Texas Motor Speedway and Martinsville Speedway are complete opposites of each other. One is a 1.5-mile high banked superspeedway and the other is a flat half-mile paperclip. Each track produces exciting racing, but in two entirely different fashions. Texas produces great side-by-side action and fast speeds and Martinsville is a tight, one-lane racetrack which produces great sim-racing at about half the speed of Texas. The use of divebombs and the bump-and-run are common occurrences in order to make a successful pass at Martinsville while drafting is the preferred passing technique used at Texas. Be careful though, if you’re still within striking distance after a bump-and-run, you should probably prepare to receive one back. Even with the varying degree of difficulty associated with each speedway, there was only a 45 driver difference between Texas (2,200 sim racers) and Martinsville (2155 sim racers) who took the green flag for at least one event during the two weeks of online racing.
Texas (Top Strength of Field)
Texas native and NASCAR PEAK Antifreeze Series competitor Adam Gilliland was able to drive his No. 5 Spy Optic Silverado into Texas Motor Speedway’s victory lane after starting from the pole and leading 21 of the event’s 35 laps en route to a 0.036 second margin of victory over Steven Eszenyi (New England). Fellow NASCAR PEAK Antifreeze Series competitor Josh Berry (Mid-South) started from the sixth spot in his No. 4 JR Motorsports Silverado and quickly worked his way into the top five, but was forced to settle for a third place finish as the checkered flag flew. Jordy Lopez Jr (New Jersey) started from the fifth spot and capped off the event in the fourth spot. Rounding out the top five was Atlantic Club member Zachary Phillips who started from the 10th position in the No. 10 Silverado. The 4897 strength of field was slowed just twice for the caution flag and saw four lead changes among three drivers.
Martinsville (Top Strength of Field)
In a caution-filled event, Matthew Wright2 (New York) took his No. 7 Silverado to Martinsville’s victory lane after leading 37 of the event’s 45 laps en route to a 0.470 second margin of victory over Dylan Duval (Canada). The aforementioned Gilliland started from the pole, led eight laps, and turned the fastest lap of the race before being forced to settle for third position. Cody Marshall (New York) drove his No. 12 Silverado from the ninth position into fourth as the checkered flag flew while Spencer Prete (Atlantic) capped off the event in the final position in the top five. The 4715 strength of field was slowed a dreadful seven times for a total of 30 laps and included one lead change among two drivers.
Texas (Weekly Standings)
By earning the victory in the week’s top strength of field event, Gilliland earned 309 championship points, which was enough to propel him to the top spot for the week. Eszenyi’s second place run in the SoF event earned him 292 points and placed him in the second spot for the week. Lopez Jr’s top five effort netted him 260 points as he looks to take the Season One championship. Midwest Club member Devin Smrekar made two starts during the week, earning a victory in one and adding 251 championship points to his season total. Filling the remaining spot in the top five was two time NASCAR PEAK Antifreeze Series champion Ray Alfalla (Florida) who made two starts and recorded one victory.
Martinsville (Weekly Standings)
With the victory in the week’s top strength of field event, Wright received 297 points for his efforts. After finishing second in the week’s top SoF event, Duval added 280 championship points to his season total. Plains Club member Josh Weinrich made three starts during the week, recording one victory and three top five finishes and the accumulation of 258 points. Berry’s efforts during the week, which included 13 victories in 15 starts netted him 256 points as he looks to challenge for the Season One championship. Rounding out the top five was last week’s top point earner Gilliland, who made 11 starts, recording nine top five finishes and five victories.
A person all too familiar with the top of the qualifying chart is Jason Jacoby (Georgia) who once again put his Silverado on top of the qualifying chart. Jacoby’s time of 30.234 seconds was just five thousandths faster than second place qualifier Nicholas Goertzen (Canada). The third spot was held down by NASCAR PEAK Antifreeze Series competitor Alex Warren (Illinois) who turned a time of 30.242 seconds. The fourth and fifth spots were occupied by Brandon M. Thrasher (Mid-South) and Luke Christian (Georgia) who turned in times of 30.249 and 30.250 seconds, respectively.
After spending a week in Texas with speeds approaching 185 entering the corner, the speeds at Martinsville were only in the 120 mph region. One person who wasn’t bothered by the slow speeds was pole sitter Michael Cosey Jr (Atlantic) who ended the week with a final time of 19.453 seconds. Berry continues his hot streak from Texas as he qualified in the second position overall with a time of 19.469. Ryan Hoepner (Texas) filled the final spot on the podium with a time of 19.494 seconds. The remainder of the top five was filled by Trey Jarrell (Virginias) and Josh Skroupa (Atlantic) who turned in times of 19.496 and 19.502 seconds, respectively.
After spending weeks eight and nine at Texas Motor Speedway and Martinsville Speedway, the series heads to Darlington Raceway for 35 of the most difficult laps most of these drivers will turn during the season. Check iRacingNews in just a few short days for a full recap of the action from Darlington in the NASCAR iRacing Class C Fixed Series.