Majeski emerged on top of his SLM battle with Hauk at New Smyrna.

The NASCAR Super Late Model Series assembled at New Smyrna Beach, Florida for the highly anticipated debut of the latest car to join the iRacing service.  As the sun went down and the engines roared, the first week for the Super Lates would not disappoint anyone as the online racing proved fierce and competitive at the .48 mile high banked oval.

None of the racing was any fiercer or more competitive than Friday’s 3638 SoF event that saw perennial Late Model standout Ty Majeski and former Class A champion/NiSWC competitor Brandon Hauk battle from start to finish.  The pair swapped the lead half a dozen times with Hauk out front for 67 laps and Majeski setting the pace the other 13 tours.  Although Hauk had the advantage as the final laps approached, Majeski nosed ahead crossing the line on Lap 73 and pulled away to the win.

The race was slowed by five cautions, this one involving Landon Sciacca (3), Josh Northcutt (12), Bob Herrington (15), Rick Ricketts (13) and James Frizzell (9).

The race was slowed five times for 23 laps and while Hauk had the faster car in the laps immediately following the restarts, Majeski refused to let him get too far away.  As the laps ticked off, Majeski would start showing his power and close right to Hauk’s bumper even as the lead car showed signs of tightening up on the long runs.

Unfortunately for Hauk, the final restart came on Lap 54, giving Majeski 26 laps to assert himself.  It didn’t take quite that long, though, for as the final 10 laps approached Majeski was right on Hauk’s bumper looking to strike.  Going into Turn One on Lap 73 Hauk left the door open.  Needing no second invitation, Majeski pounced, cleared Hauk coming out of Turn Four and set sail for Victory Lane, eventually arriving at the checkered flag 1.065s before his rival.

Majeski gets under Hauk to take the lead.

The race for the final podium spot was no less intense as Blade Whitt, Michael Watson, Michael Patton and Eric Isenbeck raced hard for third through sixth for much of the race.  However, Patton touched the apron and spun while trying to pass Watson on Lap 47.  Watson then mounted an unsuccessful challenge to Whitt for P3 before leaving the door open for Isenbeck, who commandeered the fourth spot on Lap 57.  Seven laps later, Patton’s race took a turn for the worse as he got loose out of Turn Four and slammed the inside wall.

Patton (8) gets loose trying to pass Watson (7)

Patton’s demise did not result in a caution and, apart from the late lead change, the top five order was set as Majeski came home ahead of Hauk, Whitt, Isenbeck and Watson, with James Zachary, Ryan Hoepner, Bob Herrington and James Frizzell  the final competitors finishing on the lead lap.

1.    Ty Majeski                             9. James Frizzell –12.181
2.    Brandon Hauk –1.056            10. Preson Bores –1Laps
3.    Blade Whitt –5.302               11. David Brownell –2Laps
4.    Eric Isenbeck –6.780            12. Michael Patton –15Laps
5.    Michael Watson –7.156        13. Rick Ricketts –16Laps
6.    James Zachary –9.629          14. Landon S Sciacca –55Laps
7.    Ryan Hoepner –11.357          15. Josh Northcutt –56Laps
8.    Bob Herrington –12.029         16.  Justin M Allen –70Laps

Week 2 of the NASCAR Super Late Model series heads west to California to tackle Irwindale Speedway’s “Outer” configuration.  With many varying opinions on the racing groove we should see a variety of approaches to setup and racing line as many sim-racers will use this wide open track to try to better familarize themselves with the exciting new Super Late Model.

Special thanks to Michael Watson on his race replay submission.

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