The chances of Brandon Salvatore repeating as the NASCAR iRacing.com Tour Modified Series (NiTMS) champion are very much alive after his performance during Week Five of the series at Stafford Motor Speedway. The reigning champion was once again atop the sim racing Tour Modified world after his big win vaulted him back to the head of the weekly standings and will surely make him a factor for the title when drop weeks are factored-in.
Salvatore captured the glory during Thursday’s 3524 Strength of Field (SoF) race in which he led all but one of the event’s 100 laps. Runner-up Derrick Cormier2 finished four tenths of a second behind, followed by former champ Herb Engelhart, Jerold John and Ray Farlow. The race featured just the one lead change between Salvatore and Justin Chase and saw just one caution flag that slowed the 14 car field.
The race was so strong that the top five in the event topped the charts at the end of the week – though some had different routes to their finishing positions. While Salvatore (201 points, first), Engelhart (184 points, second) and Farlow (150 points, fifth) can credit this race for their finishes for the week, Cormier2 and John (along with seventh place finisher on the week Paul Wisniewski) had busier weeks at the helms of their Tour Modifieds.
Cormier2 finished third for the week with 160 points after nine starts and five wins. Cormier2’s biggest win of the week also came on Thursday in which he topped a 2616 SoF race. Cormier2 led 51 of the 100 completed circuits in the race and crossed the line ahead of Chris Forster, Nathan McGee, Wisniewski and David Chmura. The race featured two cautions and five lead changes.
John’s route to fourth place overall for the week came in part through the race in which Wisniewskicame home the victor on Saturday. Wisniewski led 37 of the 100 laps in the event, two laps less than Cormier2, who led the most circuits of any of the 12 competitors on track. John was second, taking home his biggest single point haul of the week with Rick Webster, Cormier2 and Paul Mckenzie completing the top five. Wisniewski would go on to start nine more races on the week, winning twice in taking home 135 points – seventh best for the week. John completed the week with 159 markers.
Salvatore’s qualifying lap of 18.213 seconds at Stafford put him at the top of the board for the week. Engelhart was second quick, followed by McGee, Cormier2 and Farlow. The top Time Trial run of Week Five went to McGee, whose TT effort bettered those of Curt Hunter, Brett Osborn, Farlow and Jeff Sharp.
When it comes to the standings, Engelhart still leads Salvatore by 97 points, 916 to 820. With five weeks tallied thus far and eight of the 12 weeks counting towards the 2011 Season Four championship, Salvatore (who has competed in one less race than Engelhart) will begin to catch up once the field crosses Week Nine. Cormier2 is in third place with 697 points, followed by a tie in fourth at 621 points with Wisniewski and Kevin Walker. Divisional leaders after Round Five include Farlow, David Markham, Craig Weagle, Jeremy Poole2, Kyle L Moquin, Brian Lowe, David Ross, Jeffrey Haddock and Jeffrey Petit.
Next week, the NASCAR iRacing Tour Modified series heads to the South Boston Speedway. Who will top the series at the popular Virginia short track? Find out here, next week at inRacingNews!
Until then, keep the hammer down and we’ll see you at the track!