With Paul Kusheba claiming the NASCAR iRacing Class C Fixed championship for the last season of 2013, thousands of sim racers are eager to hit the virtual Pocono Raceway to begin Season One 2014 with a bang. With over 1,700 racers attempting at least one race during Week One, it was easy to see that many racers were enthusiastic about starting the season with a good finish at the Tricky Triangle. Regarded among both real and sim racers as one of the most difficult oval tracks on the NASCAR circuit, it’s always a struggle for some and a success story for others.
One success story for the week took place during the week’s top strength of field event, which saw Jarl Teien (Scandinavia) drive his No. 7 Silverado into Pocono’s victory circle after a dominating performance in the Pocono Mountains. Teien led all 25 of the event’s laps en route to a 0.342 second margin of victory over Finnish sim racer Teemu Iivonen. Frequent NiCCF Series competitor Jordy Lopez Jr (New Jersey) stayed true to his roots and he once again place his truck inside the top three after starting from the 11th position in the No. 4 machine. Jason Jacoby (Georgia) started his No. 1 truck from the fourth position and wasn’t able to make any ground up in the final standings, finishing in the fourth spot. The final spot in the top five was filled by William Dick (Carolina), who drove his No. 14 Silverado into the top five after starting in the ninth position. The 4084 strength of field saw the caution flag fly two times for a total of seven laps and included no lead changes.
Even though Teien won the week’s top strength of field event, he was no able to score the most points for the week due to running 17 races. Matthew Wright2 (New York) took top honors for the week with a total of 256 championship points after making four starts and recording one victory. Chad Coleman (Georgia) made just one start during the week, but he made it a good one as he took the victory after a late race accident between the frontrunners. The aforementioned Teien made 17 starts and recording victories in 10 of them, resulting in a point total of 232 points for the week. NASCAR iRacing Series World Championship competitor Josh Berry (Mid-South) took the green flag for one event during the week, which resulted in a victory and the accumulation of 227 points. The final spot in the top five went to Lopez Jr who started 10 events during the week and accumulated 218 points in the process.
Hot lapping at the Pocono Raceway is one of the toughest qualifying sessions of the season. The raceway houses three unique turns, which presents a challenge to those who choose to attempt to tackle the beast. As already proven Teien has no issues navigating the 2.5-mile raceway and that once again proved evident as he earned the top spot in qualifying for the week with a time of 56.897 seconds. Ryan Lowe (Virginias) was the second fastest qualifier with a time of 56.929. NiSWC competitor Brandon Hauck (Canada) concluded Week One in the third spot with a time of 56.955 seconds. Danton Dressler (Pennsylvania) filled the fourth spot and was the last driver in the 56-second bracket with a time of 56.980. The final spot in the top five went to Josh Weinrich (Plains) with a time of 57.038.
With Week One now in the books, the series will head to Kentucky Speedway for 35 laps of action around the 1.5-mile speedway located in Sparta, Kentucky. Check back in a week’s time for a full recap of the action from the Bluegrass State.