Week Two of the NASCAR iRacing.com Tour Modified Series schedule brings the Modifieds to Gateway Motorsports Park. This 1.25 mile long race track is a unique oval with Turns One and Two being very different than Turns Three and Four. This is the biggest track the Tour Modifieds will be visiting this season and will pose a very different challenge then the short tracks the sim racers are used to.

Gateway may be the largest track on the schedule but the sim racing in the days leading up to the Thursday Night Feature was close and intense:  The ten official races in the week saw six different winners.

Thursday night’s feature had 26 entries for two splits of 13 sim racers apiece, with the top split registering a Strength of Field (SOF) of 3651. Ty Smith started the race on the pole with Jerold John to his outside with Rick Webster, Seth Demerchant and Gary Holbrook rounding-out the starting top five.

Smith, and John – and the pace car – lead the field to the start.

Thursday night’s feature had 26 entries for two splits of 13 sim racers apiece, with the top split registering a Strength of Field (SOF) of 3651. Ty Smith started the race on the pole with Jerold John to his outside with Rick Webster, Seth Demerchant and Gary Holbrook rounding-out the starting top five.

The opening laps of the race were relatively calm with very few positional changes. The top five remained unchanged for the first green flag run of the race. The first caution came on Lap 13 as Paul Wisniewski and Austin Atkinson made contact and spun. The first lead change of the night occurred on pit road as John was able to beat Smith back onto the track.

Smith leads from John in the early laps.

After the restart the field ran for the longest green flag run of the night, with John out front for the entire stint while multiple battles went on throughout the field. The biggest mover of this run was Rick Webster who moved from the eighth all the way to the second position before the next caution flew on Lap 36 as Paul Wisniewski found himself facing the wrong way on the race track.

This caution set up the last pit stops for the majority of the field as they dove onto pit lane on Lap 39. Smith and John really suffered on pit road with long pit stops. The two entered pit road first and second, but departed fifth and sixth as Holbrook snatched the lead. After the restart, another quick caution fell with no positional changes.

Holbrook grabs the lead exiting the pits.

On Lap 47 race contenders John and DeMerchant were involved in a wreck when Chistian Pederson tagged the wall off of Turn two and they tried to avoid him. The two spun down into the infield grass with John’s car suffering race-ending damage.

The last restart came on Lap 51 with Holbrook leading the field. He held the lead for two laps before Smith got around him on Lap 53. However, Smith would only hold the lead for one lap before he and Rick Webster made contact.  Although Smith lost multiple positions in the incident, Webster was able to retain the lead.  He stayed at the front until Lap 57 when Christian Pederson took over first place and proceeded to ride to victory.

Pedersen celebrates his Thursday Night Feature win.

Webster finished in second place as Holbrook fell to third after holding late lead.  DeMerchant was able to climb back to the fourth position and Preston Pardus rounded out the top five. Ten of the thirteen starters finished on the lead Lap.

The second split was won by Michael Baxter who dominated the race, leading 57 of the 60 laps. The second split had four cautions for 15 laps and had a SOF of 1761. Behind Baxter the top five consisted of Jeff Sharp, Dakota Pischke, Wesley Roach and Shawn Bagby.

Gateway provided some very exciting racing for the Modified sim racers. Next week they will return to their short track racing roots at “The Paperclip” (aka Martinsville Speedway). The Thursday night feature points are deadlocked in a three way tie heading into the third week of the series.

Thursday Night Points
1 Christian Pedersen 188
2 Kyle Odaynik  188
3 Seth DeMerchant 188
4 John Minotto 182
5 Steven Mastro 162

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One Comments

Kyle,
Nice article enjoyed reading about the Tour-mod racing. Thanks for getting involved been a long time with no Tour-mod coverage. Good read!

Gary Holbrook
July 1st, 2015 at 1:51 pm

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