A new season is upon us in the NASCAR iRacing.com Class A Series (NiCAS), and there was no messing around as the series took to the high banks of Talladega Superspeedway right out of the gate. With the current iRacing.com build of the Chevrolet Impala SS, the drafting in the sim models itself much like the drafting we all see when the Sprint Cup Series takes to the restrictor plate tracks. With “Tandem Drafting” in play, as well as cars prone to overheating, it would prove to be a ballroom dance at speeds over 200mph.
Coming into the week, much was in there air about what kind of racing we would see. Early in the week however, it was shown that the tandem drafting method would reign superior over pack racing. With that being said, the cars could only push for 2-3 laps before overheating became and issue, and a swap would be needed.
Joshua B Gerrald of Texas is one man who proved he could master this style of sim-racing, winning the top race of the week and earning 360 points to give him the early Division One points lead. It was a race that Gerrald was almost unable to take a part in, being car number 27 of the 29 car field in a race where a driver’s rating (iRating) determined their seeding. That was not a problem at all for Gerrald or Cody Byus, as the top two finishers pushed their way through the field to a one-two finish after starting outside the top twenty-five. Adam Gilliland, Alex Ciambrone and defending NASCAR iRacing.com Series World Championship overall champion Ray Alfalla rounded-out the top five.
As was the case with the last NiCAS season, come season’s end the top ten Class A licensed drivers will be promoted to the NASCAR iRacing.com Pro Series (NiPS) taking place this coming winter. This is the second of three season which will make out the field, and as always it is huge to get a good start to the season. Along with Gerrald and Byus, Maxime Paquetter had a stellar start to the season, along with former NiPS competitor Jukka Savolainen, Brandon Atkinson, and Chase Raudman.
For the drivers who couldn’t care less about points and just want to race, there is a spot for them too. Joey Schmidt threw down nine wins to earn the most trips to victory lane of the 1,653 competitors who took part in the opening week of the season. Mike Burnell raced a staggering 39 times, winning three with nine top fives. A great week of participation, one of the best ever, as 108 drivers raced ten or more times, with the most laps completed going to Rick Savage who made it around the 2.66 mile track 2,314 times.
From one of the easiest tracks to drive on the circuit, to undoubtedly the hardest oval the series will face. Week Two will weed out the boys from the men in a hurry as the haulers make the trek to Darlington, South Carolina for a visit to the track “Too Tough To Tame”. Wheeling a car as it slips and slides around Darlington Raceway will put some hair on your chest, but only the best can make a trip to victory lane.