iRacingChampLM1

Weaver takes Volusia in Season Opener

by Randy Chenowth

The opening round of the new iRacing World of Outlaws Craftsman Late Model Championship Series brought us to Volusia Speedway Park, one of the most unique tracks on the iRacing service. The short straights, sweeping corners, and specifically the curved back straight away challenges many competitors.

With that said, the season opener was expected to be a brilliant race, and it delivered.

The first four heat races featured hard but mostly clean driving, demonstrating that these guys were here for the big show. Drivers in transfer spots early raced smart. The back half of the field took more chances. Multiple grooves widened the track as the race went on, which gave us plenty of three-wide action.

The Last Chance Qualifier is where the track really came in. Drivers began moving up the track looking for speed, but some drivers were able to hook up the bottom for some heated side-by-side racing. It was an early breakaway in the top five. David Heileman was agonizingly close to grabbing a transfer spot after a disappointing sprint car opener. However, at the end, Ricky Thornton, Mike McKinney, Virgil Graham, and Austin Carr would take the last two rows in the 20-car main event grid.

The Feature was dominated early by teammates Howard Weaver and Garrett Niebruegge. They comfortably ran away from the field for the first 15-or-so laps, but a caution caused in the mid-pack would stack everyone back up again.

The restarts in the midpoint were a struggle for Niebruegge, who went from looking like he had a comfortable second place to getting shuffled back into the depths of the field after a bad restart. He was later involved in an incident with about 15 to go.

The late race restart allowed James Edens to make a last race charge on Howard Weaver, who had been able to stay clear of the melees behind. However the 07 of Weaver was flawless and didn't succumb to the pressure. Edens was only able to have one shot of making a move into turn 3 for the final lap, but it wasn't nearly enough which crowned Howard Weaver as your winner.

First and Second

One of the topics during the prerace coverage was drivers who showed pace in both the Sprint Car Championship and the Late Model Championship, and Howard Weaver could not be a more perfect example. A seventh place run at Eldora in the Sprints and a win at Volusia in the Late Models shows his multi-car talent, despite identifying himself as a Late Model specialist.

It will be interesting to see if he can keep up this performance in both series. The World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Championship returns May 21st as they take to the Dirt Track at Charlotte at 9PM Eastern, and the Late Models will have their second race at the 1/4-mile track at Limaland on May 28th. Both tracks are the two most recent additions to the iRacing dirt oval content and are sure to put on an exciting show. Be sure to catch the iRacing action presented by Racespot TV on iRacing Live and on DIRTVision.


VIDEO HIGHLIGHTS FROM VOLUSIA SPEEDWAY PARK, MAY 14, 2018


OFFICIAL RESULTS FROM VOLUSIA SPEEDWAY PARK, MAY 14, 2018

Fin Pos

Start Pos

Name

Car #

Interval

Laps Led

Fast Lap

Pts

1

1

Howard Weaver

7

0

50

16.275

70

2

5

James Edens

52

-0.307

0

16.21

67

3

4

Dylan R. Houser

2

-1.72

0

16.35

64

4

3

Tyler Ducharme

25

-2.233

0

16.282

61

5

11

Austen Semmelmann

18

-2.522

0

16.275

58

6

17

Ricky Thornton

20

-2.722

0

16.274

55

7

6

Nick Cooper

35

-4.503

0

16.305

52

8

18

Mike McKinney

96

-5.303

0

16.445

49

9

10

Brandon Schmidt

3

-5.487

0

16.477

46

10

9

Joshua Laughton

40

-5.872

0

16.47

43

11

15

Jacob Leverstein

777

-6.107

0

16.443

41

12

19

Virgil Graham

42

-6.376

0

16.374

39

13

16

Zach Leonhardi

24

-6.524

0

16.38

37

14

7

Drew Herchko

26

-7.002

0

16.373

35

15

13

Alex A Bergeron

12

-7.53

0

16.434

33

16

14

Phillip Diaz

94

-7.684

0

16.465

31

17

12

Marc Molnar

97

-7.834

0

16.393

29

18

20

Austin M Carr

1

-8.586

0

16.411

27

19

2

Garrett Niebruegge

19

-11.174

0

16.39

25

20

8

John Fidler

115

-1 L

0

16.256

23

 

POINT STANDINGS AFTER VOLUSIA SPEEDWAY PARK, MAY 14, 2018

Standings

Name

Points

Starts

Wins

Top 5

Laps Led

Poles

1

Howard Weaver

84

1

1

1

58

1

2

James Edens

76

1

0

1

0

0

3

Dylan R. Houser

75

1

0

1

8

0

4

Tyler Ducharme

73

1

0

1

8

0

5

Austen Semmelmann

64

1

0

1

0

0

6

Nick Cooper

60

1

0

0

0

0

7

Ricky Thornton

59

1

0

0

15

0

8

Mike McKinney

53

1

0

0

0

0

9

Brandon Schmidt

52

1

0

0

0

0

10

Joshua Laughton

49

1

0

0

0

0

11

Jacob Leverstein

46

1

0

0

0

0

12

Virgil Graham

43

1

0

0

0

0

13

Zach Leonhardi

42

1

0

0

0

0

14

Drew Herchko

42

1

0

0

0

0

15

Alex A Bergeron

38

1

0

0

0

0

16

Garrett Niebruegge

38

1

0

0

8

0

17

Phillip Diaz

36

1

0

0

0

0

18

Marc Molnar

35

1

0

0

0

0

19

Austin M Carr

30

1

0

0

0

0

20

John Fidler

30

1

0

0

0

0

21

David Heileman

4

1

0

0

0

0

22

Chris Brenner

3

1

0

0

0

0

23

Chase Raudman

3

1

0

0

0

0

24

Jesse Carr

3

1

0

0

0

0

25

Charles Cosper

2

1

0

0

0

0

26

Kyle Johnson

2

1

0

0

0

0

27

Kevin Dedmon

2

1

0

0

0

0

28

Matthew McKinney

2

1

0

0

0

0

29

Adam Elby

1

1

0

0

0

0

30

Jacob Fields

1

1

0

0

0

0

31

Randall Carter

1

1

0

0

0

0

32

Zak Rounds

1

1

0

0

0

0

33

Casey Kirwan

0

1

0

0

0

0

34

Josh Phillips

0

1

0

0

0

0

35

Justin Thomas

0

1

0

0

0

0

 

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