The Week Eight story in the NASCAR iRacing.com Tour Modified Series (NiTMS) turned into the strength of performances by two sim racers looking to move up the ladder in the Modified ranks. While Derrick Cormier2 scored the overall win of the week, it was Brett Osborn who took the top split race of the week. The story behind the two though was that they both made a half dozen starts or more each on the tricky Concord Speedway triangle configuration!
Osborn’s big win out of his eight starts during Round Eight came on Thursday’s 2774 Strength of Field (SoF) race. Osborn led just over a quarter of the 100-laps in the online race, which featured four cautions and saw two lead changes. Modified veteran Paul Wisniewski was second, followed by Jamie Collier, Jerold John and Darrell Pyrtle. Cormier started from the pole in this race and led the most laps (73) before fading to seventh at the finish. Like most drivers in the series on the week, the top three made multiple starts on the week which affected their weekly point total. Osborn finished the week with eight races contested, one win and 150 points, while Collier’s four starts netted him 136 points and fifth place for the week. Wisniewski made a handful of starts, winning in one of those races and collecting 134 points and sixth place amongst 73 sim racers in Round Nine.
Cormier’s top point total came during a 2732 SoF race on December Friday in which he drove his Tour Modified to victory lane. Cormier outlasted Taylor Meyn, Osborn, defending point champ Brandon Salvatore and Jerold John in the 100-lap race at Concord which featured three cautions. Four leaders swapped the lead four times with Salvatore leading the most circuits (78) on the tri-corner track. The pole sitting Cormier led just three laps. Meyn benefitted from this race as the Virginias Club member scored 156 points from this race, slotting him second overall for the week.
The third big race of the round resulted in another win for Cormier. The race tipped the scales at 2622 SoF and the New Yorker made it look easy, leading all but two laps of the event from the pole. Osborn was second by over a second, followed by Mike Daniel, Herb Engelhart and Christian Corriveau. Three cautions slowed the event and three lead changes took place in the race. When the digital dust settled for the week, Cormier finished atop the weekly standings with 162 points while Daniel also got a piece of the top five from the previous race, finishing fourth overall with 145 points.
Joining the winner’s club for the week at Concord were Cormier, Miller, Darin Loop (two wins each), Brent Thompson, Wisniewski, Osborn, Zach Brewer, Samuel Dick and John. Curt Hunter was the overall pole sitter with a time of 14.871 around Concord. Cormier was second in qualifying, followed by Salvatore, Osborn and Nathan McGee. Hunter also took top honors in Time Trials over Osborn, Austin Osborne, Larry Pyrtle and Jeff Sharp.
The NiTMS then headed to the Milwaukee Mile for Round Nine of the 12 week series. Wide Open Racing flexed their muscle at the one-mile track as they swept the podium in the top split race of the week. Salvatore ended up in victory lane in Thursday’s 3540 SoF race. One caution slowed the 75-lap event which saw the defending series champ lead wire-to-wire. Meyn came home second, followed by Engelhart, Cormier and Samuel Dick. Salvatore’s margin of victory was .220 seconds. Salvatore, Meyn and Engelhart each earned enough points in this race to take the top three spots for the week as they came home with 215, 193 and 172 points respectively.
Fourth overall for the week went to Darrell Pyrtle. Prytle gained his 142 points from Tuesday’s 2417 SoF race in which he ended-up in Victory Lane. Two cautions hindered the pace of the race which saw Prytle lead a third of the race from the pole. Mike Schrader finished second, followed by Rick Webster, Joseph Pascale Jr and Chuck Carter. Dick led the most laps of the race (36) before winding-up in seventh place.
Cormier completed the top five for the week at Milwaukee. Three starts resulted in 139 points in Week Nine, one of those starts was a win in a 2168 sof race on Thursday. One caution was seen during the race but it didn’t slow Cormier’s progress, as he led all 75 laps in the race. Osborn was second in the event, followed by Richard Woelkers, Craig Street and Robert Unglenieks. The margin of victory for Cormier was 2.8 seconds.
The only two time winner on Round Nine was Darrell Pyrtle. Salvatore, Corriveau, Engelhart, Cormier, Justin Chase, Dick and Tim Gould each saw their tickets to Victory Lane punched once. Salvatore topped the field of qualifiers with a time of 28.083 seconds at Milwaukee, a hundredth faster than that of Curt Hunter. Engelhart, Cormier and John completed the top five in qualifying. It was former champion Engelhart who took the top spot in Time Trials during Week Nine, besting Hunter, McGee, Osborn and Ray Farlow.
The point standings with three weeks to go see Engelhart up on second place Salvatore by 79 points, 1489 to 1410. Cormier is third, 316 points behind the leader with Meyn (1059) and Kevin Walker (1030) completing the top five overall. With his strong two weeks, Osborn closes in on Webster for the Division Two lead as it is just 38 points between those two, 1021 to 983. David Markham has a hold on Division Three while Craig Weagle has to be sweating after Round Nine as he only leads Neil Brimble by four points. Joe Gauthier, Joshua Spann, Kevin Sockow, David Ross, Jeffrey Haddock and Jeffrey Petit lead their respective skill-matched divisions from Divisions Five to Ten.
Next week the NASCAR iRacing.com Tour Modified Series heads south to the USA International Speedway. Can Salvatore close in as he bid to repeat as Tour Modified champ or can Engelhart become the first two-time champion of the series with a strong run at USA? Find out here next week at inRacingNews.
Until then, keep the hammer down and we’ll see you at the track!