The fight for the second group of drivers to make the 2011 Pro Series officially kicked-off last week at Darlington Raceway with the opening week of NASCAR iRacing.com Class A Series action. The Class A hopefuls did not exactly storm out of the gates, with current NASCAR iRacing.com Series World Championship sim racers filling-in four of the top five spots. Nonetheless, the battle is on, and new names will surely rise to the top.
In one of the closest races of the week, NiSWC regulars John Gorlinsky and Richie Davidowitz battled it out until the end in a caution-filled battle of attrition. Gorlinsky came out with the win after after very close racing ended Davidowitz’s bid with seven laps remaining. Kevin Bouhalassa snuck up into second late, and Rick Savage rounded-out the top three.
NiSWC front-runner Ray Alfalla won the biggest race of the week on Sunday. Despite a 27 car field, the race’s Strength of Field was still a staggering 5400. That means a lot of seriously capable drivers were in the mix for a big win. Yet another NiSWC ace — Josh Parker — led the most laps (49), but Alfalla was there when it counted to lead 25 laps en route to the 337 point victory. Gorlinsky had another strong run finishing third while Patrick Baldwin started his bid for Pro with a solid fourth and one of the nicest guys in the garage — David Cater– had a very impressive race to finish fifth.
Another NiSWC competitor, Brian Schoenburg had the most wins at Darlington in Week One, with four victories in his six starts. Patrick Fogel (NiSWC) and Justin Kirby were the only other drivers to earn more than one win on the week. Schoenburg also led the most laps on the week with 263, Steve Sheehan (NiSWC) had 160 and Patrick Baldwin had the third most laps-led with 129.
Next week the Class A Series will take on the Monster Mile: 24 degree banked Dover International Raceway. This track will challenge drivers with a steep elevation change on entry to the corners, and a lack of rear grip on the exit. The cream will undoubtedly begin to rise to the top, next week at Dover.