NASCAR iRacing.com Series World Championship driver Thomas Hazard had a pretty busy past week. The stretch started victoriously with the Midwest sim racing club driver driving his car to victory lane in the NiSWC event at the Bristol Motor Speedway. Five days later, he drove his NASCAR iRacing.com Class C Series (NiCCS) truck to the winner’s circle at Pocono Raceway, a win which proved to be enough to take top honors over the seven days of racing at the Pennsylvania racetrack known as the Tricky Triangle.
Hazard made two starts on the week, winning in his second on the final day of competition. In fact, Hazard led only one lap in the fifty lap event but that lap paid 262 points in the 4196 Strength of Field (SoF) race. He topped familiar names such as Kenny Humpe, Brian V Macklin, Michael Main and Jody Green for the win. Fellow NiSWC driver Josh Berry led 36 of the 50 laps before being awarded an eleventh place finish in the race. Humpe’s runner-up finish in the race would also be good enough for the runner-up position when it came to tallying up points for the week as his only start was enough to garner 247 points.
Kevin King came home in third for the week, winning twice in three starts to amass 236 points. His biggest win came on the first night of racing during a 3256 SoF race in which he led 34 laps and came across the line ahead of fan favorite Jon Adams, Richard Beasley, Tyler Laughlin and Alex Warren. The race only brought King 203 points though, 66 points less than his second place effort on March 20th. Kenneth OKeefe was the winner of that race, leading half of the fifty laps. Following behind King was Justin Fuller, NASCAR Nationwide Series driver Timmy Hill and Austin Hartenfels. The race carried a 4566 SoF rating and would have been good enough for OKeefe to grab the overall win for the week with 285 points but the true racer in OKeefe won out as the Eastern Canadian driver raced seven times, winning in three of those races.
Hartenfels’ start on the 20th was good enough to grab fourth place overall while Chase Paduano swept up fifth after the seven days of racing in Pennsylvania. Paduano ran one race during Week Seven and was successful in picking-up a checkered flag. Hazard in his win, Paduano led one lap in the 3435 SoF race, besting Douglas Bell, Jesse Crane, Michael Sweeney and Justin Thomas. Thomas led 27 of the laps in the race, which took place on the first full day of competition.
Six drivers had more than thirty starts during the week at Pocono Raceway, with Jim Glennan topping the charts with an even forty. Tony Ruberti, Pedro Carvalho, Alan Jones, Robert Bland and Maxx Harris each tipped the scales at thirty plus starts, while Paul Beardmore topped his 1305 peers with eight wins at the tricky triangle. Patrick Baldwin came home with a lucky seven in the win column while Douglas Bell, Billy Wease, Fuller and Mark Smith each put five victories on the board. LD Hurst led the most laps during the week with 365 while Glennan completed the most laps with 1679 (an average of nearly 42 laps a start!).
Baldwin was the fastest driver in Pocono when it came to qualifying as the Connecticut driver posted a quick time of 53.395 seconds. Jared Crawford was second with Humpe, OKeefe and David Krikorian rounding out the top five.
The standings saw a shake-up as Tyler D Hudson vaulted back to the top of the heap after Week Seven. Hudson holds a nineteen point advantage on Hill as the drivers leave the Pocono mountains. Paduano is shown in third with NiSWC driver Joshua Laughton and Tim Axton completing the top five. Former top five driver Parker Hammons did not race in Week Seven and fell to ninth in the standings.
Division Two leader Kyle Larson (21st) and Division Four front runner William Lark (19th) are the only two division leaders to be in the top thirty overall after seven weeks of racing. Division Three is led by Dean Heck with Divisions Five through Eight being led by Jay Adair, Harold James, Michael Atkins Jr. and Bill Schoonover. Jeff Ramsdell leads Graham Laster by eighteen markers in Division Ten while it’s a dead heat in Division Nine as Greg Venable and Scott Anderson are tied with 528 points.
Crawford was the man when it came to Time Trials as well. He set the pace in the ten lap, beat-the-clock competition besting Norbert Sulzer, Jason Vannatta, Michael Tasillo and Mark Russell. A total of 153 drivers took the chance to race against the clock in Time Trials at the Pocono Raceway.
Vannatta’s lead in the Time Trial standings is now 33 over Pingel after seven weeks. Jeremiah Coder sits in third with Tasillo and Russell completing the top five. Tasillo is the leader in Division Two with Pingel showing the way in Division Three. Division Nine’s Terry Allen2 sits eighth overall with Division Four’s Walter Holmes in eleventh. Michael Quayle2 is twelfth among the 1056 Time Trial drivers but first in the fifth division while Mike Larsen is tops in Division Ten and fourteenth in the bigger picture. Completing the division leaders are Troy MacLean (Division Six), Bobby Ingersoll (Division Seven) and Jeffrey Kruize (Division Eight).
Next week the drivers of the NiCCS will tackle the Texas Motor Speedway. Who will triumph in the Lone Star State and who will find themselves digging themselves out of a hole as drop weeks loom and a championship only five weeks away? Be here at inRacingNews to find out.
Until then, keep the hammer down and we’ll see you at the track!