He broke out the backup car and then broke the bank. Scott Eckrich recovered from a lap 71 crash to win the Memestonks Vegas 200 on Tuesday night, in the process leading his GRAAFix LC Motorsports team to a 1-2-3 finish.
The 134-lap race, sponsored by SnoopDawgyDon on Twitch.tv, was competitive, clean, and all-around pretty good from the outset.
Travis McQuistion inherited the Mahan Speed Laboratories You (Almost) Finished Last Pole Award, with Sunset Speedway track championship contender Paul Pepper lining up to his outside. The pair swapped the lead five times in the first 32 laps, putting on a thrilling show for the fans in the stands as well as those watching on the Virtual Grip Network.
As green-flag pit stops approached, tire whisperers Brian Yaczik and Scott Eckrich found their way to the front, moving up from their respective 19th and 23rd starting positions to pace the field. Travis McQuisition found his chances at the win slip away with an unfortunate pit road violation, ultimately relegating him to a 24th place finish — not indicative of the speed the #93 Ford displayed all evening.
While a caution on lap 52 slowed the field for the first time, a yellow on lap 71 jumbled up the running order. It was then that a hot gust of mountain netcode shot the #70 car of Scott Eckrich sideways in the trioval, destroying the front-running Winternode Chevrolet and forcing the team to a backup car. Eckrich lined up 28th on the restart, with his teammates Mike Rasimas and Paul Pepper in 2nd and 3rd behind leader Michael Strohl.
Eckrich then began a methodical march towards the front. Despite having to slow for an accident that did not bring out a yellow, the #70 cracked the top 15 by lap 82, top 10 by lap 90, and top 5 by lap 108. When the final round of green-flag pit stops cycled through, The Alien was back atop the leaderboard.
In the closing laps, Eckrich defended valiantly against his two hard-charging teammates. After a three-wide battle on the final lap, the #70 came out on top, with Paul Pepper finishing a close runner-up, and Mike Rasimas clinching 3rd position for the third consecutive week.
Series debutant Ricky “Hardinthewall” Hardin made good on his recent public announcement to “start being faster and stop running into [things]”. The driver of the #3 was the event’s biggest mover, finishing 6th after starting 35th. Fred Thompson picked up the next Mahan Speed Laboratories Pole Award after retiring on lap 24, and will lead the field to the green flag next week as PGRL’s west coast swing continues.
The Pretty Good Racing League heads to Phoenix Raceway for the Racy McRace Race Phoenix 150 presented by Octane93 on Twitch.tv on Tuesday, March 8. The Virtual Grip Network will have all the action covered live beginning at 8:50pm ET.