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Lindsey takes first NiSWC victory at Vegas

March 20, 2013, Jason Lofing, NASCAR.com

Lindsey takes first NiSWC victory at Vegas
After starting on the pole, Lindsey led 153 laps

Marcus Lindsey finally put it all together. After spending much his first year in the NASCAR iRacing.com Series World Championship underachieving and running mid-pack, Lindsey finally broke through with a dominating performance at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in the second round of the 2013 championship. His #1 Chevy SS was dominant, and Lindsey took full advantage by starting on pole and leading 153 of 167 laps.

Steve Sheehan put the pressure on with 15 laps to go, but could not find his way by and had to settle for second, just .085 of a second behind. Ray Alfalla rebounded from a disappointing Daytona result for third ahead of Tyler Hudson as Kevin King held-off Brian Schoenburg and Carson McClelland for fifth.

Lindsey held a comfortable lead for most of the online race and was rarely challenged until Sheehan gave him a run for it at the end.

“Well, not sure what to say,” Lindsey said. “Really excited. Glad I was able to win the race straight up. Had never led a lap or qualified in the top five prior to this race, and everything went the right way to get a pole, lead a lot of laps, and seal it off with a win.”

Only four cautions slowed the field for 16 laps. Three of the four yellows waved soon after the start, the first coming on Lap Four when Thomas Lewandowski went for a spin in front of most of the field. Luckily no one else hit the spinning #16 car. On the ensuing restart, John Gorlinsky spun exiting Turn Two right in front of Daytona winner Adam Gilliland. With nowhere to go, Gilliland was collected in the crash and suffered considerable damage. He limped home in twenty-fourth.

"Everything went the right way to get a pole, lead a lot of laps, and seal it off with a win."

--Marcus Lindsey

After the flurry of yellows to start the race, the last of which came on Lap 18, the field settled down and the race went the next 97 laps caution free. Lindsey, who was sixth at the restart on Lap 23 after losing some spots on pit road, only took five laps to drive back to the front and passed Alfalla in Turn Three to re-assume the lead.

The long run included green flag pit stops, with some drivers opting to short pit in order to gain track position while others tried to stretch their fuel for as long as possible. No matter what strategy drivers chose, no one could touch Lindsey as he steadily pulled away.

His big lead evaporated on Lap 118 when Patrick Baldwin lost control off of Turn Two, bringing-out the fourth and final caution of the evening. The yellow allowed everyone to pit and take-on enough fuel to make it to the end. When Lindsey won the race off pit road, the other drivers knew it would be a tall task to stay with him, much less try to pass.

When the race restarted with 47 laps to go, Alfalla tried to attack. For nearly 20 laps the two-time defending series champion’s Ford Fusion stayed right on Lindsey’s bumper, but was unable to make the pass. All the hard driving took a toll on Alfalla’s tires and he gave way to Sheehan with 21 laps to go. Sheehan, like Alfalla, could get to Lindsey’s rear bumper but could not find a way by before time ran out.

The race resulted in shake-up in the early season points race. Hudson now leads the standings by eight points over Brandon Kettle, who has quietly recorded two solid finishes at Daytona and Vegas. Matt Bussa and McClelland are tied for third, 10 points back while Gilliland falls to fifth, 11 points out of the lead.

With the first two races decided by less than a tenth of a second, the NiSWC heads to Phoenix International Raceway for the first short track race of the season. PIR, much like Vegas, is all about track position so a good qualifying run will be important. The races at Phoenix often have many accidents as well, especially right after a restart so drivers who know how to keep their car clean until the end normally run well here.

With such an exciting start to the season, the action should be just as intense at the tight confines of PIR. Can Hudson keep his points lead with another consistent finish? Will Lindsey keep his momentum going, or will Alfalla find his championship form? Find out in two weeks live on iRacing Live and MRN.com.

        Average Lap Time Laps Completed Cautions Caution Laps Lead Changes      
        36.759 167 4 16 7      
Fin Pos Driver Start Pos Car # Interval Laps Led Average Lap Time Fastest Lap Time Fast Lap # Laps Comp Pts Status
1 Marcus Lindsey 1 1 0 153 36.759 29.782 121 167 48 Running
2 Steve Sheehan 10 6 -0.085 0 35.307 29.63 121 167 42 Running
3 Ray Alfalla 9 2 -0.0452 5 36.755 29.671 2 167 42 Running
4 Tyler D Hudson 13 1 -1.1372 0 36.757 29.762 121 167 40 Running
5 Kevin King 2 29 -1.1566 1 36.767 29.655 121 167 40 Running
6 Brian Schoenburg 32 55 -1.729 0 36.745 29.675 78 167 38 Running
7 Carson McClelland 15 24 -1.762 0 36.759 29.726 121 167 37 Running
8 Carson Downs 26 97 -1.815 0 36.751 29.762 121 167 37 Running
9 Dustin Montgomery 19 8 -2.339 2 36.759 29.755 24 167 36 Running
10 Jake Stergios 23 41 -3.754 0 36.765 29.753 121 167 34 Running
11 Brad Davies 21 11 -5.108 0 36.774 29.749 121 167 33 Running
12 Brandon Kettelle 22 80 -5.787 0 36.777 29.841 121 167 32 Running
13 Peter Bennett 12 69 -5.879 2 36.786 29.804 121 167 32 Running
14 Casey Malone 39 92 -6.01 0 36.764 29.887 2 167 30 Running
15 Matt Bussa 33 34 -7.309 0 36.778 29.874 121 167 29 Running
16 Thomas Lewandowski 7 16 -7.628 0 36.8 29.721 2 167 28 Running
17 Robert Hall 24 30 -7.94 0 36.789 36.789 64 167 27 Running
18 Cody Byus 30 27 -8.158 0 36.786 29.861 79 167 26 Running
19 Jon Adams 34 84 -8.301 0 36.427 29.724 78 167 25 Running
20 Philipp Geiss 43 66 -8.389 0 36.775 29.884 75 167 24 Running
21 Richard Dusett 8 96 -10.429 0 36.817 29.757 74 167 23 Running
22 Michael Conti 6 5 -10.772 0 36.82 29.639 64 167 22 Running
23 Joey Brown 3 12 -11.519 0 36.826 29.856 2 167 21 Running
24 Adam Gilliland 29 81 -13.971 0 35.173 29.982 79 167 20 Running
25 Paul Kusheba 37 32 -16.459 0 36.52 29.816 2 167 19 Running
26 Jason Karlavige 35 60 -21.463 0 36.861 29.772 2 167 18 Running
27 Brandon Schmidt 28 3 -1L 0 37.055 29.936 2 166 17 Running
28 Danny Hansen 17 20 -1L 0 37.044 29.785 2 166 16 Running
29 Chris Main 14 38 -1L 4 37.097 29.764 62 166 16 Running
30 Michael J Johnson 27 39 -1L 0 36.472 29.964 2 166 14 Running
31 Matt Whitten 42 18 -1L 0 37.112 29.742 135 166 13 Running
32 Andrew Fayash III 41 77 -2L 0 37.2 29.803 2 165 12 Running
33 Nick Ottinger 38 5 -2L 0 35.935 29.697 2 165 11 Running
34 Chad J Laughton 5 26 -2L 0 36.944 29.711 121 165 10 Running
35 Alex Warren 36 82 -2L 0 35.613 29.76 2 165 9 Running
36 Joshua Laughton 16 40 -8L 0 37.293 29.705 136 159 8 Running
37 Byron Daley 40 93 -13L 0 38.78 29.829 15 154 7 Running
38 Patrick Baldwin 4 52 -51L 0 37.515 29.892 15 116 6 Disconnected
39 Josh Berry 25 91 -120L 0 56.204 29.811 32 47 5 Running
40 John Gorlinksy 11 21 -126L 0 48.709 29.83 2 41 4 Disconnected
41 Jared Crawford 18 83 -148L 0 56.954 29.888 15 19 3 Disconnected
42 Landon Huffman 20 75 -150L 0 58.899 29.97 2 17 2 Disconnected
43 Derek Crone 31 7 -159L 0 01:01.5 29.993 2 8 1 Running



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