Week Eight of the NASCAR iRacing.com Class C Series (NiCCS) brought the tailgaters to the unpredictable Talladega SuperSpeedway. Over 2,500 sim racers would take to the track during the week in an attempt to be crowned a super speedway king, but in the end it was Matt Whitten who stood tall over his sim racing peers as the overall winner at the famed Alabama track.
Whitten took the win in the monster 4676 sof race on Saturday. Entering the race, all but one driver in the 20 truck field possessed an iRating higher than 4000 – with six of those holding at least a Pro Oval license. In the end, it was Whitten who left Talladega with the win, 292 points and a 6503 iRating after leading 35 of the 50 laps in the event. Chad Coleman came home in second just .192s adrift of Whitten followed closely by the Chevy Silverados of Mitchell Hunt, former NiCCS champ Tyler D Hudson and Michael Smith. Three yellow flags slowed the event, which featured eight lead changes.
Though Whitten’s performance left him atop the standings for the week, Coleman, Hunt and Hudson also appeared in the top five overall but each made multiple starts. Of the trio, Coleman was the only one to record a pair of wins. His biggest came on Friday in a 4022 sof race which featured just two cautions. Coleman would best Brian Macklin, Nick Ottinger, Carson Downs and Chris Overland in order to obtain the 251 points that went with the victory. Coleman finished his week at ‘Dega with 253 points after his handful of starts.
Hudson’s biggest point total came from his win on Wednesday in which he topped a 4070 sof race. The event featured three caution periods and saw Hudson rally from the tenth place starting position to take the top spot over Hunt, Bill Brown, Robert Deihl and Smith. Hudson led the most laps en route to the victory (29) and gathered up 254 points for the victory. When factored into the fourth place finish in the top split of the week, Hudson exited Talladega with a total of 249 points for the week.
Hunt also had a win of his own, coming home on top of a 3416 sof race on September 22nd. Hunt led just ten laps and defeated Randy Johnson2, Brandon Buchberger, Rodney Harris and Tony Cook en route to the victory. The race featured just three cautions and was worth 214 points for Hunt. When factored into his additional starts, he took home 238 points from Round Eight.
Tim Axton finished the week in fifth after one start resulted in a third place finish during a 4155 sof race on Friday. The race was won by two time GSRacing.net Truck Series champion Bryan Blackford, who led only the last lap to take the win over Rod Merritts Jr, Axton, Jason Yott and Macklin. With Blackford and Merritts making additional starts on the week, Axton’s 232 points earned in this race stood up for that impressive fifth place overall for the week.
James Avalos was one of the busier drivers of the week, making 39 appearances on the high banks of Talladega (winning in seven), while Cody Evanson (Northwest) was among the most successful, pocketing ten victories. Helge Gravemeyer took the top honors in qualifying, pulling out a 50.842 second lap around the 2.66-mile oval. Adrian Duncan, Sean White, Jonathan Goke and Todd Hendricks completed the top five of 1,379 qualifiers. Gravemeyer was also tops in the Time Trial competition over Florian Kirchhofer, White, Mark Russell and Duncan.
Thomas D Smith continues to lead the points at the two thirds completion mark of the NiCCS season. Smith, 1492 points leads Ashley Miller, 1478 points by 15 markers with four weeks to go. Michael Guest (1423), Jesse James (1414) and Overland (1412) have a battle on their hands for third as just 11 points is the difference between Guest and Overland.
Christopher Arndt is just 13 points up on Lewis after Week Eight while Dusty Routh (Three), Tommy Lark (Four) and Jonathan Mohon (Five) have firm grips on their respective divisions. Divisions Six (Ben Atcher and Brian VanMierlo, 729-704) and Nine (Jason VanKleeck and Devin Chapman (511-498) enjoy point battles which have gaps of 25 points or less while Brian ManChester (Seven), Jason Wallen (Eight) and Herve Heydt (Ten) have a handle on their respective divisions after eight weeks of racing.
From the biggest track on the NiCCS schedule to one of the smallest, the series now heads to the Martinsville Speedway for Round Nine of 12 on the chase to a championship. Can Smith continue to keep up his point lead or will someone use “The Paperclip” to fast track towards the top spot? Find out here next week at inRacingNews!
Until then, keep the hammer down and we’ll see you at the track!