Yes, the puns are back one final time this season, as the three driver battle raced their way to the virtual beaches of South Florida to “Crown” the champion to Season 1 of the iRacing Silver Crown Cup. Heading to Homestead-Miami Speedway, Brandon Buchberger had a 39 point lead ahead of last Thursday’s race, and only had to beat Paul Williams and Vinnie Sansone to clinch the title. After dismal qualifying by all three sim racers, work needed to be done for any one of the three to clinch the title.
As pole-sitter Thomas Wargula led the field to the green, Sansone was a distant five rows away, starting P9. Williams and Buchberger needed a telescope to see the front, as they shared the sixth row, starting 11th and 12th respectively. As typical Silver Crown pack racing was expected, it wasn’t until the back half of the sim-race before a second line began to form. Many drivers took the first 30 laps as a way to feel out their cars, and to plan their strike to win. But once the two-by-two sim-racing began, the beasts could not be tamed.
Thursday’s sim race featured five different leaders combining to the full distance of 67 laps. The pole-winning Wargula led the most laps (21) despite his dismal seventh place finish. Ryan Steele lead three, one less than Brett Reynolds. George Hagon hopped to the lead early, crossing the start/finish line in first 19 times. However, the driver to beat for the last 15 laps was Jeffery Mays, who lead 20 laps en route to his victory.
After Mays took the checkered flag, a championship still needed to be won. Williams fell short, coming home third in the race as well as the championship, 46 points behind the winner. With Buchberger’s runner-up finish, Sansone would need a top five to take the title. As the laps counted down, it was a six car race to the checkers. As Mays held the top spot, and Buchberger held his own in second, Williams, Steele, and Reynolds forced three-wide on the backstretch on the white flag lap, leaving Sansone with no room. As they came to the checkers, Sansone could not get by Reynolds nor Steele. Thus Sansone finished sixth, and Buchberger won the 2014 Season 1 championship of the iRacing Silver Crown Cup by an incredibly slim two points.
With Buchberger holding the trophy high, other drivers need to be highlighted for their performances this season, starting with the other two championship contenders: Sansone and Williams. Sansone definitely showed his dominance this season, leading 799 laps, more than 100 more then second on the list, Wargula (665). Williams had an extremely consistent season, holding an average finish of third. On top of these outstanding stats, George Hagon takes the Iron Man award, completing more laps than anyone else in the entire series. Hagon crossed the line 2774 times, ahead of second place Brian Elmore (2385). Other feats this season include Hagon once again. He started in 39 official races through 12 weeks, averaging a little over three races a week! Wargula sat on the pole twice as many times (14) as second place Sansone.
Big thanks to all who participated this season, and hope to see you and some new faces next season! Thanks for your continued support through this season as well, hope for many more successful seasons to come!