The iRacing.com IndyCar Oval series took to Las Vegas Motor Speedway for a high speed, high stakes game of poker at 220 miles per hour. Built in 1996, LVMS is a 1.5 mile D-shaped oval quite capable of providing side-by-side action, lap after lap. The high speeds at LVMS make for exciting and pulse-pounding online races that are almost sure to include a crash or two. The third week of IndyCar action saw some 1300 Dallara IndyCars take the grid at LVMS hoping to hold the winning hand and cash out a big winner.
This week’s fixed strength of field race of 3200 saw 22 drivers challenge for the win over a 50 lap continuous battle as no yellow flags were thrown during the race. In the end there were four drivers competing for the win ahead of a hungry pack as 17 drivers finished on the lead lap. The fastest lap of the race was set by Chris Welker (Mid-South) with a lap time of 25.157 seconds. As the laps wound down it was unclear who would win or even if the race would finish under green as Lap 48 saw Conor Cross (Ohio) and Eric Hansard (Florida) make contact, sending Cross into the wall hard, bending his chassis.
As the leaders came to the final corner it became clear the outcome hinged on a drag race between Andre Castro (NY) on the low line and Matt Lambertson (PA) alone on the high side which, in the final corner, does not automatically offer an advantage. Still, Lamberston successfully and surprisingly passed Castro on the outside of Turn Four to take the win despite leading just two laps of the race. Castro crossed the line .08 seconds later after leading 36 of 50 laps, with Tim Doyle (Atlantic) .03 seconds behind Castro. Erik Vanek (Ohio) was next to the flag, as .134s covered the top four finishers with Jim Rasmussen (NJ) heading the chasing pack in fifth, all of .544s behind Lambertson’s winning Dallara.
The fixed points standings see Vanek in the points lead with (554) ahead of Doyle (535) and Jonathan Goke (Mid-South; 520). As LVMS showed, fourth placed (518) Castro has the potential to fight for the championship as does Week Three points winner Lambertson (507).
The iRacing.com IndyCar Oval Open setup series points see Randy Crossno (California) in the lead (403) following Goke’s Week 3 absence. Second position is the Fixed Points leader Vanek (362) with Robert Blouin (Canada; 346) in third . Paul Jenkins (Illinois) has 343 points in fourth position. Fifth position (336) is Georg Naujoks (DE-AT-CH).
Tune in next week for coverage of the fourth week of iRacing.com IndyCar Oval action as the drivers blast into Indianapolis where cars will hit speeds upwards of 230 miles per hour trying to claim victory at one of America’s most prestigious tracks in a hope to drink the milk in victory lane.