While James Poleske will go down in the books as finishing off 2012 Season One with the most points in the final two weeks of the NASCAR iRacing.com Tour Modified Series (NiTMS) season, it will be Giovanni Mungin who will have his name etched on the championship trophy. Mungin was officially crowned the champion after the 12-week online racing season ended Saturday night, which is the fourth in the row for the Wide Open Racing team.
Poleske was the one who put the most points up on the board in Week Eleven and Twelve competition at the New Hampshire Motor and Thompson International Speedway’s, respectively. The big race on the “Magic Mile” of New Hampshire Motor Speedway took place on April 12th in which Poleske led 11 of the 75 laps en route to the win over Paul Wisniewski, Brandon Salvatore, David Markham and Rick Webster. Salvatore started from the pole and led 63 laps in the race, the most of any driver in the event. Poleske took a whopping 240 points from the 3868 sof race which saw just three cautions while Salvatore’s 205 point performance was good enough to seal up third for the week.
Wisniewski would go on to make three additional starts on the week to compliment his runner up spot in the highest rated race of the week. While he won one race, his second highest point total which went towards his fourth best 197 on the week took place during a 3555 sof race on April 12th in which he finished third to Brett Osborn. Osborn led 12 laps after starting fourth in his adventure to the checkered silk over TJ Graves, Wisniewski, Markham and Larry Pyrtle. Salvatore led the most laps in this race as well (50) but finished in ninth place. For his win, Osborn was rewarded with 216 points while Graves and his 194 points placed him fifth overall for the week.
Gary Holbrook made the most appearances on the grid for the week with seven. He turned two of those starts into wins and shared the top win total with Samuel Dick. Other winners from the week at New Hampshire include Pyrtle, Mungin, Forest Schneiter3, Graves, Wisniewski, Osborn and Poleske. Salvatore topped the qualifying charts with a 28.486 second lap over Mungin, Dick, Jerold John and Herb Engelhart. Holbrook was the top driver in the Time Trial competition over Osborn, Pyrtle, Bruce Hilton and Michael Morrison2.
“This is our fourth straight title in the series and it comes with Giovanni . . . He is an amazing individual and a great driving talent.” — Herb Engelhart, owner, Wide Open Racing
The story was slightly different for Poleske en route to the top of the weekly point standings in the Finale for 2012 Season One for the Tour Modifieds. Poleske gained 190 points by finishing third in the top race of the week, which tipped the scales at 3646 sof. The event at Thompson was won by Troy Talman, as he led 91 of the 125 laps in his victory on the Connecticut high banks. Two cautions slowed the event that saw Dick, Poleske, Ray Farlow and Mitch Miller finish off the top five. Osborn led 33 laps in the event before fading back to the 13th place spot at the finish. Poleske and Farlow’s finishes in this race rewarded them with the top spots in the standings for the week after Talman and Dick went on to make additional starts on the week with Mike Daniel, who finished sixth in this race, taking fifth overall for the week with 138 points.
In fact, Talman (159 points) and Dick (156 points) each went on to make a handful of starts with Talman getting the advantage on Dick in the win column, edging his 3 to 2. Dick’s biggest win was in a 2463 sof race on April 21st when he took the checkers first ahead of John, Derrick Cormier2, Holbrook and Carl Sundberg. Dick dominated the race, leading 111 laps from the pole.
Four drivers made five starts on the week at Thompson. In addition to Talman and Dick filling their hands, David Chmura and Miller each took five green flags in Week Twelve. Talman and Dick were the only two sim racers to take away multiple wins on the week while Miller, Wisniewski, Osborn, Joe Gauthier and Dillon Raffurty each took a trip to Thompson victory lane. Nathan McGee put his Tour Modified on the pole for the week with a lap of 18.340 seconds over Osborn, Richard Smith5, Dick and Talman. The final week of Time Trials went to Talman over Dick, Osborn, Trent Hullum and Pyrtle. The overall title for 2012 Season One went to Osborn, defeating Hullum by 39 points. Completing the top five for the season included Holbrook, Tim Gould and Hilton.
Mungin’s margin of victory in the standings will officially go down as 187 points to last season’s champ Salvatore with a tally of 1817 to 1630. Taylor Meyn (1491) edged out Engelhart (1473) for third in the standings with Dick completing the overall top five (1402). Poleske’s strong finish to the season vaulted him to the top of the Division Two standings with Chmura taking Division Three by 15 points over Zach Brewer. William Kabela locked up Division Four while David Schamp fell 14 points short of his goal in defeating David Ross in Division Five. Timothy Finnegan took a triple digit victory in Division Six as did Division Seven and Eight champs Sebastian Taylor and James Falcon Pratt. Curtis Berleue (32 points) and Nicholas Maxwell (38 points) collected divisional titles in Divisions Nine and Ten for the season, respectively.
Engelhart, owner of Wide Open Racing, was ecstatic with the way his team and champion driver Mungin performed this season. “This is our fourth straight title in the series and it comes with Giovanni, who makes it three different drivers from our team to win the championship,” said Engelhart after the final event of the season. “He is an amazing individual and a great driving talent. He was a real treat to work with this season. He put in massive amounts of time and effort this season into the series from Day One and it showed quickly.”
The 2012 Season Two season for the NASCAR iRacing Tour Modified season begins in May.
Until next time, keep the hammer down and we’ll see you at the track!