Newcomer Craig Stykes won his second Premier Racing League AdvoCare Cup Series race in just his third start on Tuesday. Stykes started the AdvoCare Southern 300 on the outside of the front row and led a race high 87 laps in route to his victory. Stykes found himself at the front of the field many times of Tuesday, and was able to use his newer tires to get around Michael Chrobok as the laps wound downto win by the fourth largest margin of victory in series history.
Standing in Darlington’s historic victory lane, Stykes was still wondering how he made it happen.
“I don’t know how I got here to be honest,” Stykes said after being drenched in a shower of AdvoCare Spark. “I took it one lap at a time, I felt like I bounced it off the wall every three laps. One minute I’m having a blast and feel like I got it figured out, and the next lap I’m hitting the wall and sideways off of [Turn] 2 and they are starting to catch me. I gotta thank my team, I just pit when they say pit. I just drive it and hopefully they tell me what to do.”
Even though this was Stykes’ second win on the season, he was not eligible for the Chase due to the low amount of starts in the series.
Winning the “Dory” award on Tuesday was Drew “Mr. Excitement” Carroll who came back to finish runner-up after being four laps down at one point in the event.
“The cautions just fell our way,” said the exhausted Carroll after the race. “Our car was really fast, I think we were running the fastest laps out there. It was just hard to get [Stykes], maybe if we had a restart we could of been right there, but my car was so used up.”
Carroll will start the Chase next week at Richmond with two wins on the sim racing season, and will be tied for the third spot on the Chase Grid.
Michael Chrobok was passed by both Stykes and Caroll late in the going to finish in third. The bigger story involving the driver of the #38 was the accident on a late restart that involved Chase hopeful Jeff Ward, as well as Rett McBride and Tommy Rhyne. Ward had nowhere to go and saw his championship hopes end there. At that point in the race, the very fast Ward was right on the verge of taking the place Kalvin Filarski, who was involved in an earlier incident, in the last transfer spot. The playoff-bound Jake Wright came home in fourth ahead of Thomas George and will start the Chase in the second position next week at Richmond.
Scott Eckrich started on the Savage Spinners Pole for the AdvoCare Southern 300 but made contact with Matt LaCross early to end his regular season. Eckrich will start the Chase with the top seed with his six victories, just one more than second seed Jake Wright. Joining Carroll in the third seed will be James Krahula and Dan Murray each with two wins. Chase drivers with one victory on the season are Tommy Rhyne, Ricky Hardin, Johnathon Caddell, and Ryan Howard. Simracers getting in on points inlude Rich Jette, Nick Kohan, Don Runkle Jr., Matt LaCross, Rett McBride, Rick Thompson, and finally Kalvin Filarski.
The Premier Racing League AdvoCare Cup Series start Round 1 of the Chase August 30th at the Richmond International Raceway. The Coastal Safety Auditors 200 will be live on the Global SimRacing Channel at 9PM ET. To find out more about the Premier Racing League visit www.PremierRacingLeague.com or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/PremierRacingLeague.