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Alfalla Stretches Fuel, Wins Michigan

August 21, 2013, Jason Lofing, NASCAR.com

Alfalla Stretches Fuel, Wins Michigan
Alfalla is poised for a NiSWC hat trick after his win at Michigan.

Ray Alfalla played his strategy just right after a flurry of early yellows and found victory lane at Michigan International Speedway for his second win of the 2013 NASCAR iRacing.com Series World Championship. Alfalla made the winning move on Lap 37 when he pitted out of the lead during the sixth caution of the online race. The move put Alfalla deep in the field, but he knew if the race went green to the end he would be able to make it on just one more stop. It turned-out to be the winning call as the last 85 laps ran without a single yellow flag.

Alfalla’s teammates Thomas Lewandowski and Brad Davies finished second and third. Peter Bennett finished fourth for his second straight top five run, while Rob Ackley crossed the line fifth for his first top five of the season.

“I didn’t get to run this race last year, so the track made it up to me, how nice.” — Ray Alfalla

After last year’s disappointment at Michigan which saw him finish dead last as the result of Internet issues, Alfalla was pleased with his complete reversal of fortune. “(I) pitted when we knew we could make it on one stop, and few others did,” said Alfalla. “That was that! I didn’t get to run this race last year, so the track made it up to me, how nice.”


The beginning of the race was filled with cautions, a stark contrast from last year’s caution-free race. However, after the field thinned and settled down the racing was much cleaner the rest of the way. This hurt drivers who had been banking on more cautions for their strategies to be effective.

Among those hoping for more yellows were Joey Brown, Kevin King and Nick Ottinger. They had the fastest cars on the track for most of the race but their strategy, which saw them pit twice under green, put them out of contention for the victory. Brown still finished sixth, a decent result, but disappointing considering how strong of a car he had. King started on pole and also appeared to be a threat for the win, but found trouble when he bounced off the wall and damaged his suspension, while Ottinger ran into major trouble exiting pit road.

Despite not having a blazingly fast car, Alfalla is now in firm control of the championship after Ottinger and Tyler Hudson both failed to finish in the Top 25. Hudson, who led the NiSWC standings much of the season, started deep in the field and was involved in a crash early, leaving him with a damaged car for the remainder of the race. He limped home twenty-seventh.

Ottinger’s championship hopes were dealt an even bigger blow when he lost control of his car while getting up to speed after his final pit stop of the race. He slammed into the inside wall, causing major damage to the front and rear of his car, relegating him to thirty-fifth place at the finish. “I do not know what to say. I honestly do not,” said a dejected Ottinger. “Can’t believe our luck tonight; however we ran really strong but it just was not meant to be.”

Alfalla now leads Brian Schoenburg, who was bit by pit strategy as well and finished fourteenth, by 31 points. Marcus Lindsey is now third after his eleventh place run at MIS, 42 points behind. Hudson fell to fourth and Ottinger slipped back to fifth, 58 and 63 points back respectively. Ottinger is in danger of slipping even farther back as Michael Conti (P15 at MIS) and Bennett are both only three points further back.

With only five races remaining, Alfalla is now in the driver’s seat as he seeks an unprecedented third straight NiSWC crown. With a 31 point lead, the championship is his to lose. The rest of the top five will have their work cut out for them as the series moves to Atlanta Motor Speedway for Week 14. Atlanta is yet another track where Alfalla excels. He finished second there in 2012, while only one of his four closest competitors could manage a top ten result.

With Ottinger and Hudson faltering, Alfalla is showing why he is the two-time defending series champion. Will he keep riding his wave of success in Atlanta? Tune into iRacing Live and MRN.com in two weeks’ time to find out!

        Average Lap Time Laps Completed Cautions Caution Laps Lead Changes      
        51.001 125 6 23 15      
Fin Pos Driver Start Pos Car # Status Interval Laps Led
Avg. Lap Time
Fast Lap Time
Fast Lap # Laps Comp.
Pts
1 Ray Alfalla 6 2 Running 0 39 51.001 37.994 2 125 48
2 Thomas Lewandowski 30 16 Running -4.178 1 51.012 38.146 85 125 43
3 Brad Davies 16 11 Running -6.054 0 51.038 38.199 21 125 41
4 Peter Bennett 26 69 Running -13.254 0 51.09 38.324 7 125 40
5 Rob Ackleyrob-ackleyRob Ackley 28 22 Running -16.581 0 51.113 38.372 14 125 39
6 Joey Brown 7 12 Running -16.843 5 51.132 37.974 2 125 39
7 Landon Harrison 37 89 Running -17.121 0 51.107 38.329 83 125 37
8 Steven Gilbert 34 37 Running -18.23 0 51.12 38.346 84 125 36
9 Brandon Buie 27 54 Running -18.753 0 51.131 38.268 41 125 35
10 Bryan Blackford 35 33 Running -20.981 0 51.154 38.167 41 125 34
11 Marcus Lindsey 9 1 Running -21.889 4 51.172 38.099 76 125 34
12 Jared Crawford 4 83 Running -23.878 0 51.193 38.093 69 125 32
13 Matt Bussa 22 34 Running -24.022 1 50.649 38.14 41 125 32
14 Brian Schoenburg 21 55 Running -24.509 0 51.182 38.149 41 125 30
15 Michael Conti 40 5 Running -26.106 0 51.177 38.116 41 125 29
16 Danny Hansen 11 20 Running -26.147 18 51.206 38.143 41 125 29
17 Byron Daley 23 93 Running -26.445 0 51.197 38.219 69 125 27
18 Kevin King 1 29 Running -26.715 28 51.219 38.112 2 125 27
19 Carson McClelland 2 24 Running -33.879 0 51.274 38.058 70 125 25
20 Brandon Schmidt 10 3 Running -34.786 0 51.274 38.252 21 125 24
21 Casey Malone 29 92 Running -34.871 3 51.258 38.418 7 125 24
22 Michael J Johnson 8 39 Running -37.304 0 51.296 38.235 2 125 22
23 Tom Moustakas 18 10 Running -37.413 0 51.287 38.259 73 125 21
24 Brandon Kettelle 20 80 Running -37.892 0 51.29 38.342 41 125 20
25 Kevin Burris 17 45 Running -1 L 0 51.418 38.224 7 124 19
26 Jake Stergios 31 41 Running -1 L 0 50.395 38.409 21 124 18
27 Tyler D Hudson 39 1 Running -1 L 0 50.907 38.368 7 124 17
28 Alex Warren 19 82 Running -1 L 0 51.432 38.338 21 124 16
29 Tyler Laughlin 33 51 Running -1 L 0 51.45 38.214 30 124 15
30 Brandon Hauck 3 53 Running -1 L 0 51.524 38.127 74 124 14
31 Andrew Fayash III 36 157 Running -1 L 0 51.522 38.556 81 124 13
32 Chad Coleman 32 28 Running -1 L 0 50.972 38.418 7 124 12
33 Simon Crochart 5 48 Running -2 L 0 49.768 38.075 2 123 11
34 Sascha Wesler 14 31 Running -3 L 0 52.174 38.597 81 122 10
35 Nick Ottinger 12 5 Running -13 L 26 52.47 38.107 2 112 10
36 Ashley Miller 13 7 Running -21 L 0 58.454 38.133 2 104 8
37 Lee Herron 15 44 Running -49 L 0 58.968 38.223 2 76 7
38 Adam Gilliland 24 81 Disconnected -68 L 0 01:01.2 38.378 14 57 6
39 Kenny Humpe 41 58 Disconnected -96 L 0 01:10.6 38.448 7 29 5
40 Patrick Baldwin 38 52 Disconnected -102 L 0 01:09.0 38.472 7 23 4
41 Jon Adams 25 84 Disconnected -103 L 0 01:10.2 38.275 21 22 3