Only days away from crowning its first champion, the NASCAR iRacing Series rolled into Texas for Week 32. Overall leader Tyler D Hudson came into the Lone Star state with a 671 points lead over second place Landon Harrison, while Jordon Westfall sat atop a closer battle for the third spot, only 252 points over Kyle McCormick before the week’s four online races at Texas Motor Speedway.
The action started Thursday night with Darrel Wilson grabbing the week’s first pole with David Rattler on the outside pole. The race would be a tale of ups and downs for the two front row sim-racers, with Wilson’s dominant Chevy SS leading all but 18 of 167 laps and taking the win from Justin Bolton and Casey Tucker. The other front row starter – Rattler — had a much different type of race, as he ended-up coming home in P27, two laps down. At that he fared much better than Harrison, who started from P15 and had worked his way up to ninth when the checkered flew. The only other driver in the battle at the top of the points enter the race was McCormick, who started P17 and come home tenth.
A packed day of racing in the Lone Star state on Saturday saw two races on the virtual 1.5 mile speedway. Race one of the day got underway in the early morning hours with Harrison Widelitz grabbing the pole from Jere Seppälä. After Widelitz led the field to the green he looked to be the man to beat for the remainder of the race; that is until Jordan Werth made his move as the laps were running-out. He took the lead with 35 laps to go and never looked back, taking the checkers .125s from Widelitz with Benjamin Truflandier in third.
A few hours later, the third race of the week rolled-off with Christopher Shella on the pole and Benjamin Truflandier on his outside, looking to improve on his earlier finish. The front row starters battled for the lead from the drop of the green flag until Hudson made it to the lead on Lap 31 from his P18 starting spot. Hudson went on to lead 109 laps, but not the one that mattered. Truflandier never let Hudson out of his sight and was able to work his way back into the lead on Lap 147 and motor to the win over Hudson and Shella. Although he was denied the win, Hudson padded his lead over the absent Harrison in the overall standings.
Sunday saw the final night of racing at TMS with Wilson backing-up his Race One win by grabbing his second pole of the week from Joshua Laughton. Wilson led in the early going before yielding to Micheal Conti with Hudson in close attendance. Although Conti would go on to lead 108 laps, a problem on his final pit stop cost him dearly and he slipped to seventh place at the finish. Although Harrison took over the lead in the latter stages of the race, he too was destined for a disappointing finish as Hudson charged past on Lap 155 and set sail for the win, eventually coming home ahead of Laughton, Danny Hansen and Wilson, with Harrison dropping to fifth.
While Hudson departed the Lone Star state the presumptive NiS champion, the battle between Westfall and McCormick is still too close to call with less than 100 points separating the two as the series rolls west to Phoenix International Raceway for the penultimate week of the season.