It’s been one year, six months and about a week since I last ran the Silver Crown in a race session in iRacing. That was back on November 7, 2008.I never fell out of love with this car since I first drove it or got my first official win with it back in 2008. It’s awesome fun and it’s challenging to drive (even more now that the fuel tank location is properly modeled and the handling adjusts as it burns off). I just became a victim (like many members) of the issues this car had of getting an official race, so I gave up on it. This season I’m going to try to run regularly on a Thursday night where work allows.
This season I’ve been running time trials in every oval-based championship on iRacing and in Week 1 at Phoenix managed to time trial 1st in my division and 20th overall. It’s now just over half way through Week 2 and at Homestead I am currently 1st in my division and 7th overall. In the points I currently lead my division by 64 and am ninth overall, trailing by just 58.
I just got home in time to run a qualifying session before the race: I put on a good show and managed to do my second lap around the track without lifting, setting a 29.793 laptime which would put me on pole for the race fifteen minutes later.
I decided to start the race in second gear, something I had never done in the past and managed to hold the inside into turn one. I lifted and David Beattie – who started second – managed to get into the lead on the backstretch.
I knew David would hold the inside so I decided that I didn’t need to lead the race until the last lap anyway. I stayed in second-place and we ran that way until lap 12 when two cars approached from behind. I let them both pass, figuring they’d battle for the lead with David and would probably all wear their tires so much that I’d be able to pass them easier when it mattered.
On lap 20 Broderick Roa, who was one of the two cars that passed me earlier, lost his connection and dropped from the server. This gave me third-place.
By lap 38 I had witnessed many laps of David on the inside and Edmund Hershber on the outside. It didn’t look like Edmund was going to be able to make the pass stick and it also looked like David was very adept at protecting the inside, so I decided to draft with Edmund on the outside and see if I could help him pass… I’m not sure if it was me pushing, the lap car ahead of him or whether he did it by himself but Edmund eventually managed to make it stick and take the lead on the outside.
David then carried too much speed into turn three after losing his lead and left the inside open enough for me to get underneath him. I managed to take the place and after blocking him in behind the lap car mentioned earlier, I managed to pull away from him in a comfortable second-place.
For the next ten laps or so I tried to stay as close to the back of Edmund as I could. We drafted away from David and made it a two car battle for the lead.
With ten laps to go I started to move around and see what I could do behind Edmund. I tried a few times to see if I could go flat through turns three and four, but seemed unable to hold the car low enough and I really didn’t like pushing towards the outside wall. I knew I would need a mistake from Edmund to win the race but unfortunately one never came. I crossed the line just two-tenths behind him for a second-place finish.
I was really disappointed with this result. I think I waited too long to try to take my move and I was also carrying way too much fuel. I was clearly the fastest car out there even with a full tank and using the iRacing Advanced setup…
Oh well, good points finish. Clean race with no incidents and no cautions. I set the fastest lap of the race on lap 53, a 29.758 (which was faster than my qualifying time – it is truly amazing that people don’t understand the draft in the Silver Crown after all this time and how much of an effect it can have), which was a really nice time considering I lifted in turns one and three.