Daytona (Week Four)
The fourth week of action in the NASCAR iRacing Class C Fixed Series brought 3,609 sim racers from all around the world to the laser scanned Daytona International Speedway. The 2.5-mile monster of a racetrack provides arguably the closest and most exciting racing of any motorsport venue. One of the things that brings large numbers of sim racers to the high banks of superspeedways is that everyone has a chance to win, and who doesn’t like winning?
The week’s top strength of field event took place on the 17th of February at 7:15 PM ET and featured many heavy hitters including Matt Bussa (Illinois), Jarl Teien (Scandinavia), and Tom Moustakas (New York). Even with some of the service’s top iRacers in the field, it didn’t stop South Carolina native Malik Ray from taking the checkered flag first after leading seven of the event’s 25 laps. The aforementioned Moustakas started from the pole position in the event and led a total of eight laps before being forced to settle for the second spot. The final spot on the podium was occupied by Matthew Wright2 (New York) who started from the 12th spot in the No. 7 Silverado. The two final spots in the top five went to a pair of California natives as Logan Seavey and Chase Raudman. The 5244 strength of field saw seven lead changes among three drivers and only saw the caution flag fly one time for a total of three laps.
Even after making seven starts during the week, Ray was still able to earn the most championship points for the week with 314. Moustakas made one start for the week, which was the week’s top strength of field event. His efforts for the week netted him 313 points as he looks to make a run for the championship. Wright also made just one start on the week, which resulted in the accumulation of 296 points. Justin Fuller (New York) and Teien fill out the remainder of the top five, earning 276 and 269 points, respectively.
After seven days of action at Daytona, the series headed west into Arizona for 35 laps of tight racing at Phoenix International Raceway.
Phoenix (Week Five)
With Daytona now in the distance, the drivers can now focus on more traditional race tracks. The next stop on the schedule is Phoenix International Raceway. The 1-mile speedway possess banking ranging from 10-12 degrees in Turns One and Two and eight-nine degrees in Turns Three and Four, which makes for exciting racing. The series saw 2,490 sim racers take the green flag for at least one event during the week, proving that Phoenix is one of the most popular circuits in rotation.
Week Five’s top strength of field event saw racers from all around the world battling for positions in the top five. The race was won by Jordy Lopez Jr (New Jersey) who led 27 of the event’s 35 laps en route to a 0.339 second margin of victory over second place Jarl Teien (Scandinavia) who led eight laps after starting from the pole position. NASCAR PEAK Antifreeze Series competitor Matt Bussa (Illinois) filled the final spot on the podium after starting from the second position and turning the fastest lap of the race. Fourth place was held down by Chase Raudman (California) who started from the 13th position and drove his No. 10 Silverado into the top five as the checkered flag flew. Matt Kocher (Pennsylvania) was the final driver to hold a spot in the top five in the 4640 strength of field. The event was slowed four times for a total of 13 laps and saw one lead change among two drivers.
With the victory in the week’s top strength of field event, Lopez earned the most championship points with 293. Teien continues the season-long success as he ended the week in the second position after making just one start and netting 277 points for his efforts. Bussa’s top three effort resulted in the accumulation of 262 points. Raudman and Mike R Johnson (Mid-South) filled the remaining spots in the top five with 227 and 222, respectively.
One of the best qualifiers on the iRacing service is once again atop the qualifying chart. Simon Crochart (France) put his Silverado on top of the chart with a time of 27.758 seconds around the 1-mile speedway. NPAS competitor Trey Eidson (Carolina) ended the week with a time of 27.772 seconds, just 0.014 seconds behind Crochart. Jason Jacoby (Georgia), also a frequent visitor to the top of the qualifying chart, finished the week in the third spot with a time of 27.774. NPAS competitor Chad J Laughton (Carolina) concluded the week in the fourth spot with a time of 27.778 seconds. The final spot in the top five was occupied by Bussa, who turned in a time of 27.783.
After two weeks and two completely different racing venues, the series once again heads to a track configuration that was different from the previous week as the NASCAR iRacing Class C Fixed Series heads to Nevada for 35 laps of action at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
Las Vegas (Week Six)
Las Vegas Motor Speedway’s superspeedway opened in 1996 and has since held two different configurations. The original configuration saw just 12 degrees of banking in the turns, but after a reconfiguration in 2006, the speedway saw banking increase to a progressive styling which ranges from 18 to 20 degrees. Since Las Vegas is a fast 1.5-mile speedway, it’s one of the most popular tracks on the service. Nearly 2,800 sim racers took their Silverado around the speedway for at least one race during the week, but there was one driver who did that better than the rest and he was a west coast native who has proven himself to be one of the best sim racers in the service.
19 Silverados took the green flag for the week’s top strength of field event, which took place at 7:15 PM ET on March 3rd. Carson Downs (California) started from the 10th spot, but quickly worked his way to the front as he led 17 of the event’s 35 circuits en route to a 0.489 second margin of victory over fellow Californian Chase Raudman. The No. 5 Silverado of Logan Seavey (California) was the final driver to hold down a podium position as he started from the eighth spot. French sim racer Florian Godard started from the sixth position in the No. 11 Silverado and quickly worked his way into the top five to finish in the fourth position as the checkered flag flew. The final spot in the top five was occupied by Zachary Phillips (Atlantic). The 4470 strength of field was slowed five times for caution and saw three lead changes among two drivers.
By earning the victory in the week’s top strength of field event, Downs was able to earn 281 championship points for his efforts. Seavey ran an incredible 16 races during the week, but was still able to earn the second most points during the week with 254. NASCAR PEAK Antifreeze Series competitor Brandon Kettelle (Florida) capped off the week in the third position with 250 points after making four starts and recording two victories. Positions four and five were held down by Nicholas Goertzen (Canada) and Steven Eszenyi (New England) who earned 245 and 239 points.
The aforementioned Eszenyi was the quickest sim racer in Las Vegas for the week as he turned the fastest qualifying time of any driver. Eszenyi’s time of 30.828 seconds was just three thousandths of a second faster than Paulo Vinicius (Brazil) who turned a fast time of 30.831. The remainder of the top five was filled by Ricky Thornton (West), Stephen Moore (California), and David Krikorian (California) who turned times of 30.834, 30.835, and 30.838 seconds, respectively.
After seven days in the Nevada desert, the NASCAR iRacing Class C Fixed Series heads further west for Week Seven. The series makes its first trip to Auto Club Speedway for 30 laps of action at the 2-mile speedway located in Fontana, California.