Last week the NASCAR iRacing Series made its 26th stop of the season at the land of lobsters, aka New Hampshire Motor Speedway for four races.
On Thursday night it was time for the NiS sim-racers to take it green in race one of the week with Rafael Doninelli grabbing the pole and Lance Gomez Jr on his outside. From the start Doninelli looked good, leading 44 laps early, but with around 50 laps to go bad luck ended his day. Doninelli’s exit opened the door for Gomez Jr, who led until a pit call on Lap 107 dropped him down the order. Landon Harrison, Aleksi Elomaa and Ross Tatum took their turns at the front with David Rattler and Daniel Vernes coming to the fore in the final laps. But Rattler and vernes were destined to get involved in a multi-car incident coming to the line, the net result being that Ricky Hardin jumped from P3 to the victory lane ahead of Mike Avison and Rattler while Harrison, who is sitting second in the points, was relegated to P11 after a couple of black flags.
Saturday was a big day of online racing in the virtual Granite State with two winners picking-up the lobsters on this day. Early in the U.S. morning it was time to start the second race of the week with Mike R Johnson on the pole from Shawn Breitzman. The front row starters spent most of the race battling one-on-one but, just as in Thursday’s race, the guy who started P21 — Dwayne Vincent — won race. A few hours later the green flag waved on Race Three of the week with Don Stephenson taking the pole with Jason Jacoby on his outside. The race was a two car show throughout between Stephenson and the guy who started in the fourth spot, Burkhard Maring. The two drivers ran wheel-to-wheel until the checkered flew for Maring after leading 93 laps in the race.
Sunday night marked the final night of racing for Week 26 and the final chance to grab some lobsta. Although Matthew Moose grabbed the pole with the No. 17 of Doy Woods on the outside, starting on the front row did not help them much. Although Moose led the early going, he soon yielded to the driver who started from the 3rd spot – Joy Westfall. A man on a mission, Westfall proceeded to lead the next 110 laps but dropped to fourth behind Malik Ray, Clayton Celovsky and Kyle McCormick on the final round of pit stops with thirty laps remaining. Although Westfall carved his way back to second at one stage, when the checkered flag waved it was Ray taking the win by half a second over Celovsky with McCormick third and Westfall fourth.
As far as points go, Harrison made little progress in his slim chances of overhauling Tyler D Hudson in the standings despite the latter being a no-show at The Magic Mile. Harrison followed-up his 11th place finish in Race One with a marginally-better P10 in Race Four, and so missed a chance to gain ground on his rival as the NIS heads south to Dover’s Monster Mile for Week 27.