The competitors of the NASCAR iRacing.com Class A Series tried their luck in the city of sin last week, as the series rolled into Las Vegas for a visit to Las Vegas Motor Speedway. The races were packed all week, with the biggest names in online racing leading the way.
Jim Caudill Jr. once again put his name at the top of the charts, as the veteran wracked up 341 points on the week, 30 more than his nearest competitor. Caudill is not only racing to be a Pro, but has proven he is a strong contender for the NiCLAS championship. Only two other Class A drivers made the top ten this week, the always strong Kevin King, and Chris Henion putting his name in the mix for the first time this season.
Josh Berry finds himself in a very familiar position, leading the points. The 2010 NASCAR iRacing.com Pro Series champion leads by 83 points over Jim Caudill Jr., and enjoys a commanding 121 point lead over third place Daniel Pope II.
The current top twelve Class A drivers, who are looking to advance to the pro series, are no strangers to running up front and competing in the top level series. All twelve have been around sim racing for years, and are some of the best talent iRacing has to offer.
Jim Caudill Jr. – 1103
Dale Earnhardt Jr.
Galen Winsette – 757
Current NASCAR iRacing Series World Championship driver, and near Daytona winner Pedro Mojica had this to say about the current top twelve in the Class A series.
“This top 12 currently in class A is really stout, and I know personally from racing head-to-head with these guys. Most likely these top 12 guys will be the guys to beat in the pro series later in the year to get into the NASCAR iRacing.com Series World Championship and once they are in, the series is going to be even more competitive with the veteran presence of Dale Jr, and Kevin King, the up-and-coming guys such as Caudill Jr., PJ Stergios, and Jason Lofing, and that Mitchell Hunt guy who is trying to redem himself after what happened at the end of pro.”
“This top 12 currently in class A is really stout, and I know personally from racing head-to-head with these guys.” – Pedro Mojica
Leading the way for the Class A drivers, and second overall is 21 year old Caudill. Caudill is no stranger to this level of competition, as he competed in last year’s NiSWC. Class A is his main focus this season, and here’s what he had to say about it.
“First of all, it’s been a really good season for me thus far. It’s good to see the Class A series doing so well this season and I hope the high level of participation continues. Honestly, I thought that Phoenix and Charlotte would be my only good tracks for the whole first half of the season. So, having said that, to have won a race at Daytona and to come away with the most points at Las Vegas is a much-needed confidence booster going into the next few weeks. I want to apologize to Steve Sheehan for ruining his race on a late restart early last week. Aside from that, the races were fantastic. Very few cautions and green flag stops usually doesn’t fall in the same sentence as Las Vegas but it just goes to show that there are quite a few good drivers competing for a spot in the next Pro series. I had an excellent battle with Tom Lewandowski and Josh Parker in the high points race of the week so I want to thank those guys for the clean racing that we did. To be first place out of the non-DWC drivers and second in overall Class A points would have been a little more than I would have expected before the season started, but that’s where we are. Hopefully, this early success will continue on to the latter stages of the season. I look forward to seeing everybody at Pocono!”
“Very few cautions and green flag stops usually doesn’t fall in the same sentence as Las Vegas but it just goes to show that there are quite a few good drivers competing for a spot in the next Pro series.” – Jim Caudill, Jr.
Currently third place in points, King is one of the biggest names in sim racing. Thirty year old has been involved with online racing for about ten years, and shows no sign of slowing down. When asked about last week, and his season thus far, King offered the following insights.
“Going into Vegas I knew it would be a challenge based on what the track drives like. I had decent speed going in, but I was really just wanting to have a comfortable setup that I could keep under me. I ran really well, I thought, in the high SOF (Strength of Field) race where a lot of NiSWC drivers were in. Finishing sixth, I felt, was a pretty good day considering I was plowing pretty good entering the turns. As far as the season is going, I’m feeling pretty confident in my chances. I’ve set a goal for points each week and have been surpassing that with some good runs and I feel like if I keep that up I have a good chance to make the Top 12. The competition is pretty legit in some races when the DWC guys show up, and some of the other Top 12 such as Caudill, Stergios, Lofing, Buchberger, Quinn, Scott, Morse, Hutto, Winessette and Jr are all guys who are tough to beat each week. I’m looking forward to the rest of the season as I get more comfortable with the car and learning about what makes them fast, but for now I’m going to continue on my plan on making cars that can compete but aren’t sideways just yet. But if I had to keep it short and simple, so far so good.
“I’m feeling pretty confident in my chances. I’ve set a goal for points each week and have been surpassing that with some good runs and I feel like if I keep that up I have a good chance to make the Top 12.” – Kevin King
Next week will bring a new challenge to everyone competing, as the Class A series heads to Pocono for the first time. Pocono provides all kinds of nightmares for the setup gurus, and is one of the trickiest places to drive. Be sure to strap in tight as you hit the tricky triangle, because it is likely to hit back.