Back in the Spotlight
February 14th, 2014 by JaimeB
It was clear from the first race NASCAR iRacing.com Class C Series of the week that the open truck racing at Kentucky Speedway would be competitive. Week Two of the C Open season saw a return to the spotlight for perennial front runner Carl Taylor, who by all means dominated the week statistically. With the most wins, top fives, and laps led, it was plain to see that Taylor had something figured out.
In talking with Carl, I discovered that while he had done most of the work on the setup, he did have some help from DWC driver Kenny Humpe. It will be interesting to see how the two fair in the championship points battle if they continue to run the series. They have proven to be a formidable duo, but at least in Carl’s case, they are not points racing. When drivers like 2013 Season 3 champion Nick Furler and 2013 Season 4 champion Anthony Price are points racing, the chances for a driver who is running more than ten races in a week to win the championship are slim. However, if any driver can do it, that driver would be Carl Taylor.
One interesting facet of the racing this week was the line that most drivers ran. Instead of running at the very bottom of the racetrack, which is the lane of choice at many of iRacing’s virtual speedways, it appeared the second lane from the bottom of the track had the most grip. While some drivers would deviate from this line with the occasional late apex coming out of Turn Two, some of the biggest battles of the week were for that precious piece of pavement.
With the online racing being clean and green for the most part, those who had their trucks set up for the long run enjoyed the most success. It was the belief of a lot of drivers that to make your truck last over the course of a run, you had to make the tires wear evenly. There were two main things that drivers did to achieve even tire wear. The first was to use the air pressures and cambers of the truck to get as little a split between the outer, middle, and inner tire temperatures as possible. This is not easy and takes a great deal of long run testing prior to racing. In addition to this, it also takes some general car setup knowledge. The second thing drivers did to achieve even tire wear was to simply avoid over-driving their Silverados. Letting the truck roll through the center of the corner is extremely important at a finesse track like Kentucky. Drivers who chose to mash the throttle early in a run found themselves smashing the wall late in the run.
As we leave Week Two of the Class C Open series behind us, it is interesting to look at the championship points battle. An intriguing storyline is developing, because as it stands the previously mentioned Nick Furler is leading Anthony Price. Looking back to season 3 of 2013 in the NASCAR iRacing.com Class C Open series, Nick won the championship over second place Anthony Price. Furler chose to focus on the iRacing.com Class B Open series throughout 2013 Season 4, finishing an impressive eighth overall in the championship standings. Without Furler running the series that season Price cruised to his first championship in the trucks. With it becoming apparent that both will be running full C Open schedules this season, we could be seeing the beginnings of a championship battle for the ages. As we move on to the third week of the season at New Hampshire Motor Speedway this will be something interesting to keep in the back of our minds.