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.
Three weeks in and three winners for the 906 SIM League Spring Series. Week one belonged to Cameron Clifford, the second to Robby Iverson, and this week to Todd Rose. This round of the Spring Series brought the action to the Iowa Speedway for a 100 lap race. For the first time this season, drivers would have to make at least one pit stop for fuel during the race.
Practice welcomed the familiar names of Iverson and Clifford to the top of the charts, with Kyle Johnson continuing to show pace in the third position. Qualifying, however, saw a new name to the 906 SIM League, Scott Bolster, claim the pole. Iverson and Clifford followed him in second and third by less than a tenth of a second.
A total of 13 drivers, led by polesitter Scott Bolster, took the green flag for the 100 lap race. Bolster would lead the first lap, but before the end of lap two the lead would belong to Cameron Clifford. Entering turn one, Clifford made the move to Bolster’s inside and completed the pass with no issue. Bolster slotted into second place ahead of Robby Iverson until the yellow flag flew on lap 14.
On the restart, Clifford jumped back to the lead while Iverson made use of the inside line to take third from Bolster. Before the drivers could settle in and get back in a rythym, another caution would fly for a three car incident (below) involving Cody Johnson, Scott Hoffman, and Curtis Aho. It all began when Johnson ran wide out of turn four and bounced back down the track into Aho and Hoffman.
When the pits opened, the top five cars all stayed out while Todd Rose peeled off and joined the cars collected in the accident (Cody Johnson, Curtis Aho, and Scott Hoffman) in pit lane. All four drivers received four fresh tires and fuel from their virtual pit crews, with fast repairs used by Cody Johnson, Aho, and Hoffman. For Aho, unfortunately, issues plagued his visit to pit road as his car stalled just beyond his pit stall. After trying to refire it, he resorted to the tow button, costing him a lap.
Again, the green flag flew with Clifford taking the lead. Hard racing ensued over the course of the next 25 laps or so, with Iverson taking the battle to Clifford for the lead and side by side battles through the top half of the field.
By lap 55, the time had come for the cars that had yet to pit to make their way to their virtual crews under green flag conditions. The pit cycle was treacherous for the leaders, as they tried to peel off without losing any time. Cameron Clifford just barely made it in while Kyle Johnson behind him wasn’t as lucky as he missed pit entry and had to come back in the next lap.
With stops complete, Todd Rose had inherited the top spot. Behind him, Scott Hoffman moved into second while Curtis Aho found himself in third one lap down. Aho would soon pass Rose to make his way back on to the lead lap. Without the aid of a caution, the cars that had made green flag pit stops were all at least one lap down, with some two laps down. The race would run to the end without any further incident as the top two of Rose and Hoffman went into fuel save mode. In the end, the race win went to Todd Rose, who had one lap of fuel to spare when he crossed the finish line. Scott Hoffman held on to second while Curtis Aho recovered from his issues for third.
Todd’s thoughts: I am just happy to be able to race with the drivers I write about on a weekly basis. To win meant the world to me, even if it was a roll of the dice kind of win. I made the mistake of racing Robby to keep him a lap down in case of a caution and burned quite a bit of fuel that I should have been saving. In the end we made it, though, and had enough for half a wheel spin of a burnout!
Both Scott Hoffman and Curtis Aho echoed the sentiments of other drivers in the past weeks of the clean and hard racing that has been seen in the 906 SIM League.
“906 SIM is probably one of the best leagues I’ve ran,” said Hoffman, “I couldn’t ask for a better group of people.”
“Coming in second was good, but a win would have been better,” he added, “I was conserving fuel too early in the run.”
Aho mentioned the pit stop following the early race incident as a turning point for his race.
“I pitted around lap 27, I believe, due to being involved in a little wreck,” Aho started, “That pit stop set me up for fuel for the rest of the race.”
Below are both results from Iow as well as the current points standings. Under those are links for more information on the 906 SIM League and the iRacing service.
By Todd Rose