While Herb Engelhart will go down in the record books as the overall winner from Round Six of the NASCAR iRacing .comTour Modifed Series (NiTMS) at South Boston Speedway, it was Brett Osborn who made one of the biggest statements of the week. Osborn took one of the top two online races of the week, which set the tone when it comes to the weekly standings at the Virginia track.
Osborn’s win came in Thursday’s 3102 Strength of Field (SoF) race in which he led 47 of 120 laps at the famed Virginia short track. David Colley was second, followed by Rick Webster, Donny Moore and Thomas Zinninger. Six cautions slowed the race while three leaders swapped the lead twice and front row starters Jerold John (one lap) and Jamie Collier (72) led laps in the event.
Top finishers Osborn and Colley went on to make more starts on the week with Osborn taking six more green flags for the week, winning one and finishing in the top five thrice more to supplement his big win. He finished eleventh in the standings for the week out of 131 sim racers with 129 points. Colley meanwhile went on to take three additional starts, earning two more top five finishes and ending the week eighth with 143 points. Webster and Moore’s totals of 175 and 165 points, respectively, from the race in which Osborn was the victor were good enough to lock them into the third and fifth place positions after the week was completed.
In the second top race of the week, Engelhart moving to the win after some contact with teammate Brandon Salvatore left the defending Tour Modified champion with a bent-up car. “I was the benefactor of a get together between Brandon and myself while racing for the lead,” explained Engelhart after the race. “We were side-by-side and he got crashed out and I went on to win. Not exactly the way I like to do it but it has given me a little extra cushion in the point battle, and I’m sure I’ll need it!”
“Not exactly the way I like to do it, but it has given me a little extra cushion in the point battle, and I’m sure I’ll need it!” – Herb Engelhart
Engelhart went on to lead 35 laps en route to the win in the 3032 SoF race on Thursday. The margin of victory was one lap as he took the checkers first over Sean Rafferty, Bob Winslow, Nathan McGee and Collier. Seven cautions slowed the event and, as in the night’s previous race, Collier started from the pole and led the most laps (74). Engelhart scored 191 points for the win, which put him at the top of the charts for the week while Rafferty’s 180 points and Winslow’s 169 points slotted them into the second and fourth spots overall after racing at South Boston had concluded.
Collier was the busiest and most successful driver of the week – turning nine starts into three wins at “SoBo.” Osborn and Paul Wisniewski also scored a pair of wins a piece with Mark Tischler, Colt Christian, Justin Strumpf, Jeff Sharp, Jamie Damgar, Samuel Dick, Taylor Meyn and Engelhart each taking a checkered flag during Round Six. Collier also set fast qualifying time for the week with a blistering lap of 14.156 seconds. Engelhart, Salvatore, McGee and Osborn completed the fast five qualifiers. Curt Hunter took top honors in the Time Trial competition, besting Osborn, McGee, Mike Keirstead and Ray Farlow in that discipline of NiTMS competition.
With Week Six and SoBo in the mirrors, Engelhart now leads Salvatore by 234 points (1107 to 873), although Salvatore has competing in one less week than his Wide Open Racing stable mate. Kevin Walker is third with 748 points, just ahead of Division Two leader Farlow at 734 points. Wisniewski completes the top five overall with 728 markers. Winslow, Craig Weagle, Joe Gauthier, Kyle L Moquin, Kevin Sockow, David Ross, Jeffrey Haddock and Jeffrey Petit lead their respective skill-matched Divisions from Divisions Three to Ten after six weeks of racing in the 12 round schedule.
Up next for the NASCAR iRacing.com Tour Modified Series is the one-mile configuration at the Phoenix International Raceway. Can Engelhart continue to build the cushion he has on Salvatore prior to drop weeks? Find out here, next week at inRacingNews!
Until then, keep the hammer down and we’ll see you at the track!