USA International Speedway was the stomping grounds for the first week of the NASCAR iRacing.com SK Modified Series. Many highly-ranked drivers came out to exercise their chance at jumping to an early points lead while mixing with some drivers in the sub 2000 iRating range.
Eric Hamilton started on pole for the 2326 SoF race with John Minotto on the outside pole. Into Turn One both Traves and Stan Bragg Jr were able to work their way by the #3 of Minotto and move into second and third respectively. The track conditions threw the sim-racers a couple of curveballs as competitors suffered severe oversteer in the middle of the first two corners as well as some uncharacteristic understeer in Three and Four. The culprit seemed to be the wind. Some drivers resorted to a line change while others utilized the apron and some throttle control to get around the track quicker. It didn’t take long for chaos to ensue, however, as multiple drivers were involved in an early crash in Turns One and Two.
Terrie Blackburn narrowly escaped the early crash but Brent Thompson bent the front of his chrome horn back into some crucial components of the #12 car and was forced to pit. Both Jason VanKleeck and Alex Reece suffered major damage from the crash. VanKleeck tried to continue on but his car bottomed out entering Turn One sending him into a slide and then barreling into the wall causing even more damage. The craziness did not stop there however. Minotto spun and was able to get his car back going again. However when the field came up to lap him, John Schilling got into the back of Rick Webster causing another casualty.
The on-track action continued and by Lap 12 Hamilton had opened-up a sustainable lead. Meanwhile Bragg had worked his way closer to the second place Traves when a mistake which sent Traves’ car into a slight slide. The resulting loss of speed enabled Bragg to launch an attack on the inside into Turn Three. Using the apron to turn his car on entry, Bragg pulled even with his opponent out of Turn Four. Eventually Traves worked his way up to Bragg and regained the second spot, but only by means of using his own bumper to upset the Bragg’s car out of the corner. Bragg now set his sights on regaining the position from Traves. With just under half of the race remaining Bragg had made up all lost time and Traves made a mistake of his own allowing for Bragg to slip by with ease out of Turn Two.
As all of that action unfolded up front, John Minotto took himself out of the race on Lap 31 with another self-spin. John Milwain was set in a long term battle with Jonathon Burrow2, but as the pair battled side by side the latter got loose and collected the wall, dropping him down the order.
Back at the front, Bragg picked-up the pace in the closing laps and closed on Hamilton. However, he ran out of laps as Hamilton took the win by just under a second, whileTraves clocked in third, a car length behind Bragg. Milwain took the fourth position followed by Austin Trombley, the final sim-racer to go the full distance. Webster finished two laps down in sixth, while Schilling and Adam West both finished three laps down in seventh and eighth. Burrow2 crossed the stripe eight laps down and the last car running in ninth. Minotto, Reece, Blackburn, Thompson, and VanKleeck were all victim to on-track incidents.
With Martinsville next on the schedule, the chrome horn can be expected to play a featured role in Week Two. Check back next week at iRacingNews.com to see if any more carnage has unfolded.