Late Model Championship Night
Jamie Cox Claims Late Model Championship at Delaware
(Dorchester, ON) – Jamie Cox and his RCR Racing Team headed to the season finale at Delaware Speedway on Friday September 27th for the final race of the season with a 17-point lead over Matt Pritiko. They unloaded their APC / Total Lubricants / London City Chrysler / Dodge Charger for the last event of the 2013 FT Garage Late Model season, as the nine-time Open Wheel Modified track champion tried to nail down title number ten.
The night started off with a heat race, and Pritiko was able to take the lead right off the bat. Jamie was running 4th when he had a problem exiting turn four. He said, “The car started to push and I got into the fence.”
The contact caused a tire to go flat and he hit the wall again in the middle of turns one and two, before limping back to his pit area for repairs. “We broke a bracket on the trailing art in the rear end. We also had a little bend in the control arm, and something was tweaked in the spindle, because the toe of the car was out. With four classes at the track that night, we knew we had a lot of time to get everything fixed before the feature. The main concern was the rear end.”
Pritko won the heat race and cut the point lead to 10 heading into the main event.
Cox rolled from 10th in the 40-lap main event, but with Pritiko starting third. Jamie said, “I was nervous before the race. I could see Matt getting to the front and then leading the most laps to get bonus points which would’ve meant trouble for us, and if we won, we would’ve had to finish second to still win the championship, and while our car was fixed, it wasn’t 100 %.”
On lap one, a melee broke out in front of Jamie and he was able to pick his way through the carnage, “I just saw cars going all over the place and tried to slow down.”
Pritiko was involved in the accident and would restart at the back of the pack, while Jamie was sixth when the racing resumed. He quickly moved to fourth-place, but it was obvious that the damage from the earlier accident had made the car a handful to control. Pritiko was on the charge, and on lap four, moved into fifth-position. For the next 20 laps, Cox had to fight off the advances of his championship rival before falling back to fifth on lap 24. “Matt had a faster car, and it was everything I could do to hold him off. I wanted to keep him behind me until at least halfway, so he couldn’t get the extra bonus points for leading the most laps. He was going to have to pass me on the outside, so I was backing the corners up, but I made a mistake off turn four and he was there to take advantage of it.”
Matt was unable to reel in the third-place car, and settled for a fourth-place finish, while Cox’s result gave him the championship by five points.
The race would run until the end with no more yellow flags, as Stephen Richmond charged from seventh to the front to claim his second feature win of the season, with Justin Demelo and Doug Stewart rounding out the podium.
- Richmond, 2. Demelo, 3. Stewart, 4. Pritko, 5. Jamie Cox.
The finale was scheduled to be run a couple of weeks ago, but the weather dragged it out. Cox was still able to overcome the delays to add the tenth title to his resume. “I was ready for it to be over two weeks ago,” joked Cox. “We ran a couple of seasons at different tracks, and the plan was to run for the championship at Delaware in our third year. That part worked out like it planned. It was a great battle between Matt and I. We were able to win a couple of races early, but at the end of the year he was fast, and made up some ground on us to make it close at the end. I’m pretty proud of this, and it was a total team effort from my business partner Luke Ramsay, our crew and all of our sponsors.”
2013 Final Points Standings – 1. Jamie Cox (706 points), 2. Pritiko (701), 3. Richmond (679), 4. Shawn Thompson (675), 5. Demelo (654).
The RCR Team will be back in action on Saturday October 13th and 14th at Peterborough Speedway for the annual Autumn Colours event. It’s the Super Bowl of short track racing in Ontario, and Cox will be looking to take his white #22 to victory lane one more time to close out the 2013 season.
Release and photos by www.maudsleymotorsports.com.