As if a trip to the famed Daytona International Raceway itself wasn’t enough incentive to break out the racing gloves, this week the NASCAR iRacing.com Class A Series (NiCAS) took us under the lights on the freshly repaved surface for seventy laps of nerve racking drafting. In 2010 the aging asphalt was getting worn down beyond repair, which triggered a resurfacing of the famous speedway shortly after. The new surface has been laser scanned by iRacing.com and was in use for online racers all over the world to get a feel from the drivers seat at the historic track.
The participation numbers this week were staggering, as 1,410 drivers took to the high banks for a chance to pull their Chevrolet Impala into the victory lane where so many iconic names have stood. When it was all said and done, of the 1,410 drivers who participated, 161 would draft their way to the front to grab the trophy. Just as any other week, while some raced for the trophy, others raced for points, and a small minority would come up with both.
Mitchell Hunt was the man out front this week, scoring 347 championship points to go along with the rush of winning at Daytona. Hunt led 26 of the 70 laps, grabbing the win by -0.155 seconds over NASCAR iRacing.com Pro Series (NiPS) driver Brandon Schmidt. Current Class A licensed driver, but soon to be NiPS competitor Brandon Kettelle was third, while Tyler D Hudson and Chad J Laughton rounded out the top five in the 5420 SoF race.
It was a big week for a few bubble drivers looking to solidify their spot at the next level of NASCAR sanctioned online racing. Both Rob Ackley and Matt Bussa are drivers on the edge of the top ten, and both drivers had stellar weeks. Ackley is currently on the outside looking in, but his 336 points will definitely get him moving in the right direction. On the other end of the spectrum, Bussa is trying to maintain a spot in the NiPS, and he scored 323 points to make his life a little easier as the season only has two weeks remaining.
Now to discuss the most active drivers on the week, who all deserve a gold medal from iRacing.com. Twenty three drivers started twenty or more races on the week… Yes you read that correctly. However, the man out front blew those numbers away. It was Mike Burnell of the Midwest Club who started 43 races on the week to earn him top honors. Believe it or not, he had competition in the form of Rick Savage of the Northwest Club who started just two fewer races. In total five drivers started 30 races or more, with Joey Schmidt, Terry Garska, and Division Four’s Greg Harvey the other three.
For those who are curious, Rick Savage completed the most laps around the 2.5mi Superspeedway, with 2,517. That is a total of 6,292.5mi driven on the week, enough miles to drive from Hollywood, California to Loudon, New Hampshire… and back, with miles left over. With an average lap time of 44 seconds, that is a total of 30.7 hours behind the wheel (excluding caution laps). What all that equates to is hopefully the nice folks at iRacing.com sending Rick a tee shirt or two.
From a track beloved by nearly everyone, to a track only loved by competitors who love a challenge, New Hampshire Motor Speedway. For some it is a welcome trip back to a track where you can control your own destiny better than the pack style racing at Daytona. No matter how you look at it, the flat one mile track is a challenge for everyone, be sure to check back next week at inRacingNews.com to see who steps up to the test.