Indy Fixed Oval Series
Cannata Nips Tracy at the Line to Win Indy 200
May 26, 2018 | Wayne Hutchison
The final race of the Majors Fixed Indy Winter series was held, appropriately, at Indianapolis, on Thursday night. 27 drivers unloaded their Dallara IR-18's for practice where Scott Kukas stunned everyone with a 39.363 (draft aided) to clock the fastest time. When it was time for qualifying, Jake Fox showed everyone how it's done, grabbing pole position with a 39.584. Wayne Hutchison lined up outside the front row with a 39.588 while Joshua Cannata (39.595) and Elliot Meme (39.603) filled row 2. Ray Partridge and Kevin Froese slotted into the 3rd row while Nick Kuhn and Carl Burk took starting positions 7 and 8. The final row of the top 10 held Marcus Tracy and John King.
The race itself started of hectic and remained that way for most of the 200 miles. Early on, Fox, Meme, and Cannata were able to create a small gap to the field as they fought amongst themselves. Meanwhile the battle for positions 4-10 were being hotly contested by Hutchison, Partridge, Tracy, Burk, Dee Palmer, Kuhn, King, and others. There were some cautions early on which eliminated a hand full of drivers, and there were various strategies in play as some drivers would pit for fuel/tires and some would stay out to gain track position. In the latter portion of the race, there was a lengthy green flag run. As the leaders pitted one by one, Hutchison stayed out and assumed the lead, hoping to stretch his fuel to the end. At the same time, Elliot Meme was running 2nd, about 20s back, but with enough fuel to make it to the finish. When it became obvious Hutchison was going to end up about 4 laps short, and about to pit for a splash, the final caution came out as Mark McFadden tried to knock down the turn 4 wall. This killed Meme's chance for an uncontested win and saved Hutchison's race all at the same time. Most cars pitted under the caution and the race restarted with a 5 lap sprint to the finish. The racing was close and cutthroat and it took a great run of T4 on the final lap for Cannata to get by Tracy at the line to take the win by 0.007s! Ray Partridge finished 3rd, .098s back, while Meme, Hutchison, and King took spots 4/5/6.
Congrats to Josh for winning his 5th race of the season and for winning the series championship. Second place in the championship went to Wayne Hutchison, with Jose Pabon taking 3rd overall, Marcus Tracy 4th, and Todd Labronte 5th. Series regulars David Feiker, Arturo Amro, Jeremy Testar, Jake Fox, and Chad Barker filled out the top 10.
Some stats on this season: 103 drivers participated in at least 1 race. There were 10 different winners in 14 races. 36 different drivers finished in the Top 5 at least once. And we averaged 22 drivers per race with a low of 15 at Kentucky and a high of 35 at Watkins Glen. This series turned out to be much better than I ever thought it would be and I look forward to a new season with new challenges. Thanks to all who participated and Good Luck in the Majors Indy 500!
Kuhn Nips Cannata at Line for First Win
May 11, 2018 | Wayne Hutchison
The 100 lap race saw 16 lead changes at the S/F line, 6 different leaders, some very tense side-by-side racings, and some unfortunate crashes. Lap leader was Cannata who led over half the race, but Hearn and Kuhn both lead for 19 laps each, and Reynolds, Hutchison and Jose Pabon also led laps during the race. As 4 of the 5 cautions came early in the race, there was a very long green flag stretch from lap 40 that forced different drivers onto different strategies - fuel saving vs full speed. When the final caution flew around lap 92, there were only 5 cars left on the lead lap, and 2 of those were running on fumes. Cannata and Fox decided to stay out on slightly used rubber to gain track position while Kuhn, Hutchison, Kukas, and Reynolds all pitted for fresh rubber and a splash of fuel. The last 5 laps of green flag racing were some of the most intense side-by-side action of the season. Cannata and Fox stayed side-by-side up front for the first 3 laps, effectively stopping any runs from behind until a small slip up the track in T3 by Fox allowed Kuhn to duck underneath and take 2nd with 2 to go. Kuhn then challenged around the outside of Cannata on the last lap and had enough of a run that he went from 1/2 a car back i T4 to 1/2 a car ahead by the finish line to take his first win in the series! Cannata finished 2nd, Fox 3rd, and Hutchison 4th, all within .142s. If this was any indication of what is to come at Indy in 2 weeks, that race will be a barn burner!
The second place finish by Josh Cannata was enough to clinch the championship with 396 points from 9 races (4 wins). Wayne Hutchison currently sits 2nd with 329 points from 10 races while Jose Pabon is 3rd overall with 281 points from 10 races. Todd Labronte moved into 4th place with 249 and David Feiker, who suffered through a couple of wrecks early on, dropped one spot to 5th.
One race to go, May 24th at Indianapolis for 200 miles. Let's see if we can get a full field for this final race of the season.
First Win for L'Herbier at Motegi
May 05, 2018 | Wayne Hutchison
Round 12 of the Majors Fixed Indy series was held at the Twin Ring Motegi oval in Japan. 18 drivers made the trek half way around the world to see if they could get the win at the only track Danica Patrick ever won a race at. Jake Fox led qualifing with a stout 26.695s lap to take pole position. Wayne Hutchison had to settle for outside front row at 26.790, while Marcus Tracy (26.793) and David Feiker (26.813) filled out the 2nd row. Nick Kuhn and Scott Corbin started in the 3rd row with Carl Burk and Todd Labronte starting 7th and 8th respectively.
The race started out very frantically with lots of 3,4,and 5-wide racing all through the pack. This aggressive driving did lead to a total of 8 cautions for 31 laps and a field of just 9 cars still running at the end. Jake Fox grabbed the early lead for the first 35 laps before being passed by Nick Kuhn, who led for the next 19 laps. Finally, on lap 54, Vincent L'Herbier got to the front for good, but still had to fend off Kuhn for several laps before slowly pulling away from the field. The final order was L'Herbier, Fox, Kuhn, Hutchison, and Gustavo Cianfarani in 5th. Finishing 6th was Marcus Tracy, who had to come back from an early race wreck, and a fast repair that didn't work completely, to be just 1 lap down at the end. Mark McFadden, Scott Kukas, and Ronald Mcmanus were the other finishers in 7th, 8th, and 9th respectively.
With just 2 races to go in the season, the points standings show Joshua Cannata holding down 1st place with 350 points on the strength of 4 wins. Wayne Hutchison retains 2nd place at 313 points, while Jose Pabon is 3rd with 276. David Feiker sits 4th at 226 and Todd Labronte moved into 5th place at 224. With just your best 10 finishes counting in the standings, there is still lots of movement among the top 10 possible as the season wraps up.
Next week's race is 100 laps at Charlotte Motor Speedway before we finish up on May 24th with 200 miles at Indy. The racing's going to be great, and it'll be even better if you join us!
Cannata Extends Lead with Win at Auto Club
April 20, 2018 | Wayne Hutchison
Twenty brave souls showed up for Thursday's Majors Series Fixed Indy race at Auto Club Speedway. It was hot and humid for this night race, the 11th race in the 14 round series. Qualifying showed where the speed was, with Joshua Cannata taking pole at 32.312s. Outside front row was Lynn Kincheloe with a 32.327 while the second row was filled by Mike Kelley and Jake Fox. Todd Labronte and Wayne Hutchison grabbed starting spots in the 3rd row while Carl Burk and Nick Kuhn started 7th and 8th respectively.
The race got off to a slow start when Jake Fox had connection issues and had to pull of the track just as the green flag flew. This brought out the yellow before everyone had crossed the S/F line so we had to spend the next several laps untangling the black flags and out-of-position cars. Finally, the race got underway on lap 9 with Cannata charging into the lead closely followed by Kincheloe, Labronte, and Kelley. There was a lot of close racing throughout the field, some maybe a little too close for comfort, but there were only a couple of incidents and lots of long green flag runs. Several drivers elected to pit for new tires and fuel under caution around lap 20, which put a couple of different strategies into play. No one could make it to the end from there but those who had pitted clearly had the advantage of being able to wait a lot longer for another caution. As it worked out, just one lap before Cannata and Hutchison needed to pit from 1-2 around lap 45, a caution did come out, putting everyone on the same strategy from there onwards. Cannata never looked back and drove away to win the race by almost 5s from Hutchison who had to make some iffy outside passes on Labronte and Kelley to take 2nd place back after the pits stops. Todd Labronte finished 3rd with Mike Kelley 4th. Nick Kuhn brought his car home 5th and Jose Pabon quietly finished 6th after starting 20th.
With just 3 races to go, and drop weeks starting to take effect, Josh Cannata holds the championship lead with 350 points from 4 wins. Hutchison is 2nd with 295, while Pabon is 3rd with 276. David Feiker moved up 1 spot to 4th at 226 while absent Arturo Amro dropped to 5th with 223.
For the next race on May 3rd, we've had to make a schedule change. There are no iRacing fixed setups available for the IR-18 at Milwaukee so we'll instead by racing at Twin Ring Motegi. This 1.5 mile egg-shaped oval should prove challenging for even the best of our drivers and should be a lot of fun for all! See you in Japan!
Fox Wins at Pocono
April 13, 2018 | Wayne Hutchison
Week #10 of the Majors Fixed Indy Series took place Thursday night at the newly repaved Pocono Raceway. Twenty-three drivers showed up to find Indycar racing at it's finest: high speeds, lots of grip, and impressive draft! The new Dallara IR-18 still suffers from some aero push, as do most aero dependent cars, but the ability to run 3 or 4 different lines through the corners made that less of an issue for most drivers.
Qualifying was flat out for 4 laps and at the end the pole sitter was Wayne Hutchison with a 41.295s time. Outside front row was Joshua Cannata at 41.301. The second row was filled by Mark McFadden and Scott Corbin while Jake Fox and Adam Young Q'd into the 3rd row. In all, 22 cars stayed around for qualifying.
The race itself oscillated back and forth between high speed pack racing with lots of side-by-side racing/passing and 2 minute pace laps under yellow. In all there were 7 cautions for 28 laps in a 60 lap race. But when the green flag flew there were some mid-length stretches of great racing. Six different drivers officially led at least 1 lap (Cannata-27, Vincent L'Herbier-13, Hutchison-9, Arturo Amro-6, Carl Burk-4, Jake Fox-1) and there were several other drivers that may have held the lead briefly somewhere during each lap. In the second half of the race Jake Fox and Arturo Amro both tried different strategies to get off cycle with the rest of the pack and in both cases it worked out with them moving to the front of the pack after a caution with about 13 laps to go. From there the racing was furious, sometimes 4 or 5 wide, but in the end it came down to a 1 lap shootout after the final caution, and Jake Fox managed to get to the checkered flag first for the win! L'Herbier finished 2nd, Marcus Tracy 3rd, Hutchison 4th and David Feiker 5th. Mike Franklin was the big mover of the race, starting 21st and finishing 6th.
With just 4 races to go in the 14 race Winter Series, the points lead is still held by Joshua Cannata at 294. Jose Pabon maintains 2nd place at 258, Wayne Hutchison is 3rd with 252, while Arturo Amro has 223 for 4th and David Feiker moves into the top 5 at 209 points. From here only the best 10 finishes for each driver will count in the standings so we might see the race for the championship tighten up a bit.
Next week's race is at Auto Club Speedway - 80 laps of California Dreamin' :)
Norton Knows COTA!
March 31, 2018 | Wayne Hutchison
The second and final road course race of the Majors Fixed Indy Winter 2018 series was held Thursday night at Circuit of the Americas. Twenty three drivers unloaded their shiny new Dallara IR-18 Indy cars and by the end of free practice, 20 were left to brave the tricky, twisty circuit.
Qualifying saw Christopher Norton set a blistering lap of 1:44.036 to take the pole, with Scott Corbin just over 0.5s behind in 2nd. Linden Swaby showed a lot of speed to take 3rd at 1:45.138 and Arturo Amro grabbed the 4th grid spot with a very quick 1:45.681. Adam Young and Ronald McPherson passed on qualifying and started tail of the field in row 10.
Once the green flag flew, the early fight was on between Norton, Corbin, Swaby, Amro, Paul Slavonik, Kurt Krumm, and Edu Vila. Eventually Norton started to pull away and would eventually win by over 30 seconds. Swaby brought is Dallara home 2nd, fending off Krumm in the waning laps. Amro finished 4th, Corbin 5th, Slavonik 6th, and Vila 7th, the last car on the lead lap. This race was definitely not the tidiest race we've ever run with most drivers collecting 15-20 incidents points, primarily for those pesky off-track 1x's.
After 9 races in the 14 round series (top 10 finishes count towards championship), Joshua Cannata still holds on to 1st place with 263 points - powered by 3 straight wins early in the season. Second place continues to be held by Jose Pabon with 236 points, while Wayne Hutchison sits 3rd at 215. Arturo Amro moved up 3 places into 4th overall at 209.
The next race is on April 12th at the new Pocono Raceway. That will be followed by Auto Club, Milwaukee, Charlotte, and Indy to wrap up the season. See everybody at Pocono!
Jose Pabon Gets a Big Win at Iowa, Moves into 2nd in Points!
March 25, 2018 | Wayne Hutchison
A brand new car - the Dallara IR-18, and Iowa at night. What a combination! Twenty drivers unloaded their IR-18's and took to the super fast 7/8 mile high banked oval. Qualifying saw David Feiker take the pole with a 16.844s time, while Todd Labronte had to settle for outside front row at 16.846. The second row held Mark McFadden at 16.855 and Lonnie Fitch at 16.892. Two drivers elected to skip qualifying - Jose Pabon and Linden Swaby.
The race was 130 laps and had 5 different leaders. Todd Labronte led the most laps with 71 while David Feiker led 40. Winner Jose Pabon led just 16 laps but he led the most important one and took the checkered flag just 0.5s ahead of Feiker in 2nd. That's 19th to 1st for Pabon - what a drive! Lonnie Fitch came home 3rd and Justin Laird finished 4th. Jordi Ardid Mendez and Jeremy Testar were the other two drivers still on the lead lap at the end. Great race guys!
After 8 races in the 14 race Majors Fixed Indy Winter Series, Joshua Cannata still holds 1st place with 263 points. Jose Pabon jumped 3 places to 2nd with 218 points. Wayne Hutchison holds down 3rd with 200, and Chad Barker sits in 4th at 190.
Race 9 is on 3/29/18 and is a road race at Circuit of the Americas. This is a challenging, technical course and will test the drivers to their fullest. Looking forward to a huge field and a great race!
Majors Indy Fixed Switching to Dallara IR-18
March 17, 2018 | Wayne Hutchison
Wyman Avoids the Wrecks to Win at Phoenix
March 10, 2018 | Wayne Hutchison
Holy Cow! 33 Indycars showed up at Phoenix on Thursday night for round 7 of the 14 race Majors Fixed Indy Winter Series. There was a fairly equal split between 2017 spec DW12's and 2018 spec IR-18's. Practice showed that the DW12's were going to be tough to beat in traffic with their higher downforce but also that the IR-18's had superior top speed. The large field coupled with the car combination certainly suggested we were in for a wild ride.
Qualifying was all IR-18 with Joshua Cannata taking pole at 19.786 and Trevor Mack sitting outside front row at 19.805. The first 8 cars on the grid were all IR-18's with the first DW12 being Brandon Boothe in 9th. Scott Kukas had an impressive Q run to "2nd in class" in 10th overall. In total 28 cars set a qualifying time.
The race started with a bang as the leaders had barely reached the S/F line before there was a big wreck back in mid-pack. After several laps waiting for the pace car to catch up to the field we got organized and back to racing. But only for a couple laps. Basically, the two-thirds of the race was littered with cautions every few laps (15 total for 61 laps) which made it very difficult for anyone to really race. Once things settled down and everyone had made a stop for fuel we finally got down to some longish green flag runs with some really good, though frustrating, racing. Even though the DW12 and the IR18 were capable of very similar lap times the way they did it made it really hard to pull off any passes if the leading driver didn't make a mistake. The DW12 was clearly faster through the corners but the IR18 could pull a gap on the straights. It made for a yo-yo back and forth that was at least entertaining. When it was finally over Cody Wyman (DW12) had grabbed his first series victory, beating David Feiker (DW12) to the final yellow flag. Trevor Mack (IR18) came home 3rd while Joshua Cannata (IR18) grabbed 4th and Mark McFadden (DW12) had a great run to take 5th.
Standings at the half way point have Cannata in 1st place with 263 points. Wayne Hutchison sits 2nd at 200 and Chad Barker has 190. Arturo Amro holds down 4th adn Jose Pabon 5th.
The next race is on March 22nd at Iowa Speedway. Can we put even more cars on an even smaller track? Why not join us and find out?
Adding Dallara IR-18 starting with Phoenix on 3/8
March 08, 2018 | Wayne Hutchison
Majors Fixed Indy Oval @ Phoenix on 3/8
Starting with the race at Phoenix on 3/8 I've added the IR-18 as an optional car. You can select either the DW12 or the IR-18 when you enter the race. With the iRacing fixed setups the cars are quite close in lap times, with the DW12 being a couple tenths faster (for me anyway) but getting worse fuel mileage. I'll score the two cars separately in the points for this race. If everyone that shows up elects to drive the IR-18 then I guess we'll change to that going forward...
Labronte Wins Las Vegas
March 03, 2018 | Wayne Hutchison
Great turnout for round 6 of the Majors Fixed Indy Series at Las Vegas. 29 drivers entered qualifying on the 1.5 mile tri-oval with Joshua Cannata taking the pole at 24.360s. Marcus Tracy started outside front row at 24.414, while Arturo Amro and William Fletcher filled out row 2.
There were 9 cautions for 36 laps in the 100 lap race but, in between the yellows, the racing was fast, furious, and fun. Josh Cannata, Arturo Amro, Gary LaViolette, and Todd Labronte all led significant numbers of laps during the race but the real turning point came after the mid-way point when leaders Amro and Cannata got together and wrecked their cars. They had to take fast repairs and were never able to challenge for the lead after that. LaViolette showed good speed at the front but he ran into fuel mileage issues that dropped him out of contention. Labronte "gambled" on fuel and was able to hold of a charging Jeremy Testar for the win, by just .8s. Ernie Ludwig finish a very nice 3rd and Jose Pabon grabbed 4th after starting way back in 26th!
With 8 races left to go in the Winter Series, Joshua Cannata leads the championship with 223 ponts and 3 wins. Chad Barker sits 2nd with 190 points, Wayne Hutchison 3rd with 182, Arturo Amro 4th at 154, and Jose Pabon 5th with 153.
Next week's race will be 125 laps at Phoenix-2008. This will be the first of two "shorter" tracks in a row with race 8 being at Iowa under the lights. It was great to see so many cars out at Las Vegas. Let's see if we can't have a full field at Phoenix!
Fleischli Dominates but Barker Wins Crazy Daytona Indy Race
February 17, 2018 | Wayne Hutchison
Twenty-nine Indycars at Daytona Super Speedway. What could go wrong, right? The 5th race of the Majors Indy Fixed Winter 2018 series had a little bit of everything, from fast speeds to drafting and slingshots, speed wobbles and big wrecks, and everything in between.
Qualifying was fast and furious with Jason Fleischli taking the pole with a time almost 9 seconds faster than the Cup cars on the same track. Wayne Hutchison grabbed outside front row while Chad Barker and David Feiker filled the 2nd row. Eric Boulton and Marcus Tracy started in row 3.
The race got under way and it wasn't long before the yellow flew for a multi-car wreck. This put several cars down 1 lap very early in the 70 lap race, and without lucky dogs it meant that there were a lot of fast drivers determined to race their way back onto the lead lap. The leaders under green were never able to get the draft/slingshot working well enough to pull away from the pack and with running in a line being the slower option there was always a mad scramble for position in the front 10+ positions. With 10 cautions for 28 laps there were lots of strategic options and just about everyone tried something a little different. It seemed like Fleischli had it sorted out the best as he was back in the lead by the time that pit stops were no longer required and was the odds-on favorite to take the win. However, bad luck and close racing combined to see him take some damage late in the race and have to finish in the pits. Chad Barker was able to hold on for the win by 0.48s over Todd Labronte with Jose Pabon just 0.4s behind them (after starting 28th!). Terry Hallick and Eugene Vernon finished 4th and 5th respectively.
Standings after 5 of 14 races show Joshua Cannata holding onto 1st place with 194 points while Chad Barker closed the gap to just 16 and Wayne Hutchison is a further 25 points back. Arturo Amro sits in 4th with 134 points while Jose Pabon vaulted up to 5th with his podium finish.
We take a break next week but return in 2 weeks for 100 laps at Las Vegas. Should be a lot of fun, especially if we keep getting these large fields. Won't you come out and join the fun???
Linnaluoto Runs Away with Watkins Glen Win
February 10, 2018 | Wayne Hutchison
Wow! 40 drivers showed up for the Majors Indy Fixed race at Watkins Glen on Thursday night. And we had representation from all corners of the globe. It was an amazing sight to behold.
Qualifying was fast an furious with Ossian Puhakka circling the "classic" circuit in under 55s. Tapani Linnaluoto was close behind in 2nd, with Mitchell Cornett and Arturo Amro starting 3rd and 4th.
35 drivers took the green flag and, although the leaders made a clean start, further back in the pack there was some carnage. Fortunately by the time the leaders came around to start lap 2 the track was clear! From that point Puhakka started to pull out a lead which he held until his first pit stop. Further back in the pack there was a lot of dicing and shuffling as the very high speed nature of the track layout led to a lot of drafting, slingshots, and side by side racing. Late in the race it appears that Puhakka had some minor contact with the wall and had to give up the lead to Linnaluoto, who then drove away for the win by over 21s. Puhakka held on for 2nd, Cornett for 3rd, Amro for 4th, and Dick Mueller finished 5th. Big mover of the race was Mark McFadden, finishing 13th after starting in 29th place.
After 4 of 14 races, Joshua Cannata still holds a big lead with 194 points. Tied for 2nd are Chad Barker and Wayne Hutchison with 126 points. Close behind in 4th is Arturo Amro with 113.
Next week's race will be at Daytona Superspeedway, where ANYTHING can happen. Come on out and see if you can survive "the wind"!
Cannata WIns Again at Chicagoland
January 26, 2018 | Wayne Hutchison
Chicagoland Speedway was the host for Week #3 of the Winter 2018 season of the Majors Indy Fixed league. The grip was high and the speeds were fast on this 1.5 oval with no straights. 20 drivers showed up to test their skills in the high speed, many-cars-wide race. Qualifying was extremely close with Joshua Cannata grabbing pole by .019s over Chad Barker. Marcus Tracy was 3rd, .020s back and Bret Johnson took 4th, only .022s behind the pole sitter. In all, 15 drivers qualified within 1/10th of a second of each other.
As the green flag flew, Cannata took off into the lead with several cars hot on his tail. Chad Barker and Marcus Tracy, along with Todd Labronte all made serious attempts at passing for the lead, but to no avail. Joshua was just too fast on the bottom of the track and was able to fend off all attacks. There were several cautions for single car incidents that removed the possibility of green flag pit stops and there was one big wreck that collected Labronte, Dirk Thomas, Gary LaViolette, and possible others. As the race wound down, Arturo Amro finally made his way to the front (after starting 15th) and presented a legitimate challenge for the win. But Cannata and Barker were having none of it and they and the rest of the lead pack fought tooth and nail for every inch right to the checkered flag.
Final results show Joshua Cannata with his 3rd win of the season, Barker taking 2nd, Amro 3rd, and Tracy 4th.
After 3 of 14 races Cannata has gapped the field a bit with 165 points. Second place Chad Barker has 109 and 3rd place Wayne Hutchison sits on 97.
The next race in the series is on 2/8 at Watkins Glen. We'll be using the simplest road course there, the "Cup" circuit without the inner loop. The fixed setup will be the iRacing "Medium Downforce" setup. Practice starts at 6pm Pacific, qualifying at 7pm, race at 7:10!
Cannata Stretches Points Lead with Close Win at Richmond
January 21, 2018 | Wayne Hutchison
Week #2 of the Winter 2018 season of the Majors Indy Fixed league took us to Richmond, VA for 140 laps of short track but high speed racing in the DW12. A huge field of 26 drivers took the green flag for what promised to be a very busy night in very tight quarters. Joshua Cannata showed some great speed to take pole position over Wayne Hutchison. Arturo Amro and Chad Barker qualified 3rd and 4th.
Yellow flags came early and often in this race, mostly for single car spins off turns 2 and 4. Several drivers ended their races after a 2nd or 3rd spin used up their fast repairs. With only 66 green flag laps, with most stints being less than 5 laps, there wasn't a lot of changes for position up front either. But when we did get some longer green flag runs, Richmond lived up to it's reputation as a fast and frantic ride! Final results show Cannata taking the win by 1 second over Amro, with Barker in 3rd and Hutchison in 4th.
After 2 of 14 races, the standings have Cannata out front with 109 after 2 wins, Hutchison in 2nd, 41 points back, Barker in 3rd, 2 behind Hutchison, and David Feiker in 4th. Marcus Tracy made the big move of the week, up 5 spots to equal 4th with Feiker.
Next week's race is at Chicagoland. 150 miles of wide-track racing action at it's best. After that we'll have a 1 week break for the Majors 2.4H of Daytona, then return to the Finger Lakes of upstate New York for our first fixed Indy race at Watkins Glen. Practice starts at 6pm Pacific, qualifying at 7pm, race at 7:10!
Cannata Drives Away to Win at Kentucky
January 13, 2018 | Wayne Hutchison
Week #1 of the Winter 2018 season of the Majors Indy Fixed league saw us in sunny Kentucky for 100 laps of low grip racing action. 15 drivers took the green flag (at least 3 missed the start due to the new, earlier start time...) with Marcus Tracy taking pole position, Joshua Cannata starting outside row 1, and Mitchell Cornett and Chad Barker filling row 2.
The racing soon spread out into small groups of 3-4 cars as the laps quickly ticked off. About 1/3 of the way through the race a yellow came out for a Scott Kukas spin and the entire field hit the pits for fuel and tires. With a fuel run being right around 48-50 laps, it was clear that a second stop would be required, it was just a matter of when. Back under way and the single file racing resumed with gaps slowly increasing between most cars. Wayne Hutchison and Chad Barker were running top 5 when they decided to pit around lap 67. As luck would have it, their teammate Dick Mueller spun exiting the pits just a couple of laps later to bring out the 2nd yellow of the race, pinning both 1 lap down. With all the leaders pitting for fuel and tires, all the 1 lap down cars got the wave around and lined up at the back of the string for the restart. The last 30 laps went caution free with drivers trying everything they could to pick up positions while slipping and sliding around the track. 2 laps from the end, pole sitter Tracy had to pit for fuel and dropped out of the challenge for the win. Chad Barker and Jose Pabon got together on lap 100 while fighting for 6th position and created a spectacular crash!
Final results show Joshua Cannata getting a big win, by over 7 seconds. Second place went to Mitchell Cornett, who ran a quiet race and benefitted from staying out of trouble. Carl Burk brought it home 3rd after starting way back in 12th place!
Next week's race is at Richmond, at night. 140 laps of short track action that will keep everyone on their toes! Remember, practice is at 6pm Pacific, qualifying at 7pm, race at 7:10!
Fixed Indy Series returns for Winter 2018 Season
January 06, 2018 | Wayne Hutchison
Fixed Indycar racing is back! All members of the Majors Series on iRacing are eligible to compete in this 14 race series. This season we're going to do things a little differently:
14 races instead of 12 (best 10 races count towards championship)
2 of the races are on road courses
race lengths set for 45 minutes of green flag racing
final race of the season is Indianapolis (can't be dropped)
NO races during the week immediately before Majors Series events
Where possible the race right before a Majors Series event will be at the same track as the Majors Series
Green flag drops at 7pm Pacific instead of 8pm Pacific (to allow more Central and Eastern time zone participation)
Last season we had 58 different drivers participate in at least one race, and averaged around 20 cars per race. We'd love to see 25-30 cars every Thursday this season!
Looking at the schedule, we have a nice mix of small (Richmond, Milwaukee, Phoenix, Iowa), medium (Kentucky, Chicagoland, Las Vegas, Kansas, Charlotte), and large (Daytona, Auto Club, Indianapolis) ovals to test our skills and abilities to race close together at high speed. Add in the two road races at Watkins Glen and COTA, and you have a little something for everyone.
First race is next Thursday, January 11, 2018. Practice will open at 6pm Pacific (02:00 GMT), qualifying at 6:50 (02:50 GMT), and the green flag at 7:00 (03:00 GMT). All races can be found in the League Sessions area on iRacing.
Remember, you have to be a member of the Majors Series to participate. You can join at http://members.iracing.com/membersite/member/LeagueView.do?league=1348
Kukas take pole, Kuhn gets the win, and Hutchison clinches the championship
December 08, 2017 | Wayne Hutchison
Championship week in the Indy Oval Fixed series gave us some great racing, and some series' firsts. Scott Kukas surprised everybody by putting his Cartoon Network DW12 on the pole, and by a comfortable margin - 20.215 to championship contender Wayne Hutchison's 20.240. Ray Partridge lined up 3rd and the only other driver with a chance to win the championship, Marcus Tracy, starting 4th.
Kukas led the first 3 laps before a little bobble in T1 allowed Hutchison to take the lead. Shortly thereafter, contact between Ryan Bird and Marcus Tracy brought out the first of 4 cautions. Tracy had to pit for his fast repair and rejoined at the back of the pack in 13th. Hutchison led until lap 37 when a big push in T1 gave the lead to Ray Partridge. Soon several others got by the struggling Hutchison as he dropped back to 6th place, right behind championship rival Tracy. Partridge would eventually lose the lead to Bird under green flag pitstops and then the two would come together on lap 92 forcing them both to the pits for repairs. This handed the lead to Bret Johnson who got within 2 laps of taking the checkers before a big push in T1 allowed Nick Kuhn, Tracy, and Hutchison all by. Kuhn was able to hold off a charging Tracy for his first series win, even with a little "chrome horn" from Tracy coming of T4 on the final lap! Congratulations to Nick on running a patient race and being fast when he needed to be.
The series championship goes to Wayne Hutchison with 381 points. Marcus Tracy finished 2nd overal with 367 points, and Bret Johnson was 3rd with 322.
As for the Indy Oval Fixed series in general, we had 59 different drivers take part in at least 1 race, while 8 drivers participated in 10 or more races. There seems to be enough interest that we'll run another Indy Oval Fixed series, likely starting after the holidays. And maybe we'll add a road course or two this time :)
Tanner Watkins wins at Indy: Championship down to 2 Drivers
December 02, 2017 | Wayne Hutchison
Does it get any better than Indy cars at Indy? The 26 drivers that raced the Majors Indy Oval Fixed race on Thursday night don't think so! Qualifying was a torrid affair, with Tanner Watkins taking pole with a blistering 39.354s. Blake Reynolds started second at 39.371. Carl Burk and Wayne Hutchison filled row 2, while Marcus Tracy and Nick Kuhn grabbed the 3rd row, just ahead of former Indy driver Richie Hearn.
The race started off a little "bumpy" with several early cautions for relatively minor incidents, with at least a couple caused by drivers being a little bit too eager on re-starts... One incident on lap 12 saw Marcus Tracy get stuck in the "Indycar Tornado" and have to ALT-F4 Oout of the sim. Fortunately, he was able to rejoin just 1 lap down. Once we got going there were some nice long green flag runs. Five different drivers led at least 1 lap, but Watkins had the field covered for most of the race. Tanner led 62 of the 70 laps to take the win. Blake Reynolds fought back from an early pit stop that forced him to drive through the field to finish 2nd, and Marcus Tracy somehow managed to get his lap back AND work his way up to finish 3rd! Amazing racing guys!
With just 1 week to go (next week is 100 laps at Phoenix for the season finale) the points are starting to tighten up as drop weeks are coming into play. Wayne Hutchison still holds the lead with 362 points, but Marcus Tracy is right there with 347, and Bret Johnson isn't too far behind at 287 from only 9 races. With 55 points available to the winner in Phoenix it's down to a 2 person fight for the title but there could still be lots of movement up/down the standings. Won't you join us in Phoenix???
Phoenix 100 Postponed 2 Weeks
November 23, 2017 | Wayne Hutchison
Bird Wins Big in Texas
November 18, 2017 | Wayne Hutchison
Congratulations to Ryan Bird on winning at Texas this week. Marcus Tracy came home second, just 1.4s behind Ryan, with Wayne Hutchison filling out the podium in 3rd.
We had a large field of 21 drivers take the green flag for 90 laps of action on the slippery and abrasive Texas Motor Speedway. The pace was fast and furious early with lots of close racing and passing. The last 60 laps of the race went caution free with some drivers opting for early pit stops for tires and a few gallons of fuel, and others attempting to finish the race on fumes. This time the early stoppers prevailed with the "fume runners" running out of fuel with a lap or two to go.
Next race is at Phoenix - 100 laps of short track chaos!
Week #9: Pocono 125
November 11, 2017 | Wayne Hutchison
Congratulations to Marcus Tracy on his narrow (.275s) victory over Richie Hearn at Pocono on Thursday night.
Richie led 31 of the 50 laps in the race but maybe didn't have quite enough tire left at the end as Marcus was on much newer rubber late in the race. It was another week of great racing throughout the pack with lots of close drafting and side-by-side action.
I think all of the cautions were single car incidents and all but 1 car was still running at the end.
Some small changes in the standings this week, with Marcus Tracy moving up 1 spot to 2nd place, Gary LaViolette moving up 2 spots to 6th, and Richie Hearn moving up 3 spots to 10th. One more race and then drop weeks will start to come into play, tightening up the standings considerably.
Results can be found at: http://www.danlisa.com/scoring/season_race.php?season_id=6920
Standing can be found at: http://www.danlisa.com/scoring/season_standings.php?season_id=6920
Next week's race will be at Texas Motor Speedway. For the last 3 weeks of the season we are going to depart slightly from the "official" Indycar series schedule - we'll be lengthening the races a little bit: 90 laps at Texas, 100 laps at Phoenix, and 70 laps at Indy. Enjoy!!!!
Week #8: Charlotte 112
November 11, 2017 | Wayne Hutchison
Another barn burner of a race on Thursday night! We had 19 drivers take the green flag for 75 laps under the lights at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
Richie Hearn grabbed the pole by .004s over Wayne Hutchison with a super quick 23.831. Lining up 3rd and 4th were Ryan Bird and Todd Labronte.
The first third of the race saw Richie Hearn pull away from the field while there were some great battles going on throughout the field. Then on lap 23 Richie caught the wall in T2 and started tumbling down the back straight.
Fresh tires and a full tank of fuel and we were back at it, with Richie 2 laps down after towing and taking his fast repair. From there the racing was very hectic at times with 2 and 3 wide action all around the track. Ryan Bird, Todd Labronte and Marcus Tracy were battling up front, exchanging the lead often. The final caution flew leaving a 6 lap run to the checkers.
Labronte, Hutchison, and Little stayed out on old tires while everyone else pitted for freshies. This caution also allowed Richie to get back on the lead lap, albeit at the back of the line. The green flag flies and Labronte spins the tires and makes a quick " exit stage left" into pit row.
A couple laps and the cars with fresh tires were able to make their way to the front, and that led to a frantic race to the finish with Ryan Bird beating Marcus Tracy to the line by just .029s. Third place went to Bret Johnson.
Great first win for Ryan Bird! And some awesome racing throughout the field.
Special mention to the drivers racing with us for the first time: Ryan Bird (1st), Dode Hoskins (6th), Verlis Felkins (19th).
See y'all next week at Pocono!
Race Results http://www.danlisa.com/scoring/season_race.php?season_id=6920 Standings