As the title says, round 29 of the iRacing DOM (German NASCAR League) returns the drivers to the virtual Talladega oval in a digitised version of Alabama. With 8 races remaining in the 36-race series, we’re approaching 3/4 of the way through Robert Graf’s first full season in the series and he’s still pushing for points to add to his tally. It only takes one little problem (see above) to spell the end of a run though… or does it?
Click “Read More” to see Robert’s race report.
Normally I finish quite good in Talladega, so I like this one the most. This time wasn’t different, a 3rd place in the training run and a good qualify time showed I was up there.
However, I messed the qualify slightly (again!) and in Talladega this makes for a big loss. So I had to settle for 12th on the grid, high risk country.
There was an early yellow on lap 18, but I cleared that one without problems and from that point on things started to look very good indeed. Improved my position with a litle push and shove immensely, got a few leading laps and even the green flag pitstop in lap 58 went without a problem. The field really tried to race clean, even 3-wides were very controlled. And in front people changed lines, pushed each other, so no one could pull away.
On lap 98 fuel started to become low again, but a crash in front of me took care of that problem (see picture). It also deformed my car on the front end quite a bit. I thought the race over, but my pitcrew worked a miracle and had me out with only an extra 19 seconds. The car was just good enough to keep up with the leaders afterwards, but a win was off the menu.
The top pack was now reduced to 8 cars, with me clinging onto every fender I could find. On lap 106 I lost a bit of draft and was passed on both sides within inches. But then again the lines slowed and I stayed in the middle to regain 2 positions. In the final 2 laps the leading pack was mixed up with backmarkers, so you carefully had to look out for the people you were actually racing. With a little help from rookie Matthias Lamm I was able to snatch 5th from teammate Lukas Przybylski just before the line.
TOP5 is all good, especially considered the crash I was in. 7 races to go!