DOVER, Del. – official series release by Race Chaser Online Managing Editor Jacob Seelman – ASCORS photo –
Just as in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Dover International Speedway earlier in the afternoon, heart and willpower won out over tires at the virtual version of the ‘Monster Mile’ on Sunday night.
League administrator Brian Schoenburg took two tires during his final pit stop with 39 laps to go, then blew past race leader Jordy Lopez on the final restart three laps later to capture the top spot for good en route to his first-career victory in the ASCORS ProGeek Consulting Cup Series.
Despite leading the final 36 laps, however, Schoenburg had to survive a massive challenge from five-time season winner and two-time NASCAR PEAK Antifreeze Series powered by iRacing champion Ray Alfalla – who made three separate attempts to pass Schoenburg on the bottom lane but could not get the power down to complete the move for the win.
Alfalla’s final ditch effort coming to 10 laps to go saw the veteran charge to the inside off turn four and get door-to-door with Schoenburg, but he lost the handle on the car coming down the frontstretch and could never get back into position to make another pass.
That left the field in the hands of the league founder, who was understandably fired up in Gatorade Victory Lane.
“I don’t know what to say!” a jubilant Schoenburg said upon kicking off the celebration. “We had such a good car on the long runs all night, and when everyone was on a level playing field I would save the heck out of the tires so I could go like hell on the long runs.”
“We did two tires on that last pit stop though to gain track position … and it was making me struggle through the center [of the corners] and really loose off to where Ray almost got me a couple of times there. Once he was up alongside me I honestly thought it was over then, but he got loose on the bottom and I was able to get back by somehow. It’s amazing, really.”
After being with the league through its original inception in 2006 and then seeing it through its rebirth last November, the significance of a premier series win – at long last – was not lost on the Moorpark, California native.
“It’s so cool to be here in victory lane tonight. It’s been a couple years since I’ve even been able to go door-to-door with Ray and [Matt] Bussa and some of these PEAK guys, so this is a special moment and one that I’ll cherish for a long time to come.”
Alfalla finished second after leading 91 laps, setting the fastest lap of the entire race on lap 139 (23.373), but was able to rest on his resume of five wins and a perfect slate of top 10 finishes and claim the 12-race segment one championship by an astounding 67 points over Matt Bussa.
Still, it didn’t mean he wasn’t driving all out to try and best Schoenburg for the win.
“We had a great race for the lead tonight,” Alfalla said. “We were all – myself, Brian and Bussa – trading spots there, I guess you could say, all throughout the race. Bussa was fast off the start, then I would get good in the middle of the run and Brian would blow by everyone at the end of a run because he saved better than any of the rest of us did.”
“This race had a bit of everything. At the end when we took four tires, we started far enough back that I wasn’t sure if I was going to be able to do anything with Brian, honestly. When I got under him, I thought I had it won because I didn’t think he could hang on the top but I was dead wrong about that. It was just a lot of fun, intense racing tonight just like it has been throughout this whole first segment. I’m grateful to pick up this first segment championship and now the goal is to keep the momentum going and do it again here as we continue into the rest of the year.”
Bussa rounded out the podium after starting from the pole and leading 36 laps in his own right, with Adam Benefiel and Adam Gilliland making up the remainder of the top five.
The race saw 14 lead changes between nine different drivers, as well as five Whelen Engineering caution periods during the course of the night.
The most notable incident came just five laps in, when a multi-car accident sparked by the No. 19 of Tyler Dalton wiped out a half-dozen cars in its wake. Among those collected were John Gorlinsky, Mathew Chafe and J.D. Laird.
The next race for the ASCORS ProGeek Consulting Cup Series will be on Sunday, May 22, with the running of the ProGeek Consulting World 300 from Charlotte Motor Speedway.
For more information on the ASCORS Racing League, visit their online home at www.ascorsracing.com.
RESULTS: ASCORS ProGeek Consulting Cup Series; Kovacs Financial Group 180; Dover International Speedway; May 15, 2016
- Brian Schoenburg
- Ray Alfalla
- Matt Bussa
- Adam Benefiel
- Adam Gilliland
- Jordy Lopez
- Trey Eidson
- Doy Woods
- Matthew Moose
- Bentley Glaser
- Chad Coleman
- Greg Spears
- John Wilcko
- E.J. O’Rourke
- Paul Fugate
- Justin Fuller
- Matthew Quick
- Tyler Dalton
- Jesse Kovacs
- J.D. Laird
- Mathew Chafe
- John Gorlinsky
Caution Flags: Five for 20 laps.
Lead Changes: 14 among nine drivers.
Lap Leaders: Bussa (1-5, 10-22, 37-54); Eidson (6); Gilliland (7-9); Alfalla (23-36, 55-71, 80-133, 135-140); Schoenburg (72-75, 145-180); Spears (76-77); Wilcko (78-79); Coleman (134); Lopez (141-144).
Laps Led: Alfalla (91); Schoenburg (40); Bussa (36); Lopez (4); Gilliland (3); Spears (2); Wilcko (2); Eidson (1); Coleman (1).
About the Writer
Jacob Seelman is the Managing Editor of Race Chaser Online and creator of the Motorsports Madness radio show, airing at 7 p.m. Eastern every Monday on the Performance Motorsports Network.
Seelman grew up in the sport, watching his grandparents co-own the RaDiUs Motorsports NASCAR Cup Series team in the 1990s.
The 22-year-old is currently studying Broadcast Journalism at Winthrop University in Rock Hill, S.C., and is also serving as the full-time tour announcer for the Must See Racing Sprint Car Series.
Email Jacob at: [email protected]
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