Brandon Trost (6) makes the winning move on Connor Cross (3) at Kansas.

The ninth week of the IndyCar Fixed Oval Series took to smooth and fast Kansas Speedway. The 1.5 mile oval is among the newest circuits on the simulation and provided nose-to-tail action which saw 526 iRacers take to the grids for the week of 50 lap events.

The 3030 Strength of Field race saw three cautions and only two lead changes. Series point leader Ron Meier Jr (Midwest) started on pole position with Brandon Trost (Penn.) on his outside. The race got off to a slow start as Danny Roberts (Mid-South) got loose on the apron and brought-out the yellow although, fortunately, all and sundry escaped damage. The second green saw the drivers off to a great start, but the caution flags flew again when the Dallaras of Alex Saunders (Illinois) and Uldis Puteklis (CE-EA) made contact resulting in Puteklis retiring from the race on Lap Seven.

Meier started on pole and led the first 15 laps in front of a packed house.

The subsequent restart saw Meier sprint ahead of Connor Cross (Ohio) who overtook Trost for second place. Not content with P2, Cross overtook Meier on the low side on Lap 16 to grab the lead. Nor was that the only place changing hands.  Through the remainder of the race positions fourth and back were under constant fire as Dave Judson (Ohio), Jim Rasmussen (NJ), R Shewmake (Texas), Kingsbury and others battled constantly battling, forcing mistakes upon each other.

Schmölzer (5) tags Judson (1) while racing with Trost and Cross.

As Meier continued slipping back in the field, Trost made the move for the lead on Lap 35, demoting Cross to second spot. The final caution came a lap later, when Chris Welker (Mid-South) and Saunders spun out after contact on the backstretch but managed to keep their cars off the inside wall.

Trost restarted the race from the point and action ensued as drivers shuffled positions like a game of musical chairs. The game changer came on Lap 49.  Exiting Turn Two, Judson was spun by Michael Schmölzer (DE-AT-CH) and collected Cross as the rest of the field drove by safely without a yellow flag.  This opened the door for Trost to stretch his lead even as Kingsbury and Rasmussen jumped to second and third positions to cross the line for the final time. Shewmake came home fourth ahead of Meier, while Schmölzer held onto sixth position followed by Ray Kingsbury (NE) and Matteo Bortolotti (Italy), with Welker ninth and James Long (NJ) rounding-out the top ten.

Trost takes the low road — and the checkered flag — ahead of fellow apron-runners Kingsbury (8) and Rasmussen (14).

The point standings were really shuffled in Kansas, as some sim-racers made gains and others dropped positions. Meier now leads Trost by 69 points in what could possibly develop into a close fight for the championship.  While Matt Lambertson (PA) maintains third, 254 points off the leader, Matt A Kingsbury jumped to fourth position and is now only 32 behind Lambertson. Andreas Stratmann (DE-AT-CH) is hunkered down in fifth position ahead of Schmölzer, with Roberts just half a dozen points behind Schmölzer. Michael Armstrong2 (Indiana) is eighth, followed by Canada’s Matt Cooke (who only has seven weeks counted) while Bruno Le Doare (France) completes the top ten.

Week 10 of the IndyCar Fixed Oval Series takes the teams to another high speed track: Michigan International Speedway. The two mile oval hosted CART and, later, IRL races, that produced awesome rates of speed and its virtual counterpart looks to fulfill that need for iRacers.

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