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Ottinger survives G-W-C finish to win at Kentucky

NASCAR.com

 

After a late-race slide at Pocono cost Nick Ottinger a shot at the win, the hottest driver in the 2013 NASCAR iRacing Series World Championship season rebounded with an impressive victory at Kentucky Speedway. Ottinger took the lead for the first time on Lap 68 and led the rest of the way, barely holding-off polesitter Michael Conti on a Green-White-Checkered finish.

The duel for the win was set-up by the eighth caution of the race, which gave Conti one more chance to grab the victory from Ottinger. Conti timed the restart perfectly and ran side-by-side with Ottinger through Turns One and Two. Pocono winner Ray Alfalla also joined the fight as the leaders dove off into Turn Three, heading for the white flag. However, another crash in the back of the field brought out the ninth and final caution, freezing the field and securing Ottinger's victory by less than a car length.

Conti was second and Alfalla was third. Byron Daley had one of his best runs of the season with a fourth place finish and Brian Schoenburg bounced back from a last lap crash at Pocono to grab fifth. Marcus Lindsey just missed-out on another top five, coming home sixth after running near the front most of the evening.

Ottinger started twelfth, not great by his standards, but quickly worked his way through the field. On the first two pit stops during early yellow flags, Ottinger chose to go the conservative route and took four tires on both trips down pit road. This turned out to be a great call as the online race went green for nearly 70 laps after the second pit stop, which had seen many drivers opt for just two tires in order to gain track position. Taking advantage of his four fresh tires, Ottinger quickly worked past the drivers who had only taken right sides on the previous stop. Although Conti was on the same strategy and had plenty of speed, Ottinger was never passed on the track again and went on to lead 96 of 167 laps.

In the early going it looked as if Conti was the favorite to win. He led 46 laps and was consistently the fastest car on the track. Unfortunately, when he and Ottinger found themselves back in traffic after a round of pit stops Ottinger got through the traffic better and Conti was left staring at the Rheem Chevy's rear bumper the rest of the way.

Ottinger's fourth win of the season also helped him gain ground in the championship standings. Tyler Hudson still holds the lead, but following his eight place run at Kentucky, his margin over Ottinger has dwindled to 11 points. Alfalla also gained some ground and is now third in the standings, 19 markers back. Schoenburg is fourth, just four points back of Alfalla and three points ahead of Lindsey, who is fifth.

As the first half of the season has come to a close, consistency has been the name of the game. Five drivers still have a legitimate shot at the championship at $10,500 prize, with Conti also may have an outside shot due to him currently having a zero as a drop week.

Hudson has been on another level of consistency thus far, which could be tough to beat. Despite no wins and only two top fives, his average finish is ninth and he always seems to be a factor at the end. The competition will be stiff though as the top five is chock full of NiSWC experience.

Hudson will try to keep his points lead as the second half of the season kicks off at the most unpredictable of race tracks: Talladega Superspeedway. It is the race that anyone can win, and nowhere on the track is safe. An early crash could take out any one of the championship front runners and put a major speed bump in their quest for the title, but a win could do wonders for their chances.

Could this be the week Hudson or Schoenburg finally reach victory lane in the NiSWC? Or will we see another surprise, first time winner in the series as we did when Adam Gilliland took the checkered flag at Daytona earlier this year? Tune into iRacing Live and MRN.com for thrilling superspeedway action from Talladega!

        Average Lap Time Laps Completed Cautions Caution Laps Lead Changes      
        1:14.655 200 8 29 11      
Fin Pos Driver Start Pos Car # Interval Laps Led
Fast Lap Time
Fastest Lap Time
Fast Lap # Laps Comp.
Pts
Status
1 Nick Ottinger 12 5 0 96 44.954 30.368 114 167 48 Running
2 Michael Conti 1 5 -0.161 46 44.964 30.37 2 167 43 Running
3 Ray Alfalla 2 2 -0.386 7 44.827 30.329 115 167 42 Running
4 Byron Daley 9 93 -0.954 0 44.962 30.558 61 167 40 Running
5 Brian Schoenburg 4 55 -1.346 0 44.968 30.449 114 167 39 Running
6 Marcus Lindsey 3 1 -1.929 0 44.972 30.387 115 167 38 Running
7 Carson Downs 16 97 -2.353 0 44.965 30.516 42 167 37 Running
8 Tyler D Hudson 19 1 -2.775 0 44.966 30.455 115 167 36 Running
9 Dylan Duval 17 42 -3.101 14 44.969 30.519 114 167 36 Running
10 Danny Hansen 41 20 -3.889 0 45.124 30.448 114 167 34 Running
11 Michael J Johnson 10 39 -4.262 0 44.981 30.51 115 167 33 Running
12 Bryan Blackford 33 33 -4.755 0 44.967 30.63 148 167 32 Running
13 Brad Davies 8 11 -5.138 1 44.988 30.495 42 167 32 Running
14 Thomas Lewandowski 27 16 -5.571 0 44.976 30.538 42 167 30 Running
15 Chad J Laughton 5 26 -6.673 0 44.998 30.483 42 167 29 Running
16 Casey Malone 29 92 -7.371 0 44.986 30.692 115 167 28 Running
17 Steve Sheehan 20 6 -8.159 0 44.719 30.422 114 167 27 Running
18 Matt Bussa 7 34 -8.726 0 45.168 30.471 115 167 26 Running
19 Adam Gilliland 21 81 -9.09 0 44.248 30.601 42 167 25 Running
20 Justin Trombley 24 17 -9.868 0 45.003 30.644 61 167 24 Running
21 Andrew Fayash III 32 157 -10.457 1 45.003 30.818 120 167 24 Running
22 Jake Stergios 39 41 -10.739 0 44.998 30.645 61 167 22 Running
23 Chad Coleman 34 28 -11.622 0 45.009 30.599 112 167 21 Running
24 Kevin King 15 29 -12.188 0 44.423 30.572 114 167 20 Running
25 Brandon Buie 31 54 -12.939 0 44.494 30.633 117 167 19 Running
26 Peter Bennett 35 69 -13.899 0 45.02 30.451 116 167 18 Running
27 Kevin Burris 23 45 -15.647 0 45.039 30.609 115 167 17 Running
28 Alex Warren 30 82 -16.195 0 45.038 30.582 115 167 16 Running
29 Jason Karlavige 18 60 -1 L 1 43.726 30.518 61 166 16 Running
30 Carson McClelland 11 24 -6 L 1 43.515 30.463 116 161 15 Disconnected
31 John Gorlinsky 28 21 -7 L 0 43.418 30.457 112 160 13 Disconnected
32 Brandon Kettelle 26 80 -7 L 0 43.496 30.595 2 160 12 Disconnected
33 Richard Dusett 6 96 -14 L 0 43.997 30.525 115 153 11 Running
34 Landon Harrison 38 89 -17 L 0 49.372 30.97 2 150 10 Running
35 Josh Berry 37 91 -26 L 0 41.256 30.426 114 141 9 Disconnected
36 Rob Ackley 22 22 -59 L 0 39.178 30.714 42 108 8 Disconnected
37 Paul Kusheba 42 32 -109 L 0 35.336 30.705 5 58 7 Running
38 Patrick Baldwin 14 52 -111 L 0 42.41 30.549 42 56 6 Running
39 Robert Hall 13 30 -112 L 0 41.475 30.786 2 55 5 Disconnected
40 Landon Huffman 25 75 -113 L 0 41.427 30.71 2 54 4 Disconnected
41 Tyler Laughlin 36 51 -113 L 0 41.408 30.798 3 54 3 Disconnected
42 Cyril Nousbaum 43 99 -113 L 0 41.41 30.754 2 54 2 Disconnected
43 Joey Brown 40 12 -118 L 0 36.931 30.707 2 49 1 Disconnected

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