Kenneth O’Keefe (Smithville, ON) led the final 16 laps en route to victory in the Gale Force Suspension 55 at Watkins Glen International Speedway Monday night in the only road course event on the GSRacing.net Truck Series schedule. O’Keefe, who started in 29th place had his work cut out for him from the drop of the green flag after jumping the start and having to serve a stop and go penalty as a consequence. But O’Keefe charged back to the front, then outran series regular Brandon Williamson (Powder Springs, GA) at the end of the race to defeating the #15 truck by over two seconds. Nick Ottinger (Claremont, NC) finished third in a Gale Force Suspension-sponsored truck, while Dylan Duval (Halifax, NS) and Josh Berry (Mooresville, NC) completed the top five.
Ray Alfalla (Cape Coral, FL), who will be officially crowned as the 2011 NASCAR iRacing.com Series World Champion this weekend at Homestead-Miami Speedway led the most laps of the race. Alfalla paced the field for 20 of the first 25 circuits of the event before getting caught entering a closed pit road on one of the two yellow flags periods of the day. The NiSWC champ would then get swept-up in the event’s second caution, leading to a 24th place finish.
Earlier, Ottinger took his second consecutive pole position of the season, clocking in with a one minute, 13 second lap to grab the top spot in qualifying. O’Keefe gained 28 positions en route to picking-up the Hard Charger Award on the night. The Gale Force Suspension 55 took one hour, 15 minutes to complete.
Go or Go Home Qualifying kicked-off the evening’s festivities with ten drivers punching their tickets into the Gale Force Suspension 55. O’Keefe set the pace with a 1:12.681 lap around the New York course. NASCAR Camping World Truck Series regular Parker Kligerman (Westport, CT) was second, followed by Brian Schoenburg (Moorpark, CA), Frank Kimmel II (Borden, IN) and Donny St. Ours (Upland, CA). Ryan Hoepner (Conroe, TX) locked himself into the Mason Baker Designs 150 at Indianapolis on December 1st by winning the Consolation race at “The Glen.”
Thomas Hazard (Rochester, MN) was involved in an early wreck during the Gale Force Suspension 55 and was relegated to a 26th place finish as a result. Hazard will still hold the point lead exiting Watkins Glen by ten points over Jon Adams (Hiram, GA), who finished 8th on Monday. Williamson sits just two points behind Adams with Brandon Buchberger (Sugar Grove, IL) just two points in the rearview of Williamson. Duval completes the top five with four races remaining before the chase.
With the Thanksgiving Day holiday, the next event for the GSRacing.net is Thursday, December 1st at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway for the Mason Baker Designs 150. The race is the first in series history at the track and is expected to be a fight to the finish. Racing gets underway at 9pm Eastern and can be seen at Elite Sim Racing Television.
The GSRacing.net Truck Series is one of iRacing’s premier independently hosted series. The Truck Series is in its third full season and is frequented by the top drivers in the sim community, including those from the NASCAR iRacing.com Series World Championship. Races throughout the 2011 season are conducted on Thursday nights with select races with live flag-to-flag coverage on WebRacingNetwork.com and Elite Sim Racing TV.