Kentucky Speedway was the site of racing for Week Nine of the season. Drivers raced under the lights at the 1.5 mile track located in Sparta, Kentucky. Kentucky seemed to bring out the worst in drivers as Week Nine saw many more wrecks than normal. Week Nine is also the week in which drops come into play, mixing up the season standings more than usual. For the week, 556 sim racers attempted a race while 149 drivers attempted at least one lap in qualifying.
“Had a great run tonight.” – Justin Thompson
Friday night’s broadcasted SoF race had 26 drivers and an SoF of 5158. The 100 lap race was plagued with cautions as the race was slowed 12 times for 46 laps. Jared Crawford (Michigan) started on the pole and dominated the first 86 laps until an untimely caution and yellow flag pit stop caused him the win. Justin Thompson (Georgia) won the race of pit road and would lead the last 14 laps, which were mostly run under caution. Thompson received 329 points for the win.
When asked about his race, Thompson said “Had a great run tonight. Horrible q run but was pretty confident in the race setup. Started 15th got a speeding penalty early in the race on the first yellow and slowly worked my way back close to the front and started working the tape onto the car. I started with minimum tape and after I cracked the top 15 I taped up to 25%. Rode around and survived the attrition and once I hit the top 10 it was time to cover the grill and start moving. Got super lucky at the end on a 2 tire stop cautions fell at the perfect time was fun wish we could’ve finished the race under green.”
For his second place finish, Crawford netted 315 points. Casey Malone (Texas) finished the race in the third position, after starting tenth. Malone received 302 for his finish. Jason Karlavige (Pennsylvania) and Chad J Laughton (Carolina) rounded out the Top Five. Karlavige, who started second, received 289 points for his finish while Laughton, who started fourth, received 276 points. The only other driver to lead a lap, besides Crawford and Thompson, was Brandon Buie (Atlantic), who led four laps.
Crawford finished Week Nine with the most points after his 315 point race on Friday. Malone was second on the week with 302 points while Karlavige was third with 289. Laughton finished the week in the fourth spot after netting 276 points in the weekly SoF race. Thompson rounded out the Top Five after winning the SoF race on Friday. Thompson opted to run three races during the week, winning all three of his races. After running more than two races, his top two finishes were averaged together giving him 259 points for the week.
With drops taking place starting during Week Nine, Crawford got a huge boost in the points along with Laughton. Both drivers had one less week counted up to this point. With his second place finish on Friday, Crawford increased his points lead significantly. Crawford now has 2283 points and is 363 points ahead of second place. Laughton jumped up to second after getting his eighth week counted. Laughton now has 1921 points. Brad Mahar (New England) dropped to third place in the season standings. Mahar has 1761 points and his 523 points out of first and 160 points out of second. David Cater (Carolina) now sits in the fourth position in the standings. Cater has 1675 points and is 609 points out of first. Buie rounds out the Top Five in the season standings. Buie has 1599 points and is 685 points behind Crawford.
Crawford once again turned the fastest lap of the week after turning a 30.958 in qualifying. Karlavige was second with a 30.979 while Richard Dusett (New England) was third with the same time as Karlavige. Laughton was fourth on the charts with a 30.980 while Jarl Teien (Scandinavia) rounded out the Top Five. Teien turned a 30.995 second lap around the 1.5 mile track.
With nine weeks in the books, it looks as though the top two spots in the standings are pretty secure. The battle looks to be for the third, fourth and fifth spots. One driver to watch out for his Jason Karlavige, who sits in the sixth position with 1561 points and only seven weeks counted. One good week could catapult Karlvige up into the Top Three in the season standings. For Week Ten, the NiCBS will travel to Daytona International Speedway which will see huge participation numbers and a high SoF race on Friday. Will anyone of the series regulars be able to cash in on Friday night? Find out next week at InRacingNews!