The twelve week countdown to the NASCAR iRacing Pro Series started last week at Pocono Raceway, with iRacers from all over the world tackling the “Tricky Triangle.” Getting the 3,450 pound, 750+ Chevrolet Impala around the tri-cornered, bumpy, odd ball of a track is no easy task. With that being said, many Class A drivers attacked the track, and came out of Long Pond, Pennsylvania with a lot of confidence, and the points to go with it.
TJ Majors led the way among the Pro hopefuls with a staggering 298 points, topping all Class A sim racers and only trailing current NASCAR iRacing.com Series World Championship driver Brad Davies by five markers. Majors, who many people know as Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s spotter in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, only ran one race on the week. That one race however was quite impressive, as he finished second to Thomas Lewandowski in the near 5,000 Strength of Field.
Many believed Season 3 would be their easiest chance to claw their way to the next level, but the results from Week 1 suggest otherwise. Alex Warren, Dylan Duval, and Dylan Slepian are all Class A drivers who surpassed the 270 point mark on the week. A great start is key to a great season, and there was no shortage of Class A competitors off to a great start.
Other people throwing their names into the Pro Series discussion are Paul Kusheba, Kenny Humpe, Justin Fuller, Jake Stergios, and Jon Adams. To put the week in perspective, Adams had a great week, earning 240 points in his two stars . . . and he now sits ninth in Class A, and eighteenth overall. It will definitely be a hard fought, uphill battle for anyone attempting to make the top twelve this season.
NiSWC competitor Tyler Hudson had by far the most impressive win on the week, taking the trophy in Sunday night’s 5359 SoF, Pro-filled race. Hudson led only 20 laps but was out front when it mattered to take home the win and the cool 335 points that came with it. NiSWC points leader Ray Alfalla led 31 laps en route to his second place finish, and Pro driver Cyril Nousbaum came home a very impressive third.
Gabriel Solis once again puts his name at the top of the charts when it came to the number of races. Solis took the green flag seventeen times, earning six top fives and one win. Steve Ritter started eleven races, and had few very strong runs, but was unable to find his way to Victory Lane. Patrick Baldwin has already clinched his spot in the upcoming Pro Series, but he is reminding everyone that he belongs. Baldwin started eight races, winning five of them. Lewandowski also had five wins in his ten starts, and Hudson brought home three wins, including the biggest SoF. of the week.
The season does not get any easier, as the NASCAR iRacing.com Class A Series heads to Watkins Glen International to take on the road course. With this tough schedule to kick-off the season, the cream will quickly rise to the top — and the best of the best will welcome the challenge with open arms.