New Hampshire Motor Speedway was the site for this week’s NASCAR iRacing.com Pro Series (NiPS) action. Door-to-door, fender-to-fender online racing action was the theme all week as the sim racing pros tackled their first flat track of the season. Some new faces found the winners circle, along with multiple top NASCAR iRacing.com World Championship Series (NiWCS) drivers flexing their muscles.
The biggest surprise of the week occured in what turned out to be the top split of the week. Nelson Rivera emerged as top points man of the week (295) with his win over Richie Davidowitz. Rivera started way back in sixteenth, but charged through the field, taking the lead on lap 103 and never looking back. Davidowitz’ was the dominant car for the majority of the race, and looked like he had the race in hand when early cautions took out some of his biggest competition. Little did he know, Rivera was going to emerge as the best car late in the race. Davidowitz finished second, and Justin Lowery had a stellar run to come home third.
Also on Wednesday, Brad Davies reminded everyone why he is the series points leader by leading 50 laps en route to extending his points lead to 21 over Daniel Pope II.
Pope led the most laps (71) in the Wednesday night race won by Davies, only to fall just short of the victory. However, Pope managed to pull-out a victory Sunday afternoon. Steve Sheehan was dominant early until he lost his Internet connection and got dropped from the race. That was the break Pope needed, and it was clear sailing to victory after that. Justin Trombley and Jameson Spies rounded out the top three.
Brad Wright scored the biggest win of his sim racing career thus far. Wright has been competing in the NiPS since the start in 2009, but can now call himself a NiPS winner. Wright took the lead late in a race dominated by Tyler Hudson, but when Hudson fell back, Wright was there to steal it. Holding off Jeremy Allen for the final laps, Wright led the final fourteen laps to take the win.
Josh Berry and Theo Olson also won their races at New Hampshire. Berry now has an amazing five wins in his seven starts, by far the best stat anyone has put out to this point in the season. Trey Eidson is the only driver in the series with a better average finish than Berry. Olson is attempting to keep pace with Berry, with two wins in his four starts. Berry and Olson are both solidly in the top 30 in NiWCS points, so the NiPS is just fun, stress free racing for the both of them.
Four weeks into the season is far enough in to start looking at the points standings. The top five in points are all drivers solidly in the top 30 in NiCWS, just running the NiPS for fun. The battle to get into the top series starts with Brad Wright (6th overall) with 996 points. Wright has been solid all season, but has to keep the momentum going as Jameson Spies is just two points back of him for the top seed. Eidson sits third, with Pedro Mojica and Byron Daley rounding out the top five pros in the points. The cutoff for the next NiWCS (20th Pro) is Joshua Laughton who has accumulated 772 points thus far.
The next race on the NiPS schedule is the high banks on Daytona. This will be the first trip to a plate track in the 2010 season, and if it’s anything like last season, it will be a spectacle to watch. Last season Daytona provided record amounts of competitors, all hoping to find victory lane at the World Center of Stock Car Racing.