November 16th, 2009 by DavidP
The iRacing Oval Pro Series visited the historic Indianapolis Motor Speedway for the first time last Wednesday and two stellar drivers claimed the inaugural victories at the legendary race track. The always dangerous Josh Berry grabbed the victory in the first split of the night and part time driver Jim Caudill Jr. took the victory in the second split.
In the first of two splits, Berry started on the pole en-route to his eighth victory of the season. It was only Berry’s sixth pole this season but it proved to be a valuable one as he led 49 laps before crossing the finish line in first. Berry increased his iRating by 40 points and also increased his Safety Rating up by .08 points to a perfect rating of 4.99. Berry cut the fastest lap of the race, a 50.645 and earned 290 points for his victory. It was Berry’s 20th top-five in 24 starts and he currently sits fifth in the point standings.
Finishing second was road-racing specialist, and iRacing Road Pro Series points leader, Luke McLean. McLean led 28 laps on the way to his runner-up finish from the third starting position. McLean earned a strong 276 points for his second place finish and increased his iRating by 71 points. He also increased his Safety Rating by .31 points. It was McLean’s eighth top-five finish in only 17 starts and he currently has two wins on the season. McLean has one pole so far this season and currently sits 30th in the iRacing Oval Pro Series standings, having missed one week of racing.
Third was the Georgia driver, Robert Hall. Hall started midpack in the 12th position but put together a consistent strategy to get up to the podium. Hall earned 262 points for his third place finish and increased his iRating by 82 points. He also increased his Safety Rating by .16 points to a strong 4.46 rating. This was Hall’s second top-five finish this season in 18 starts, having only run 13 of the 15 weeks so far this season. Hall currently sits 65th in the point standings but is sure to move up when the drop weeks come into play.
Coming in fourth was Daniel Pope II, who started second while Andrew Fayash III finished fifth ahead of Sandeep Banerjee.
In the second split, it was Jim Caudill Jr. grabbing his first victory of his iRacing Oval Pro Series career. Caudill Jr. started on the pole and led 35 laps en-route to his first victory in the series. Caudill Jr. earned a large 292 points for his victory and increased both his iRating (by 84 points) and his Safety Rating (by .16 points) to a strong 4.33 overall. This was his ninth top-five in only 16 starts and his fifth pole of the season. Caudill Jr. currently sits 39th in points but has only run 11 of the 15 weeks so far this season and so will move into the top-25 in the point standings once the drop weeks come into effect after week 19. Had Caudill Jr. run all the weeks so far this season, he would sit 11th in the point standings.
Finishing second was the New England driver, Josh Parker. Parker led 28 laps after starting fifth and earned 278 points for his runner up position. Parker increased his iRating by 54 points andhis Safety Rating by .31 points. It was Parker’s 24th top-5 this season in 30 starts and he currently sits second in the point standings with 10 wins, five poles and an average finish of sixth place.
Coming in third place was consistent driver, Bryan Blackford. Blackford started back in the 13th position but worked his way to the front during the 80 lap race. Blackford earned 264 points and increased his iRating by 94 points for his efforts. The third place was Blackford’s ninth top-five finish in 28 starts, giving him an average finish of 10th place. Blackford currently sits 11th in the point standings and has a strong average points per race average of 227.46.
There are three more scheduled races this week for the iRacing Oval Pro Series at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway before the series heads to Martinsville for the 16th week of the season.