Thompson (20) makes the winning move on Luza (2) in the season opener at Homestead.

A new year means a new season for the stars and cars of the NASCAR iRacing.com Class B Series.  With a new season comes new hope of a championship for every sim-racer that gets behind the wheel of the Chevrolet Impala Class B car.  While some new faces made the trip to the Homestead-Miami Speedway in south Florida, it was a fairly familiar name that looked to take the series by storm. Nearly 750 sim-racers took to the track during the first week of the season.  The mile and a half speedway is unlike any “cookie cutter” track on the circuit.  With its multi-banked corners, drivers can choose to run the low line, the middle or up by the wall, making Homestead a track with multiple means of passing.

Justin Thompson (Georgia) would claim the win in Friday night’s 5181 Strength of Field race after Ryan Luza (Texas) started from the pole.  With only one caution, pit strategy would come into play for all drivers.  Thompson ran-down and passed Luza with a handful of laps left to earn his second victory of the season while Luza fell to third when Kyle Peddle (Western Canada) also went by him.  Luza and Peddle would tie for most laps led, both with 27 circuits.   Last year’s champion, Brandon Jerrell (Atlantic) and Devan Hall (Georgia) rounded-out the top five.

With the victory in the Strength of Field event, Thompson collected 330 championship points for the week.  Thompson would run two other online races during the week, adding one more win to his record.  Peddle would amassed 316 points to slide into second position ahead of  Luza (302) and  Jerrell (288) with Hall (275) rounding-out the top five.

Nearly 750 sim-racers answered the opening bell for the NiCBS at Homestead-Miam Speedway. Here Adam Gilliland leads the pack through Turn Three.

Luza clearly has something figured out when it comes to qualifying, witness the fact that he topped the time sheets for Week 1 with a 31.415 second lap time around the 1.5 mile facility.  Brandon Hauck (Eastern Canada) ran a 31.445 second lap to take the second spot.  Francis Dunnett (Australia/NZ) had a time of 31.469s, good enough for P3 ahead of Peddle (31.476s) and Virginias’ Matt Whitten, who rounded-out the top five at 31.477s.

Making the most starts of the week was Alan Jones of Club Carolina.  Jones saw the green flag 28 times, seven races more than Jerome Gustin of the Plains Club.   Brian Day of the Mid-South went to victory lane 11 times at Homestead while Kwame Adjei (New York) finished in the top five 14 times during his 16 races.  Day would also start from the pole eight times.

Pocono Raceway moves into the cross hairs of the NASCAR iRacing.com Class B Series during Week 2.  The “Tricky Triangle” will prove to be both a test for car and driver as sim-racers look to continue their push for the 2013 Season 1 championship.  inRacingNews.com will have coverage of the Pocono events next week.

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