New Hampshire Motor Speedway hosted Week 17 of the NASCAR iRacing Series with Tyler D Hudson still leading the points over Landon Harrison by a healthy margin. Thursday night marked the start of the week and NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Timmy Hill found himself on the pole with Kyle McCormick, third in points, starting on his outside. Although Hill looked like he was shot out of a canon the first half of the race, Ray Alfalla made his way to the front on the field from 16th starting position. By the end of the race, Alfalla was battling with Hudson for the lead, and finally led to the checkered flag. Clayton Celovsky slipped past the point leaded in the final laps to grab second spot. Although Hudson slipped to third ahead of Hill and Tommy Rhyne, his finish pushed his advantage over Harrison to a whopping 989 points.
There were two 150 lap races on Saturday, giving NASCAR iRacing Series competitors two chances to bring home the lobster at the Magic Mile. In the wee hours of the morning Kyle McCormick grabbed the first pole of the day from Norbert Rebelski. Early on, McCormick showed he was more than a one lap wonder by leading 59 laps at the start. Following Alfalla’s example, Nicholas Goertzen worked his way from 16th to the lead at mid-race and led all the way to the end, holding-off a hard-charging Don English for the win with Jake Goodwin, Niel Hekkens, Patrice Langlet finishing P3-P5.
Saturday’s second race saw Hill grab his second pole in as many races with Eugene Mozgunov gridding to his outside. Although Hill had a beast of a car all race long, Hudson found his way to the leader’s back bumper in the final third of the race. But a steady succession of yellows — coupled with a strong car and Hill’s considerable talent and real racing experience — was too much for Hudson to overcome. Once again, however, Hudson added to his points lead as Harrison did not compete on Saturday. Marcus Lindsey, Dwayne Vincent and Jordan Westfall finished out the top five.
Sunday was the final day of racing for Week 17 in the NiS, and Hudson looked to further add to his points lead from the 16th on the grid – six spots ahead of Harrison. Alex Warren and Doy Woods would set the front row with Race One winner Alfalla making his second start of the week from 17th. From the drop of the green Warren showed he had a fast car as he led most of the laps for the first half of the race. Not to be outdone, Alfalla worked his way to the lead for 77 laps in the latter half of the race with Warren in the mix as well. The pole-winner beat Alfalla off pit road on Lap 128 and held the lead until the yellow waved with five laps remaining after a restart dust-up ended Hudson’s day in P21.
The caution set-up a one lap shootout between Warren and Alfalla. When the final green flew all the remaining drivers were giving it all they had – and perhaps a little more. Contact between the leaders off of Turn One sent Warren and Alfalla spinning into the inside grass, opening the door for Byron Daley to grab the win over Kyle Crump. Also profiting from the Warren/Alfalla tangle were Eugene Mozgunov, Ryan Lowe and Chad Coleman who came home third through fifth.
After the dust settled at NHMS, Harrison was able to make up some ground on Hudson and now trails the leader by 843 points as the NiS heads to Indy in two weeks time, the drivers getting a much needed week off after a hard week of sim-racing at New Hampshire.