NASCAR iRacing.com Pro Series point leader Richie Davidowitz extended his advantage on Tuesday night by leading 24 laps en route to the win in Round Four of the online racing series at the Atlanta Motor Speedway. Davidowitz, driving the #25 Davis Technologies Chevrolet, used a late race caution to parlay pit strategy into his first win of the season. Patrick Baldwin recovered from a spin through the infield on lap seven to finish second with Brandon Buchberger scoring his best finish of the season to date with a third place run. Joshua Laughton led 19 laps early in the race but had to settle for fourth while Justin Thompson finished fifth after he spun the tires on a late restart on Lap 149, which kicked the #79 from second place back to outside the top five with 14 laps remaining.
Josh Connors started-off the event from pole position driving his #15 Tim’s Corner Motorsports Chevrolet. He started alongside Chris Overland driving the #47 JDR Graphics Chevrolet. Connors, whose qualifying lap of 28.572s earned him his first career pole in the NASCAR iRacing Pro Series, led the first 22 laps of the event before handing the lead over to Laughton’s #40 Gale Force Suspension Chevrolet. The lead would be exchanged fifteen times amongst nine drivers with Robert Hall leading the most laps by pacing the field for 43 laps. Hall led a majority of those laps at the commencement of a 94 lap green flag run, which began on Lap 50. Seven cautions slowed the event, with five of those taking place during those first 50 circuits.
When the caution finally flew on Lap 145 for contact between Jeremy Thornton and Jordan Erickson, it was Davidowitz up front. He pitted for four tires under the yellow flag, leaving the field in command of Laughton and Thompson. When Thompson spun his tires on the restart, Davidowitz moved into second. A quick caution set-up a dash to the finish when Jon Adams got loose, collecting a half dozen cars including front runners PJ Stergios, Daniel Pope II and Connors among others. It took one lap after the ensuing restart for Davidowitz to set-up Laughton for the winning pass on Lap 155 in Turn Three. Laughton brushed the wall existing Turn Four, securing Davidowitz’ maiden NASCAR iRacing.com Pro Series win.
“I just rode around taking it easy the first half of the race trying to stay smooth and focused on a good result,” said the winner. “We finally got a long green run and I was able to pick off cars one by one and eventually got in or near the top five. I had a solid green flag pit stop and came out third when it all cycled-out and quickly got in to second. I had more fuel then the leader and was able to stay out longer on the next stint, which was great for me because a caution came out. After pitting, I was sitting in third and the two cars in front of me were on 30+lap old tires. I took my time and got by them with ease, then I was able to hold off Baldwin the last 10 laps.
“I have to give a very big thank you to my teammates Kevin King, Marcus Lindsay, Daniel Pope II and Jordan Erickson. I was not able to test much at all for this race as I was getting ready for the Jason Trinca Memorial 48 race this past weekend. They sent me a solid base setup that I made very, very minor changes to for the race.”
Davidowitz leaves Atlanta with a 24 point advantage over Marcus Lindsey in the standings after four events, 167 to 143. The only two-time winner in the series, Lindsey came home a disappointing 15th at Atlanta. Matt Whitten and Landon Harrison sit tied for third in the standings with 128 points. Overland rounds-out the top five in the standings of 51 drivers to race early in this season with 126 markers.
The series now heads to the only short track on the 2011 schedule at the Richmond International Raceway. With the series already a third of the way completed, drivers hovering around the Top 25 bubble will have to start searching for points to lock themselves into the 2012 NASCAR iRacing.com Series World Championship. Of course, you can follow all the news from the NASCAR iRacing.com Pro Series on inRacingNews here each week!
Until next time, keep the hammer down and we’ll see you at the track!