Week 2 of the iRacing.com Street Stocks Series headed to tricky Iowa Speedway, one of iRacing’s most under-rated tracks. Along with experienced sim-racers likes of Tim Bills, Michael Chase and Dennis Buxton, the series welcomed some newcomers, which is always great to see.
Bills, one of the front runners for the championship, took pole for this race followed by Jeremy Ogle. The rest all decided to skip qualifying and start based on their iRatings, with a few of them choosing to start from the pit lane.
The green flag dropped and Bills was away, breaking to an early lead from Ogle and the following cars. Could Bills go start to finish again? Further down the order, Caleb Geist and Chase fought for fourth position, while the trailing car of Nick Green tried to keep pace.
With all the action was going on in his mirrors, Bills seized the chance to extend his gap and broke away from the battle for second spot between Chase and Geist. Looking down the field the charge for fourth was led by Ogle, closely followed by Jon Henegar and Green. This online race was shaping-up nicely for Henegar until he got loose into Turn One to bring-out the first caution of this 50 lap race.
The caution bunched the field and wiped-out Bills’ hard won two second lead and also gave drivers a chance to go down pit road and take four new tires. As well, Joe Martin took advantage of the new iRacing Lucky Dog system, taking his free pass to rejoin the back of the field on the lead lap.
On the restart Bills kept a good pace and got a good jump on the field at the green flag, leaving Chase and Geist in his dust. Any thoughts Bills had about cruising to the win were dashed when he made a crucial mistake to allow Chase and the trailing pack to close the gap and gain momentum on his #1 car.
However, Green and Ogle were unable to match the pace of the front three, dropping-off every lap and leaving them to battle it out for P4. Looking down the order, Henegar and Layne were trying to close the gap to the leading group in the hopes of securing a podium finish.
Their cause was aided by Geist, who caught the apron on the exit of Turn Four and spun on Lap 20. Although the chasing pack managed to avoid collecting him, his spin brought out the second caution of the race. Geist was having a great race until this spin. Would it leave him with no tires to push for the win?
At the halfway point the grid doubled up for the restart in a race was still anyone’s to win within the top five. But as the flag waved, Bills made another amazing start to gap the field. Chase looked loose on the first few laps of the restart on cold tires but managed to make the most of things and pushed Bills and himself clear of the pack.
With 20 laps remaining, “outsider” Teddy Wisniewski had moved into third spot, leaving the trailing pack of Geist, Green and Buxton to for a fight for the remaining two top five positions. Behind them ran a lonely Henegar, followed by the lapped cars of Ogle and Martin.
Just as it seemed the race was going to go green to the finish, Ogle did “a Geist,” taking it low onto the Turn Four apron. As he spun around he was collected by the lapped car of Martin.
With the race under caution and a 10 lap dash to the checkers in the offing, could Bills make another great start to secure the win? The answer was an emphatic YES . . . but. At the green flag, Bills made another great start a head of Chase, Wisniewski and Geist. But Wisniewski went low into Turn One only for Chase cut-off his nose and send himself into a spin, collecting Ogle and Craig Espinosa in the bargain.
This brought out the third caution of the race on Lap 44; now the race would head to a two lap dash for the win. Once again, Bills brought the field to the green, now followed by Wisniewski and Geist. And while Bills made a great start, Wisniewski got a flyer of his own to leave the trailing pack fighting for the final podium position. Wisniewski could make no impression on Bills who crossed the line having led every lap, while Buxton finally took control of third position followed by Geist and Green who both enjoyed a strong race.
With another win in Iowa, Bills boosted himself into third in the championship behind second place OJ Dompier and Shannon Segler in P1. With another 10 weeks to run the championship is plenty close at the top
Click here to see the complete results.