The Nascar boys tackled the 2nd, and last, road course of the extended Season 2 (which will be the last season before moving to Nascar Heat 2 at the end of September). The road course races are not only unique in the fact that they have the scary right turns for the predominantly oval league, but also that the league does not throw any cautions during the race other than the Segment break that happens in every race (this will be a big factor in the race recap below).
Qualifying was an event in itself with only a couple laps (and not a lot of room) for everyone to try and lay down a heater as track positioning is a big help at a track like the Glen. The front row was not a shocker based on the speeds being shown in practice before the race, with Mitchell Riggs (MithcMan009) edging Charles Sumner (Hootius) by .222 secs, as the only 2 drivers to hit the 1:08 mark in qualifying. Aaron Webb (AaronWebb85), Adam Zemke (Zeke_H30) and Kyle Spencer (KDawgHonda777) rounded out the Top 5.
The start of the race was a 10 lap shootout for Segment 1, which comes with bonus points for the Top 5 finish at the end of the segment. The race started off pretty clean with no major contact throughout Turn 1 and the S section as everyone sorted themselves out . As Segment 1 went on, there was some close battles throughout the field, but the battles between drivers and the unforgiving curbs seemed to be the main reason for position swaps. Mitchell and Charles stayed 1 and 2 throughout all of Segment 1. Unfortunately Aaron found issues in the Bus Stop after on Lap 5, and dropped him out of the Top 5 for the Segment. Kyle overtook Adam during the Segment, as they finished 3rd and 4th respectively. Nick Michaud (NickCM12) qualified 6th, took 5th for the Segment 1 finish and picked up the last bonus point.
The entire field came into the pits after the end of Segment 1 and the Top 5 got jumbled up, which had big ramifications on how the rest of the race would play out. When the field went back to green, the order was Mitchell, Adam, Pearce Jackson (El_MaJacko), Charles, and Kyle. There was a lot that happened in the next 20 seconds as the green flag dropped: Adam drove in really hard into Turn 1 and created contact with Mitchell. Neither car spun and Adam showed great sportsmanship in giving the position back and not wanting to make a pass in that manner. As that happened, there was a lag/netcode contact between Kyle and Pearce that sent Pearce’s car into the grass and then directly into Charles, who was running the high line in Turn 1 to try to avoid contact. Those 2 situations lead to the field being really bunched up going into the S turn. Unfortunately the bunch up lead to a 3 wide situation entering the right hand entry into the S, which resulted in Owen Bridges (Habob69) having very little room on the inside and clipping the curb, which caused a chain reaction crash that involved all but 5 of the drivers: Mitchell, Nick, Kyle, Michael Caterino (vWardude), and Brian Mosser (Brianmosser88). Nascar Heat does not have online damage, so everyone was able to continue, but lost a lot of time due to the accident.
After that, the field started filing into order and it became more driver vs track instead of driver vs driver for the rest of the race. The tricky part to this race was the field was looking at 33 laps of green after Segment 1, with drivers only making it 14-16 laps on a tank of fuel. As the race progressed, Mitchell used his great pace and took advantage of the big wreck to win by a very comfortable 19.2 secs. Pearce was able to overcome the earlier melee and run a fuel strategy race as the only driver able to 1-Stop the remainder of the race, which landed him a 2nd place finish. Charles fell to 8th and raced out his frustrations from being involved in the Big One to sprint his way back into 3rd by the end of the race. Aaron got the worst of the Big One and found himself last, 15 secs back of the nearest car as the smoke cleared. He used a short pit strategy to keep fresh tires and was able to rebound to a 7th place finish.
The top 10 finishing order was:
1st – Mitchell Riggs (MithcMan009)- 3rd win of the year in only 7 races. 2nd Hat-Trick of the Pole, Win and Fastest Race Lap
2nd – Pearce Jackson(El_MaJacko)- 2nd Top 5 after winning the 1st road course race of the season at Sonoma
3rd – Charles Sumner (Hootius)- 12th Top 5 this season, 8th podium finish
4th – Kyle Spencer (KDawgHonda777)– 9th Top 5 this season
5th – Michael Caterino (vWardude)– 14th Top 5 this season
6th – Adam Zemke (Zeke_H30)
7th – Aaron Webb (AaronWebb85)
8th – Rob Besaw (Xsyse)
9th – Nick Michaud (NickCM12)
10th – Brian Mosser (Brianmosser88)
The Driver’s Championship has closed a little, but has now fallen into just a 2 man battle as Christopher Herring (CJHerring) was unable to attend Round 20 at the Glen. Christopher is now 45 pts back in 3rd place, but with only 3 races remaining, the chances are very slim. Charles Sumner (Hootius) moved back into 2nd place in the points (rebounding after missing last week’s Indianapolis race) and was able to gain 6 points on Michael Caterino (vWardude), which dropped the points lead down to 21 with 3 races left.
Unfortunately Nascar Heat does not have any type of broadcast system or replay system, so we do not have any highlights to show at this time. Hopefully this is addressed in Heat 2 and we can show off some of the craziness and excitement that happens on a weekly basis in the PRL ANHC!