The NASCAR iRacing.com Late Model Series season is drawing to a close as competitors headed to USA International Speedway. At three quarters of a mile and 14 degrees of banking and with lap times in the 23 second bracket, USA offered sim-racers plenty of time to make moves in the 50 lap race. The only snag came with the weather, which created a slick track surface meaning the sim racing would come down to who could best survive coming out of the corners without losing the rear end.
In this weeks’ feature race Todd Sipe garnered the P1 starting spot with Eric J. Smith starting just to his outside. Wasting no time, as the green flag dropped Sipe got a great start and began pulling away. As the field sorted itself out most of the top five were content to go single file but, moving up from eighth starting spot, Cody Thompson started making moves. On Lap Eight he got under William Weinreich in Tunr One looking to take over third. They two slammed doors through the apex of the corner. Weinreich got loose and gathered it up, but only lost a couple of spots from the contact. Now in third, Thompson looked to close the 1 second gap separating him from Smith in P2. It would only take 11 laps for Thompson to get around Smith, leaving him 25 laps to overcome the 1.3second gap to Sipe’s leading Chevy.
With just 10 laps to go Thompson had closed in on Sipe and the battle for the win commenced. Thompson waited patiently for Sipe to make a mistake, a mistake that came with just four laps remaining when the leader caught the wall coming off Turn Four. Thompson made a quick move to the inside but Sipe glanced off the wall and forced Thompson to the inside of the track just a few feet from the grass. As both sim-racers worked to regain their composure Thompson stayed on the Sipe’s bumper hoping for one more mistake. It came, but not until the final corner. Sipe pushed high, opening the door for Thompson who pulled even through the apex. As they come out of the corner Sipe regained his lost momentum on the high side as a tail-happy Thompson slowed. In the drag race to the line Sipe edged Thompson by .005 seconds to capture the win while Smith, who dropped back later in the run, crossed the line to capture 1.4s behind in third.
The remainder of the top five was positioned early in the race with Jeffery White taking advantage of the contact between Weinreich and Thompson to take over fourth. White was unable to challenge for the podium as his car went loose side and he had a battle to keep the tail under him exiting each and every corner . Weinreich lost fifth to Erik Mckee but, as Mckee battled his own car, Weinreich would reclaim the position just before the halfway point. Although Mckee initially stayed close to Weinreich, Lap 35 saw him spin and take a tow to pit road. Thus White completed his strong run in fourth ahead of Weinreich with Justin Blackdeer the final finisher on the lead lap in P6.
Top 10 Overall in Points
- 1. Ty Majeski 1376 6. Joe Schaffer Jr 1100
- 2. Bill Martin 1327 7. Darrell Hamlin 1090
- 3. Tim Bills 1239 8. Cody Kelley 1088
- 4. Stan Bragg Jr 1160 9. Cody Thompson 1053
- 5. Kevin J Myers 1120 10. Ryan Piland 1032