Week Seven of the NiCCF brought nearly 1,400 sim racers to the high banks of Rockingham Speedway for 38 laps of struggle for some and success for others. Depending on whether you struggled or succeeded during the week probably dictated whether you enjoy racing at The Rock.
One driver who did have success during the week was Strength of Field winner Tyler D Hudson (Mid-South). Hudson is no stranger to success as he is the current point leader in the NASCAR iRacing Series World Championship—the premier online racing series. Hudson started the 3185 SoF from the outside of row one, but quickly moved into the lead and never looked back. He lead all 38 of the event’s laps en route to a 1.170-second margin of victory over Shelvin Johnson (Carolina) who started on the pole and turned the fastest lap of the race. Third place went to Ross Phillips (Plains) who started in the third position. Although he started near the front of the field, Hudson and Johnson were just too strong as Phillips was 9.411 seconds behind Hudson as the checkered flag flew. Fourth place went to Ross Zumbach (Midwest) who started from the fifth position and ended the event with zero incidents. Rounding out the top five was Joseph Pisciotta (Florida) who drove his No. 8 Silverado from the seventh starting position into the top five. The race was slowed only one time for three laps before the field returned to race the final 29 laps under green flag conditions.
Although he did not participate in the week’s top SoF event, Kenneth O’Keefe (Canada) was able to earn the most championship points for the week with 192. O’Keefe’s week included four wins and five top five finishes in seven starts. Anthony Kernich (Australia/NZ) earned one victory during the week in his one start, which was good enough to net 189 points and place him second overall. Top SoF winner Hudson made five starts during the week, taking the checkered flag first in four of those and earning 186 championship points. New York native Brandon Hauff was a top five machine for the week. Hauff made six starts, finishing in the top five in each of those, which included two victories. Trey Jarrell (Virginias) was a man of ones for the week. Jarrell’s one start was a successful one as he earned the victory from the pole and took home 179 points.
Keeping the international flavor alive for the week is a native of France who is no stranger to the top of the qualifying board. Simon Crochart’s time of 23.558 seconds was the fastest time of the week, but it wasn’t without challenges from a few other competitors. Johnson turned the second fastest time of the week with a 23.573, just 15 thousandths slower than Crochart. Trey Eidson (Carolina) turned the third fastest time of the week with a 23.598. Eidson has been a good short track racer for much of his sim racing career, so it should come as no surprise he is near the top of the qualifying chart at Rockingham. Hudson was the first driver in the 23.6-second bracket as he turned a 23.600 to place himself fourth overall for the week. O’Keefe filled the remaining spot in the top five with a time of 23.611 seconds.
Kollin Keister (Atlantic) holds a commanding lead in the season standings after seven weeks of online racing. Keister’s 335 point margin over second place Michael Guest (Indiana) will be a tough one to overcome, but it could still be possible as drop weeks will come into effect in the not too distant future. Wes Weidman (Plains) sits in the third position overall, but is 344 points out of the lead heading into Week Eight. Chris M Hall (Florida) holds down position four, but is also many points behind (-398) leaving Rockingham. Completing the top five is JR Motorsports late model driver Josh Berry (Mid-South). Berry is currently 409 points out of the lead, but with a few good weeks, it could be possible for him to make a run at the Season Two championship.
After a rollercoaster week at Rockingham, the NiCCF heads to one of the world’s most famous race tracks—Indianapolis Motor Speedway for action at the flat two and a half mile circuit. Tune in next week to see who was able to master Indianapolis Motor Speedway and get to drink the world-famous milk in victory lane.