Writer's Note: Well, this is quite different! When the 906 SIM League came about, I jumped at the opportunity to race with some of the best racers from the Upper Peninsula. It has been a blast thus far and I hope to continue having fun racing in and writing about the 906 SIM League. To avoid any confusion, I refer to myself in the third person.
After last week’s Street Stock Special at Charlotte Motor Speedway, it was back to the Late Models for the 906 SIM League with action coming from the virtual Bristol Motor Speedway.
Robby Iverson and Cody Johnson led the field to the green flag for the 125 lap race, but things would go south quickly for Johnson. Entering turn three on the third lap, Johnson and Scott Hoffman made contact, sending Johnson up the track and into the wall. Johnson just about had the car saved, but lost it out of turn four and collected Duane Franklin. (Pictured Below)
Following the caution, most of the field elected to make their singular pit stop early and get it out of the way. A few drivers decided to stay out, including Todd Rose, Christopher Bouplon, and two newcomers to the 906 SIM League, Ryan Longtine and Pete Polini. With the field split on strategy, the top four would have to hope for several cautions to make it to the end without a stop or bank on a late race caution to get fuel and fresh tires.
Initially, it looked like the call to stay out might pay off for the drivers as several cautions flew following the restart. One driver it would not pay off for, though, was Christopher Bouplon who spun and collected Derek LeBresh to bring out the race’s third caution flag. One more caution would slow the field before an 85 lap green flag stretch to the end.
Todd Rose led the field back to green on lap 40 with Pete Ploini and Cameron Clifford following in second and third. Clifford went on the offensive in quick fashion to get past Polini and set his sights on Rose. Rose, though leading, soon began to conserve fuel as his fuel numbers took a turn for the worse. Before long, the lead belonged to Clifford while the second spot was taken by Robby Iverson who made his way by Polini and Rose.
The long green flag run spelled disaster for the strategies of Polini and Rose as they eventually had to make green flag pit stops. Rose, trying to stretch his fuel as far as possible, ran out while on pit road, adding insult to injury.
Meanwhile, the race for the lead began to heat up between Cameron Clifford and Robby Iverson. The two drivers battled side by side for laps on end. Eventually, Iverson took the spot and held off multiple attempts by Clifford to get back to the lead.
Robby Iverson would hold on to the lead to take his second win of the 906 SIM League Spring Series, becoming the first repeat winner in the series. Cameron Clifford (technically also a two time winner in the 906 SIM League, though only one came in the Spring Series) came home in second. Kyle Johnson had a reasonably quiet day and brought home a third place finish. After the race, Iverson commented on the hard fought battle with Cameron Clifford.
“It was a fun race,” Iverson said, “Had an awesome battle with Cam again. He raced good and clean.”
Runner up Clifford echoed Iverson’s sentiment on the hard fought battle, though he was surprised by his own speed.
“The race was a blast this week,” Clifford stated, “I didn’t think I would be that fast but I was surprised. I took the lead and thought I was okay until I used up the right front.”
Though he tried, he could not hold off the faster Iverson. The second place, though, was a welcome result for Clifford.
“It’s great to be back on the podium after a couple weeks of not being on there!”
Below are both current points standings and results from Saturday night’s race. Under that are links to the iRacing homepage and the 906 SIM League Facebook page for more information regarding both.
By Todd Rose