Moustakas’ Bumpy Ride
July 1st, 2014 by JaimeB
Week Eight might have been unfamiliar to some drivers in the series–making left and right turns, but the NASCAR iRacing Class A Fixed Series returns to more familiar territory for Week Nine. Kentucky Speedway brought 517 sim racers to the bumpy, wide, and worn out venue for 50 laps of action. Although the track just celebrated its 14th birthday, it has quickly become one of the most unique 1.5-mile speedways on the NASCAR circuit. With most big speedways in NASCAR, there are usually two to three grooves that can provide close and exciting racing, but that’s not the case at Kentucky. The groove is only one to one and a half cars wide, so track position is at a premium in real life and on the iRacing.com service. There were hundreds of sim racers who attempted at least one race during the week, but there was only one who was able to master the Sparta, Kentucky speedway with true dominance.
After leading 40 of the event’s 50 laps, New York native Tom Moustakas drove his No. 1 Toyota Camry into Kentucky Speedway’s victory lane after a dominating performance. Moustakas started from the pole position and didn’t venture far from it as he was able to lead many laps en route to a 0.699 second margin of victory over John Reed (West) and his No. 2 Chevrolet SS. The final spot on the podium was occupied by Gary Powell (Pennsylvania) who started from the seventh position, but methodically worked his way into the top three by the fall of the checkered flag. The final two spots in the top five were filled by Markus Johansson2 (Scandinavia) and Charlie Foster (New England). The 3197 strength of field was slowed four times for caution for a total of 12 laps and saw two lead changes among two drivers.
With his victory in the week’s top strength of field event, Moustakas was able to earn the most championship points for the week as well with 201. The second top earner for the week was Mid-South Club member Craig Stykes. Stykes made just one start during the week which resulted in a victory and the accumulation of 196 points. Fellow Mid-South Club member Heath Hindman took his Chevrolet SS out three times during the week, capturing two top five finishes and the net of 195 points. The remaining positions in the top five were occupied by Jr Borborema (Brazil) and Ohio native Randy Hedrick, who earned 186 and 179 points, respectively.
As if winning the top strength of field and earning the most points for the week wasn’t enough, Moustakas also set the fastest time in qualifying for the week with a time of 29.580 seconds. The second quickest time of the week was turned in by Nick Shelton (Mid-South) with a time of 29.594 seconds. The third spot was filled by NASCAR PEAK Antifreeze Series competitor Matt Bussa (Illinois) who ended the week with a final time of 29.617. The remainder of the top five was filled by Foster and Eric Hoggarth (Plains) with times of 29.638 and 29.647 seconds.
At the conclusion of a bumpy seven days in Kentucky, the NASCAR iRacing Class A Fixed Series will head to the world center of speed—Daytona International Speedway for 35 laps of intense action. With pack racing and tandem racing being the norm at superspeedways, expect to see many first time winners during the week as well as many last lap passes for the victory. Check back with iRacingNews for a full recap of the action from Daytona International Speedway in the upcoming week.