The drivers of the NASCAR iRacing Class C Series (NiCCS) rolled into Phoenix International Raceway this past week to mark the halfway point in the season. With the sixth round of the 2011 Season One taking place at the popular track, over 1300 sim racers took the chance to race the one mile configuration in an attempt to bring home a checkered flag. A checkered flag is exactly what Jim Caudill Jr captured as he would stand atop the heap of NiCCS drivers after seven exciting days of online racing in the “Valley of the Sun.”
Caudill made two starts with one of those ending-up in victory lane. Caudill started twelfth in his winning start, but made his way to the front quickly, leading 66 of the 90 laps in the event. The race, rated at a Strength of Field (SoF) of 3921, also included Brad Ferrell and Greg Spears, who finished second and third respectively. The win netted Caudill 245 points, good enough for first place at Phoenix for the part timer in 2011.
Two points back from Caudill was Winnipeg, Manitoba’s Chris Seymour. The Canadian took a victory away in his only start of the week on Friday, besting Carolina drivers Justin Hoyle and Tommy Rhyne. The event was rated at 3889 SoF and was worth 243 points for the driver representing Parker Hammons Racing.
The week featured a tie for fourth betweenNASCAR iRacing.com Tour Modified standout Robert “Bobby” Sandt and NASCAR iRacing.com Series World Championship pilot Tyler D Hudson. Both drivers had different ways to their 235 point total as Sandt recorded two wins in four starts while Hudson took eight wins in nine starts! Sandt finished second to Hudson in his first start of the week before rattling off two trips to victory lane including the a March 11th victory over Kyle Larson and Marty Arnett. Meanwhile, Hudson’s biggest win of the great eight came on Saturday as he came out on top of a 4334 SoF race. Hudson led 28 of the 90 circuits in the race as he was quicker to the line than Brandon Coppinger and Kenneth OKeefe.
Completing the top five for the week was Parker Hammons. Hammons went two-for-two when it came to wins in Week Six, amassing the most points in the first race of the week, outlasting Rob Ackley and Reilly L Doyle at the stripe. The race included a 3662 SoF rating.
While Hudson’s eight wins at Phoenix were impressive, his wasn’t the week’s top win total. That accomplishment belongs to Bentley Glaser as the Midwest Club driver took home ten wins over the seven days, leading over 1000 laps in the process. Glaser was the only one to crack the double digits in wins while Hudson and Jason Wallen both finished with snowmen in the win column. Edward Gatrell made 41 starts over the seven days and completed 2912 laps, the most of any driver in those two categories. The Division Nine driver went winless on the week, but did record twelve top five finishes and led 41 circuits.
Jared Crawford was the quickest driver when it came to qualifying at Phoenix. He blistered the PIR mile in a time of 28.123 seconds, five thousandths faster than Patrick Baldwin. Kevin King, Dave Vincent and Matt DiBenedetto completed the top five on the qualifying sheet.
When the results of seven days of grueling competition at PIR are added to the season-long point totals, we find Hudson back atop the heap with 1135 points, just four points better than Hammons. NASCAR Nationwide Series Rookie of The Year contender Timmy Hill sits third with Tim Axton and Chase Paduano rounding-out the top five at the halfway point of the season.
When we look back through the field, we see Kyle Larson leading Division Two over Brad Ferrell. Dean Heck holds a slim twenty-nine point cushion on Mike Grandy in Division Three with William Lark enjoying a near 300-point lead in Division Four. Jay Adair maintains pace in Division Five with an even fifty on Kevin Sockow for the lead. Fifty is also the margin for Harold James on Justin Labonte in the sixth division with double digits the tempo for Michael Atkins Jr. in Division Seven. Bill Schoonover, Greg Venable and Jeff Ramsdell complete the slate of divisional leaders.
The fastest man in qualifying at PIR was also the fastest Time Trial driver in Week Six, as Crawford also took the top nod in the ten lap timed competition. The Michigan club driver got the best of Ronald Quesenberry, Michael Tasillo, Jason Vannatta and Fredrik Follestad in the top five throughout the seven day beat the clock challenge.
Vannatta continues to be perched at the top of the TT heap with 589 points. Pingel sits in second with Trogdon, Coder and Tasillo rounding out the top five. The time trial competition is only expected to heat-up as we run down the second half of this season towards a 2011 Season One champion.
Next up for the NiCCS is the “tricky triangle” of Pocono Raceway. Who will get lost without a fourth turn and who will come out on top at the Pennsylvania speed plant? Find out here next week on inRacingNews!
Until then, keep the hammer down and we’ll see you at the track!