2011 NiSWC champion Adds NASCAR iRacing.com Class C Series Crown to His Trophy Case
In the span of seven days, Alex Warren went from winning the NASCAR iRacing.com Pro Series championship to having to battle fellow Pro pilot Brandon Buchberger down to the wire in the NASCAR iRacing Class C Series (NiCCS). The duel was just that, close enough that it came down to the final laps of the season and when the points were tallied, it was Warren and his Core Pipe/GSRacing.net sponsored team who came out on top after the grueling twelve week season – by one point.
Week Eleven saw the series convene at the Tricky Triangle, formally known as Pocono Raceway. Warren finished atop the standings for the week and gained 13 points on his nearest competitor in the standings. Warren scored his 212 points for the week by finishing second to Alex Ciambrone in Monday’s 3622 Strength of Field online race. Ciambrone, who went on to make a total of 16 starts at Pocono over the seven day span, took the win over Warren by a half second. The top two each led 18 laps in the one caution affair that saw Lance Gomez Jr finish second, followed by Mark Lambert and Jimmy Helie. A total of 17 trucks started the race.
Buchberger scored 199 points during Week Eleven based on his performance of in Thursday’s 3164 SoF. The Illinois Club sim racer paced the field for 22 of the race’s 50 laps, finishing three seconds ahead of Frank Kimmel II, Hugo Lindner, Ashley Miller and Milt Matice. Four cautions slowed the event while a dozen lead changes set the tone for a highly competitive race.
Outside of the title contenders at Pocono, it was Byron Daley who put on a stellar performance, taking four wins in a handful of starts during the penultimate round of the series. His biggest win came during a 3536 SoF race on Sunday when he led 12 laps after starting ninth to take the triumph. Cody Evanson led 19 laps en route to second ahead of Kwame Adjei, Brandon Buie and Jeff Hale Sr. The race saw three cautions and had two lead changes between Daley, Evanson and Ciambrone, who finished eleventh. At the end of the week, Daley finished second overall with 199 points.
Of the 800 who took to the track on Week Eleven, Hal James had the busiest time of it as he made 30 starts at Pocono, or an average of more than four starts a day. Neal Dobson saw his race dreams come true nine times at Pocono as he led the winners with the most trips to victory lane. Miller took the Pocono pole with a time of 56.403 seconds, besting Lambert, Brodie Kostecki, Chad McCumbee and Dylan Duval. Justin Collver was the top driver in the Time Trial competition at Pocono over Derrick Stone, Michael Emmons, David Trogdon and Greg W Schmidt.
The shortest track on the schedule played host to the most important race week on the NiCCS docket, as the series headed to Thunder Valley and Bristol Motor Speedway for the final week of 2011 Season Four. Many stories dotted the map of Week Twelve with one of the major headlines being the championship battle. Warren would ultimately gain two points on Buchberger and, with the week counting for both drivers, Bristol proved to be a deciding factor in the title chase.
Warren made three starts on the week, winning in his final two to give him 205 points for the week. His biggest win came on Tuesday’s 120-lap affair which saw six cautions and four lead changes. Warren led the most laps in the 3442 SoF race, pacing the field for 109 laps after starting on the inside of Row Two. Chris Overland started on the pole and finished second, followed by Matthew Kingsbury, Charlie Foster and Chase Raudman.
Buchberger’s start of record took place on Saturday and earned 203 points when he pulled into victory lane at the high-banked half-mile. Ciambrone came home in second followed by Joshua Williams, Hale Sr and Maxx Harris. Buchberger started seventh and led two laps to win in the seven caution affair. Ciambrone led 117 laps in the race after starting on the pole before losing the lead to Buchberger. The performance put Buchberger in fourth overall for the week, one spot behind Warren in the 890 truck field in Thunder Valley.
The top point performance of the week was turned in by Ashley Miller after he finished second to Brandon Hauck in Thursday’s 3557 SoF race. Hauck started fourth and led 52 laps in the race to defeat Miller, Paul Kusheba, Raudman and Trevor Edwards. While Hauck would go on to make additional starts on the week, the second place run was Miller’s only race and would netted him 212 points in the final week of the season. Kusheba went on to make five more starts to earn fifth place overall for the week.
Chad Pruitt took home the top split of the week – one of an incredible 21 wins in 26 starts at Bristol. The top split of the week — rated at 3765 SoF took place on Friday and saw Pruitt lead all but 14 laps. Peter Bennett was second, followed by Richard Dean, Maxx Harris and Michael Taylor. Four cautions slowed the event and the leader was the only driver on the lead lap at the end of the race. Pruitt would finish ninth overall for the weekly points while Richard Dean’s third place performance locked him into second overall with 206 points.
While Pruitt topped the win list for the week, James continued to rack-up starts as he and Floyd Kettle each saw 34 green flags at Bristol. James had the most wins over the 12 week span with 55 while Maxx Harris made the most starts over 2011 Season Four with 289, over twenty more than any other driver. The pole award winner at Bristol was John Gibson with a lap of 15.294 seconds as he blistered the track quicker than David Krikorian, Kostecki, Pruitt and Eric Hoggarth. Harris took the win in the final Time Trial competition of the season over Hunter Davis, Chris Henion, Johnny Housley and Robert Deihl, while Thomas D Smith claimed the overall Time Trial championship over Division Two champion Collver, Stone, Division Six champion William Hart and Mike Costa.
The final tally will go down as Alex Warren counting 1759 points on the season compared to Buchberger’s 1758. Both drivers had identical numbers when it came to wins (8) and top fives (16) with Warren taking one more start than Buchberger’s 20. Thomas D Smith was third in the season, followed by Miller and Daley. Greg Evans, Dick, Kostecki, Matice, Morgan Schooley, Kevin Sockow, Dan Hass, Brian Guedesse3 and Frank Hudson topped their respective skill matched divisions from Two to Ten and were crowned champions in 2011 Season Four.
The NASCAR iRacing.com Class C Series takes a well-deserved week off before beginning 2012 Season One. You can follow along with the action here at inRacingNews throughout the coming season.
Until next time, keep the hammer down and we’ll see you at the track.