At the conclusion of Season Two, the iRacing.com service took a one week break in the official racing action to deploy their newest updates which included new content as well as updates to the current content. One piece of content that was released was the Chevrolet Camaro—iRacing’s newest addition to the oval racing stable of racecars. The NASCAR Nationwide Series Camaro was introduced into the series in 2013, and has now made its way into the NASCAR iRacing Class B Series. The Camaro replaces the now defunct (at least in NASCAR) Impala, which was Chevrolet’s NASCAR Nationwide Series car since the introduction of the Nationwide car of tomorrow, which was introduced in 2010 and ran four events, followed by a full time effort in 2011.
The first event of 2014 Season Three brought 506 sim racers from all across the world to the virtual Iowa Speedway for some great side-by-side action at the 0.875-mile Rusty Wallace-designed speedway. Opened in 2006, Iowa Speedway has been host to ARCA, IndyCar, and NASCAR events since its gates first opened. With banking ranging from 12 to 14 degrees, the track is suitable for racing in multiple grooves, which make it a fan and driver favorite. One driver who probably lists Iowa among his favorite NASCAR circuits is this week’s top strength of field winner.
Driving the all new Chevrolet Camaro, Michigan native Kyle Crump led 34 of the event’s 50 laps en route to a 0.293 second margin of victory over Zack Novak (New England) to win the week’s top strength of field event. The third position was occupied by Randy Hedrick (Ohio). Hedrick started from the eighth spot and worked his way into the top three by the fall of the checkered flag in his No. 7 Ford Mustang. The fourth position was filled by Robert Perles (Pennsylvania), who started from the seventh on the grid in the No. 6 Camaro. The final spot in the top five belonged to Cody Hildebrandt (Texas) who started deep in the field (15th) and secured a top five finish in the No. 15 Camaro. The 3754 strength of field was slowed a dismal six times for caution for a total of 24 laps and saw two lead changes among two drivers.
With the victory in the week’s top strength of field event, Crump also earned the most championship points for the week with 237 as he looks to challenge for the Season Three championship. The second position for the week was filled by Logan Seavey (California), who netted 231 points after making five starts and recording four victories. After making four starts and recording two victories during the week, Justin Brooks II (Carolina) was able to accumulate 222 championship points for his efforts during the week. Joining the fellow one and done club this week was fourth place finisher Jeremy Lukaszka (Midwest). Lukaszka’s week included one start, which resulted in a second place finish and the accrual of 220 points. The final spot in the top five for the week went to EJ O’Rourke (New England) who ended the week with 217 points after making four stars and securing three victories. Since the season is only one week old, the weekly standings also reflect the current championship standings heading into Week Two at Watkins Glen.
To go along with his fifth place finish in the weekly standings, O’Rourke was also the fastest qualifier during the week. O’Rourke’s time of 23.166 put him in a very special club for the week by being the only driver in the 23.1 second bracket. The second place qualifier for the week was Ethan Lane (Carolina), who led the charge of the 23.2 second bracket with a time of 23.216 seconds around the 0.875-mile speedway. The third place qualifier was also the driver who earned the third most points for the week. Brooks’ time of 23.261 seconds was almost a full tenth slower than O’Rourke’s blistering pace, but was still good enough for the third spot overall. The final two positions in the top five were occupied by Kollin Keister (Atlantic) and Novak, with times of 23.263 and 23.265 seconds, respectively.
After spending Week One at Iowa Speedway, the NASCAR iRacing Class B Fixed Series heads to the twists and turns of Watkins Glen International for 15 laps of hard braking, high speeds, right turns, left turns, and plenty more. If you are not a fan of road racing, the next two weeks in the series may be upsetting to you. Following Week Two at Watkins Glen, the third week of action brings the series to Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course for 15 more laps of road racing action.