Thunder Valley 200 Recap

The G-Force Sim Racing Hijinx Clothing Vintage Cup Series took on the world’s fastest half mile for 200 laps last night. Bristol brought the drivers a new set of problems they haven’t seen yet this year. About an hour before the race the setup was discovered to be loaded wrong into the server leaving the drivers with only 45 minutes to practice with a completely different handling car than previously thought. The new setup proved to add calamity in practice with a very loose center off condition.

Fortunately, we pedaled the JuiceBox Pod Chevy around for a quick Q lap and started the race from the pole position. It was the 4th time we sat on the pole this season and was a huge advantage to stay out of any potential trouble early. 

The drivers took a cautious approach to the first run with a few early cautions deep in the field. After leading the first 32 laps, we shuffled back to third for a short run after Rocky Boyd and Gerald Campbell had pitted for tires on a previous caution. While pulling onto pit road, we were penalized for missing the commitment cone and had to restart in the back of the pack.

No harm no foul, as we found ourselves running 2nd 17 laps later.  A spin 10 laps after that put us back in the pack again, ready to claw our way back to the front. With some pit strategy, we took back the lead on lap 117.

We would hold point until lap 185; when a final pit strategy played out that saw the field pit while Campbell stayed out.  Campbell had just pit after an incident 10 laps earlier that saw points leader Chris Morse Jr. flip down the backstretch. 

A restart with just 14 laps left had us second behind Campbell with a quick caution keeping us there.  This setup what could be a 5 lap dash to the finish with us on 11 lap fresher tires.  The extra grip got us a great run to the outside of Campbell exiting turn two off the restart.  When we entered turn 3, a caution waved as we were completing the pass for the lead.  As luck would have it, Campbell was the leader at the last scoring loop and with no green, white, checkered finishes in this 1987 league, he would be declared the winner.

A solid effort from the Country Roads Motorsports team with a semi disappointing finish.  Second isn’t a terrible day but we’re all here to win.  Aside from the finish, we did lead a race high 95 laps and put down the fastest lap of the race.

Morse Jr. added to his point lead with a hard fought third place finish with a banged up race car.  Dallas Myhand kept his second place point position with a 4th place finish. Jake Hounshell rounds out the championship battle third place in points with Campbell and Steinmiller (us) tied for 4th in the standings. 

Next week the league heads to Martinsville for another 200 lap short track battle with just two races left in the season.  Tune in on Flatout Racing Network on YouTube to catch all the action Tuesday nights at 9:15 pm Eastern.

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