Whilst the championship is in its infancy, this week inRacingNews take a closer look at this week’s top performances. The third week of the NASCAR iRacing Class A Series (NiCAS) witnessed the virtual Impalas heading to fast and wide Michigan International Speedway. Topping the charts this week, Jim Caudill Jnr. became the highest points scorer, following a victory in his first race. In a race that was to have only one caution, the Mid-South club member had started tenth on the grid and muscled his way to the top five by the end of the opening lap. By the time the safety car had returned to the pits after its sole excursion, Caudill Jnr. had taken the No.1 car up to third position. Then, in a master-class of consistency, the NASCAR iRacing World Championship Series driver seized the lead at the completion of the first round of green flag pit stops and only momentarily yielded it, when the field headed to pit lane for more fuel and tyres. The win by a margin of 18 seconds garnered Caudill 230 points and gives him a huge boost in his first week of racing in the NASCAR iRacing Class A Series.
Finishing third behind Caudill Jnr. in the same race, Trey Eidson collected 199 points, enabling the Carolinas Club driver to become the second highest scorer of the week. Gambling with a relatively early second green flag pit stop, Eidson progressedthrough the field from eighth position to reach the lead at one stage; but whilst the long second stint earned him a podium, his 45-laps-old tires could offer little resistance when the lead was reclaimed by Caudill Jnr.
Kyle Hadcock secured 214 points by finishing second in highest strength of field race of the week (ahead of Eidson). By virtue of averaging, however, the championship challenger saw his bounty reduced to 184 marks when the total of two weaker points finishes were taken into account. The New York driver had run the majority of his main race shuffling his way in and out of the podium positions and looked set for a third place finish; but a late pit stop gave Haddock enough fresh rubber to reel-in Eidson and pass him for second with just a handful of laps remaining.
Equalling Hadcock’s 214 points, Mike Izzo also appeared in the ‘race of the week’ for his solitary Michigan event. Izzo, who looks set to be a main protagonist when the series draws to a close, had started the race in pole position, and led the field until an isolated yellow flag on the tenth lap; but the New York club driver succumbed to the restarting skills of Steve Sheehan, and then later, Caudill Jnr. as he neared the end of his first stint. Despite Sheehan retiring from the race with connection problems, Izzo’s relentless chase to regain the lead saw his tires punished towards the ends of both his stints, costing him vital positions in the closing stages of the race.
Stop the presses! A European has found his way into the top five! In a championship and week dominated by North America, Martin Thiemt stands out like a Hummer at a Yugo dealership with 168 points to his name. The DE-AT-CH club member put-in an amazing run of races to claim five wins, from five starts, and leading more than 85% of his 500 racing lap. Thiemt took flag to flag victories in all of his NiCAS races on the Michigan International Speedway, with his points hauls ranging from 118 to 187 points. This was the NASCAR iRacing World Championship Series driver’s first sortie into the series, giving him plenty of time to make an impact on the championship to spoil the ‘tea party’.
Week Four, and the NASCAR iRacing Class A Series field hardly gets time to draws breath as it heads out to Las Vegas, carrying fond memories of a great week’s racing at Michigan.