Round 10 of the NASCAR iRacing Series headed to Talladega Superspeedway in the search of super close, action packed unpredictability – and that’s exactly what they found. Talladega is renown for its flat-out nature, with the wide tarmac available drivers found themselves 4-wide at several times during the race distance.
In the first of the Open races, Tyler Hill finished ahead of the rest, as he played his cards right – leading the one and only lap that matters, the last lap! Hill came from P12 at the start, using a combination of drafting and pit strategy to finish at the front. Matt Spangler came from P24 all the way to P2, showing that the old saying rings true: “Getting to the front is the easy part, staying there is where the challenges lie”. Jordan Werth took P3 away from Justin Bolton by .029s!
By winning the second race of the week – which had the highest SoF and therefore, the biggest amount of points handed out at Talladega, Steven Eszenyi was at the top of the table when it comes to this week’s standings. Eszenyi got himself to the front of the field, and stayed there to the end, leading 12 laps – which doesn’t seem to great, but when we talk about Talladega, relatively speaking 12 laps is a feat in itself. That said, the likes of Sheets, Schmidt, Hudson and Tucker also held the lead for around the same number of laps… but not at the checkered flag!
Patrick Crabtree took P2, just .024s behind Eszenyi, with Rattler and Sheets rounding out your Top 4.
The Final race of the week from an Open perspective, saw A licence driver Patrick Baldwin marginally beat NASCAR PEAK Antifreeze Series driver Robert Hall to the win. Baldwin lead an impressive 31 laps, and stayed at the front for the majority of the race. Hall was the fastest driver on the track by holding the fastest lap, however he couldn’t find a way past. Jason Yott managed a Top 3 place, when places are changing constantly at superspeedways such as Talladega, is still a great achievement. Thompson and Castro finished P4 and P5 respectively.
In the first of four Fixed races at Talladega – Brian Macklin sealed the win with a relatively large gap over Cullen Brown in P2, with .4s being the delta between the two. Jason Berg was a further .1s back in Third with the Top 3 all having incident free races. Andre Castro and Brenden Koehler headed out the top 5, with all top 5 gaining over 300 points for their results.
The second race traditionally has less splits and lower top split SoF, and this week was no different, giving drivers with lower iRating’s a chance to grab a good top split result. Mike Johnson did just that by leading the pack around the circuit and past the finish line – located just after the curve on the front stretch at Talladega. Jeroen Anema narrowly missed out on the victory, being just .056s behind Johnson – with P3 Steffen Nobis a further .020s back.
Simon Crochart found himself once again at the head of a 30 car field, winning against the likes of Hudson & Atchinson – some of the best oval simracers. Both Crochart and P2 Berg lead 15 laps of the 94 lap race, with Crochart scoring 323 points from the 5033 SoF. Jesse Atchinson in P3 was .3s behind Crochart at the finish – with once again all Top 3 running clean races. Tyler Hudson finished in P4, with Tyler Burgess just behind in fifth place.
The Final race at Talladega had a massive 17 splits, meaning that the top split was bound to have some nice points coming from it. Once again Open series winner Eszenyi brought his winning form from the Open series over to the Fixed setup series, capturing 368 points and consequently being the best in both series when it comes to Talladega. Calisto continued his good form by finishing in P2, with Lee Herron coming home in the third position. Berg and Coleman rounded out the Top 5, with Coleman taking the fastest lap of the online race.
Dwayne Vincent stood at the top of the Fixed standings after the Talladega week – Vincent has hardly moved out of the Top 5 at any point over the course of this series. NASCAR PEAK Antifreeze driver Matt Bussa holds P2 just 50 points back from Vincent, never forgetting the week he has in hand over Vincent. Michael Conti moves up to position number Three, racing the NASCAR iRacing Series alongside the DWC Championship. Conti is a further 120 points back from Bussa, showing that over 10 weeks of action the Top drivers have spread out a bit – i’m sure thats only a temporary thing! Steven Gilbert and Lionel Calisto round out your Top 5.
A full round up of the Open series will be featured in next week’s article, so be sure not to miss it as the standings could change out of the blue!
Next week, the NASCAR iRacing Series makes its way to Kansas, to have a go on the 1.5 miles ribbon of tarmac set out in the state. One of the newest additions to the NASCAR iRacing Series calendar, brings a new challenge to the simracers taking part in the series. Can Eszenyi continue his form into next week?
Be sure to check iRacingNews next week, for the lowdown of all the action occurring at Kansas.