Week 13 of the NASCAR iRacing Series brought the teams and drivers to Dover International Speedway, all with the aim of competing with many drivers of the same skill level. iRacing’s iRatings system enables 32 drivers of the same speed to race against against each other, and this week the one mile track brought the field even closer. With The Monster Mile being one of the shortest tracks on the calendar, getting to the front and trying to avoid getting lapped became harder over the seven races run throughout the course of the week.
Race One saw the highest SoF race (5237) in the Fixed Series at Dover, with 336 points therefore on offer to the victor. Matt Bussa claimed this prize, finishing around four seconds ahead of his closest competition. Landon Harrison came across the finish line second, followed by NASCAR PEAK Antifreeze Series champion Tyler Hudson. Hudson was a second behind Harrison in a field was reasonably spread out with Justin Bolton a further four seconds behind Hudson – and Brian Day fifth.
The second race of the week saw the smallest number of sim racers, with only four splits of 30-32 drivers. Nonetheless Chris Hall took advantage of this and finished the top split in position Numbero Uno. Steffen Nobis was only .5s behind Hall at the end, but didn’t have what it took to grab the win. Kevin Pommier was 3.2s back from Hall, with the field much closer than Race One. Teemu Toikka was the winner of Split Two, and Bryce Sugimura headed to Victory Lane in Split Three.
Shane Dougherty took the honours in Race Three, with Dougherty leading 21 laps of the 200 lap race. Ryan Lowe led 145 laps – and took the fastest lap — but was unable to deny Dougherty the win. Lowe finished .123s behind at the checkered showing that even though typically the field is spread out over the course of a race distance at Dover, you can run close and fight for the win. Jordan Werth and Dwayne Vincent weren’t too far behind either – in fact the pair came home under a second behind Dougherty after 200 laps.
The final fixed setup race of the Dover week saw the PRO/WC drivers monopolize the top end of the race standings, with Ray Alfalla and Matt Bussa occupying first and second. Bussa led for an incredible 182 laps, but when it came down to the final laps of the race, Alfalla had Bussa where he wanted him – in his rear view mirror! The delta between the two sim-racers was .29 seconds – with Jordan Werth third, 1.5s ahead of Dougherty.
Michael Conti’s Gen6 Chevy SS was the first virtual car to pass the finish line at Dover in the opening Open Series race of the week. With a 6036 SoF, Conti claimed 387 points from his position in the race. As soon as he got in the lead, he disappeared from second-placed PJ Stergios, eventually winning by over 11 seconds – that’s almost ¾ of a lap! Jordy Lopez Jr was the first A licence driver of the 30 car field, helping towards his campaign to go Pro. Lopez was four seconds behind Stergios with Steven Eszenyi close behind, with 1.5 seconds separating P3 and P4. Malik Ray rounded out the top five.
The second race of the week provided great close action at Dover – with many sim racers enjoying the racing out on track. Conti continued his dominance by taking the win in the second race of the week. Runner-up was a different driver – but the gap stayed the same, as Conti pulled out 11.5 seconds on Patrick Crabtree, really emphasizing his dominant pace at Dover, a pace Conti would carry over to the NASCAR PEAK Antifreeze Series race. Crabtree pulled-in 364 points from this race, with the delta to Lopez Jr (P3) at four seconds. Dougherty got a clean race to place fourth – and earn some handy points in the standings to boot.
In the concluding race of the Open week, we finally saw a different face standing tall above the field after 200 grueling laps of online racing. NASCAR iRacing Pro Series driver Ashley Miller led 34 laps of the race – and that was all he needed to get the win. Teemu Iivonen scored an impressive second place with some talented drivers behind him – many of whom sport PRO/WC licenses – which is the aim for many A class drivers running the Open series. Whilst there was only three seconds between P1 and P2, the gap to Kevin King back in third was a little over 16 seconds. Casey Tucker got the fastest lap but, while he led 60 laps, was forced to settle for fourth.
After 13 weeks of online racing Patrick Crabtree extends his lead at the top of the Open Series standings, increasing his cushion to just under 200 points to P2 – Jordy Lopez Jr. Lopez sits on 4056 points in comparison to Crabtree’s 4245. Malik Ray continues to score enough points to maintain third – but being a week behind puts him out of sync with the sim-racers around him. Steven Eszenyi is just only three points behind Ray in the fourth spot, with Finland’s Iivonen rounding out the top five.
Dwayne Vincent keeps his nose above the rest of the Fixed Series competitors at the end of Week 13. After 32 starts Vincent has 3346 points with a staggering 5218 laps complete on the 13 tracks visited over the season so far! Bussa is around 100 points back in second with Tyler Hudson moving up to P3 with just over 3100 points to his name. Steven Gilbert and Conti finish out your top five with latter getting great results this week at Dover – too add to his success in previous weeks.
The next track the NASCAR iRacing Series is like no other oval on the calendar: Pocono Raceway. With The Tricky Triangle’s unique tri-cornered layout, and relatively long lap time, we hope to see some awesome action with the Chevy, Ford and Toyota Gen-6s. Will anyone be able to stop Conti? Check out iRacingNews next week for the latest action in the NASCAR iRacing Series at Pocono.