After a much-needed week off, the NASCAR iRacing Series was back in action at the famed Indianapolis Motor Speedway, offering the service’s top stock car racers a chance to kiss the bricks. Coming-in to the week Tyler D Hudson stood atop the series standings by 843 points over Landon Harrison.
Thursday was the first race of the week and the field was packed with the world’s best stock car sim-racers due to the fact that it coincided with Week 13 – aka Fun Week – enabling the NASCAR iRacing.com World Championship Series competitors to come out and play.
When it was time for the first grid of the week Brandon Hauck found himself-sitting on the front row on pole alongside of Ashley Miller. Hauck wasted no time showing how he got the pole for, as soon as the green flew, he was shot out of a cannon. Hauck lead almost to the halfway point in the race before 12th place starter Ray Alfalla worked his way to the lead on lap 40. The two-time NiSWC champion set sail after that point, bringing his car home first under the checkered flag just ahead of Jeremy Lukaszka with Hauck slipping to third at the finish. Harrison (P8) was able to make some ground in the first race of the week as Hudson had a bad night after slamming the wall a few times on the way to finishing in 20th spot.
Saturday was an action-packed day of sim-racing at the famed Brickyard, with two NiS drivers getting their chance to kiss the virtual bricks. The first race of the day saw Chris M Hall start from the pole with Jordan Werth to his outside. Hall would only lead seven laps before Werth got past and picked-up the most laps lead of the race (28) by the time the checkers flew. However, Kyle McCormick was the true class of the field after starting from the 17th spot and spending most of the race getting to the leaders. But when he got there he showed his was the car to beat and McCormick went on to the win with Marc Melcher coming-up just short in second. Third in NiS points, McCormick was able to gain some ground on leader Hudson and Harrison with his victory.
Saturday afternoon’s second race saw Simon Crochart claim the pole with Benjamin Burmeister on his outside. When the green flew Crochart wasted no time driving away from the field with Hudson and Lance Gomez Jr. tow. Crochart spent most of the 80 lap race fighting back and forth with Hudson (who led five laps) and Gomez (who led 13 laps). But neither Hudson nor Gomez had anything for Crochart when it mattered as he took the lead for the final time on lap 71 and went on to the checkered flag.
As Crochart crossed the line Hudson and Gomez Jr continued battling for the runner-up spot with the series leader making contact with Gomez, starting The Big One. Gomez was sent flying in the air over the pit wall, while Hudson came home in the second spot and added to his point lead after Thursday’s up and down race.
Sunday was the last day of racing at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, bringing the curtain down on Week 18 of the NiS. Pole-sitter Benjamin Burmeister and Matt Bussa started on the front row for the 80 lap race. Burmeister led the first 31 laps before handing the lead to Hudson on a round of green flag stops. The race was still green when Hudson pitted on Lap 55, with Brodie Kostecki making up time on the second round of green flag stops and taking the lead on Lap 67. He then held-off Hudson’s late race charge to win the final race of the week, with the second placed Hudson extended his points lead over Harrison despite the rough start to his week on Thursday night.
Week 19 sees the NASCAR iRacing Series make its second stop of the season at Pocono Raceway, with four races scheduled for Thursday, Saturday (two) and Sunday.