Racing Game

Matt Kingsbury survives and wins.

Week Seven of the 2014 Season 2 iRacing.com IndyCar Oval Series sent the series to Homestead-Miami Speedway. Only 18 sim-racers participated in online races throughout the week. Drive-off of Turn 4, tight sim racing and restarts were the stories of the week.

Matt A. Kingsbury (Connecticut) started on pole with Michael Armstong2 (Indiana) on his outside. Starting third was Connor Cross (Ohio), with Brandon Trost (Pennsylvania) fourth, and Brendan Lichtenberg (Midwest) rounding out the top five starting positions.

Both Matt Kingsbury and Cross got off to good starts, clearing Armstrong by Turn 1. However, the green flag run was short-lived as Paul Jennings (Carolina), ricocheted off of Mark Shaffer (West), and slammed the outside wall, ending his race after only five laps. The early caution immediately created different strategies as Matt Kingsbury, Armstrong, and Lichtenberg stayed off pit road. Leading those pitting were Cross, Trost, and Ray Kingsbury (Connecticut).

Racing Simulation

Jennings makes an early exit.

Matt Kingsbury had an excellent restart, opening up a six car length gap on both Armstrong and Lichtenberg by Turn 1. Attempting to keep Matt Kingsbury in sight, Armstrong tried to pass Lichtenberg and, instead slid up the track putting Lichtenberg into the wall. Lichtenberg slowed to a stop, allowing the field to pass, but avoided bringing out the caution. After the contact with Lichtenberg, Armstrong fell to nearly half a straightaway behind Matt Kingsbury who, for his part, continued extending his lead as he began lapping the tail-end of the field.

As the field began to spread out, the only battle on track became that between Vick Caudill (Michigan), Trost, Ray Kingsbury and Cross. Throughout the fight for the fourth position, Trost and Caudill swapped positions numerous times. But as Caudill moved to pass Trost yet again, Trost moved down, clipping Caudill’s front wing and sending Trost sliding into the outside wall. Like Lichtenberg earlier in the race, Trost limped his badly damaged Dallara to the side without bringing-out a caution, while Caudill pitted a lap later to repair his damaged wing.

Sim Racing

Trost heads to the SAFER barrier after clipping Caudill.

Green flag pit stops started on Lap 54 with Ray Kingsbury and Ric Cassell (Indiana) pitting for fuel. Matt Kingsbury pitted a lap later. As green flag pit stops continued to cycle through, Jarrett Bolyard (Pennsylvania) went down the access road too fast, hit the grass, and spun up onto the racing surface. Bolyard’s spin brought out a caution that threatened to change the entire dynamic of the race. The caution forced the Kingsbury brothers, and Armstong to take the wave around, while Cross, who was on pit road when the caution flew, assumed the lead.

Cross now lead Scott Beck (California) and Kyle Orso (Illinois) to the green with the Brothers Kingbury and Armstrong stuck behind the lapped cars of Pablo Donoso (Hispanoamérica) and Cassell. To make matters worse, Donoso received a black flag under caution and slowed to serve his penalty, forcing the Kingsburys, Armstrong, and Caudill to slow behind him. This gave the top four a huge advantage before the green flag even flew. Back up front Cross had opened up a seven car length lead over Beck when nearly threw it all away getting loose off of Turn Four. Cross then re-extended his lead. The trend between Cross and Beck continued until a wheel malfunction caused Cross to turn into the inside wall on the front stretch. Still without any control, Cross’ Dallara went back across the track into the outside wall. The surprise wreck brought out the caution and allowed Beck to inherit the lead.

Motorsports Game

Cross crashes out of the lead.

Beck led Bolyard and Matt Kingsbury on the restart with only ten laps to go. Both Beck and Matt Kingsbury had excellent starts, easily clearing Bolyard. Matt Kingsbury quickly caught Beck and passed him for the lead with only eight laps to go. Beck then fell back into the clutches of Armstrong, Ray Kingsbury, and Bolyard. Armstrong attempted to pass Beck as Bolyard bounced off Ray Kingsbury and slid into the wall. Exiting Turn 4 Beck moved down, making contact with Armstrong, sending them both spinning into Ray Kingsbury. The wreck left only three on the lead lap: Matt Kingsbury, Caudill, and Orso.

Sim Racing

The Big One occurs at Homestead

Matt Kingsbury had a good restart, with three laps to go, pulling out in front of Caudill and Orso and was easily able to hold off his remaining challengers for the win by 0.186 seconds. Orso finished third, with Cassell fourth two laps down, and Bolyard fifth, three laps down and out of the race. Matt Kingsbury earned 156 points in the 2492 Strength of Field, the second highest of the week. Cross won the highest SoF of the week, which was also the only other race of the week.

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