The 2011 NASCAR iRacing.com Class A Series, Season 2 came to a close with the final checkered flag of the season at Richmond International Raceway. With many new names climbing the sim racing ladder, Season 2 provided a stepping stone for twelve of the best to move onto the 2011 NASCAR iRacing.com Pro Series.
Robert Hall claimed the overall championship, edging-out fellow NASCAR iRacing.com Series World Championship driver Ray Alfalla. Hall raced only thirteen times in the twelve week season, but managed eleven top fives and three wins. The old saying “Consistency wins championships” is once again proven correct, this time by Mr. Hall.
In order to qualify for the NiPS, you must finish among the top twelve Class A drivers in the overall season standings. Sounds easy enough? But with 1151 competitors, it is far from an easy task to put your name on the roster.
Patrick Baldwin narrowly beat-out up and coming Roland Ehnström, clinching the number one seed by a mere seven points. Baldwin started ten more races than Ehnström, winning eight of them. Former Pro Eddie A. Smith has once again raced his way into the series, and this time he hopes his past experience will prove superior over a field littered with rookies. The same can be said for number four seed, Dion Vergers. Vergers is a former NiSWC competitor, as well as a current iRacing.com NVIDIA Grand Prix Series competitor. After barely missing the cut in Season 1, Landon Harrison rounds-out the top five from Season 2, and will be a force to be recon with at the next level.
Carson McClelland was the center of attention in the early portion of the season, and managed to race his way in as the six seed. Behind McClelland comes Kenneth O’Keefe who came on very strong late in the season to lock in his black stripe. Jeremy Thornton put together a solid season, with nine top fives in twenty two starts. He locks-in the eight seed, with Harrison Widelitz coming home ninth. Widelitz is no stranger to the NiPS, or any big races for that matter. He is another experienced driver who will be tough to beat.
The lone Finnish driver in the top twelve is Jukka Savolainen, he is also making a return to the NiPS. Kevin Bouhalassa clawed his way in as the eleven seed, while Matt Whitten stayed-up late last week, and knocked-out Josh Jones in a 2:00 A.M. race to grab himself the final slot.
With that, the field for the 2011 NiPS is one season closer to being set. These drivers will join the top twelve inductees from Season 1, making twenty four drivers currently locked-in. There is still time if you have aspirations of making it big in sim racing, but Season 3 will be your final opportunity this year. The same format applies, with the top twelve Class A drivers being elevated to Pro Rankings, joining the twenty four drivers already locked in.
Week One of Season 3 kicks-off at the Tricky Triangle in Long Pond, Pennsylvania. Seventy laps around the difficult Pocono Raceway will allow the cream to rise to the top rather quickly into the season.