July 7th, 2021 by Chris Leone
With five pairs of Nitro Circus You Got This Tour tickets and a total of $100 in iRacing credits on the line, the Nitro Circus League Summer Series kicked off on Tuesday night with two distinct championships and nearly three dozen drivers across its four rounds. Led off by the Stock Car Challenge for the Super Late Model and followed up by the Pro 2 Road Racing World Tour, the first of five weeks of action set the tone for a fun and exciting season.
Stock Car Challenge at USA: Bodio Holds Off Hawkins in Opener
After making the pass for the lead on teammate Connor Parise on Lap 12 and pulling away after contact with challenger Jimmil Hawkins sent Parise spinning, Dave Bodio took the point into a mid-race competition caution in the opening round of the Stock Car Challenge at USA International Speedway. After driver wave-arounds were completed, he’d reassert the lead on the restart and survive the final laps of the 15-minute sprint to take the first checkered flag of the night. Hawkins would hold off Levi Hileman for the second spot.
Stock Car Challenge at Nashville Fairgrounds: Rafferty Survives Mid-Race Melee
Moving onto the shorter Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway layout saw more carnage than USA, with much of the field falling off of the lead lap. Due to an intense battle for the lead between Bodio and Bobby Rafferty, the competition caution was skipped, but both drivers would need to find their way through a massive wreck on the backstretch with less than five minutes to go as a result. The luck went Rafferty’s way on that, and while Bodio was reeling him in with the clock winding down, Rafferty would hang on for the win, with Parise rebounding in third.
Bodio leads the Stock Car Challenge points with 92, with Parise second at 83. Mitchel Collins sits third at 76, with the rest of the top 10 all within nine points of him for the spot.
Pro 2 World Tour at Nurburgring: Parise Retakes Lead on Final Lap
Rafferty’s bid to become the first driver to win back-to-back races in the season was thwarted on the last lap as the Pro 2 Road Racing World Tour opened on the Nurburgring Mullenbachschleife. Rafferty and Parise had each led nine laps coming into the final lap, but contact while trying to put Brad Boyce a lap down sent Rafferty off course with less than half a lap to go and set up a drag race to the finish line. The margin of victory of .455 seconds was the slimmest of the night. James Watson would complete the podium.
Pro 2 World Tour at Red Bull Ring: How Sweep It Is for Parise
Things were a bit less stressful for Parise up front on the Red Bull Ring’s North layout, as nearly every other driver got caught up in first-lap mayhem on one of iRacing’s newest tracks. As multiple trucks recovered from spins and rolls, including Dave Christie’s captivating tumble down the track, Parise avoided the chaos and pulled away to the tune of nearly 12 seconds at race’s end. Bodio came out on top of a thrilling battle for second with Watson, but much of the race saw an intense pack battle of six trucks for the final spots in the top five.
Parise leads the Pro 2 Road Racing World Tour points with 108, with Rafferty second at 100, Bodio third at 97, and Watson fourth at 95.
Nitro Circus League Summer Series events air on Tuesday nights at 7PM ET at twitch.tv/nitrocircus. The league is open to all drivers; interested competitors may click here to register to compete. Each series champion wins two You Got This Tour tickets and $25 in iRacing credits, with additional tour tickets on the line for Best Paint Scheme and Loudest Cheering Section on Twitch, and further tickets and iRacing credits on the line via random draw.