Matthew Cowley

Millville, NJ - Team Pelfrey's Matthew Cowley took the Saturday afternoon victory at New Jersey Motorsports Park in a dynamic race over 21 green flag laps, winning round 18 of the 2017 F1600 Championship Series season by .036 seconds to extend his Championship lead. Teammate and Team USA Scholarship winner Jonathan Kotyk finished second while Zach Holden rebounded to complete the podium.

It is Cowley's sixth win of the season as he broke away from the field with teammate Kotyk, and then battled to the checkered flag.

"From the start, Jonathan and I got a bit of a gap after Zach dropped back. Jonathan and I saw what was happening and worked together well, and we battled it out for the last lap. I fortunately came across the line first," said Cowley. "Obviously everyone is out there to win tomorrow, I'll play the percentage game and take what I can get."

While two more F1600 races remain on Sunday in the 2017 season, Cowley will also face off with Kotyk at the Brands Hatch Formula Ford Festival in two weeks time.

"Jonathan flies out Sunday, I fly out the following Sunday, and we race at the festival at Brands, which will be good fun," added Cowley.

For Kotyk, a Team USA Scholarship will send him to England immediately following the F1600 season, and he hopes to build on Saturday's second place effort to return to victory lane.

"It was a good race, we had a good start. We broke away a bit, and we tag-teamed to pull a gap. Toward the end it was anyone's race and came down to luck," said Kotyk. "I've been selected for the Team USA Scholarship, so I'll be racing in England. We're pretty excited about that."

Holden's hopes to track down Cowley's Championship lead resulted in a third place finish, not what the K-Hill driver had hoped for.

"It was not the run we wanted, we'll need some big things to happen tomorrow," said Holden, who ran as low as fifth before charging in the late stages of the 21-lap race.

Simon Sikes had a huge debut for Rice Race Prep, mixing it up in the lead group to bring the No. 27 Mygale/Honda home in fourth, narrowly ahead of Yuven Sundaramoorthy in fifth.

Mike Scanlan took home the top honors in Masters with a class win over a quick Dave Petzko.

"I'm looking for the Masters title. It will be a tough haul, I need to get in front of one of those kids for that to happen," said Scanlan. "It was a great race with Dave, he gave me everything. He timed his final pass a little early and we went wheel to wheel the last lap."

Full results are available on www.F1600Series.com.

F1600 action continues from Thunderbolt, at New Jersey Motorsports Park, on Sunday October 8 with rounds 19 and 20, the conclusion of the 2017 F1600 Championship Series season.