Las Vegas Motor Speedway and Martinsville Speedway are complete opposites of each other. One is a 1.5-mile high banked speedway and the other is a half-mile flat paperclip, but that didn’t stop Josh Berry (Mid-South) from conquering each during Weeks Nine and Ten of the NASCAR iRacing Class C Fixed Series. A combined total of nearly 3,500 sim racers took the green flag for at least one race during the two weeks of online racing, but Berry proved to be no match for all of them as he earned the most points in each of the previous two weeks.
Although Berry did score the most points during the last two weeks of sim racing, he did not take the victory in both of the high Strength of Field events. Week Nine’s top SoF victor was Kollin Scott Keister (Atlantic), who led 31 of the event’s 35 laps en route to a margin of victory of just 0.162 seconds over Malik Ray (Carolina). The final podium position went to Dalton Baldwin (Florida), who started from the 14th position, but worked his way into the top five late in the going. Michael Guest (Indiana) and Drew Lanzaro (New York) fill out the remainder of the top five during Week Nine’s 3867 SoF which saw five cautions for 19 laps.
With Keister taking the top SoF victory during Week Nine, Berry was out for revenge and that’s exactly what he got. Berry started from the ninth position in the 4067 SoF and led only eight of the event’s 55 laps to take the victory by 2.524 seconds over Jarl Teien (Scandinavia). Teien started from the pole and led a total of 47 laps, but was unable to close the deal. Cody Marshall (New York) started from the outside of the front row, but was relegated to third as when the checkered flag flew. Richie Davidowitz (New York) started mid-pack during the event, but that didn’t slow him down as he crossed the stripe for the final time in the fourth position. The final spot in the top five was filled by Don Stephenson (Florida) who started in the third position in his No. 3 Silverado. The race was slowed three times for a total of 14 laps and included only one lead change.
Even with Berry not winning both high SoF events during the week, he did net the most championship points for the week (241) due to Keister running 13 races during Week Nine. The second position went to Nathan Mcguire (Carolina) who in four starts, grabbed three wins and 232 points. The third position was held down by Michael Conti (New Jersey) who made just one start, but it was a good one. Conti’s second place finish was just what he needed as he earned 227 points for his efforts. As previously mentioned, Keister made 13 starts during the week, taking the victory in 10 of those, which netted him 222 points for the week. The final spot in the top five was filled by Ray, who made seven starts on the week, and included six top five finishes and a total of 220 championship points.
Since Berry took the victory during Week Ten’s top SoF event, he was able to take home the most championship points with 256 after making three starts and earning one win during the week. The second position was filled by another Josh, but this time it was Josh Weinrich (Plains) who earned 231 total points during the week. New York native Tom Moustakas ended a successful week in the third position after making two starts, recording two top five finishes, a victory, and 230 championship points. Darrel Wilson (Carolina) had a very, very successful week at Martinsville. 12 wins in 13 starts is an incredible feat, one which earned him 225 total points for the week. Ross Tatum (Virginias) was able to squeak into the top five by just four points for the week over Steven O’Rourke (Michigan) to round out the top five during Week Ten at Martinsville.
Week Nine qualifying at Las Vegas Motor Speedway saw Keister on top of the speed charts with a blistering time of 31.285 seconds. The second position went to Georgia native Jason Jacoby, who ended the week with a final time of 31.304 seconds around the 1.5-mile speedway. Thomas Davis (Mid-South) placed his Silverado in the third position for the week with a time just two-thousandths of a second slower than Jacoby (31.306). The final spots were filled by Dylan Cecee (New York) and Brenden J Koehler (Pennsylvania) who turned in times of 31.327 and 31.332 seconds, respectively.
To go along with a mighty successful week at Martinsville Speedway, Wilson was also the fastest driver in overall qualifying for the week with a time of 19.612 seconds. The second spot went to Northwest club member Scott Latimer with a time of 19.649 seconds around the half-mile paperclip. O’Rourke ended the week in the third spot, turning in a time of 19.653. Positions four and five were held down by Kyle Crump (Michigan) and Justin Fuller (New York) who turned in times of 19.657 and 19.662 seconds, respectively.
After ten weeks of online racing, Berry now holds a 47 point lead in the season standings over Brodie Kostecki (Carolina) heading into the final two weeks of racing. Nicholas Goertzen (Canada) sits 120 points behind and if he wants any shot at the Season Three championship he’s going to need to have two very, very good weeks. Tatum holds down the fourth position, but is 281 points behind Berry and only four points ahead of fifth place Christian Pedersen (New England).
With Week Nine and Ten now in the smoke, the NiCCF will now turn its attention to one of the most historic tracks in NASCAR history—Rockingham Speedway. Those sim racers who attempt to take on The Rock will endure 50 grueling laps around the 1.017-mile high banked speedway. Tune-in in a week’s time for a full recap of the action from Rockingham Speedway.