NASCAR iRacing Series (NiS)
Onto one of the fastest tracks that is 1.5 mile or longer (other than superspeedways) in the NASCAR iRacing Series, where the cars do over 200mph into the turns and carry much of that speed through and off the turn. Michigan International Speedway (100 laps) is a tough track due to the high speeds, banking and old surface which can prove to make life difficult if you dip the tyres below the seams – where there is little to no grip. Nevertheless, the team was looking forward to the races after feeling like they had hit on something good. There were also changes mentioned two weeks ago starting to be put into place at Apex Racing UK. The notable change was that the DDP program was made redundant and everyone is now into the Apex Academy. To take note and apply these changes to the blog, members will be mentioned as part of the Apex Academy Gold members or full team Apex Racing UK drivers. All others are Apex Academy members. Further finalisations will take place over the next two weeks as the oval Academy is downsized in line with the changes and the application process.
The Wednesday 9pm EDT/Thursday 2am BST race had seven splits. The second split in this time slot was won by Apex Academy member CJ LaVair who started fourth, taking the lead in the last 50 laps of the race, collecting 17 led laps. In the third split, Apex Academy member Robert Padavich started second, took the lead early and drifted between first and second. With just four laps to go, he was taken out from second place following contact with third, taking the chequered flag in sixth under caution. Right behind him, Apex Academy member Scotty Rienschield ran top 5 for most of the race, dropping to seventh getting caught up in the same incident as Padavich. Fourth split was won by Apex Academy member Michael McLain; having started on the pole, McLain had a clean sweep of the race with most laps led (60) and the fastest lap. The top 10s in the fifth split included Apex Academy members Mark Nadeau, Joshua Thornton, Greg Gerk and Vic Greenwood finished second, third, fourth and eighth respectively, with Nadeau missing out on the win by an excruciating 0.7 seconds following a 40 lap run where a bit of fuel saving was required. Sixth split meanwhile, was won by Apex Academy member Steven Parks who took the pole, going on to lead all but 15 laps of the race and a win by over 12 seconds. Apex Academy member Justin Hirst went on to win split seven, leading 51 of 100 laps and taking the fastest lap to boot. Congratulations to the numerous winners: CJ LaVair, Michael McLain, Steven Parks and Justin Hirst!
With four splits for the Thursday 3pm EDT/8pm BST race slot, in the top split, Apex Racing UK full team driver Sahil Mustac started 20th, finishing up fourth following a 39 lap run at the end. A special mention to Apex Academy members Ian Layne and Jason Stehney who were running top 10 but were hit with terrible luck on the last lap in separate incidents. Over in the second split, Apex Racing UK full team driver Carl Heighes started at the back, going on to finish fifth after the 100 laps; Apex Academy member Harry Tiller finished right behind in sixth. Apex Academy Gold member Stuart Pomfrey in the third split finished third – having started 10th but quickly working into the top five and spending most of the race there. Greg Gerk started and finished sixth, with fellow Apex Academy member Jonathan Rex finishing ninth following a start at the rear of the field. In the fourth split, Steven Parks went two for two in a race where he again led the most laps but taking the chequered by 0.5 seconds. Apex Academy member Andrew Botterill who had started second, had to settle for third, just under 4 seconds behind his teammate. Congratulations to Steven Parks on his back to back wins.
Another seven splits for the Friday 9pm EDT/Saturday 2am BST race, which saw Apex Academy member Thomas Keene in the second split finish second by a mere 0.3 seconds after a eight lap shootout to the end. Scotty Rienschield started at the back in this race, but got himself a fifth when the race was said and done, followed by CJ LaVair who finished sixth. Third split was won by Apex Racing UK full team driver Josh Buckman who led 46 laps from the pole, winning by just 0.156 seconds after a flurry of cautions saw a 11 lap race to the chequered. Apex Academy member Christian Antonio was up in the top 10 all race after starting 2nd, but had to settle for fifth. Apex Academy Gold member Andrew Anthony Ward started towards the rear finishing seventh, racing a clean and patient race. At the same time, fifth split saw Mark Nadeau finish second yet again, although this time losing out by a bigger margin. Fellow Apex Academy member Tyler Pinsonneault started fourth and ran second early on, but after 100 laps took the chequered flag in fifth. The fifth split had Apex Academy members Jesse Gavey and Joshua Thornton finish 1-2 where Gavey dominated with 89 laps led from the pole along with taking the fastest lap. Congratulations to Josh Buckman and Jesse Gavey on winning their races.
With five splits for the final time slot of the week on Sunday 10am EDT/3pm BST, CJ LaVair backed up a win and a sixth with a ninth place finish in the top split where the race ended under caution. Nine Apex Racing members took on the second split, with five of them finishing in the top 10: Apex Academy member Linus Brostrm won the race from the 11th starting position, leading 47 laps. Apex Academy Gold member Jake Forster was close behind in second after starting at the back, leading 12 laps. Apex Academy members Devan Hall and Tom Dreiling finished third and fourth respectively after Hall had taken pole position and also led 30 laps – stats showed Apex Racing members accumulated to lead all but 10 laps of the race. Congratulations go to Linus Brostrm on his win.
Next week we’re off to the first road course race of the year. Sonoma Raceway has many challenges on top of being the very unique aspect of turning right for many oval racers. The undulations of the track will require both the driver and the car to be on top of their game all through the lap, every lap.
Categories: NASCAR iRacing Series