Hoggan Continues MSRA Winning Streak at Texas
By Seth Eggert, Staff Writer
For the fourth consecutive race, Boyd Hoggan was victorious in the Midwest Sim Racing Association Premier Series.
Much like the race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway one month ago, Hoggan laid back at the beginning of each Stage. The driver of the virtual No. 96 Curb Records / Bobby Dale Earnhardt Legacy eSports Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE opted to take care of his tires. Hoggan rode in fourth for the first half of each run before surging forward.
In Stage 1, Hoggan made his move with 17 laps to go in the Stage. Contact with race leader Ralph Hutchison allowed Klayton Hoffman to slip by. Hoggan recovered quickly and swept by both drivers to take the lead and the Stage win.
Stage 2 was a different story. Hoggan struggled in the dirty air behind Hutchison’s virtual No. 51 LockDown Racing Ford Mustang. The Canadian finished the Stage in second, just a handful of car lengths behind. Hutchison led every lap of Stage 2.
The final stage appeared to be more of the same until green flag pit stops with 38 laps to go. It looked like Hoggan was going to match Hutchinson’s move to pit road. However, the No. 96 ended up taking a trip through the grass on the frontstretch at the virtual Texas Motor Speedway. Hoggan maintained control and pitted a lap later.
The scenic route that Hoggan took ultimately cost him two seconds on track. After the pit stops, he utilized the lapped traffic to his advantage, drafting up on them to gain time on Hutchison. With 20 laps to go, Hoggan caught the leader. He slipped by Hutchison with ease on lap 182. Hoggan never looked back, taking the checkered flag for the fourth week in a row. He was 0.563 seconds ahead of the No. 51. Polesitter Christopher Hill, Hoffman, and Vincent Arthur completed the top-five.
“The car was awesome,” admitted Hoggan. “Obviously everyone worked on it pretty hard for Tuesday (the eNASCAR Coca-Cola iRacing Series season finale). I’ve got to shout out Vicente Salas for that. He tested his ass off for Texas and dialed the car in all weekend. I couldn’t be happier with the car. Whoever gets out front controls the whole deal.
“I didn’t want to rough Ralph up. We’ve gotten together a couple of times and he’s been on the bad end of it more often than not. Didn’t want to move him for a stage win or even a race win. I planned on running him clean and didn’t think it was going to be that easy to get around him at the end of the race. Thought he was going to have something more there.”
Chris Civera, Steven Davis, Braxton DeWeese, Jacob Shorba, and John Theodore rounded out the top-10. The only two MSRA playoff drivers not to finish in the top-10 were Joseph McWhorter and Logan Helton. McWhorter finished 15th.
Helton, meanwhile, was one of the three incidents on track during the Aiologs Projects 300. With two laps remaining in Stage 2, the virtual No. 63 Nexxus eSports Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE slammed the outside wall in turn four. Helton limped back to pit road. He returned to the race, gaining two positions before the damage forced him to retire in 16th.
While Hoggan’s win, his 15th of the season, locks him into the MSRA Championship Four at Phoenix Raceway, the battle for the other three spots is heating up. Arthur and Hutchison are 33 and 29 poitns above the cutline respectively.
Hoffman holds the cutoff, just three points ahead of Helton. McWhorter is 14-points behind with Shorba 19 behind. Davis is 20-points below the cutline.
1 96-Boyd Hoggan , 2. 51-Ralph Hutchison , 3. 99-Christopher Hill , 4. 12-Klayton Hoffman , 5. 24-Vincent Arthur , 6. 62-Chris Civera , 7. 92-Steven Davis , 8. 15-Braxton DeWeese , 9. 30-Jacob Shorba , 10. 27-John Theodore , 11. 44-Derek Whitford , 12. 79-David Centini , 13. 92-Brandon Davis , 14. 77-Ryan Strunk , 15. 32-Joseph McWhorter , 16. 63-Logan Helton , 17. 64-John Mullins , 18. 94-Wyatt Mickelsen , 19. 10-Tommy Gossett .
Lead Changes: 11 among seven drivers.
Lap Leader(s): Christopher Hill 0, Chris Civera 1-6, Ralph Hutchison 7-43, Klayton Hoffman 44, Boyd Hoggan 45-66, Ralph Hutchison 67-162, Boyd Hoggan 163, Chris Civera 164, Steven Davis 165-166, David Centini 167-169, Ralph Hutchison 170-182, Boyd Hoggan 183-200.
Laps Led: Ralph Hutchison 147, Boyd Hoggan 40, Chris Civera 7, David Centini 3, Steven Davis 2, Klayton Hoffman 1, Christopher Hill (Pole).
Hard Charger(s): 15-Braxton DeWeese (+7).
Caution Flags: Three for 10 laps.
Margin of Victory: 0.563 seconds.
Time of Race: One hour, 53 minutes, 12.216 seconds.
Average Speed: 159.006 MPH.
Pole Winner: 99-Christopher Hill, 29.293 seconds (184.344 MPH).
Fastest Lap: 64-John Mullins, Lap 6, 29.516 seconds (182.952 MPH).
Stage 1: 96, 51, 12, 99, 62, 24, 32, 92, 63, 91.
Stage 2: 51, 96, 12, 62, 24, 99, 32, 91, 92, 77.