Mooresville, North Carolina’s Josh Berry was at the right place at the right time on Thursday night to claim his first win of the GSRacing.net Truck Series season in the JDR Graphics 125 at Iowa Speedway. Berry swept to the lead for the final time on the last lap of the online race when Byron Daley (Bronx, NY) pushed high out of the final corner, grabbing a small piece of the wall with the right rear of his MattDRacing.com Silverado. The small miscue from Daley opened the door for Berry to drive to the inside and take the victory by a truck length in the #72 Main Performance PC Chevrolet. Daley held-on for second while point leader Thomas Hazard (Rochester, MN) crossed the line in third and in turn extended his point lead in the series with two races to go before the Chase for the Championship cut-off. Danny Hansen brought home fourth place after a frantic push to the front following a late pit stop. Patrick Fogel (Hughesville, PA) held on for a top five finish in Event Eight of 15 on the GSRacing.net Truck Series slate.
Berry led twice in the race, combining to lead the most laps in the race (55) and was a part of a group of five sim racers who exchanged the lead five times. The race featured 12 yellow flags and took one hour, 28 minutes to complete. Thirty-two trucks started the short track event with 20 being on track to see the checkered silk. Hansen advanced 24 positions in the race from his 28th starting spot to claim the Hard Charger Award. Jason Karlavige (Scranton, PA) started from the pole position in the JDR Graphics 125 with a lap time of 23.109 seconds. Michael Guest (Brownsburg, IN) punched his ticket to the Exlander Design Solutions 150 on December 15th by winning the Go or Go Home Consolation race at Iowa. Berry took home $50 for his win in the JDR Graphics 125 while Hansen was awarded with $15 for being the highest finishing truck painted by JDRGraphics.com.
Hazard will see his point lead extended to 14 points over Jon Adams (Hiram, GA) after Adams had a late run-in with Richard Beasley (Cuyahoga Falls, OH) which saw the #84 Chevrolet receive a one-lap penalty from race officials. Brandon Buchberger (Sugar Grove, IL) remains third, 21 points out of the lead, after a 13th place run at Iowa while Dylan Duval (Halifax, NS) and Talladega winner Brandon Kettelle (Cape Coral, FL) are knotted at fourth place, 38 points behind Hazard’s mark of 286.
The “Chase” bubble tightened like a vice Thursday night as fourth through 14th in the standings now find themselves separated by just eighteen points. With only the top ten making it to the Chase for the Championship and with just two races to go, it makes events like Chicagoland and Richmond even more critical when it comes to not only deciding the chase field but ultimately deciding a champion in the 2011-12 season. Two-time and defending GSRacing.net Truck Series champion Bryan Blackford suffered a DNF at Iowa on the heels of a victory at Indianapolis as the Seminole, Florida driver wound up in 28th on Thursday night. Blackford now has some work to do as he sits 15th in the standings and 20 points out of tenth place with just two races to go before the cutoff.
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The GSRacing.net Truck Series now heads to the Chicagoland Speedway for the Exlander Designs Solutions 150. Action gets underway at 9pm Eastern with qualifying for the main event with racing set to begin at 9:05pm. You can catch flag-to-flag coverage on the Web Racing Network beginning at 9pm on Thursday, December 15th.
About the GSRacing.net Truck Series:
The GSRacing.net Truck Series is one of iRacing’s premier independently hosted series. The Truck Series is in its third full season and is frequented by the top drivers in the sim community, including those from the NASCAR iRacing Series World Championship. Races throughout the 2011 season are conducted on Thursday nights with select races with live flag-to-flag coverage on ETV and WebRacingNetwork.com.