February 15th, 2016 by Ken Rodriguez
The iROC HPP Simulation Grand National Series headed south to Sparta, Kentucky on Wednesday evening for the LouisvilleChevyDude.com 150 at the 1.5-mile Kentucky Speedway. The ambiance in the garage area prior to race time was one of excitement and exhilaration, as all of the drivers and teams prepared for a sim racing extravaganza in the Bluegrass State.
After posting the fastest time in practice, Will Warstler, piloting the #6 One8 Racing Chevrolet Camaro, secured the True Power Motor Oil Pole Award. His teammate, Josh Jones, lined up alongside, and the two Last Car Loaded Motorsports drivers brought the field to the green in an event that would prove to be a showdown of wits, survival instinct, and some good old racing luck.
Going forward and doing so very quickly was an attitude embraced by many of the iROC competitors, who wasted no time making it four-abreast on the wide front and back stretches of the bumpy Kentucky surface. Minimal left-side tire wear made for interesting pit strategy all night, as drivers alternated between two and four tires during the race’s yellow flag periods.
A caution with 20 laps remaining set up a thrilling finish. Six drivers stayed out on old tires, with Lee Staples and Allan Young leading the charge when the race resumed. Pole-sitter Will Warstler, who had dominated much of the event, restarted seventh on two new Goodyear Eagles. He wasted no time carving his way back up through the field, retaking the lead with 12 to go. Other sim racers who got two fresh tires on the late caution followed Warstler to the front, including Homestead race winner Michael Chrobok, and popular series driver Robert “The Purple Dino” Barney.
Warstler held on for the win, while Chrobok and Barney rounded out the top three. During his post-race interview with Global SimRacing Channel announcer Samuel Reiman, Warstler discussed his take on the race and win. “It wasn’t easy. There was craziness going on out there at times. I just had to take it easy,” Will stated. Warstler credited balancing his tire wear as a major contributing factor to bringing the victory home for Last Car Loaded Motorsports – his first in iROC.
“There was craziness going on out there at times.” – Will Warstler
Points leader Bryce Whitson picked up the M-SPEC Hard Charger of the Race Award. Starting 37th after a penalty, the Whitson Motorsports driver affectionately known as “Mr. Patience” came home in fourth, a finish that surprised both himself and his team.
In two weeks, the Grand National Series heads to Las Vegas, but in the mean time, the highly-anticipated HPP Simulation Truck Series makes its debut. Watch the Silverados and the Tundras thunder onto the high-banks of the Daytona International Speedway next Wednesday, February 17th at 9pm. You can catch all the sim racing action on iRacing Live and the Global SimRacing Channel.
For more information on the HPP Simulation Series, visit RaceiROC.com.