Virginia-based driver Thomas J. George had one mission heading into PGRL’s Month of Pain tour: win at one of his home tracks. The Steel Horse Racing driver did just that Tuesday night, building on a podium at Richmond to score a big win in front of the mayhem at Martinsville Speedway.
SHR teammate Adam Jurski inherited the Mahan Speed Laboratories You (Almost) Finished Last Pole Award and led the field to the green flag. Cautions fell early and often in a race aptly named the Hide the Pain and Celebrate the Joy of Driving 250, but strong restarts kept Jurski’s brightly-colored machine in front of the chasing pack for the first 61 laps of the event.
Brian Yaczik, who started the race from 3rd position, remained hot on Jurski’s heals and took the lead on lap 62. Yaczik maintained control for nearly 30 laps before a spirited battle with fellow PGRL winner Norm Pelletier put fans on their pixelated feet. The duel expanded to include series points leader Scott Eckrich, but ultimately ended in disaster as — to quote Martin Brundle — “three into one doesn’t go”. Eckrich and Yaczik spun, relegating them to the back of the field. Things later went from bad to worse for the two LPM Group drivers, as separate crashes on laps 161 and 196 ended their nights for good.
Amidst the chaos and with a relatively-unscathed car, Thomas J. George passed Norm Pelletier for the top spot on lap 123. George hit pit road for fuel and tires on lap 162, giving an LPM trio of Woody Mahan, Marc Cohn, and Drew Carroll track position and turns at the front. Carroll — despite being cool without a hood — was thirsty behind the wheel. He relinquished the lead for a new water bottle on lap 204.
Thomas J. George, who had spun earlier in the run, was in position to capitalize after Carroll’s pit stop. He cycled to the top spot and never looked back. Executing four perfect restarts just as his SHR teammate did earlier in the race, George went on to lead 84 laps, set fastest lap, and capture his first checkered flag in PGRL history.
Adam Jurski finished 2nd in what turned out to be a stellar night for Steel Horse Racing. Norm Pelletier and Ricky Hardin crashed coming to the white flag, but were scored 3rd and 4th, respectively. Tommy Rhyne rounded out the top 5. Both Hardin and Rhyne were the race’s Hard Chargers, the two Unacceptable Racing drivers each advancing 21 positions from their starting spots.
Despite finishing 33 laps down, Scott Eckrich maintained the PGRL points lead, while Thomas J. George advanced to 2nd position. The Pretty Good Racing League heads to the dirty version of Bristol Motor Speedway for the Laps for Muscular Dystrophy 125 on Tuesday, April 12. The Virtual Grip Network will have all the action covered live beginning at 8:50pm ET.