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Laughton brothers go 1-2 at Talladega

July 10, 2013, Jason Lofing, NASCAR.com

First siblings to earn top-two spots in a NASCAR iRacing Series World Championship event

The NASCAR iRacing Series World Championship saw its first sibling 1-2 finish on Tuesday night when brothers Joshua and Chad Laughton crossed the line first and second respectively at Talladega Superspeedway. The brothers worked together off and on for much of the race and found each other when it counted, with Joshua getting pushed to the lead by Chad on Lap 84.

From there, it was all about having smooth restarts and quickly hooking up into a two-car tandem, which both brothers did perfectly en route to sweeping the top two positions. Peter Bennett finished third, Brandon Kettelle, who is always strong at the restrictor plate tracks, was fourth and Andrew Fayash III rallied from a thirty-ninth place starting spot to finish fifth.

Daytona winner Adam Gilliland started on pole and looked strong early as he led 14 laps. His tandem partner Matt Whitten also led nine laps early on as the two looked to factor into the battle for the win. Unfortunately, Whitten got caught up in a crash, leaving Gilliland without a drafting partner in the closing stages.

Starting up front at Talladega actually turned out to be a disadvantage. Only one driver (Chad Laughton) who finished in the top ten had a top fifteen starting position. It seemed as if nearly every contender for the win would get taken out shortly after they had made their way to the front.

The Laughton brothers avoided the carnage by staying just far enough behind the big packs of cars, giving themselves enough breathing room to avoid the crashes which caused the yellow flag to fly seven times during the race. In all, 27 of 94 laps were completed with the pace car leading the field.

Points leader Tyler Hudson came into Talladega with a slim lead in the standings and things took a turn for the worse shortly after the race got underway. Hudson was running near the rear of the field on lap four when he ran into the back of John Gorlinsky trying to avoid trouble ahead. The contact left Hudson with a crumpled nose and short on speed. He was quickly lapped and spent the middle portion of the race a lap down to the race leaders. However, the frequent cautions allowed Hudson to get the lucky dog and fix his damage which allowed the championship leader to salvage a ninth place result and extend his points lead.

Hudson was thankful he toughed it out, “When I went almost two laps down I was on the very edge of pulling it in for the night,” said Hudson. “Anyway, in the end Casey Malone really saved me. We were both torn up pretty bad but all things considered we made a plan and stuck with it ‘til the end and we backed ourselves into a top 10.”

Nick Ottinger looked to be in prime position to grab the points lead after Hudson’s early trouble, but fell victim to damage after contact on Lap 72 while battling Kettelle for the lead. Ottinger continued on and attempted to work his way forward but was collected in the big crash on Lap 91, which relegated him to 21st. He now sits 22 points out of the lead.

Ray Alfalla, who is now 29 points out of the lead, also missed a golden opportunity at Talladega. After starting dead last, Alfalla quickly moved through the field and looked to be a contender for the win. His luck ran out on Lap 67 when he was involved in a crash on the frontstretch. Alfalla did not lose a lap and continued on, but the car never had the same amount of speed and he finished 20th.

Brian Schoenburg and Marcus Lindsey, who are fourth and fifth in the standings, failed to finish because of crash damage and are in danger of falling out of the championship hunt. They now sit 37 and 52 points out of the lead and will need the three drivers in front of them to have trouble if they have any hopes of rejoining the title fight.

Next up on the NASCAR iRacing Series World Championship schedule is one of the most famous circuits in all of motorsports; Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Drivers will likely be thankful to have the final restrictor plate race in the rear-view mirror, but will have to contend with a track not well suited for big, heavy stock cars. This track favors the veterans so look for the top five in the standings to make a push to the front here.

After nearly four years, will this be the race in which Hudson picks up his much overdo first win? If he hopes to do it, he’ll surely have to deal with Alfalla and Ottinger, both of whom have been strong every week this season.  Be sure to catch all the action from Indy in two weeks on iRacing Live and MRN.com!

        Average Lap Time Laps Completed Cautions Caution Laps Lead Changes      
        1:10.113 94 7 27 43      
Fin Pos Driver Start Pos Car # Interval Laps Led
Fast Lap Time
Fastest Lap Time
Fast Lap # Laps Comp.
Pts
Status
1 Joshua Laughton 35 40 0 10 01:10.1 46.287 76 94 47 Running
2 Chad J Laughton 15 26 -0.168 1 01:10.1 46.394 56 94 43 Running
3 Peter Bennett 37 69 -0.781 8 01:10.1 46.337 57 94 42 Running
4 Brandon Kettelle 22 80 -1.239 10 01:10.1 46.351 57 94 41 Running
5 Andrew Fayash III 39 157 -1.677 0 01:10.1 46.195 83 94 39 Running
6 Matt Bussa 36 34 -2.195 0 01:10.1 46.182 74 94 38 Running
7 Thomas Lewandowski 25 16 -2.699 0 01:10.2 46.194 83 94 37 Running
8 Rob Ackley 33 22 -2.954 0 01:10.1 46.183 74 94 36 Running
9 Tyler D Hudson 40 1 -3.2 0 01:08.9 46.461 74 94 35 Running
10 Casey Malone 34 92 -3.582 0 01:10.1 46.461 74 94 34 Running
11 Danny Hansen 20 20 -4.009 0 01:10.2 46.267 85 94 33 Running
12 Dylan Duval 14 42 -4.356 5 01:10.2 46.363 40 94 33 Running
13 Kevin King 17 29 -4.505 1 01:08.6 46.54 32 94 32 Running
14 Bryan Blackford 28 33 -4.977 0 01:10.2 46.506 32 94 30 Running
15 Adam Gilliland 1 81 -5.685 14 01:10.4 46.107 76 94 31 Running
16 Brandon Buie 21 54 -6.378 0 01:10.2 46.258 41 94 28 Running
17 Chad Coleman 4 28 -7.604 0 01:10.2 46.261 76 94 27 Running
18 Landon Harrison 7 89 -8.402 0 01:08.6 46.526 57 94 26 Running
19 Carson McClelland 16 24 -8.932 0 01:10.2 46.282 85 94 25 Running
20 Ray Alfalla 41 2 -9.619 6 01:07.1 46.238 9 94 25 Running
21 Nick Ottinger 2 5 -1 L 4 01:09.4 46.337 56 93 24 Running
22 Alex Warren 6 82 -2 L 0 01:08.9 46.541 57 92 22 Running
23 Brian Schoenburg 24 55 -3 L 0 01:07.4 46.383 51 91 21 Disconnected
24 Byron Daley 5 93 -4 L 3 01:07.8 46.363 40 90 21 Running
25 Matt Whitten 8 18 -8 L 9 01:06.1 46.107 76 86 20 Running
26 Carson Downs 13 97 -9 L 0 01:06.1 46.261 76 85 18 Disconnected
27 Jake Stergios 29 41 -9 L 1 01:14.6 46.523 5 85 18 Running
28 Chris Main 31 38 -18 L 4 01:04.1 46.269 41 76 17 Disconnected
29 Richard Dusett 30 96 -18 L 1 01:04.1 46.339 42 76 16 Running
30 Michael Conti 3 5 -18 L 0 01:04.1 46.241 76 76 14 Disconnected
31 John Gorlinsky 32 21 -26 L 0 01:01.7 46.27 41 68 13 Disconnected
32 Cody Byus 23 27 -27 L 7 01:01.8 46.518 28 67 13 Disconnected
33 Michael J Johnson 11 39 -27 L 0 01:01.7 46.235 9 67 11 Running
34 Derek Crone 12 7 -28 L 4 01:01.7 46.53 42 66 11 Disconnected
35 Marcus Lindsey 9 1 -28 L 0 01:02.1 46.336 42 66 9 Running
36 Paul Kusheba 38 32 -28 L 0 01:01.7 46.36 51 66 8 Disconnected
37 Patrick Baldwin 27 52 -45 L 0 01:00.2 46.259 41 49 7 Disconnected
38 Brad Davies 19 11 -45 L 0 55.12 46.389 43 49 6 Disconnected
39 Josh Berry 18 91 -61 L 6 47.196 46.475 28 33 6 Disconnected
40 Joey Brown 10 12 -62 L 0 48.734 46.499 4 32 4 Disconnected
41 Brandon Schmidt 26 3 -62 L 0 48.685 46.498 4 32 3 Disconnected