With Chris J Miller (Carolina) claiming the NASCAR iRacing Class A Fixed championship for the first season of 2014, thousands of sim racers are eager to hit the virtual Talladega Superspeedway to being Season Two 2014 with a bang. With over 1,229 racers attempting at least one race during Week One, it was easy to see that many racers were enthusiastic about starting the season with a good finish at the world’s fastest speedway. Regarded among both real and sim racers as one of the two places on the NASCAR circuit where anyone can win—Daytona being the other, it’s also one of the most difficult places to win, so a victory at Talladega is a special feat. Not only is Talladega the first race of the season, but it’s also the first time the Toyota Camry Gen-6 car will hit the track for official racing. iRacing recently added the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Toyota Camry to the fleet of overgrowing cars to complete the NASCAR trio of manufactures.
Under party cloudy skies, with a slight breeze blowing from the north, Jake Petrella (Atlantic) drove his No. 7 Chevrolet SS into Talladega Superspeedway’s victory lane after leading five of the event’s 35 laps en route to a 0.012 second margin of victory over the No. 1 Ford Fusion of James Mihlbachler (Ohio). Mihlbachler started from the ninth position and led eight laps before finishing in the second position. Dylan Landry (New England), driving the No. 3 Chevrolet SS started from the fifth spot and ended the event in the final podium spot after leading five laps. The fourth position was filled by Mid-South Club member Kyle Brummett, who started from the third position in the No. 11 Toyota Camry and led four laps. The final spot in the top five was occupied by Florida native Kevin McAdams. McAdams started on the pole and led five laps before being relegated to the fifth finishing position in the No. 15 Chevrolet SS. The 3911 strength of field ran the entire distance caution free and saw 15 lead changes among five racers.
Sometimes winning the week’s top strength of field event doesn’t guarantee you to be the top point earner for the week, but this week that simply wasn’t the case. Petrella’s efforts during the week, which included three starts and one victory, allowed him to start off the season by accumulating 248 championship points. The second top point earners were McAdams and Brian V Macklin (Atlantic). McAdams made three starts during the week, two of which resulted in a victory as Macklin made four starts, having two result in a victory and the netting of 233 points. Indiana native Michael Guest made only one start during the week, but it was a good one as he drove his Chevrolet SS into victory lane and brought 224 championship points home with him. The final spot in the weekly standings was filled by Corey Hefley (Plains) who made four starts and recorded one victory and the amassing of 222 points.
Navigating the 2.666-mile superspeedway may seem like a simple task. Just drive around and hold the wheel straight, but it can be a bit more complicated than that. Being able to hold the wheel very, very straight, on top of holding a beautiful line is the key to getting around the speedway in at a fast pace. A pair of Carolina Club members, Rick Shelton and Randy North held down the top two spots, with times of 49.156 and 49.157 seconds, respectively. Ronald Jones (Indiana), Jesse Atchison (Atlantic), and Hefley filled the reaming spots in the top five with times of 49.168, 49.169, and 49.170 seconds.
With the first of 12 weeks in the rearview mirror, there is still a plethora of time to make up ground in the championship standings. Week Two will bring the series to Kansas Speedway for 50 laps under the lights at the newly paved speedway. Check back with iRacingNews in one week’s time for a full recap of the action from Kansas!