Week seven of the iRacing Late Model Tour involved a visit the the venerable Martinsville Speedway. The half-mile “paper clip” is known for it actioned-packed racing that often contain at least a little bumping and banging.
The iRacing strength of field for this race was 4344. The strength of field is determined by averaging the iRating of each individual driver who entered the race. The race with the highest strength of field for the week is known as the “sthrength-of-field race.” More highly rated drivers in a given race means a higher strength of field, thus more points for each driver who finishes the race. The winner can expect to take home a lot of points in the featured strength-of-field race.
Ty Majeski, the persistent Late Model front-runner, sat on the pole for this race. Outside Ty was Landon Sciacca. Majeski and Sciacca are currently contending for the Late Model points lead.
Majeski had a good start, but he wasn’t able to pull away. Sciacca stayed right on his bumper. Another Late Model contender, Nathan Hammock was in third place. Kevin Myers quickly moved from eleventh to eighth, and was the biggest mover in this early stage of the race.
The “big one” happened on lap number three. Mark Arthur was running in fifth position. He slipped a little exiting turn two, and got loose. He was forced to the bottom of the track to save the car. David Lam happened to be there, braked hard, spun around and backed into the wall. Arthur continued unscathed.
Meanwhile, Chris Fletcher also got loose coming out of turn two. He was able to avoid Lam, he was hit by Cody Thompson when he slowed to regroup. Fletcher slammed the wall and immediately pitted behind David Lam. Thompson brushed the wall but he was able to continue the race.
These incidents caused the field to spread out a little, but if trouble can be found at Martinsville, somebody will find it. Raymond Emmons and Austin Jefferson jointly attempted to occupy the same space while battling for eighth position. Jefferson tried the pinch move but took it too far. He was out for the night. Emmons continued but had to contend with an ill-handling race car for the remainder of the event.
Meanwhile, Kevin Myers continued to drive the wheels off his Monte Carlo. Myers caught up with Mark Arthur in fifth, and wasted no time. He took the outside line on lap nineteen, relegating Arthur to sixth.
The field settled down after that, running single file for the last dozen laps. Ty Majeski retained a comfortable lead over Landon Sciacca, and went on to take the win at Martinsville. Sciacca finished second, followed by Nathan Hammock and Kevin Myers. Mark Arthur rounded out the top five.
Next week the Late Models will travel up north to Connecticut to heat up the asphalt at Stafford Speedway, another great old track that is well-known for thrilling Modified action. Although the track is about the same size as Martinsville, the racing there is quite different. The turns at Stafford are quite a bit longer, and the straightaways are shorter, giving the track less of a paper clip shape. Patience is the key at Stafford, and we’ll see who can win that battle next week.