Corey Vincent (Overclock Motorsports) broke through for his first victory of the 2016 NASCAR PEAK Antifreeze Series season at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, narrowly holding-off Slip Angle Motorsports’ Ray Alfalla and Tyler Hudson (One Up Motorsports) on a 33-lap run to the checkered flag.
Alfalla started on the pole and ran up front throughout the race but did not have the long-run speed to get the best of Vincent. Hudson, meanwhile, took the lead late but could not hold on over the long run to the finish; he finished third after leading with fewer than 10 laps remaining. It was Hudson's first top-five finish of the season. The TEAM's Kenny Humpe followed his win at Richmond with a fourth-place result after starting 41st, and Cody Byus rounded out the top five.
Alfalla led early from the pole but lost the top spot when Vincent pitted one lap earlier for tires. The two were content to run nose-to-tail during the second tire run as they pulled away from the field. During the next round of stops, Alfalla pitted first, and his extra lap on fresher tires propelled him back to the front by nearly two seconds.
Vincent was unfazed by the deficit, however, and slowly began chipping into Alfalla’s lead. It took nearly 20 laps, but Vincent finally wrested the top spot from Alfalla and began to pull away once again. But another pit stop was looming.
Further back, Mitchell Hunt (High Performance Motorsports) was holding third but had dropped more than a full straightaway behind Vincent and Alfalla, making it a two-car race for the win barring a yellow. The caution held off for a third round of green-flag stops and once again, it was Alfalla who hit pit road first; but this time, his one-lap advantage on tires did not gain him the lead.
Vincent took complete command of the race after the third stop, gapping Alfalla by 2.5 seconds. That lead would evaporate when the yellow flew for the first and only time of the race on Lap 131.
The caution drew the leaders to pit road for their last set of fresh tires and adjustments with Vincent winning the race off pit road followed by Alfalla and Hudson. With 33 laps to go, the race went green and the three quickly jumped out ahead of the field. Hudson used the inside to his advantage and moved ahead of Alfalla, then set his sights on Vincent for the lead.
Two laps after the restart, Hudson made his move, drawing alongside Vincent after getting a great run off Turn 4. Hudson cleared Vincent in Turn 1 but Vincent attempted a crossover move off Turn Two, pulling back alongside Hudson down the backstretch. The two raced side-by-side through Turns 3 and 4 with Hudson getting the best of it to take the lead with 30 laps to go.
For the next 20 laps, Vincent hounded Hudson but could not find a way around until Hudson got tight off Turn Two with just nine laps remaining. Vincent capitalized on the mistake, surging to the race lead and bringing Alfalla to second while Hudson fell to third. The three simracers would ride in their respective positions to the finish with old tires making passing all but impossible barring a mistake.
Alfalla's runner-up finish helped grow his series points lead, which now sits at 14 markers over seventh-place finisher PJ Stergios (ineX Racing). Allen Boes (Deadzone) lost ground after dropping out of the race, and now finds himself 60 points back of the lead in third, tied with Jake Stergios. Humpe bookends the top five, a remarkable rebound considering the poor start to the season he endured.
With Vegas in the rearview mirror, the NASCAR PEAK Antifreeze Series moves to another 1.5-mile track – Charlotte Motor Speedway – for the longest race of the season. Charlotte may be the same size as Vegas, but the tracks could not be more difference surface-wise. Smooth and very fast, CMS requires a much different setup than the rough corners at LVMS. In addition, the high corner speeds at Charlotte tend to make passing difficult, making a good qualifying effort all the more important. Who is up to the challenge of 300 miles? Find out in two weeks by catching all the simracing action on iRacing Live!