“The J Stands for Brad K!”: Thomas J. George Wins at Talladega

PGRL’s Month of Pain Tour was anything but painful for Thomas J. George. The Martinsville winner continued to showcase his versatility behind the wheel last Tuesday night, capturing the checkered flag with a last-lap pass on the high banks of Talladega.

The 94-lap event, presented by MC² Editing Services, featured some of the league’s fiercest battles to date. 17 drivers swapped the lead 36 times through two rounds of green flag pit stops.

Joe Hassert took the green flag ahead of the 38-car pack as the recipient of the Mahan Speed Laboratories You Finished Last Pole Award. Hassert looked strong early, leading six circuits and battling for the top spot with Michael Whiting, Jason Galvin, and Rich Jette. Michael Chrobok, who ironically sponsors the MC² Editing Services Leading the Way Award, led his first and only lap of the season.

Joe Hassert started on pole position and led his first laps in PGRL.
The MC² car led the way at one point, but Michael Chrobok is not a contender for the MC² Editing Services Leading the Way Award. The lap led tally is currently headed by Scott Eckrich (272).
Scott Eckrich spun in front of the field but didn’t hit anything.

Woody Mahan was the race’s most dominant driver, out in front for 22 laps. The South Bend, IN driver looked to be in position to challenge for the win after the final round of pit stops. Disaster, though, struck on lap 86. Pushing hard to build an advantage in a four-car team train, Mahan hooked series points leader Scott Eckrich, sending the #70 for a slide. Rich Jette narrowly avoided the Winternode Chevrolet, along with the spinning #55 of Brian Yaczik, who was also caught in the melee.

Turn 3 at Talladega provided many new cars for Dale Jr.’s Graveyard.

The Big One struck with 5 laps to go, collecting more than 20 cars. Although some crew chiefs anticipated a lengthy cleanup that would end the race, Barney the Chaos-Loving Flagman threw the green flag with 1 lap remaining. Thomas J. George led the field into turn 1. Ricky Hardin and Kevin Bartelt, who had tangled earlier in the race, opted to tango this time. The duo rocketed past George off of turn 2 and into the top two spots.

First they tangled…
…then they tangoed. #PrettyGood

Bartelt moved high on Hardin on the backstretch, allowing the Unacceptable Racing driver to find a new dancing partner in Thomas J. George. George stayed glued to Hardin’s bumper until the trioval. The Steel Horse Racing pilot pulled out of line, executed a perfect side draft, and inched ahead coming to the finish line.

Fans raised their fists to cheer “The J stands for Brad K!” as Thomas J. George rocketed back to the front.
Barney wanted chaos and he got it. Thomas J. George came out on top after a one-lap dash to the finish.

The checkered flag was George’s second of the year and moved the #2 ever so close to the series points lead. George now sits 1 point behind Eckrich, as drop weeks begin to take effect next week. Rounding out the top five in the finishing order were Ricky Hardin, Kevin Bartelt, Tommy Rhyne, and Danny Gutierrez. Hardin also picked up the race’s Hard Charger Award, advancing 31 places from his starting position.

The Pretty Good Racing League heads to the Monster Mile for the I Hate Octane93 on Twitch Dover 200 on Tuesday, April 26. The Virtual Grip Network will have all the action covered live beginning at 8:50pm ET.

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