Humpe Back in Victory Lane at Dover
June 3rd, 2015 by JaimeB
Kenny Humpe drove a nearly perfect race and returned to victory lane at Dover International Speedway for his fourth win in the 2015 NASCAR PEAK Antifreeze Series Powered by iRacing. Humpe held-off Justin Bolton on a green-white-checkered restart to secure the win. After starting second, Humpe overhauled polesitter and teammate Bolton 30 laps into the race. This wound-up being the only lead change of the race as Humpe led the final 170 circuits in yet another dominating performance to further enhance his commanding lead in the series points race.
Kevin King bounced back from some rough luck on restarts to claim third. Brad Mahar and Bryan Blackford finished fourth and fifth respectively, the first top five run of the season for each sim racer.
Bolton started on pole and looked to have a good car for the short run but as the laps wore on Humpe became stronger and Bolton let him go on Lap 31. Humpe built a sizeable margin over the next 35 laps before a spin by Brad Davies brought out the caution for the first time.
Humpe’s pit crew gave him a fantastic stop and allowed him to maintain the lead, giving him the clean air on the restart. Now out in the clear, Humpe took control of the race and jumped out to a half-straightaway lead over Bolton before the yellow flag waved again on Lap 113. The caution flew just inside the fuel window which eliminated fuel strategy from the equation.
As expected, the pace and intensity picked-up after drivers knew they could make it to the end on fuel. Humpe once again sprinted out to a comfortable lead but the battle for the rest of the top ten was close and competitive. Ray Alfalla, Nick Ottinger, and Tyler Hudson joined the fray as the race wore on and each looked to have the potential to finish in the top five.
Just as the field began to organize another yellow slowed the pace on Lap 154, erasing Humpe’s lead and drawing the leaders to pit for tires. Surprisingly, none of the lead lap cars stayed out on old tires, nor did any of the frontrunners gamble on a two tire stop for track position which allowed Humpe to maintain the lead off pit road for the third time.
The last quarter of the race was marred by several incidents which involved drivers who came into Dover high in the championship standings. Alfalla, Chad Laughton, Chris Overland, and Patrick Crabtree all found trouble. Laughton found the most trouble when he became involved in an incident after Cody Byus and Benjamin Burmeister made contact. Laughton wound up with serious damage and finished thirty-third.
All the trouble allowed Humpe to extend his lead in the championship which now sits at a whopping 76 points as the 2015 NASCAR PEAK Antifreeze Series hits the halfway point of the season. Alfalla remains second after late race contact cost him a top ten finish. Overland is third, 30 points back of Alfalla, after being shuffled out of the top five on a late-race restart. Laughton and Crabtree are tied for fifth and sit just a single marker behind Overland.
With half the season in the books, Humpe is clearly the class of the field. In eight races he has won four times to go along with seven top five finishes and three poles. His advantage in the laps led category is staggering: 664 laps compared to Laughton’s mark of just 153 laps . . . which is fewer than Humpe led at Dover alone.
The second half of the season kicks-off with the series’ annual visit to Michigan International Speedway, along with a new build which could slightly change the handling of the cars. Thus far, Humpe and his team have been churning out great setups week after week, but can they keep it up with the new build or will a new team find a package that can dominate? Tune into iRacing Live to catch all the action from MIS!