The third season of 2012 began with everything new in the iRacing.com NASCAR SK Modified Series. First there was the new schedule, in which the recently-released Langley Speedway would make its first appearance as the season-opening race. There was also the rebuild of the SK Modified, complete with the new tire model. The build forced veteran sim-racers to adjust to a new style of driving the car while attracting new competitors to the series. However, it was the familiar face of James Poleske that graced victory lane in the opening race of the season.
Langley Speedway is a fast 0.395 mile track, one offering ample passing opportunities thanks to the different approaches that drivers can take through the corners. Mike Daniel and David Markham shared the front row for the start of the race, followed by Poleske, Mitch Miller, and Kyle Sterk. As the green flag fell, Poleske made a quick move to get under Markham, who was stuck on the outside line, to snag the second place position. Daniel raced to lead the opening lap of the new SK build, followed by Poleske, Markham, Miller, and Sterk.
“I was super-stoked to pull off the win with the NTM.” – James Poleske
On Lap 12, Daniel, recognizing that Poleske had the faster car, let his friend past and settled into second position with the pursuing Markham riding in 3rd place. On Lap 20, disaster struck for Mitch Miller who got loose off of Turn Four and rode the car down the track trying to save it. Unfortunately, his save took him through the green cones at the end of pit road, giving him a penalty for “unsafe pit entrance.” The resulting “stop ‘n go” would spelled the end of Miller’s race, and he would disconnect a few laps later.
Meanwhile, Josh Dietz and Trent Hullum were having a battle for sixth place when the lapped car of TJ Graves, who had connection issues of his own, re-entered the race. Dietz angrily told Graves to get out of the way of the battle, and Graves obliged. Dietz then spent the next few laps keeping Hullum behind him, before the latter pitched his car into Turn One, made contact with Dietz, and stormed away with the position. Dietz would continue to run with damage, holding-up Dylan Roe and race leader James Poleske in the closing laps. Hullum eventually finished the race in sixth position, while Dietz would end-up seventh.
At the front, Poleske cruised away from Daniel for the unchallenged win. Daniel settled for second place ahead of Markham would come home third, while Sterk and the quiet Donny Moore rounded-out the top five.
When asked about how it felt to win the first race with the new build, an enthusiastic Poleske replied “It feels great, my team Untamed Motorsports put in a lot of work in the setup. I was super-stoked to pull off the win with the NTM. I am always confident with my setups because our team has a great group of guys. It felt good though to come out and win in the first ever NTM SK Modified race and I think it says a lot about our team going forward.”
1. James Poleske (207)
2. Rusty Greer (198)
3. Mike Daniel (191)
4. Justin Strumpf (178)
5. David Markham (175)