The iRacing.com Sprint Car Series made its stop to Lanier National Speedway for Week 5 of the 2013 S2 season. A track available to all, not to mention one of the favorites within the iSCS community, the garage was packed for this week’s activities. Powerhouses and rookies alike made their way to the laser-scanned .375 mile oval, which has unfortunately closed its doors in life away from sim motorsports. The action lives on in iRacing.com’s servers, however, as 111 gridded entrants were seen in the 9 races that were made official for points scoring during the week.
In this week’s qualifying sessions, it was Fred Lampela who was seen at the top of the charts by week’s end, with his fast time of 12.559s. Ever so close behind was 7-time defending champion Alan Binder, who crossed the line with a time of 12.562s. Out of the 36 drivers who made attempts at qualifying, these two would once again be at the front of the pack come race day.
The green flag was first thrown on Monday when ten cars showed up to see what 50 laps would hold for them in their first show of force for the week. After 2 cautions, it was Fred Lampela who never backed down from the top spot by capturing the pole, leading all 50 laps, and taking the checkers. Steve Linder came within less than one second of Lampela to take second spot, and Cap Henry completed the podium with his third place finish. Jon Watson and Eddie Walczyk rounded out the top five respectively.
“[I]t feels good to finally get my first win in anything [on iRacing] and to do it in the sprints is awesome!” – Andrew Barman
One of two of the biggest nights of the series, Alan Binder had the pole for Tuesday’s top-split event, featuring a field of 14 cars. After the green flag dropped, a 20+ lap racing session was seen before the first caution when the lapped car of Kyle Young spun out in front of series regulars Vinnie Sansone and Steve Linder, who were battling for second place. Sansone escaped without injury, but Linder received damage from the incident. After the restart, Linder limped off the track on Lap 29 to make repairs to his sprint car. On Lap 34, Randall Faulks tagged David Cumbo Jr. as the two raced for position in Turn 1, bringing out the second caution. Both received damage and fell off the pace, but were able to complete the event without going a lap down. When the checkers waved, it was Alan Binder taking his first win of the week, .957s ahead of Sansone. Michael Linder completed the podium in third, earning himself a nice points payout. Michael Lampela also scored nicely with his fourth place finish, and Brett Waldrep crossed the finish line in fifth spot.
Thursday hosted the largest SOF rated race of the week (2911) and had all of the strongest players on the field. Binder started on the pole, still holding a faster qualifying time than Lampela before the event. Showcasing a fine display of driving, the race was only interrupted by one yellow flag, which was put on display on Lap 15 after Brett Waldrep was spun by Randall Faulks coming out of T4 onto the front stretch. Grabbing the largest points payout of the week, Binder crossed the finish line first to take the win. After battling with Lampela for position, Sansone was able to take the second spot, three-tenths ahead of Lampela at the line. Cumbo Jr. recovered from his spin on Tuesday to take home a fourth-place finish, and Larry “Coon” Landry completed the top five.
The top split events on Tuesday and Thursday weren’t the only time Binder’s Beast was seen in victory lane. He also won the main features on Wednesday and Friday, besting the likes of Steve Linder and Jon Watson. Although his highest points payout during the week was finishing second to “The King,” Watson was seen in victory lane in Tuesday’s 2nd split race, taking the checkers over Eric Nordhoff and Kenneth Reeder, who completed the podium respectively. Scoring many third place runs during the week, Fred Lampela made another visit to victory lane at Lanier on Saturday, as did Coon Landry who bested Cole C. Anderson to take a win during Week 5.
Andrew Barman, who had a tumultuous run in Tuesday’s second split race, won the second split feature on Thursday after Nicholas Howard was forced off the track after experiencing connection issues after leading all but the final lap. A sprint car racer outside of the sim world, Thursday’s win was his first ever victory in the iSCS. “Hope we can duke it out for the win again, “said Barman to Howard during post-race celebrations. “[N]o blinking, no pulling over; just hard racing next time. But it feels good to finally get my first win in anything [on iRacing] and to do it in the sprints is awesome!”
After such a busy week, the drivers of the iSCS are given no rest breaks as they return to the high banks of the “World’s Fastest Half-Mile” for Week 6. The battle rages on for the top spot in the points between Vinnie Sansone and Fred Lampela. Who will emerge from the smoke and debris clouds to take their wins at Bristol? Better yet, who will be brave enough to make the grid? Find out next week on iRN!
iSCS 2013 S2 CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS
1. Vinnie Sansone (771)
2. Fred Lampela (-21)
3. Steve Linder (-103)
4. Alan Binder (-218)
5. Cap Henry (-227)