Heath Hindman has turned the NASCAR iRacing.com Class C Series into his own personal playground in the past two weeks. While other sim racers racked-up wins and top finishes at Pocono Raceway and Michigan International Speedway, Hindman had the point picture in mind as he rocketed up to the top of the standings after the eighthh round of 2012 Season One.
Hindman’s Week Seven triumph came on March 17th during a 3499 strength of field (sof) race at Pocono. Hindman led 15 of the 50 laps of the race after starting in 12th place and finished two seconds up on Craig Jernigan at the finish. Mark Wright was third, followed by Tony Monge and Richard Hillenburg. Mason Weitzel started on the pole and led four laps before falling to 15th place in the finishing order. Wright led the most laps as he paced the field for 18 laps in a race which featured four yellow flags. Hindman scored 216 points for the victory.
Second for the week at Pocono was Stephen Dotson. Dotson, who represents the Indiana club, won a 3182 sof race on March 16th (also) from the 12th starting spot. Dotson led the final eight laps after taking the top spot in the only lead change in the event from pole sitter and second place finisher Jimmy Helie. Randall Robertson was third in the race while Jeff Chandler and Brad Bubel rounded-out the top five. The race saw five yellow flags slow the tempo of an online race that netted Dotson 197 championship points for the win.
Third for the week went to Bubel after he went on to win a 2903 sof race later on March 16th. Bubel led only the most important lap in the race, taking the lead on the final lap and creating the sixth lead chance in the event. Michael McLain led 12 laps and finished second, crossing the line ahead of Michael Vandish, Douglas Lemire. Weitzel once again started from the pole and led 30 of the 50 laps in the event but was out before the finish in 15th place. Bubel, who started sixth in the five caution affair would be rewarded with 182 points for his efforts on the Tricky Triangle.
Nick Ritcey made the most starts of the week, appearing in 34 races at Pocono. Jason Richardson was the most successful in hunting checkered flag as the New England sim racer collected eight wins in Pennsylvania. David Krikorian was the quickest in qualifying, lapping the big track in 55.454 seconds. Championship contender Justin Brooks was second, followed by Cody Byus, Brian Viola and Weitzel. Bill Brown was the top Time Trial competitor for the week over Chris Allex, Kenville Inniss, Dustin Bartee and Paul Conway.
When it came to Week Eight, Hindman was the top when it came to the points as he amassed 248 points in his win at MIS. His triumph came on March 21st during a 3937 sof race in which Hindman led 25 of the 65 laps after starting third. Alan Gray, who led 37 laps from the pole, finished second, ahead of Austin Lamberth, Greg McKinney and Richard Beasley. The race saw two caution periods and three lead changes amongst four drivers.
“I was digging in the final two laps . . .” — Jordan Hightower.
The top split race of the week was rated at 4347 sof and took place on March 23rd. Jordan Hightower started fourth on a green-white-checkered finish and ended up in victory lane after leading only one lap of the event – the last one. “I was digging in the final two laps,” said Hightower, who started in 13th place in the race, which saw four cautions. Chad Coleman was second, followed by Jeremy Thornton, who won six races in 12 starts at Michigan. Completing the top five were Kevin King and Beasley, who run similar paint schemes on their race trucks. While the top three went on to make multiple starts on the week which would play into their point total, King, who celebrated the birth of his first child on the weekend, was awarded with 228 points on the week and second place amongst 1,488 drivers.
Pat Baldwin was third on the week after his two win performance in four starts resulted in 222 points at Michigan. His biggest win of Round Eight came on March 24th during a 3620 sof race where he led 24 laps en route to the victory after starting in tenth place. Mike McKinney was second, followed by Mitchell Kelley, Mike Burnell and pole sitter Brandon Hauck, who led 17 laps. Three caution flags and nine lead changes set the tone for the race.
Jason Richardson made the most starts of the week at the two mile oval as he raced 39 times at Michigan. He turned those 39 starts into 11 wins, the most of any driver in the Irish Hills. Brooks set the pace in qualifying with a lap of 39.761 seconds. Michael Guest, Brian Viola, David Krikorian and Hunter Davis completed the top five in qualifying. Brown took the top spot in Time Trials over Milt Matice, Edward Szigeti, David Ankeney and Chris Allex.
Hindman has went to the top of the board when it comes to the standings with 1454 points, 68 more than Brooks, who has 1386 points. Jernigan, Division Two leader has 1368 points and is currently ahead of a three driver battle for fourth overall involving Phil Brown (1186), Trey Jarrell (1184) and Hauck (1183). Divisional leaders from Divisions Three to Ten include Tom Moustakas, Brock Garis, Rock Harris, Michael Valentin, Fausto Bessa Gomes, Robert Cori, Sean Cummings2 and Robert Mason2.
Next up for the series is “the Paperclip” as the NASCAR iRacing.com Class C Series heads to the Martinsville. Who will come out of the shortest venue of the season on top of their peers? Find out here at inRacingNews as the series heads towards crowning a 2012 Season One champion.
Until next time, keep the hammer down and we’ll see you at the track!