With just five races remaining, the sands are starting to run-out on the first season of the NASCAR iRacing Series. Heading to this week’s four pack of online races at Talladega Superspeedway, newly-crowned NASCAR iRacing.com Series World Championship champ Tyler Hudson continued to enjoy a healthy lead in the standings over the second-placed Landon Harrison even as Jordan Westfall and Kyle McCormick continued to jockey for third place.
Thursday night saw the first race of the week with Logan Sheets capturing the pole with James Avalos starting on his outside. Qualifying on the front row did not go well for the two fastest qualifiers who were destined to lead just three laps during the race between them. On the other hand, a lot of other competitors could say the same as a dozen sim-racers led at least one lap in a race that was all about how you played your cards from start-to-finish race. The best poker players turned-out to be Joey Schmidt and Austin Atkinson, who started ninth and P25 respectively. The tandem wound-up battling for the win all the way to the line, with Schmidt taking the win by .027 seconds.
To everyone’s surprise, the event saw only two yellows over the 94 lap distance with the race’s one and only Big One coming on Lap 46. As far as the battle in the top spot in the points went, Harrison was the only competitor to run the opening race of the week and it did little to help him gain ground on Hudson as he came home P20.
Saturday was a race fan’s dream with two races for the NASCAR iRacing Series. Ben Hancock and Corey Hefley claimed the front row in the day’s opening contest. In contrast to Thursday’s race, the front row starters stayed out front much of the way as they led a total of 49 laps with Hefley cruising to the win over Hancock. Soon after Hefley’s win, the grid formed for race three of the week with David Rattler on the pole and Louis Sparks on his outside. Once again, starting on the front row proved to be of little value in what turned-out to be a true wild card race with 62 lead changes among 14 drivers. Although he led just six laps, Don English was the man out front when it counted, finishing ahead of Patrick Davis Jr, William R Harris and Michael Patton as the top four were covered by little more than a tenth of a second.
Sunday, the last night of racing for the NASCAR iRacing Series at Talladega, saw Austin Lamberth win the fourth and final pole of the week with Jason Loy on his outside. Once again, it looked to be anyone’s race right from the start until the very end when Timmy Hill Motorsports teammates Justin Fuller and Ian Hann where able to open-up a lead. Fuller ultimately took the checkered flag in the final superspeedway race of the NiS season after leading 19 laps, with Hann in second ahead of Jordan Westfall while Harrison finished tenth, 3.4s back.
Thanks in part to the fact that Hudson was a no-show at Talladega, Harrison’s tenth place finish enabled him to gain a little bit of ground in the NiS standings. Harrison hopes to keep chipping away at Hudson’s lead next week as the series heads to “The Tricky Paper Clip” (aka Martinsville Speedway) with only four weeks left in the season.