After a fun-filled Week 13 on iRacing.com, it was back to business for competitors in the NASCAR iRacing.com Class A Series. There was no getting up to speed at a slow track, as sim racers were thrown to the wolves and attempted to conquer the lightening quick Texas Motor Speedway for Week One of the new season. Experience is key as speeds top the 200mph mark into the 24 degree banked Turn One, and while veteran sim racers topped the charts, a few new names made themselves known.
Speaking of veterans, Kenny Humpe led all the qualifiers with a blistering lap of 27.107s edging another name familiar to iRN readers — Kevin King — by .032s, with Daniel Pope II (27.194s) the only other driver to break the 27.2s barrier. And when the week’s points were finally toted, another veteran in the form of NASCAR iRacing.com Pro Series driver Matt Whitten found himself atop the standings with 260 points thanks to a narrow (.190s) win over former NASCAR iRacing.com Series World Championship race winner Steve Sheehan in Monday night’s 4155 Strength of Field event that saw Michael Conti lead 72 of 110 laps en route to a third place finish.
At that, Whitten barely edged Class A driver John Highside for the point lead as the MidSouth driver collected 258 markers for finishing second to Mitchell Hunt in Tuesday’s 4417 SoF race. Sheehan would go on to make three more starts, winning two, and managed 257 points on the week. Fellow NiSWC competitor Jeremy R Allen was fourth on the week with 253, and eventual NiPS winner Marcus Lindsey rounded-out the top five with 242 points.
Dwayne Vincent showed up for this season ready to race, as he took to TMS no less than twenty-five (25!) times, scoring fourteen top fives and three wins. Terry Garska made twenty-three starts, scoring one win and eight top fives. Pennsylvania’s Dustin Majewski started fifteen races, locking-down five top fives.
Arthur Lucas edged John Paquin for the top spot in Week 1 Time Trial competition, stopping the clocks at 29.211s (.042s quicker than Paquin) with Jason Vannatta, Marty Sponsler and Kyle Peddle taking spots three, four and five, respectively, in the Lone Star state.
Next week the NiCLAS will follow the NiPS out west to Phoenix International Raceway. Pro drivers will be out in abundance in the early part of the week, fine-tuning their setups for Tuesday’s night’s race. PIR offers a big change for drivers accustomed to TMS, as they will have to shift gears from a high speed mile and a half, to a relatively flat, sun soaked, one mile with very different turns at each end.