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Huttu Captures Third iRacing .com World Championship Grand Prix Series Crown
iRacing Awards $30,000+ to World Championship Sim-Racers
Defending iRacing champ Humpe claims Kentucky triumph
Kenny Humpe ( The TEAM ) kept his hot streak going at Kentucky Speedway by winning his third NASCAR PEAK Antifreeze Series race of the 2016 season. The defending series champion led 50 of 167 laps, the most of any driver, in what turned out to be one of the most competitive events of the season thus far. Humpe closed the deal on a three-lap shootout that was punctuated by a caution on the penultimate lap with Humpe well in the clear. Michael Conti ( Team Conti ) finished second for his first top-five finish of the season. Conti was strong from the drop of the green and led 10 laps, flashing some of the speed that made him NASCAR PEAK Antifreeze Series champion in 2014. Dylan Duval followed Conti across the line in third, just in front of point leaders Ray Alfalla ( Slip Angle Motorsports ) and PJ Stergios ( ineX Racing ). Duval looked to have a car capable of winning the race the last 50 laps, but cautions held him back from challenging for the win; he started 34th. Alfalla looked poised to battle Humpe for the win but contact with Conti under caution with a handful of laps to go damaged the rear of Alfalla's car and dashed any chance he had of keeping up with Humpe on the last restart. The race was one of the more unpredictable of the season, as several drivers looked like they had a legitimate shot to win. Alfalla started on pole and led until pitting under green on Lap 35, where he lost the lead to Conti after the cycle of stops due to Conti pitting a lap earlier for tires. Alfalla methodically reeled him in, using his superior speed on the long run to take the lead back on Lap 55. Alfalla pitted for the second time on Lap 68 and again lost the lead on the exchange -- this time to Justin Bolton and Humpe, along with Conti for a second time. Humpe went to the point on Lap 81 with Alfalla looking to keep pace, but Conti held Alfalla at bay, using the outside lane to keep his momentum off the corners. Alfalla was persistent though, and after four laps of working the bottom lane he cleared Conti, but could not run down Humpe before the leaders hit pit road for a third time. Humpe maintained his lead after stops but a caution shortly after the round of stops changed the outlook of the race. While most of the leaders pitted for fresh tires, nine drivers decided to stay out with their slightly worn tires in hopes that track position would make a difference. Tyler Hudson ( One Up Motorsports ) inherited the race lead as the field took the green flag on Lap 109. Hudson held the lead for the next eight laps before another caution bunched the field and drew everyone to pit road for fresh rubber. Humpe went from 12th to seventh on the run, but now did not have a tire advantage. After a crash on the restart, the race restarted on Lap 126 and Humpe started to make his move back to the front. In 10 laps, Humpe was in third and had his sights set on Hudson in the lead. On Lap 140, Humpe drew alongside Hudson and completed the pass on the outside off Turn 4. Another caution with 17 laps to go could have derailed Humpe's chances, but a solid final pit stop and two stellar restarts let him hold the lead uncontested to the checkered flag. Alfalla's fourth-place result combined with Stergios' fifth-place effort saw Alfalla build his championship lead slightly. His margin over Stergios is 13 points, with Humpe a distant third, 78 points back. Teammates Jake Stergios and Chris Overland hold fourth and fifth, 91 and 96 points adrift, respectively. After four-straight races on 1.5 mile tracks, the NASCAR PEAK Antifreeze Series shifts gears for Week 11 as the SIM racing series visits the Indianapolis Motor Speedway . Overtaking at the one-groove IMS is notoriously difficult; thus, qualifying is more important than usual. Alfalla's average start of seventh makes him the clear favorite, but a dark horse could be Cody Byus, whose eighth-place average starting position is second-best in the series. Can Humpe or Stergios topple Alfalla, or will the two-time champ cross the yard of bricks for his second victory of 2016? Find out in two weeks on iRacingLive !
Alfalla retakes points lead on last-lap pass at Michigan
Ray Alfalla ( Slip Angle Motorsports ) captured his second victory of the 2016 NASCAR PEAK Antifreeze Series by passing Brad Davies off Turn 4 on the final lap at Michigan International Speedway on Tuesday evening. The finish marked the second-straight race that has been decided by a last-lap pass for the lead, although unlike one race earlier at Watkins Glen, there was no contact or controversy after the Michigan thriller. Davies played a good strategy to take the lead during the last round of pit stops and held the top spot for 20 laps due to repeated crashes and yellow flags. Alfalla had the better car and was on fresher tires, but never got a long enough run to challenge for the lead. His chance finally came on the final restart with two laps to the flag. When the green flew, Davies got a good jump on Alfalla, but the two-time series champion had closed up to the leader's bumper as the pair took the white flag. Alfalla was not close enough entering Turn One so instead of charging in over his head he was patient, backed up the corner, and got a great run on exit. Alfalla closed quickly down the backstretch and dove to the bottom entering Turn 3 as Davies protected the top. His fresh tires were too much for Davies as Alfalla passed uncontested off Turn 4 and took the checkered flag .05 of a second in the clear. Logan Clampitt ( High Performance Motorsports ) came home third, combining a solid pit strategy with a fast car and steady driving. Justin Bolton ( The TEAM ) was fourth, ahead of Andrew Fayash in his first top-five result. Alfalla started on pole and had the fastest car for much of the race but only led 46 of 125 laps, largely due to pit strategy. Instead of changing two tires and losing position on a subsequent long run, Alfalla opted for four fresh tires each time down pit road. This decision meant he had to fight through traffic on several occasions, but Alfalla used his experience to cleanly and effectively move through the field. During the middle segment of the race the field strung out and allowed some differing strategies to develop. Some sim racers chose a three-stop strategy in hopes fresh tires would make up for the extra trip down pit road, while others opted for a two-stop strategy. Alfalla chose the two-stop strategy and was helped out by a timely yellow flag on Lap 81 just before he was going to make his final pit stop. All but one car on the three-stop strategy also chose to pit, allowing Alfalla to keep nearly all of his track position, which put himself in prime position to win the race. From there, the race turned into a series of short sprints broken up by frequent caution flags. Seven of the nine cautions flew in the last 45 laps, making track position more important than a typical Michigan race. The win vaulted Alfalla back into the championship lead with three races remaining in the season. He now enjoys a 15-point advantage over PJ Stergios ( ineX Racing Team ) after Stergios struggled to a 14th-place finish at MIS. PJ's brother, Jake, is still hanging onto third, but his margin over Chris Overland shrunk to just four points after a Tuesday's disappointing 31st-place result. Dylan Duval is fifth, but is only seven points clear of Kenny Humpe after finishing 35th at Michigan. Only three weeks remain in the 2016 NASCAR PEAK Antifreeze season, and Darlington Raceway looms large as the next race on the schedule. Widely considered to be the toughest oval on the circuit, Darlington requires impeccable car control and patience to succeed. For Alfalla and Stergios, the goal is simple: get out front and stay there, away from potential carnage that can be common farther back in the field. Can Stergios close the gap on Alfalla, or is Alfalla primed to edge closer to his third world championship? Tune-in to iRacing Live in three weeks to catch the sim racing action from The Track Too Tough to Tame!
Byron checks off boxes one milestone at a time
Editor's note: This story originally ran July 12, prior to Byron's fifth series win of 2016 at Pocono Raceway. William Byron had one request for his father when he attended his first-ever NASCAR race at Martinsville Speedway on April 2, 2006. To see the ever-popular burnout. "My first race I went to, actually, Tony Stewart won and he climbed the fence at Martinsville," Byron told NASCAR.com at the Kyle Busch Motorsports shop in Mooresville, North Carolina earlier this month. "I told my dad when I went to my first race that we had to stay for the burnout, and now I get to do the burnouts, I get to do the cool celebrations, so that's a neat part for me." Now with four 2016 wins in just 11 career starts and an official lock in the Chase, the Camping World Truck Series Sunoco Rookie of the Year contender has left his own marks on the start/finish lines of Kansas Speedway , Texas Motor Speedway , Iowa Speedway and, most recently, Kentucky Speedway on July 7. For Byron -- who confessed he didn't even know how to do a burnout after his first win in Victory Lane -- the initial wave of success has taken the 18-year-old on a strong current that has left the NASCAR community wondering: where did this kid come from? Most recently, the hallways of Charlotte Country Day School in Charlotte, North Carolina. • • • It wasn't long ago that young Byron was living the life of an ordinary high school student in his hometown of Charlotte, North Carolina. Balancing classes, homework and the everyday tasks of high schoolers, he earned his first Camping World Truck Series win at Kansas Speedway just three weeks before donning a cap and gown for high school graduation. Diploma now in hand and atop the Camping World Truck Series point standings, he hasn't let off the gas since. "The first win was nerve-wracking and kind of got that out of the way so we could focus on the Chase," Byron said. "But then we kind of realized we had to get a second win to make sure we were locked into the Chase. When we got that second one at Texas, everything just started to roll after that." His success in a short period of time has surprised and impressed many. His mother, who was also at the race shop on Monday afternoon following a team win luncheon, showed off a picture of one of her son's early wins in racing, much like any proud mother would of her star high school football player, talented musician or stellar student. Several years ago, she wouldn't have anticipated William would be racing like he is today. Neither did William. "When I was a fan, I was a big fan of Jimmie Johnson ," Byron recalled. "… I just watched the races just like any young kid out there and aspired to be in racing. Not necessarily a driver, but now I've been able to drive and it's a dream come true." Byron kick-started his career later than most budding racers, purchasing his first Legends car at the age of 14, just four years ago. "When I was 12 or 13 … I started to understand racing and how I could drive a race car," Byron said. "I started to do iRacing and I was pretty good at it, so then I said, well if I can do that, maybe I can get into a Legend car or a real car and succeed in that. "Every step was kind of a new check off the list to see if I could do it." • • • As the 2016 season rolls on, Byron continues to check boxes off his list. His win at Kentucky marked the 51st win for Kyle Busch Motorsports, the most for any Camping World Truck Series team in series history. He matched Kurt Busch 's 2000 record in the Truck Series for the most wins in one season by a rookie with four trips to Victory Lane. Only difference between a young Busch and Byron? Busch recorded his final 2000 Truck Series win at the end of the season, while Byron has 13 more races to surpass that record and pencil his own name into the history books. "That's another incentive going down the road to try and get another win to break that record," Byron said of the potential milestone. "That's a personal incentive, but I like the team incentive that we set, just like getting the 51st win was really important to my guys and just really good for our team." With a humble and friendly demeanor, Byron gives credit to his team, both his own No. 9 crew as well as teammate and Gateway winner Christopher Bell , who he'll lean on for dirt experience in the upcoming race at Eldora Speedway . Bell won the race at the dirt track last year. And of course, there's team owner Kyle Busch , who has served as a mentor for several young drivers, including reigning Camping World Truck Series champion Erik Jones . Busch often refers to his young pupils jokingly as students in the " Kyle Busch School of Charm" -- but that charm dissipates slightly on the race track, as "Rowdy" transitions into often his students' fiercest competitor. "Kyle's competitive, obviously; he wants to win every week," Byron said of the boss man. "But at the same time, he doesn’t compromise the race team and helping us grow as young drivers to make sure we know what we need to do on the race track. So, he's a coach, a mentor and also a competitor. But when we get out there on the race track, he’s definitely trying to win and that's the cool part about it." Byron may be passing the School of Charm with flying colors but he'll become a student in a different facet in the fall, when he attends Liberty University as a business major. He's begun taking a couple courses now, but will start attending classes on campus when the new semester commences. Tack on the start of the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Chase in September, and the 18-year-old is looking at quite a hectic autumn. "The number one focus is the race team and that's what we’re making sure to do, is that we stay focused on what I need to do around the shop or how I need to manage that," Byron said. "But Liberty does a great job of managing my school around my racing. They know my schedule is busy, they see the races on T.V. and and they make sure that they’re following me, so they're going to know in the fall that there’s a lot going on but I think they really support it and they'll be able to work around it." As for the Chase? Byron & Co. have already started their homework. "The Chase races are races that we're, as a race team, are really good at," Byron said. "The mile-and-a-half races, we've won three of those of the four this year, and a couple short tracks we've done well on too. I think we're going to be really strong in Martinsville in the Chase and I've got a win at New Hampshire in the K&N car, so hopefully we can get a win there and solidify our spot in the next round and get to Martinsville to get to Homestead. "It's a tough challenge, but I'm just hoping that we have solid finishes and get a couple wins." Win by win, the column of checked boxes on Byron’s list seems to get longer and longer. While he focuses his target on the Camping World Truck Series championship for now, he aims higher later down the road. "Hopefully I can get to the (Sprint) Cup Series in the next four, five years," Byron said. "That's ultimately the goal to race at the top level of NASCAR. "I'm just trying to build those opportunities as they come and hopefully that's what lies ahead." &amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;lt;/p&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;gt;
Kenny Humpe shows the way at Charlotte
Kenny Humpe (The TEAM) once again showed everyone why he is the defending NASCAR PEAK Antifreeze Series champion, leading 168 of 200 laps en route to a dominant victory at Charlotte Motor Speedway . Humpe started on pole and was only challenged by Ray Alfalla (Slip Angle Motorsports) before a late caution created a five-lap dash to the finish. Humpe and Alfalla, along with nine others, chose to stay on the track for the shootout and hoped their track position would overcome worn tires. Corey Vincent (Overclock Motorsports) had been fast throughout the race and was the first car on four tires, restarting 12th. When the green flew, Humpe shot out to the lead as Vincent began to quickly pass cars using the top groove in Turns 1 and 2. However, Vincent's run was cut short when Nicholas Johnston (HPM) and Dylan Jones (Nexxus) sparked a massive crash exiting Turn 2, causing the race to end under yellow. Humpe took the win over teammate Justin Bolton, who came on strong in the second half of the race, with Alfalla coming home third ahead of PJ Stergios (ineX Racing). Dylan Duval's fifth place result made it three cars from The TEAM in the top five. Vincent could only manage eighth on the abbreviated last run, but almost surely would have won if the race stayed green to Lap 200. The race started with an 82-lap green flag run, complete with two rounds of green flag pit stops. Humpe and Alfalla were in another zip code early on with Alfalla the only sim racer within seven seconds of the lead by Lap 60. After a yellow on Lap 83 for Adam Gilliland's (Aftermath Motorsports) spin, Alfalla found new life in his car and challenged Humpe for the lead as the race approached the halfway point. Humpe was too strong though and held Alfalla at bay using the momentum from the outside lane. The middle segment of the race had its share of carnage as cautions broke-up the runs and led to some differing strategies when everyone pitted on Lap 120. On this round of stops Trey Eidson opted for just right side tires and inherited the lead while Humpe had a bad pit stop and found himself fourth on the restart behind Bolton and Alfalla. Humpe grabbed third from Alfalla on the restart before a huge crash in the back of the field brought the pace car out yet again. On the following restart Humpe was on the move again, this time picking off Bolton after just one lap and setting his sights on Eidson for the lead. Eidson and his old tires did not stand a chance as Humpe reeled him in after only four laps, but the pass for the lead nearly ended in disaster for both drivers when they went for the same piece of track off Turn 2 and made contact. The impact sent Eidson into the wall, damaging his car, while Humpe continued unscathed and leading once again. The last 65 laps were paced comfortably by Humpe, save for Alfalla having one more go for the lead with 11 laps remaining. As was the case earlier in the race, Humpe held-off the two time champion on the top as passing on the bottom proved difficult on old tires. Despite missing-out on the victory Alfalla built on his championship lead and now sits 14 points ahead of PJ Stergios as the 2016 season reaches the halfway point. Humpe continues his rise up the standings and is now 58 points back in third. After a 14th place finish last night, Jake Stergios is fourth while Vincent rounds out the top five. With the first half of the season in the books the NASCAR PEAK Antifreeze Series has a five-week break before starting the second half of the season at Chicagoland Speedway on June 28. The break, along with a new iRacing build due for release before the race, could shake-up who has speed when cars return to the track. Can Alfalla continue on his way to a third championship? Or, can Humpe continue his hot streak and complete an unprecedented comeback to win his second title in as many years? Be sure to catch the sim racing action when the NASCAR PEAK Antifreeze Series reopens for business the evening of June 28 in iRacingLive!
2013 champ Hudson snags first win of season
Tyler Hudson made his first visit to Victory Lane in the 2016 NASCAR PEAK Antifreeze Series at Darlington Raceway Tuesday night, holding-off Taylor Hurst ( Aero Precision Chassiswerks ) and Brad Davies on the race's final run. Hudson, the 2013 series champion, had found limited success by his standards in 2016 with only a single top five to his name through the first 13 races. Hudson took the lead for the final time on Lap 150 after completing of the final pit cycle of the race. He then ran steady, consistent lap times over the final 33 laps to earn his first trip to the winner’s circle in three years, pulling away from the rest of the field -- including PJ Stergios ( ineX Racing ) who looked dominant early in the race. Stergios seemed to lack long-run speed and fell to fourth on the final run. He was followed across the finish line by brother Jake Stergios in fifth. Championship contenders Ray Alfalla ( Slip Angle Motorsports ) and PJ Stergios shared the front row with Alfalla getting the jump from pole position at the green flag. Alfalla and Stergios quickly built a gap on the field only for a caution flag to wave on Lap 13 for a crash near the back of the field. The caution drew the leaders to pit road for tires and fuel where Alfalla made an uncharacteristic mistake by stopping too short in his pit box. The error cost him seven positions, allowing Stergios through to the lead; Alfalla would not lead another lap in the race. Stergios made the most of the situation by leading 83 of 183 laps, but Hurst also looked strong and reeled-in the ineX Ford Fusion before pitting on Lap 51. Stergios made his stop on Lap 57 which gave Hurst, thanks to his fresh tires, a 12-second gap on the former race leader once the two returned to the track. Even with the tire disadvantage and a quickly closing Stergios, Hurst was able to hold the lead until his next pit stop on Lap 84. Stergios once again inherited the lead and before he could hit pit road again, a caution waved on Lap 94 for a crash involving Robin Williams and Bryan Blackford. The biggest loser among the leaders was Alfalla, who pitted early in the cycle and was trapped a lap down when the caution flew. He took the wave around to regain the lap lost, albeit on older tires. When the race went green again, Stergios led from Hudson and looked to capitalize on Alfalla's misfortune while Hurst was trying to regain the track position he lost as the result of pitting under green. As the run wore on, Stergios was unable to get away from the field as he had earlier in the race. Initially, Hudson and Hurst matched his lap times but, as the laps added up and the tires wore down, they began closing on the leader with Hudson's iAnalyze Racing Fusion passing Stergios for the lead on Lap 125. Then, Hudson made the winning move in the pits, gaining valuable time on Stergios while also enjoying the advantage of clean air. Stergios could never find the speed he had earlier in the race and faded as Hudson asserted himself when it mattered most. Not all was lost for Stergios, however. Alfalla’s troubles caused him to finish a disappointing fourteenth, all but erasing his points lead with two races remaining. Alfalla now leads Stergios by only four points, setting the stage for a thrilling battle in the weeks to come. Jake Stergios is third in the standings ahead of Chris Overland and Dylan Duval ( The TEAM ), who holds fifth by a single point over teammate Kenny Humpe. With the championship picture tightening once again the series heads to New Hampshire Motor Speedway for the penultimate race of 2016. The NASCAR PEAK Antifreeze Series has not visited New Hampshire since 2014, but both Stergios and Alfalla have had success on the Magic Mile in the past. Stergios finished fifth in 2014 while Alfalla finished second in 2012 and third in 2013. Who can avoid trouble on the slow, flat corners of NHMS? Who will enter Homestead in the best position to win the 2016 NASCAR PEAK Antifreeze Series title? Find out in two weeks on iRacingLive !
Stewart puts driving skills to virtual test
Tony Stewart tested his driving skills in the "Mobil 1 Virtual Showdown" where Stewart took his talents to the virtual world and competed against some of iRacing's best drivers in a Pocono Raceway race simulation.
Boes Wins Daytona after Wild Green-White-Checker
Allen Boes opened the 2016 NASCAR PEAK Antifreeze Series powered by iRacing .com season with a thrilling victory at Daytona International Speedway , beating Brandon Schmidt and PJ Stergios in an abbreviated green-white-checker run to the finish. Boes (Deadzone) found himself out front when the caution flew on Lap 94 of 100 for a crash further back in the field. The yellow allowed the leaders, who were all borderline on fuel, to conserve enough to go the distance and when the green flew on Lap 99 the battle for the win was on. Stergios started on the outside of the front row on the restart and began to make his move down the back straightaway, using a timely push from Schmidt (Last Row Motorsports). As Boes headed to turn three Stergios inched to his outside, but worn tires combined with a hot, slick race track were about to make turn three very interesting. Almost every single car overestimated the grip level and slid up the track. Stergios grazed the wall as he fought to stay alongside Boes then made contact with the race leader. The impact killed Stergios’ momentum, along with his chance at victory. The contact set up Schmidt to make a charge up the inside as the leaders came off turn four to take the white flag. Schmidt drew alongside Boes at the exit of the corner and the two cars came together. The contact sent Schmidt into a slide, just as Casey Tucker spun in front of the back half of the field. The caution flew before the leaders could take the white flag, with Boes just in front of a sliding Schmidt when the caution lights illuminated. Schmidt regained control and held onto second followed by Corey Vincent (Premiere Motorsports Group) and Timmy Hill (Aftermath Motorsports and current NASCAR Camping World Truck Series driver). Stergios faded to fifth after his brush with Boes and the turn three wall. Initially, the race looked as if it would come down to fuel mileage after a caution on Lap 51 which put many drivers into a window to go the distance without stopping again if they could save a couple laps of fuel. A handful of drivers including reigning NPAS champion Kenny Humpe (The TEAM) decided against saving fuel and pitted in hopes the rest of the field would run out before the finish. As the laps clicked down the strategy to pit appeared to have a chance at paying off as the pack of drivers who stayed out were running so slowly in an attempt to save fuel they were in danger of being run down by the cars with plenty of gas in the tank. Unfortunately, the late-race caution did not allow the differing strategies to play out. The drivers that pitted under green and were not involved in the crash had little hope of securing a good finish with just two laps of racing remaining. For the first time in the history of NPAS handling was an issue at Daytona. The drivers fought with ill-handling cars all race and passing proved difficult after the tires heated up. While the racing may not have been as close in years past, the race was more in the hands of the drivers instead of luck. Handling and a looser pack also contributed to less crashes as thirty-six cars finished the race, thirty-four of which were on the lead lap when the checkers flew. The NPAS will go without an off week between the first and second races of the season as Atlanta Motor Speedway is due up next Tuesday. Atlanta is the first 1.5-mile track of six such circuits on the schedule and the race should be a great litmus test for which teams have done their homework over the offseason. Boes will look to continue his recent hot streak on the intermediate tracks, which dates back to the NASCAR iRacing Pro Series, but Humpe and the rest of the NPAS veterans will likely be hard to beat. Who will come out of Atlanta in good position early in the season and who will have already dug themselves a hole? Tune into iRacingLive next Tuesday at 9 pm ET to catch the action!
NASCAR hits sports-crazed Kansas City
Earnhardt Jr., others pulling for MLB's Royals RELATED: Follow your picks in the Perfect Chase Grid Challenge for chance at $100,000 prize KANSAS CITY, Kan. -- Dale Earnhardt Jr . is a fan of the Kansas City Royals baseball team, which might come as a surprise given the geographical distance between Kansas City and Mooresville, North Carolina. A dedicated Washington Redskins fan on the gridiron, Earnhardt Jr. keeps tabs on the Royals because of a friendship forged by KC manager Ned Yost and Earnhardt Jr.'s father, seven-time NASCAR premier series champion Dale Earnhardt. Yost and the elder Earnhardt hunted together, and Yost attended races as a guest of the Richard Childress Racing team while he was working with the Atlanta Braves. The manager, who wears No. 3 on his uniform out of respect for Earnhardt, has followed Junior's career through the years, even staying up late to watch this year's rain-delayed Daytona 500 won by Earnhardt Jr. "I read a couple of articles where he said he was real pleased with how we did in Daytona," Earnhardt Jr. said Friday at Kansas Speedway , site of Sunday's Hollywood Casino 400 (ESPN, 2 p.m. ET). "Knowing his friendship with my dad, it's pretty cool that he is watching me. That meant a really good deal to me. "He is a genuine guy with a genuine appreciation and friendship with my father. It means a lot to me that he follows me still to this day and I want to see him do well as much." The Royals are in the playoffs for the first time since 1985. Tuesday night, they defeated the Oakland A's in an American League wild-card matchup. On Thursday, they beat the Angels in Game 1 of the AL Division Series. Both victories came in extra innings. The series moves to Kansas City this weekend, with Game 3 in the best of 5 series slated for Sunday night -- not long after Earnhardt Jr. and his fellow NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers wrap up the opening race in the Contender Round of this year's Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup. "I have seen him in different circles," the Hendrick Motorsports driver said of Yost. "He has been on iRacing (a simulated racing series) a little bit over the last several years, (I've) seen him on there. "Just different things, but we don't really have consistent contact with each other, but there is a mutual respect for sure." Roush Fenway Racing driver Carl Edwards spent time with the Royals earlier this year, throwing out the first pitch when the team hosted Tampa Bay in April. "We actually had an (invitation) to Ned Yost to come out there to the … track but we are glad he can't because of all their success," Edwards said. It's been a huge week for fans of Kansas City sports teams. In addition to the Royals' success, the Kansas Chiefs are coming off a huge win over the New England Patriots in Monday night's NFL matchup. Edwards, Clint Bowyer and Jamie McMurray all hail from the region, and Bowyer said it would be huge if a local driver could pick up the win Sunday. "Look at the story line that Kansas City has had this week -- if somehow a Kansas City driver could win this race, that would be unbelievable," the Michael Waltrip Racing driver said. MORE: READ: Latest Chase news PLAY: Monitor your Chase Grid Game picks WATCH: Latest NASCAR video FOLLOW LIVE: Get RaceView FULL CHASE COVERAGE • Chase hub page • Chase Grid games • #MyChaseNation
Stergios earns third NASCAR Peak Antifreeze Series Victory at Chicagoland
PJ Stergios (ineX Racing) won his third NASCAR PEAK Antifreeze Series race of the 2016 season, beating Slip Angle Motorsports' driver Ray Alfalla at Chicagoland Speedway . The two were the class of the field in the series' first race after the summer break, but Stergios pulled-off the victory with better long-run speed and a superior pit strategy. Alfalla settled for second, 2.2 seconds behind the winner after starting from the pole and leading a race-high 90 of 167 laps. Chris Overland was third, more than seven seconds behind Stergios. Taylor Hurst and Justin Bolton rounded out the top five. On the short runs Alfalla was in a class of his own, but the race came down to long-run speed with only one caution being thrown for Timmy Hill ’s (Aftermath) spin entering pit road during the first round of stops. Alfalla, who was the leader at the time of the caution, led the field down pit road but lost the lead to Dylan Duval (The TEAM) on the pit exchange. On the ensuing restart Duval held-off Alfalla for six laps before finally giving way as he simply could not match the speed of two time champion's Ford Fusion. However, as the run wore on Stergios began to reel Alfalla in. By the time green-flag pit stops were imminent, Stergios' Ford was right on Alfalla’s bumper and inherited the lead when Alfalla was the first to pit. Due to pitting a lap sooner than Stergios, Alfalla returned with a sizable margin over his nearest competitor. Stergios almost immediately started cutting into the margin and by the time 25 laps had elapsed in the run he was within striking distance of the lead again. On Lap 98 Stergios made his move to the bottom in Turn Three in an attempt to take the lead but Alfalla hung tough on the outside to keep Stergios at bay. Unable to clear Alfalla, Stergios devised a new plan to take the lead. On this run Stergios pitted a lap before Alfalla; this allowed him to take the lead and build a gap of nearly three seconds. With only one more pit stop needed before the finish, Alfalla was now chasing the lead for the first time all race. On this run Alfalla had more speed and began to reel Stergios in despite a near disaster with Overland that saw Alfalla on the receiving end of an inadvertent tap from behind entering Turn One. The contact sent Alfalla into a slide but he masterfully recovered and continued his pursuit of Stergios. Alfalla was only a couple car lengths behind Stergios when the final pit window opened and once again it was Stergios getting the jump on Alfalla on pit road. By pitting a lap earlier for the second run in a row, Stergios saw his lead grow to over four seconds. Alfalla started to close the gap again but stalled-out midway through the run and was unable to mount a challenge. T he win could prove critical for Stergios' championship hopes as he cut into Alfalla's points lead. Alfalla now leads by just 11 points as the top two continue pulling away from the rest of the field. Kenny Humpe retained third place in the standings but lost ground after a twenty-eighth place finish due to a blend line violation while leaving pit road. Humpe’s poor result allowed Jake Stergios to move into a tie for third in the standings despite finishing P14 in the Windy City. However, Humpe and Jake now sit a distant 85 points behind Alfalla. Overland bookends the top five, jumping in front of Corey Vincent and making for three ineX Racing drivers in the first five positions. Week 10 of the 2016 NASCAR PEAK Antifreeze season takes the sim racers to another 1.5-mile track: Kentucky Speedway . While Chicagoland and Kentucky are equal in length, the similarities end there. Kentucky’s surface is very rough, flat, and wide making it a challenge to create an optimal setup. Will Stergios and Alfalla continue to duel for the victory or can Humpe or another driver spoil the party at the front? Be sure and catch all the sim racing action in two weeks on iRacingLive when the NASCAR PEAK Antifreeze Series drivers take on Kentucky!