December 30th, 2011 by DavidP
Tricky New Hampshire Motor Speedway was the venue for Week Eight of the NASCAR iRacing.com Class A Series (NiCAS). Nearly 250 sim racers were brave enough to take on this oddball of a track in the top oval stock car in the world of online racing. While some were able to overcome to challenges of the Magic Mile, others were left scratching their heads.
Flat track ace, and current NASCAR iRacing.com Series World Championship (NiSWC) driver Josh Berry captured top honors on the week. A constant threat whenever he races, Berry positively thrives at flat tracks . . . as this week demonstrated. Berry heads a rather unusual top five with Brendan Doyle coming home second, followed by the surprise of the week, Brodie Kostecki in third. Kostecki is an Australian who competes in USAC Ford Focus Midgets in “real world” racing, and he has obviously started to get the hang of iRacing. Kostecki put Division Four on his back, bringing home 192 points. Only eight points behind Kostecki is Division Two’s Ronnie Pitts of Ohio, with Mike Skinner rounding-out the top five. Certainly a diverse top five in the week’s NiCLAS standings.
Berry was not the only Pro and above rated driver racing to make his presence known in this week of NiCAS competition, as five top ranked drivers finished in the top fifteen overall. Former NiSWC Las Vegas winner Sandeep Banerjee, as well as Brian Schoenburg and Nolan Scott, were well represented in the top ten. NASCAR iRacing.com Pro Series driver (and occasional inRacingNews contributor) Michael Conti was the final of the five, as he won his only start on the week. Given the race’s low Strength of Field (2318), he only received 144 points for his winning effort.
Terry Garska once again started the most races on the week, notching fifteen starts in the Granite State. There were only four drivers with over ten starts on the week, a reflection of the daunting nature of NHMS. Brian Schoenburg and Alan Gray were the only drivers to score multiple wins on a week that saw a total of 29 drivers make a trip to victory lane.
Kile Gottula holds a very comfortable lead over Chris Shollenbarger in the season standings, while Banerjee sit third in points with a very consistent season thus far. Steve Ritter falls to fourth in the standings, while Jukka Savolainen rounds-out the top five as the Magic Mile recedes in the Class A series’ rear view mirrors. Rick Foutz, Mike Montesi and Gabriel Solis all have great seasons of their own going, and remain in the hunt for the championship as drop weeks begin to come into play.
Next week takes the NiCAS to the high banked, concrete, one mile Dover International Speedway. The Monster Mile is without a doubt one of the most liked tracks on the service, and with good reason. The high banked corners translate to huge speeds at the relatively small, one mile configuration. Although both corners are very wide, the racing surface narrows up in a hurry on the exit which will be a danger spot for everyone.