The eighth week of the NASCAR iRacing Class C Fixed Series takes the sim racers to Indianapolis Motor Speedway for 20 circuits around the famed speedway. Over 2,000 eager racers watched the green flag fall for at least one race during the week, but after seven days of fun sim racing, one driver left IMS as the top dog.
Bobby Hackel (New York) drove his No. 3 Silverado into Indianapolis’ famed victory lane during the week’s top Strength of Field event. Hackel started from the pole position and never looked back as he paced the field for all 20 laps of the event, besting V8 Supercar veteran Shane van Gisbergen (Australia/NZ) by 0.172 seconds. Frequent front runner Jason Jacoby (Georgia) took home the third position after starting from the same spot, 0.410 seconds behind Hackel. Brandon Wise (California) continued the trend of starting and finishing in the same position as Wise finished in the fourth position. Completing the remainder of the top five was Phillip Cecil McCandless (Carolina) who drove his No. 5 Silverado from the eight starting position. The race was slowed two times for seven laps in the 3559 SoF.
With their efforts in the week’s top SoF event, Hackel and van Gisbergen each earned 209 points. Hackel’s stat line for the week was quite impressive. In 19 starts, he captured 17 victories, and in the two races he did not win, he was able to finish in the top five. NASCAR Sprint Cup Series competitor Scott Speed (Carolina) was just one point behind Hackel and SVG. Speed’s week included three wins and three poles in four starts. Wes Weidman (Plains) ended a successful week in the fourth position, earning 207 points for his efforts. Kenneth O’Keefe (Canada) made five starts during the week, netting three victories, and 202 championship points.
To go with his SoF victory for the week, Hackel also took the top position in qualifying for the week. Hackel’s time of 53.414 seconds took the top spot by 0.041 seconds over second place Simon Crochart (France). NASCAR iRacing Series World Championship competitor Adam Gilliland (Texas) earned the third spot for the week with a time of 53.546. Filling the remaining spots in the top five was Speed and Donald Baucom (California) who turned times of 53.550 and 53.554 seconds respectively.
With Kollin Keister (Atlantic) not competing in a race during the week, his 300+ point lead coming into the week has diminished to a measly 137 over Weidman with just four weeks remaining in Season Two. Michael Guest (Indiana) holds down the third position, just 148 points out of the lead. Josh Berry (Mid-South) remains in the fourth position, 219 points behind Keister. Chris M Hall (Florida) fills the remaining spot in the top five (-230) heading into Week Nine at Kentucky.
As the virtual trucks load up to leave Indianapolis Motor Speedway, they prepare for a bumpy ride at Kentucky Motor Speedway, a one and half mile D-oval located in Sparta, Kentucky. From my experience, drivers either love or hate Kentucky due to its unique handling characteristics. Will Keister be able to hold onto his point lead or will Weidman be able to inch closer to earning the Season Two NiCCF championship?