to be a season of breaking records for Sam Burkhart.

The 2014 PCC Lites Champion led only seven laps today at the PCC Lites Round of Wisconsin, but the #51 Beyer Sound Systems Zastava was up front more than the amount of laps led indicated. Burkhart was in the lead pack all day in a race where drafting was king. While the cars using first gear were faster in the more technical portions of the circuit, cars using second gear in the draft down the long straightaways were at a distinct advantage all day. Burkhart's car managed to stay at full power all day, unlike his teammate Dustin Oliver who lost about a minute in the final seven laps of the race.

"After pit stops, Dustin just disappeared," Burkhart said in victory lane. "Wasn't sure if he had problems in the pits or what but the crew told me he was down a cylinder after the stop. I wasn't too surprised by that, to be honest. Props to Kelly [Thomas] for a hell of a battle at the end there, that 72 team finally got something going right for once I guess."

Burkhart didn't fight too hard for the lead until after the end of the second pit cycle in this 18-lap race. By that point, it was only Burkhart and Kelly Thomas remaining at the front of the field. Burkhart took the lead on lap 11, and Thomas could do nothing to pass him.

Burkhart's third win in four starts ties the record set by Bob Stephans back in 2002, the inaugural PCC Lites season. Stephans won 5 of 7 races that year en-route to the championship. This win puts Burkhart back on top of the points lead, 3 markers over Lenore Scurry and 14 over Lucien Eckdahl Jr.

Female Drivers Have a Field Day

It wasn't a surprise to many to see Sam Burkhart on the podium. What was a real surprise, however, was the rest of the podium.

Kelly Thomas and Lenore Scurry took the final two podium positions, but Thomas felt that she could have been on the top step today.

"It's about time we had a great run," remarked Thomas. "We've been facing relegation for the past week or two and I think it's about time we turned this ship around. Jeff [Fisher] hasn't really been having a lot of good luck this season but this is my type of track. I grew up racing at tracks like CTMP and ICAR so this circuit reminds me of home a bit. Oh, yeah, the race. Well [Sam] Burkhart's a great guy, but it's all equipment. You could probably put a monkey in either the 31 or 51 and they'd lap the field at a lot of tracks. Hell, even Burnfardt Jr. won in that car at IRP back in 2012."

Thomas started 9th and stayed at the front of the field all day, eventually becoming the last car remaining to challenge Sam Burkhart. Her other competitors fell by the wayside due to lack of draft, bad pit stops, or lack of power. Lenore Scurry, the third place finisher, was over six seconds behind Thomas at the finish after losing touch with the leaders with three laps to go.

With this finish, Kelly Thomas jumps up to 13th place in the standings with an additional point from running the fastest lap. Her team, Syzygy Engineering, still remains in a relegation position, sitting 16th with 114 total points. Fifteenth-place Team Canada sits 4 points in front of the team.

With her 3rd place finish, Lenore Scurry stays in 2nd place in points, three markers behind points leader Sam Burkhart.

Tauger Racing Unit Posts Best Run of Season

Treck Tauger brought his #06 G-Vestoil car home in 17th place, but even then it took a bit of help for him to get that high up.

Tauger started the day in 21st place, but managed to pick his way through the first lap chaos to break into 12th place by lap 4. Unfortunately for Tauger, his recalcitrant TRU car was a hamper to him all day and he slid back through the field. By lap 9, he was back to 22nd place. However, after the 2nd pit stop, his car seemed to pick up a bit more pace, and he worked his way up to the 20th position on the last lap when cars in front of him began to sputter and run out of fuel. Alex Constantine, Carter Fitzgerald, and Damon Jones all ran out of fuel on the final lap, allowing Tauger to gain three more positions to give Tauger Racing Unit their first top-20 of the season.

With this finish, Tauger moves up to 31st in points, but his team still remains last in points by a fair margin. Every race, it's looking more and more likely that Tauger Racing Unit will be the first team subject to the new Promotion/Relegation system in place.

Early Offs, Bad Start Hamper Eckdahl Jr.

Lucien Eckdahl Jr. came into this race the points leader, and left it with a dusty car and a lot of "what if?"s.

Eckdahl Jr. put his #39 Red Bull car 29th on the grid to start, an uncharacteristically bad qualifying effort for the Swede. While he did work his way into the top-20 early in the going, he threw the car off several times in the process (seen above on lap 3) and in doing so lost several positions and momentum each time. While Eckdahl Jr. did recover and pass several cars in the last lap due to fuel concerns to bring the car home 19th, it was not a strong showing for the #39 team, who was outperformed by Gabe Macena and the #93 team in the race for the first time all season.

This finish caused Eckdahl Jr. to slip to 3rd in the standings, 14 points behind new points leader Sam Burkhart. Eckdahl Autosport currently sits 4th in team points, but could inherit the 3rd and final transfer spot to Cup if Sam Brown Racing, a part of the Johnson Racing pipeline, defers the move up.

Matt Beck Goes Spinning at Road America

After his near-win at Carbondale, things were looking up for Winsalot Motorsports' Matt Beck. Unfortunately for him, Road America would be a return to Earth.

Beck started the day in 19th, but by the end of the 1st lap had worked his way up to 17th place. Beck was looking to move further up when cars started colliding. Beck did not get a good run up the front straight and was bogged down in 1st gear when Lenore Scurry, using 2nd gear, came up behind him. Perhaps misjudging how fast she was gaining on him, Scurry went to the left, but Beck had moved over to better arc his way through Turn 1. Unfortunately, the two collided, and Scurry hooked Beck's quarter panel, sending him careening into Tiffany Matthews in the 16 and into the grass. Beck fell back to 34th after this incident, but he wasn't quite out of the woods yet.

Come the start of lap fifteen, and Josiah Hofacker in the #44 Grand Strand car had suffered an engine failure. Unfortunately for him, the engine failed while he was going up the frontstretch and his car stalled out at the top of the hill, near the middle of the racing line. Coming up on this, Beck, now running in 28th, swerved to the right at the last minute, but slipped in the oil dropped by the 44. This caused him to hit the 44 and spin across the track once again. The 44 ricocheted across the track, right into the path of the #28 of AJ Murphy. Murphy slammed the rear of the 44, ending both drivers' days. Beck would soldier on to a dismal 28th place finish.

With this finish, Beck slipped to 8th in points, 31 points behind points leader Sam Burkhart. Beck's team, Winsalot Motorsports, currently leads the team standings with 214 points. Winsalot's other driver, Greg Maddox, finished 4th.

As a note, AJ Murphy now sits last in points, with only 27 markers across 4 races and only 7 points in the last three. With Clay Gibson's win at Nelson Ledges yesterday, it's possible we could see Murphy sit out at least the road courses to allow that car to get higher in points.
1 7 51 S Burkhart 94.485 18 7* 185 Running
2 9 72 K Thomas -0.23 18 0 170 Running
3 26 92 L Scurry -R- -6.34 18 0 165 Running
4 31 08 G Maddox -18.03 18 0 160 Running
5 13 11 P O'Hannigan -R- -24.10 18 0 155 Running
6 35 34 A Lambert -24.22 18 0 150 Running
7 2 89 JC Carpenter -29.76 18 0 146 Running
8 8 919 R Carpant -29.81 18 0 142 Running
9 4 191 D Van Hall -R- -30.10 18 0 138 Running
10 3 22 J King -30.20 18 6 139 Running
11 6 12 B Juveno -30.94 18 0 130 Running
12 36 67 J DeVila -32.41 18 0 127 Running
13 28 29 C Lester -39.25 18 0 124 Running
14 11 25 D Adams -39.49 18 0 121 Running
15 18 93 G Macena -42.55 18 0 118 Running
16 32 18 A Pausington -43.58 18 0 115 Running
17 21 06 T Tauger -R- -52.29 18 0 112 Running
18 10 972 D Bouchard -R- -53.02 18 0 109 Running
19 29 39 L Eckdahl Jr. -R- -55.59 18 0 106 Running
20 5 48 D Jones -56.38 18 0 103 Running
21 25 6 C Fitzgerald -R- -1:00.23 18 0 100 Running
22 12 79 I Parsons -1:09.37 18 0 97 Running
23 23 24 B Belushi -R- -1:10.93 18 0 94 Running
24 22 964 R Pritchard -R- -1:26.20 18 0 91 Running
25 16 7 A Sanders -R- -1:37.02 18 0 88 Running
26 1 31 D Oliver -1:39.42 18 5 90 Running
27 34 27 J Fisher -2:02.24 18 0 82 Running
28 19 07 M Beck -R- -2:06.05 18 0 79 Running
29 20 16 T Matthews -2:21.26 18 0 76 Running
30 15 007 A Constantine -R- -1:11.81 18 0 73 Running
31 33 60 M Tauger -R- -2:02.23 18 0 70 Running
32 17 42 D Wormer -R- -1L 17 0 67 Running
33 24 44 J Hofacker -2L 16 0 64 Accident
34 14 28 AJ Murphy -2L 16 0 61 Accident
35 30 43 J Beverley -6L 12 0 58 Accident
36 27 8 R Llave -12L 6 0 55 Piston
Driver's Points
Team Points:
1. Winsalot Motorsports - 214
2. DJ Motorsports - 205

3. Sam Brown Racing - 193
4. Eckdahl Autosport - 190
5. PetrolTech Engineering - 188
6. Lambert Motorsports - 181
7. CircleTrack Racing - 163
T8. Hannigan Enterprises - 157
T8. Fat Drunk Stupid Racing - 157
T10. AJ Murphy Racing - 140
T10. Grand Strand Racing - 140
12. Tony Long Autosport - 139
13. Genesis Engineering - 130
T14. TurboSports - 118
T14. Team Canada - 118
T16. Syzygy Engineering - 114
T16. Ryan Matthews Racing - 114
18. Tauger Racing Unit - 81
Rookie of the Year:
1. Lenore Scurry - 65
2. Lucien Eckdahl Jr. - 50
3. Matt Beck - 38
4. Bluto Belushi - 29
5. Dean Wormer - 24
6. Patrick O'Hannigan - 22
T7. Ryan Pritchard - 21
T7. Romain Carpant - 21
9. Carter Fitzgerald - 19
T10. Alex Constantine - 16
T10. Daniel Bouchard - 16
T12. Fergal Sheedy - 15
T12. Dima Van Hall - 15
14. Treck Tauger - 11
15. Austin Sanders - 10
16. Matt Tauger - 5

NR2003 Online Wins: 7 (Most Recent: SOC @ Minnesota State Fairgrounds 12/6/2018)
NR2003 Online Poles: 6 (Most Recent: SOC @ Minnesota State Fairgrounds 12/6/2018)
I eat the weeb pizza.

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