This past weekend Conrad Venter and Clive Lawrence tackled 100 laps of Auto Club Speedway in the latest round of the Nascar iRacing Series. They had two very different races but Clive undoubtedly delivered the drive of the series so far for the team.
Getting home late from work meant I only enough time for my qualifying laps, then only another 3 flying laps in a practice before the race session started and then I managed maybe 4 or 5 full flying laps, where I hit the wall twice, during the warm-up period. So with roughly 10 laps of practice total there were certainly no expectations from this race! Starting 15th the green flag waved and I immediately started picking up places as others around me were being cautious. Yellow flag on lap 12 and I’m up to 8th place. Pitting for tyres and fuel dropped me to 11th. Next caution came out only 1 lap after the restart so I stayed out.
On lap 35 and 2 cars came together in front of me causing me to slightly soil my undies but they luckily managed to keep their momentum going with no yellow flag and I’m now up to 6th place. Lap 38 saw the next yellow and whilst pitting for tyres and fuel again I manage to slightly over-shoot my pit box and sped in the pitlane meaning I had to drop to the end of the line – 20th place. One more caution period on lap 55 and I was back up to 11th place. This also meant that this would be the final stop as the fuel would take me to the end of the race. A much better pit stop this time and I took the green flag in 10th place. From here I fought through the field in what must of been my best piece of driving in any oval race so far on iRacing, especially in this series. With about 10 laps to go I was 1.5s behind the leader and that’s where I stayed.
Finished 2nd place and am absolutely delighted with that result! 94 Championship points added to the leader board
Not a great race for me. I had a decent qualifying which meant I started 11th but started going backwards pretty much from the start of the race. Having the yellow flags come out was a little frustrating as I felt my long run pace was looking a bit better rather than trying to race people on fresh tyres. I decided just to run the laps and see where I end up. Unfortunately for me I was following what appeared to be an already damaged car. Coming out of turn 2 I saw him lose the rear of the car and he hit the wall. I had to pick a spot to aim for which I hoped he wouldn’t occupy once I got there but ultimately my decision to go low was the wrong one and it resulted in a race ending crash. Clive did a wonderful job though. I think it was more fun to watch him put in a performance like that than being in the car racing.
Round 6 takes place at Martinsville Speedway. It’s by far the shortest and most narrow track we’ve been to so far this season so it should provide another great challenge. We’re also hoping to see the return of Trevor Johnson who missed the last two races.