Fast and bumpy Kentucky Speedway hosted Week 8 of the iRacing.com IZOD IndyCar Series.

Week Eight week of the iRacing.com IZOD IndyCar Oval Fixed Series saw the drivers and teams head to Kentucky Motor Speedway. The bumpy 1.5 mile oval may have 14 degrees of banking, but the track surface pushed the sim-racers to find every little bit of grip they could from their Dallara IndyCars in the final corners.

Fourteen drivers took a part in the 2956 Strength of Field event which went flag- to-flag without a caution. Sparks did fly, however, as a few cars suffered damage during the course of the 50 lap event.

The online race started-off calmly with point leader and pole-sitter Ron Meier Jr (Midwest) leading Matt Cooke (Canada) and Matt Lambertson (PA) in single file, soon to be joined by Matt A Kingsbury (NE) who passed Henry White (Carolina) and Danny Roberts (Mid-South) on the outside to link-up with the top group.

Meier Jr and Lambertson lead the field to green.

The online race started-off calmly with point leader and pole-sitter Ron Meier Jr (Midwest) leading Matt Cooke (Canada) and Matt Lambertson (PA) in single file, soon to be joined by Matt A Kingsbury (NE) who passed Henry White (Carolina) and Danny Roberts (Mid-South) on the outside to link-up with the top group.

Following in Kingsbury’s wake, Mark Shaffer (West) began battling with Roberts and eventually made the pass, leaving Roberts to deal with Adam Dock (Texas) before the latter slammed the wall, ruining his car’s pace.

Shaffer (5) dives under Roberts (11) during his charge to the front.

Up at the front, Meier opened a gap after Cooke and Lambertson got close and personal when Lambertson nearly skirted the wall.  Lambertson’s “moment” enabled Cooke and Kingsbury to break away and attempt to chase Meier down. Cooke and Kingsbury reached Meier by Lap 15 and the battle was joined.  Cooke went past Meier for the lead four laps later, while Kingsbury stuck it deep and tried to take first place for himself.  Instead, he fell back to third with Lambertson now looming in his mirrors.  The ensuing dice for P3 would not last long as Kingsbury and Lambertson made wheel-to-wheel contact on Lap 23, sending Lambertson into the outside wall and ending his night.

Lambertson’s demise left Meier, Cooke and Kingsbury battling side-by-side for the top three spots even as a dark horse emerged in the person of Shaffer, who inched his way closer to the leaders as the laps wound-down.   With Meier and Cooke going at it for the top spot, Shaffer closed to within striking distance when  a close call forced both leaders to lift.  Shaffer and third-placed Kingsbury both tried to shoot the middle gap, but Shaffer got there first and cleared for the lead. Into the following corner Cooke received a nudge from behind from Kingsbury, tweaking the Canadian’s rear wing and relegating him to fourth position with five to go. Although Meier regathered his momentum and hunted-down Shaffer in the final laps, he came up second best in an electrifying finish that saw Shaffer take the win by a scant .025s from Meier with Cooke a further .042s behind after regaining P3 from Kinsgbury.

Cooke (1), Meier Jr (3), Kingsbury (6) and Lambertson (2) battle for the lead before Lambertson’s early exit.

Jim Rasmussen (NJ) followed home in fifth ahead of Roberts, Alex Saunders (Illinois) and Dan Geren (Midwest) with White the final driver to go the distance in ninth place.

The point standings are just about to take a more defined shape as some drivers have now completed eight weeks while others just seven. Meier leads the charge in first with 1455 points. Second is Brandon Trost (PA), 120 points behind Meier. Lambertson is in the third position with 1093 points followed closely by Cooke (1092) but with one less race to his credit. Fifth position is Victor Del Porto (Brazil) who has seven weeks also. Roberts is sixth and Cristiano de Sá (Brazil) is seventh. Eighth placed Kingsbury is another who has only seven rounds counted, while the steady Rasmussen is in ninth position followed by Green (Midwest) in tenth.

The ninth week of the series takes place at the newly-repaved Kansas Speedway. Drivers will have to find a way to pass here, otherwise qualifying and getting a good restart will be vital factors in determining the outcome. Regardless, the event will play major dividends for the points situation and show who is actually a contender for Meier up at the front of the table.

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One Comments

Should be a great race for the title. Unlike Ron though, I have lots of points to drop, and some of my better tracks coming up. I also will be able to run a few Monday night races at 10:15, so that will help. Don’t give him the title yet!

Brandon Trost
December 19th, 2013 at 9:38 pm

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