To an average onlooker, Auto Club Speedway may look like any other venue on the NASCAR schedule—a long, wide, D-shaped oval, but that stereotype couldn’t be any further from the truth. The speedway, which opened in 1997, has quickly become of the favorite tracks among both racers and fans for the exciting action it produces. After sitting in the California sun for 17 grueling years, the speedway has become covered with huge bumps and weepers, causing traction to be scarce, which can make for one of the most fun racing experiences a driver can have. Since Auto Club is one of the newest additions to the iRacing service, it is to be expected that a good amount of sim racers are eager to take the green flag for racing action at the speedway. Although 2,266 sim racers attempted at least one race during Week Seven, only one person is able to walk away from the week knowing they earned the most points for the week. One out of 2,266 may not seem like good odds when it comes to anything, but when you’re a race winner in the NASCAR PEAK Antifreeze Series, some things come easier than others, especially winning in a lower series. Winning in the NASCAR Class C Fixed Series is not an easy task, especially when many competitors in the NPAS also compete on a regular basis in the series, so anyone who is able to do so should be celebrated appropriately.
Although the people who earned the most championship points and the person who won the week’s top strength of field event are different, winning the top SoF event could be considered more difficult because that is where the best talent resides. One of the fastest drivers on the service once again took his Silverado to victory lane after leading 13 of the event’s 30 laps. Jason Jacoby (Georgia) bested NPAS competitor Byron Daley (New York) by just 0.184 seconds. Jacoby started from the pole position and was able to make some aggressive moves late in the race to protect that number one position which proved to be very beneficial to his success. The final spot on the podium was filled by two-time NPAS champion Ray Alfalla (Florida) who started from the 15th position and quickly worked his way toward the front of the field. Position number four was held down by California native Chase Raudman. Raudman started from the third position in the No. 12 @Chase_Raudman2 Silverado and was able to set the fastest time of the race. The final spot in the top five was occupied by Dylan Duval (Canada), driving the No. 5 JDR Graphics Silverado who started from the 10th position and maneuvered his way into the top five as the checkered flag flew. The 4922 SoF saw the caution flag fly three times for a total of 11 laps and included four lead changes among four drivers.
Jacoby may have won the week’s top SoF event, but due to making 10 starts during the week, he wasn’t able to keep the 311 championship points he earned from the victory. Taking advantage of Jacoby’s racing habits was NPAS competitor Michael Conti (New Jersey) who made three starts during the week, earning one victory which netted him 299 points. Looking back at the week’s top SoF event, Daley and Alfalla finished in the second and third positions, which translated into the same positions in the weekly standings. Daley ended the week in the second spot after making just one start and recording 294 points. Alfalla completed the week in the third spot, making four starts and netting 278 points. The next to last spot in the top five was held down by Malik Ray (Carolina) who made an incredible 17 starts during the week, 11 of which resulted in a top five finish. Rounding out the top five for the week was Duval who made three starts, one of which resulted in a victory.
Hometown hero David Krikorian (California) was able to set the fastest qualifying lap of the week with a time of 41.818 seconds around the 2-mile speedway. The second spot on the week went to Nick Shelton (Mid-South) who ended the week with a time of 41.848 seconds. The third spot was occupied by the week’s top SoF winner, Jacoby, who turned a fast time of 41.857 seconds. The fourth spot on the chart was held down by NPAS competitor Adam Gilliland while the last spot in the top five was occupied by Stevie Minson (Virginias) who turned times of 41.858 and 41.859 seconds, respectively.
As the three quarters mark of the season is approaching, Jordy Lopez Jr (New Jersey) holds a 201 point lead over second place driver Matthew Wright2 (New York) heading into Week Eight at Texas Motor Speedway. The third spot is filled by Jacoby who is 265 points behind Lopez. Positions four and five are currently held down by Eric Hansard (Florida) and Matt Kocher (Pennsylvania) who are 322 and 355 out of the lead, respectively.
After spending seven days in the overcast skies of Southern California, the NiCCFS heads east into Texas for 35 heart pounding laps around the always fast Texas Motor Speedway. Being one of the fastest tracks on the NASCAR circuits is one thing TMS has going for it, because, who doesn’t like to go fast? If you like going fast, be sure to make time to take the Silverado for a journey around the speedway to see if you’re fast enough to make the iRacingNews headlines for Week Eight.