Ward, Salek Smoke Competition in Foggy Fontana

Season 5 champion Jeff Ward (#9) returned to Victory Lane at Auto Club Speedway, his first win in Gen4 competition. Photo credit: MC² Editing Services.

When the dust settled and the fog cleared at Auto Club Speedway last Tuesday for the Route 66 Paint & Wallpaper California Clash, two of PGRL’s heaviest hitters were once again parked in Victory Lane.


Jeff Ward put his #9 Lexington Brewing & Distilling Co. Chevrolet on pole position with a 4-lap average of 40.126 seconds. Scott Eckrich took over the top spot on lap 1 to claim five bonus points before settling into a rhythm behind Ward. With most drivers able to make a one-stop strategy work, Jeff Ward took his #9 down pit road on lap 21, cutting the race in half. Season 5 runner-up Michael Chrobok attempted to run Ward down with an overcut, but was no match for his Loud Pedal Motorsports teammate. Ward began to drive away before a series of late cautions shook up the running order. On the strength of his restarts, Ward maintained the top spot and captured his first Gen4 win of the year. Ryan Zima and Colton Salek rounded out the podium.

Race 1 Results


Ward’s chances of back-to-back victories were sidelined by an early crash in Race 2. Colton Salek, meanwhile, carved his way through the field, clearing the thick smoke from the track as he made impressive 3- and 4-wide moves to get to the front. Salek converted a 28th place starting position to P17 by lap 5, P4 by lap 15, and P2 by lap 25. While Matt Taylor attempted a two-tire strategy, Salek’s decision to take four fresh Goodyears allowed him to complete his charge. With an easy pass on Michael Chrobok, Salek ran down Taylor and took over the lead on lap 36. He then held off a hard-charging Mike Rasimas to win for the third time in three weeks.

Race 2 Results


Johnathon Caddell extends his points lead to 60 markers over Ryan Zima. Michael Chrobok moves up to third, with Jeff Ward and Adam Jurski rounding out the top 5.

Series Standings


PGRL heads to Las Vegas Motor Speedway for the MARSS Properties Vacation Rentals Voyage to Vegas on October 3rd. Catch all the action from Sin City on the Virtual Grip Network LIVE at 8:50pm Eastern.