Robert Sandt and Brandon Salvatore both know what it means to win a championship in the NASCAR iRacing.com Tour Modified Series (NiTMS). Both have demonstrated speed and consistency in the past to win those prestigious online racing titles and in the past two weeks of 2012 Season One, both have shown strength to take away weekly wins. Sandt showed the way at the South Boston Speedway during Round Six while two-time and defending series champ Salvatore topped the field at the Phoenix International Raceway.
Sandt scored two wins on the week at “SoBo,” with the big one coming in the top split of the week on March 7th. The race, rated at a 3734 Strength of Field (SoF), saw Sandt leading 81 of the 120 laps of a race slowed by four caution flags. Shawn Colley was second, followed to the line by Trent Hullum, Richard Smith5 and Mike Daniel. Sandt scored 235 points for the win to put him on top for the week while Colley’s 221 points earned in this race placed him second overall for the week at South Boston.
Giovanni Mungin kept up his bid to claim his first NiTMS championship with a 215 point effort at SoBo. He won a 3426 SoF race on March 7th in which he led all but six laps en route to the win over Herb Engelhart, Samuel Dick, TJ Graves and David Markham. Three cautions slowed the event with just two lead changes between Mungin and Dick setting the pace at the front. Mungin’s nearest competitor in the points, Taylor Meyn, recorded a win of his own which was worth 211 points on March 10th, in which Mungin finished third. Mungin led 94 laps in the 3429 sof race but it was Meyn taking the win after pacing the field for five laps. Brett Osborn was second with Paul Wisniewski and Gary Holbrook coming home in fourth and fifth places, respectively.
David Chmura made the most starts of the week at the Virginia track with eight. Sandt, Jerold John, Wisniewski and Chmura each turned in two victories during Round Six while Christian Pedersen, Derrick Cormier2, Dick, Meyn, Mungin, Carl Suundberg, Johnathan Dockery, Greg Ostrander and TJ Graves each took one trip to victory lane. The quickest in qualifying was Mungin with a 14.108 second lap around SoBo, with Sandt, Dick, Salvatore and Jamie Collier completing the top five in qualifying. The top Time Trial honor for Round Six went to Osborn as he defeated Dick, Shane Kline, Salvatore and Tim Gould in the weekly standings.
From the bullring to the one-mile sweeping turns of Phoenix International Raceway, the NiTMS headed west for Round Seven of the series and it was Salvatore showing the way. In fact, the 4325 sof race he won decided four of the top five spots for the week. Salvatore led a third of the race’s 75 laps and defeated Engelhart by a half second at the flag to take the win. Mungin led the other two thirds of the race but had to settle for third, in front of Dick and Smith5. For the win, Salvatore took home 267 points and topped the charts for the week, while Engelhart and Mungin’s 246 and 225 point totals let them round out the podium for the week at Phoenix.
David Colley answered the most calls to the green flags of the week with 10 starts in the Valley of the Sun. Shawn Colley and Osborn each took two wins from Phoenix while Christopher Bream, Larry Pyrtle, David Jaques, Dylan Casey, John, Bruce Hilton, David Colley, Tony Godwin, James Poleske, Cormier2, Richard Woelkers, Mungin, Rich Zimmerman, Royce Valley and Andrew Dairaghi each joined the win list with a single victory at Phoenix. Mungin took the pole for the second straight week with a time of 26.597 seconds around PIR with Salvatore, Meyn, Dick and Cormier2 taking the top five spots. Time Trials saw Osborn top the charts over Kline, Hullum, Gary Holbrook and Gould.
After his efforts in the last round at Phoenix, Mungin heads into Round Eight with a five point lead over Meyn, 1496 to 1491. Third in the standings is Salvatore with 1235, followed by Division Two leader David Markham (1077), as he leads Cormier2 overall by just one point for fourth. Divisional leaders include Noel Parker, William Kabela, David Schamp, Timothy Finnegan, David MacDougall, James Falcon Pratt, Curtis Berleue and Nicholas Maxwell. Some point battles are closer than others as Parker only has two points on Justin Chase in Division Three, Schamp has a five point advantage in Division Five over David Ross and MacDougall’s Division Seven advantage is only a dozen points.
Next up for the NASCAR iRacing.com Tour Modified Series is the high banked, high excitement of Bristol Motor Speedway. With a championship hanging in the balance, every point and every race counts as we head towards crowning a 2012 Season One champion. You can follow all the action here at inRacingNews.
Until then, keep the hammer down and we’ll see you at the track!