A little over two weeks of preparation came down to just a few feet to determine the 2017 Daytona 300. Ricky Hardin was ahead of Nick Kohan by only .007s when the caution flew for the last time coming to 4 laps to go. Hardin started 37th after a crash in his Patriot Fire Duel a week prior, and found himself running towards the back of the field during the majority of the event. Hardin found a lucky break though when the first yellow flew on lap 79 of the event. Hardin found himself just leaving pit road at the time of the caution and would cycle within striking distance of the lead when the race restarted a few laps later. Hardin fought to the front and found himself in front to claim his 2nd Patriot Fire Cup Series win.
The Goat Rope Racing driver tried to muffle his celebration to not wake his sleeping wife and baby, but the excitement was apparent. “This is awesome man, I can’t believe it.” said Hardin in Daytona International Speedway’s victory lane. Hardin was also quick to thank his team, “We just work together very well as a team and I think it shows how good our team is at these type of events.”
NP3 Designs Pole winner Tommy Rhyne, who pushed Hardin to the victory, finished in 3rd, followed by Loud Pedal Motorsports drivers Scott Eckrich and Paul Pepper. Gary Whitson was the American Pool Supply Half Way Leader, but would finish 15th after being in the race ending crash.
Even though Daytona was the first race, the Patriot Fire Duel’s paid bonus points in the qualifying event. Meaning the season championship has Eckrich leading by 7 points over Gregory McDougal. Hardin with his win on Sunday moved him up to 3rd, followed by Rett McBride and Rhyne.
Along side the season championship will be three segments, and the Spring Segment did not pay points from the Patriot Fire Duel’s. This points battle will also see Eckrich leading, but Hardin will sit 2nd in this battle. Kohan, Rhyne, and McDougal will round out the Top 5.
The Premier Racing League heads further south next week where the league will visit the Homestead-Miami Speedway for the Miami 200 on March 2nd. Coverage of this race will start at 9pm ET on the Global SimRacing Channel and iRacing Live. For more information on the Premier Racing League please visit PremierRacingLeague.com or at Facebook @PremierRacingLeague