Two races of the five round Championship Chase for the iSuperSpeedway.com Racing Series are in the books as of last Friday evening at the virtual Talladega Superspeedway. The iSuperChase grid, which was created by combining the drivers with wins on the year, along with any winless drivers in the top five in championship points before the chase began, was reduced significantly after the event that concluded the first round in the championship playoff at the hallowed grounds of Talladega, AL.
As a part of the three round title fight, featuring a two race long ‘Super 10’ Round to begin with, followed by another two race long ‘Superior 6’ Round before the final three go to Daytona as a part of the ‘Supreme 3’ where the highest finisher takes the title, officially eliminated the first four competitors from the chase. Via the iSuperChase grid rules, four of the 10 drivers will not continue on their championship quest’s, just as in NASCAR’s version of the playoffs which follow the same rules.
Win and you’re in: that’s the mentality all the sim racers who hadn’t visited victory lane through the season had pounded into their heads every week if they wanted to make it to this playoff . . . and now, to advance in the playoff. The Super 10 round featured no spoilers, as both races (Feature Race 14 at Daytona, and Feature Race 15 at Talladega) were won by drivers already in the Chase Grid. Although things were close for positions two-eight in points going into the final event of the first round, nobody moved above or below the cut line after Talladega.
Seth Demerchant who, after only making limited starts in Season 3 last year, made it clear he would come to play as a full time driver this year, took home the opening race in the Super 10 round. After qualifying for the chase by locking himself-in with a win, Demerchant captured trophy #2 that will read “Season 4 Feature Race Winner.” The race, Feature Event 14 the featured the B-Main and A-Main racing format, was only the second ever trip to the Daytona circa 2007 configuration of the famed World Center of Racing.
The other driver locking into the next round with a win in Feature event 15 from Talladega (race 2/2 on the round) was Rodney Wofford in the #7 Chevrolet. Although Wofford had already made the cut line on points alone (finishing in the top six of the 10 drivers through the two races), his third win on the year made him the winningest driver in Season 4. It could very well be fitting for the driver who may take home the most trophies on the year to take home the biggest one when it is all said and done.
Joining our two winners into Round 2, and through at least Races 3 and 4 in the title fight will be Inaugural iSuperSpeedway.com Racing Series Season 1 champion Frank Buccialia, the only previous champ still in the mix this season, along with Jason Oltmanns’ Ford Fusion and the Hannerick Motorsports duo of the #24 of Josh Hanner, and the #48 of Josh Ball. In order to separate the iSuperChase drivers from those who did not qualify, the 10 drivers who made the cut line before the Super 10 Round got underway now three weeks ago were all bumped up to 1,000 in the season’s standings. Each driver with a win was awarded a five point bonus for each win on the regular season. This will not be the case with the six remaining title hopefuls, as they will go into the Superior 6 Round all on an even playing field, now all escalated to 2,000 total championship points.
Those “going home” include Greg Hooks, Elliott Leach, Rob Mitten, and Mark Jorgenson Jr. Both Leach and Jorgenson missed the first race of the Super 10 Round, and entered Talladega 43 points behind the cut line, so both needed a win to advance. Leach’s P8 and Jorgenson’s P15 after a long green flag run through a cycle of green flag pit stops to the end left them out of the lead pack and destined to be denied in their efforts to make the cut. Mitten, who before penalty points after Daytona was only two points out of the magic number six spot to transfer, finished shotgun on the field in P27, well short of what was needed. The Season 3 Championship runner up in the first playoff featuring the Chase (without elimination rounds), Hooks was hoping to extend the bridesmaid trend in iSS that saw every single runner-up go on to win the next year’s title, but was unable to do so as a P19 result left him short of a transfer.
So two down and two to go. The Superior 6 Round of the iSuperChase begins this Friday, July 24th from Daytona and goes through next Friday at Talladega. These next two sim races will trim the now six driver chase grid down to just three, before sending them into the season finale all tied to determine the championship. With both races being the B-Main and A-Main qualification rules, the drivers will all be in familiar territory. Team gamesmanship could for sure come into play, and guarantees the nail biting acion all the way to the ‘Dega finish line on Friday.
Broadcast Schedule for iSS s4 Races 16-17 (Superior 6 Round)
Friday, July 24th 9:55pm EST LIVE on LSRTV from Daytona
Friday, July 31st 9:55pm EST LIVE on LSRTV from Talladega
For more information on the iSuperSpeedway.com Racing Series, visit isuperspedway.com.