With eight weeks of competition in the NASCAR iRacing Class A Series (NiCAS) now complete, Brian Schoenburg continues to lead the online racing championship by 50 points, despite being absent from proceedings at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway last week. The Californian has now registered seven weeks worth of results in the Chevrolet Impala Class A Car, giving a small glimmer of hope to Brandon Buchberger who collected a relatively low 137 points for his second place finish in his only race of the week.
Illinois-based Buchberger made-up for a mistake during a pit-stop to capitalize on a late yellow flag and earn a podium finish. “I ran well, and running second before pit stops, but I got a black flag during mine for speeding,” he commented post-race. “Then a caution came out five laps after I pitted when Joey Brown, who had the dominant car, wrecked and everyone pitted. Another caution came out five laps later; I was the only car who pitted and I came out eleventh with sixteen to go. I got up to eighth and a yellow came out three laps later. I pitted again, came back out eleventh with ten to go, and charged up to second behind Jeff Dukehart, who had stayed out. It paid off but I was slowly catching him.” Although Buchberger has closed the gap to Schoenburg, the NASCAR iRacing World Championship Series (NiWCS) driver feels the title chase is a forgone conclusion “I’m just trying to get some good points weeks to maintain second, there is no way I’m going to catch Bryan, he is 50 points ahead of me with one less week of racing” he earnestly shares with inRacingNews.
Another sim racing driver conspicuous by the absence this week was Justin Roberts, who drops out of the top three in the championship as a result. Roberts had planned to race at the Brickyard, but following early test sessions at the 2.5 mile quad oval, the Virginias Club member declared the circuit “Not comfortable to drive.” Gladly accepting Roberts’ gift of third in the championship standings, Sandeep Banerjee percevered with an ill-handling Impala to collect 154 points in Week Eight. “Indy was a case of ‘what if’ for me, as I struggled with terrible handling in both my races netting third and fifth respectively,” shared the International Club driver this week. With Banerjee 140 marks off the championship lead, his sights are now fixed on Buchberger ahead of him.
For the championship title, it looks like Brian pretty much has it in the bag. But second might be a possibility,” he said confidently.
After lurking on the fringes for many weeks, Nelson Rivera has finally dipped his toe into the top five of the standings pool. The New Yorker collected 136 points from his three races this week, to step into the upper echelons of the championship for the first time this season with an even 1200 marks to his name. Just 40 points behind Rivera in the overall standings and top of Division Two, Ryan Ameen will be looking to sneak into the top five over the remaining weeks, on the back of good results at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Whilst the Plains Club member finished the week with an early retirement following an on-track skirmish, Ameen secured 161 points for a second place behind Jeff Dukehart in his first outing at Indy.
The aforementioned Dukehart played the part of ‘driving machine’ for Week Eight of the championship, participating in no less than six races on the quad oval. Even though averaging was applied to the Mid-South driver’s total for the week, Dukehart still earned 151 points with two wins and a podium counting towards his final total.
Moving up to eighth in the championship, after scoring 184 points, the highest for the week, Charles Cosper had a car that worked perfectly in a white knuckle ride to the chequered flag. “My team at Ultimate Sim Racing came up with a great set that was good over both the short and the long run,” a delighted Cosper explained. “I could get whatever I needed out of it. The good Strength Of Field race on Friday night had a lot of fast guys in it, and me and Nick Morse battled it out at the end. He passed me with five to go and the next time around I pulled a slide job in Turn One and it stuck…After that it was just trying not to mess up turn two and four…those were the important turns to keep him from getting a run on me.”
Paging Jesse Atchison.. Jesse Atchison, please contact the NiCAS front desk…. The Atlantic Club driver, an early contender for the championship crown, failed to make an appearance in the NASCAR iRacing Class A Series for the second week running. Dropping to ninth in the table, the NiWCS racer has six weeks of results for the season so far, and he’ll need to step back to the fore soon if he’s going to challenge the top three in the championship. Rounding out the top ten, a new name graces the inRacingNews pages this week: Texan Greg Spear, receives this illustrious award following a podium finish in his second race of the week, one that handed the Pro License driver 154 points, leaving him just 16 marks shy of the AWOL Atchison.
The ninth round of the NASCAR iRacing Class A Championship heads to Darlington Raceway, the most challenging circuit on the calendar. Who will tame the Lady in Black?
Screen shots courtesy of Sandeep Banerjee