After spending Week One in the Lonestar State, the NASCAR iRacing Class C Fixed Series brought 2,222 sim racers to the Arizona desert for 35 laps of short track action at the one-mile Phoenix International Raceway. When asked to describe why they love Phoenix International Speedway, many drivers will tell you they enjoy it because it’s the perfect mix of fast speeds and short track racing. With banking varying from 10-12 degrees in Turns One and Two and from eight to nine degrees in Turns Three and Four, this is a very flat racetrack. One of the premier short track racers in the entire service made a return to the top of the standings after seven days of online racing.
On a clear, 73-degree day, Carolina Club member Darrel Wilson drove his No. 5 Chevrolet Silverado into Phoenix International Speedway’s victory lane after making a late race charge to put himself into the top spot as the checkered flag flew. While Wilson started the event from the number one position, he was quickly overtaken by New York native Rob Ackley, who led 15 of the event’s 35 laps. With the lead changing hands a total of five times during the event, it was Wilson who made the final pass for the lead en route to his victory over NASCAR iRacing Series World Championship competitor Adam Gilliland (Texas). The final podium spot was earned by Casey Pierce (Carolina) who started from the eighth position and quickly worked his way into the top five. Luke Christian (Georgia) capped off the 35-lap event in the fourth position after starting from 12th. The final position in the top five was earned by CJ LaVair (New York) after starting from the 13th spot in the No. 18 Silverado. The 4290 Strength of Field saw three cautions for a total of nine laps and also included five lead changes among five drivers.
Although Joshua Laughton (California) did not compete in the week’s top SoF event for the week, he did, however, earn the most championship points for the week with 267 due to Wilson competing in ten events during the week. Laughton’s successful week included three starts, two victories, three top five finishes, and three poles. Second place driver Brandon Kettelle (Flordia) was hot on Laughton’s tail at the end of the week, but came up just three points short of the top spot after making four starts and recording two victories. Daniel Pope II (Mid-South) concluded Week Two in the third position overall, scoring 253 points for his efforts during the week. NASCAR iRacing Pro Series competitor Paul Kusheba (New England) completed the week with 252 championship points after taking the green flag for two events and finishing in the top five in each of those. The remaining spot in the top five is filled by top SoF winner Darrel Wilson who as previously mentioned, made ten starts during the week, with five of those ending in victory.
To go along with earning the most championship points for the week, Laughton was also the fastest qualifier for the week, turning in a time of 27.781 seconds around the one-mile speedway. Just as he was in the weekly standings, Kettelle once again played second fiddle to Laughton as he ended the week just four-thousandths of a second behind Laughton with a time of 27.785. The third position was earned by Eric Hoggarth (Plains) with a lap time of 27.791 seconds. The two remaining spots in the top five belong to Wilson and Marcus Richardson (Atlantic) who turned in times of 27.795 and 27.796 seconds, respectively.
With two weeks in the books, Kettelle holds a 30 point lead in the overall season standings over Nathan McGuire (Carolina). Wilson occupies the third spot, 36 points out of the lead. The fourth position is currently held down by Gilliland who is 41 points behind leader Kettelle heading into Week Three at Homestead-Miami Speedway. The remaining spot in the top five belongs to Kyle Wicka (California) who is 52 points out of the top spot.
After an excitement-filled week in the Arizona desert, the NiCCF Series heads to South Florida for 30 laps of action at Homestead-Miami Speedway. The weather looks to be good heading into Week Three with temperature at 80-degrees and a north wind at nine miles per hour. Check back in a week’s time for a full recap of the action at Homestead-Miami Speedway.