02-Feb-2014 -- Spring iRacing Schedule Announced
The spring schedule for the FSR iRacing division announced its Spring season schedule last week. It should prove to be an exciting series. Ol' Buddy will have all the action for you.
By Buddy Lance
22-Dec-2013 -- Merry Christmas
Buddy Lance here. I have been real busy covering the Fusion Sim Racing Winter IRacing series, but I wanted to stop by and wish you all a Merry Christmas and a safe and Happy New Year!
In racing news, the Winter IRacing series kicked off a couple of weeks ago. After three races there hasn't been a single caution. Outstanding job by everyone on the track. Our inaugural race at Daytona was won by Tom Emasie. Tom was the class of the field, leading 53 of the 60 laps. Dave Nestor took the pole. The second race of the season was at Lowes where Carey Henderson got the win. He was racing up front all night along with Dave Nestor who lead 72 of the 80 laps. Greg Checovetes tool the pole. Race three was held at the short track, USA International Speedway. Henderson was the top dog of the race, leading all 150 laps as well as winning the pole.
The Winter series takes a break for the next couple of weeks, but will be back in action on Thursday, January 8th for a return to Daytona.
By Buddy Lance
27-October-2013 -- In the Home Stretch
With just a few more weeks left in the 2013 season, the truck series has come down to a battle between ITDH teammates Carey Henderson and Greg Checovetes. Henderson has eight victories on the season while Checovetes has six. So when I say that an ITDH member won this week’s race at Talladega, you might guess that one of them won the race. You would be incorrect though as a third member of the team, Dave Nestor came away with his first ever regular season win. Ol’ Buddy would like to congratulate Nestor on his accomplishment. After a big caution midway through the race, only five trucks remained on the lead lap. Nestor led 14 of the 66 laps, including the final 13 laps of the race. He also posted the fastest lap of the race with a 48.947 on lap 24. Checovetes and Henderson finished second and third, followed by Ted Sullivan in fourth and Tom Emasie in fifth.
Over on the cup side, Cam Brown continues his overall lead by 15 points over Kinnard Furtick. Steve Gallagher remains in third and Darryl Griffiths in fourth. Moving up to the fifth spot was Carey Henderson after he won the race at Talladega. Henderson led thirty of the 76 laps. As cars were pitting for the last time, a caution came out. Henderson was able to stay out long enough that he was the only car left on the lead lap. With only four races remaining, the teams head to Martinsville next week.
By Buddy Lance
27-September-2013 -- The Chase Continues
When Autumn rolls around, it brings cooler weather and falling leaves. It also brings chase time around to the Fusion Sim Racing League. We have now finished the second week of the chase in each series and Buddy has all the latest information for you.
The truck series went to Chicago this week, after kicking off the chase at Iowa last week, where non chase driver Baker Bryant showed everyone he could be in it if he was here the entire season. He held on for the win. This week turned into a pit strategy race as there was only one caution all night. Towards the end of the race, with only one pit stop needed to finish, Steve Gallagher, Carey Henderson, and Greg Checovetes were pulling away from the field. Teammates, Henderson and Checovetes peeled off and pitted, hoping to come out of the pits and finish the race with a win. Both drivers took four tires. On the next lap, Gallagher came in to pit as well. Only he took tow tires and pulled out to a big 8 second lead. Henderson and Checovetes did their best to catch up, but a couple seconds short as Gallagher took home the win. Finishing out the top five were Henderson, Checovetes, Howard Mcleod and Darryl Griffith.
Over in the cup series, the drivers headed to New Hampshire. Cam Brown once again dominated by leading 98 of 101 laps. He wasn’t really challenged at all. The only real drama towards the end of the race was for third, fourth, and fifth positions. As Steve Gallagher passed Carey Henderson for third place, Henderson was going to attempt the crossover move to take the position back. However, Joe Bishop was also looking to move up and pass Henderson. Unfortunately, they were both moving to the same spot on the track. Bishop got the worst of it as he was pushed into the wall and spun out. He ended up finishing in 12th place, two laps down. The top five were Brown, Maverick Morrow, Gallagher, Henderson, and Kinnard Furtick. Overall there was only one change in the top five chase standings as Greg Checovetes moved into the fifth spot. Positions one through four still belong to Brown, Furtick, Gallagher and Henderson.
Net week the chase continues for the trucks at Las Vegas and the cup cars at Dover.
By Buddy Lance
29 June 2013 -- Kentucky Crashing
The trucks went to Kentucky this week for what appeared to be a two man race for the win between Steve Gallagher and Greg Checovetes. But, because of a late caution, the race went back green with five laps to go, which allowed other cars to join the pack. With two laps to go, ITDH seemed to be comfortably taking control of the race by holding the top four spots. However, Danny Boswell had other ideas. He drove passed teammate Ed Vaughn for second place, and then inexplicably took out race leader and teammate Checovetes. Checovetes bounced off the wall and was not a factor at the finish. Howard McLeod took advantage of the ITDH miscue and finished second. Boswell got his coveted win, but appeared to anger his teammates with his tactics. Rounding out the top five were Vaughn in third, Dave Nestor in fourth, and Checovetes, fifth. Even with the fifth place finish, Checovetes was able to increase his overall lead over Carey Henderson by nine points as Henderson had a rough night. Remaining in third is Gallagher, while Mcleod picks up a few points but remains in fourth place.
The cup series raced at Infineon this week. The big news of the week was the return of Danny Hardee after a long absence. Hardee, along with son HB and friend Maverick Morrow have formed a new team, PPR2. Ol Buddy would like to welcome Hardee back to the league and wish him and his team well. Also returning for the race was road course specialist Sean Grover. During practice it looked as if it was going to be a fight among Grover, Cam Brown and William Ridgeway for the win. However, of the three, only Grover was able to finish the race. He did it in impressive style as he just about lapped the field. Finishing second, over a minute later was HB Hardee. Coming in third was Kinnard Furtick, fourth, Carey Henderson and fifth, Joe Bishop.
Next week the league takes a well deserved break as we celebrate Independence Day. Please stay safe and have a great holiday.
By Buddy Lance
23 June 2013 -- Richards' First Time
The trucks visited Michigan this week for a race at one of the fastest tracks around. The race was dominated by ITDH as they took the top four qualifying positions. Carey Henderson took the pole with a time of 40.291. Dave Nestor was second with 40.329. They were followed by Greg Checovetes, 40.351 and Ed Vaughn, 40.375. As the caution free race went on, it became clear that Henderson and Checovetes had the fastest trucks. Henderson lead 58 of the 70 laps with Checovetes right behind him the whole way. After the last pit sequence, Henderson, Checovetes and Dave Lesnick came out together. With two laps to go, Lesnick made a move to the outside coming out of turn two. There was some contact with Checovetes causing Lesnick to slam into the wall ending his night. He was not happy with the outcome and was heard over the radio blaming Checovetes for putting him into the wall. Ol Buddy interviewed several drivers after the race and had them look at the replay. All of the drivers interviewed stated that Checovetes held his line in the turn and Lesnick came down into him, causing himself to bounce off and into the wall. After that incident, the end was anti climactic as Henderson went on to the checkers with Checovetes not really challenging his team mate for the win. Coming in third was Darryl Griffith, fourth Scott Dyche, and fifth Howard McLeod.
Over in the cup division, also at Michigan, Carey Henderson and ITDH kept up their Michigan domination. Henderson took the pole with a time of 36.247 with ITDH-2 driver Ed Vaughn second with 36.297. They were followed by Kinnard Furtick, 36.317 and Joe Bishop, 36.423. But, it was Alex Richards, ITDH-2 driver who stole the show. He lead 48 of the 70 laps and brought home his first ever league victory. Ol Buddy salutes the youngster on his achievement. Coming in a close second, was Steve Gallagher who is still battling his fractured foot. Following Steve were Kinnard Furtick, Scott Pryor and Tom Emasie. Furtick maintains his overall lead by 26 points over Gallagher who moved up two spots. In third is Darryl Grffith followed by Cam Brown who dropped two spots. Rounding out the top five is William Ridgeway.
By Buddy Lance
08 June 2013 -- Last Man Standing
Last Monday night, the Fusion Sim Racing truck division went to Dover. The race turned out to be the last man standing is the winner as multiple drivers either crashed or suffered mishaps in the pits. It started when Steve Gallagher was unable to start the race as he was rushed to the hospital after injuring his foot after a fiery crash during practice. It was later determined he suffered a fractured foot. His return next week is questionable unless he receives permission to race from his doctor. Dave Lesnick, another fast driver suffered a penalty for speeding on pit road causing him to go a lap down. Carey Henderson was involved in an accident that sent him into the wall giving him damage. To make matters worse, he suffered a black flag for speeding in the pits and was disqualified. Darryl Griffith, also one of the leaders, had issues getting into the pits that caused him to fall off the pace. With 50 laps to go, the yellow flag came out with only two cars on the lead lap, Griffith and Greg Checovetes. Checovetes came out of the pits in the lead. The next time around, Griffith ducked back into the pits for added fuel. Checovetes later said, “I didn’t know why he was doing that until I looked at the fuel situation, but by that time it was too late for me to pit again”. When the green flag flew, Checovetes was one lap short on fuel. Griffith took over the lead, with Checovetes drafting off of him for the next 10 laps in hopes of conserving fuel. With 30 laps to go, Checovetes had saved enough fuel to finish the race and he moved back into the lead, and eventually took the checkered flag. Griffith finished second, followed by Ed Vaughn in third, Lesnick in fourth, and rounding out the top five, Gary Jackson. Scott Dyche took the pole with a time of 23.358. Joining him on the front row was Checovetes, 23.424. The second row consisted of Danny Boswell, 23.435 and Henderson, 23.441. With Gallagher not able to race, and Checovetes winning it, the overall points lead changed hands for the third consecutive week. Checovetes moves back into the top spot. Gallagher drops to second with Henderson in third, Howard McLeod fourth and Griffith fifth. Next week the trucks head to Texas.
By Buddy Lance
16 May 2013 -- Thank You
Before we get to this week’s racing action, Ol’ Buddy would like to take the time on this Memorial Day to give thanks to all of our veterans, especially those who have paid the ultimate price for our country.
This week the trucks went to Charlotte. The top four qualifiers in order were, Kinnard Furtick, 31.374, Steve Gallagher, 31.390, Dave Lesnick, 31.405, and Greg Checovetes, 31.428. There were several early wrecks that damaged a lot of cars. Less than 20 laps into the race, Baker Bryant, Adam Maxwell, and Dave Reed were out of the race. Towards the end of the race, Carey Henderson was out front with Steve Gallagher, who lead 42 laps, bearing down on him. Henderson was able to hold him off to bring home the victory by .08 seconds. Coming in third, over 3 seconds back was Furtick, followed by Danny Boswell and Lesnick. With the win, Henderson tightens up what is becoming a three way chase for the overall lead. Gallagher moves back in front of Checovetes by 3 points, while Henderson tightens up his hold on third place, only four points out of the lead. Combined, they have seven of the 13 wins this year. Howard McLeod is a distant third, 29 points back, however, there is still a long way to go in the season.
The cup all star race was anything but. There were numerous accidents with drivers overdriving their cars trying to get out front. Kinnard Furtick avoided the mess and won the first and third sprint races, while Ed Vaughn won the second. Furtick won the night with 29 total points. Vaughn and Greg Checovetes tied for second with 15 points apiece.
The trucks are off this week due to the holiday, while the cars stay in Charlotte for another week.
By Buddy Lance
19 May 2013 -- Down to Darlington
Well, ol Buddy didn’t have to cross the country this week as both series were racing at Darlington. The trucks kicked things off on Monday night. Baker Bryant won the pole with a time of 30.163. He was joined on the front row by Dave Lesnick, 30.186. They were followed by Carey Henderson, 30.243 and Dave Nestor, 30.248. Bryant lead the first 35 laps as the drivers started to pit under green. He may have been better off leading the first 34 as he ran out of gas on lap 35 which ended his night. The next caution didn’t occur until lap 100. During that green flag racing, it was a three way race for the lead among Steve Gallagher, Lesnick, and Greg Checovetes. At one point, Checovetes got stuck behind a lap truck and lost the draft. He was able to make up the 2 second gap though to tighten things back up. Coming out of the caution, Gallagher was in front followed by Lesnick and Checovetes. On the restart, Gallagher lost fourth gear, while Lesnick lost both second and third. This allowed Checovetes to take the lead. When the next caution came out nine laps later, Checovetes made the decision to stay on the track figuring track position would be more important than fresh tires. This proved to be a good decision as he didn’t give up the lead for the rest of the race. Finishing second was Adam Maxwell, followed by Lesnick, Gary Jackson, and Darryl Griffith. With his second win in a row, Checovetes moved into first place in the overall standings with an eight point lead over Gallagher.
While the truck race only had four cautions, the Cup race was a different story. There were ten cautions. As driver Dave Nestor quipped, “I’ve hit the wall so many times that my pit crew gave me some paint and told me to paint the walls when I go by.” The pole winner was Cam Brown with 27.062, Kinnard Furtick, 27.162, Joe Bishop 27.255 and Steve Metzler 27.412 right behind him. The race turned into the Cam Brown show as he lead 102 of the 129 laps as no one could even come close to catching him. Would be challenger Furtick blew his engine on lap 14 ending his night. He seemed to be the only driver that could keep Brown in sight. The only thing Brown didn’t do on the night was get the fastest lap of the race. That went to Dave Reed who turned in a 27.307 time on lap four. The top five finishers were Brown, Adam Maxwell, Jeff Garner, Tom Emasie and Reed. Furtick maintains his overall lead in the standings over Brown by four points. Next week the trucks race at Charlotte while the Cup guys settle in for the Fusion Sim Racing All Star Event.
By Buddy Lance
12 May 2013 -- Buddy is Back!
After taking some time off last week, ol Buddy L is back on the beat splitting my time this week between California for the truck race, and Alabama for the Cup race at Talladega.
The front row at California was Kinnard Furtick with a qualifying time of 41.403, and Steve Gallagher with a time of 41.474. Dave Lesnick with a time of 41.521 and Greg Checovetes with 41.533 made up the second row. It was a mostly caution free race, but the one caution that did occur played a major role in determining the eventual race winner. On lap 52, with most racers having just pitted to take on fuel and tires, the caution came out. Checovetes was the only driver who had not pitted yet. Other drivers that were also racing up front all night, including Steve Gallagher, Dave Lesnick, and Darryl Griffith had pitted one or two laps earlier. When they went back to green racing, Lesnick got the lucky dog and was back on the lead lap with Checovetes. Both Lesnick and Checovetes found themselves near the end of the pack. Both drivers seemed to be laying back as the group in front sorted themselves out. Once the pack separated a bit, they began to move through it. At one point disaster almost struck as Scott Dyche blew an engine a few car lengths in front of them. Fortunately Dyche was able to control his truck and went high to allow two other trucks as well as the leaders to pass low. After that near disaster, the final run for the checkered flag was uneventful as Checovetes finished first followed by Lesnick. Finishing third, almost a lap down was Gallagher, with Griffith fourth and Baker Bryant rounding out the top five. After the race Lesnick stated that he just wanted to get a good finish and he was happy finishing second. It was Checovetes’ first win of the season. He moved to within six points of series leader, Gallagher.
The Cup race was a typical super speedway race featuring lots of lead changes and big wrecks. The pole winner was Kinnard Furtick, 48.636 followed by Dave Lesnick, 48.649, HB Hardee, 48.675, and Cam Brown, 48.682. The first caution came out on lap eight as two cars both blew engines on the same lap. Dave Reed and Scott Dyche both blew up. Both drivers were frustrated by the early night as they were fast in practice. On lap 51, the cars were beginning to pit again. The lead pack was slowing to enter the pits, when Scott Pryor in the high line touched the 09 car of Alex Richards. Richards car then clipped the back end of Greg Checovetes, spinning him as well. A few other cars were caught up in the mess too. On the final lap of the race, Checovetes with a top speed of 150, appeared to be caught off guard as the leaders came around a corner. He was not high enough out of the racing line for two lines of cars to pass. As a result the high line wasn’t sure which way to go. Some went high while other attempted to go low. Unfortunately the cars that attempted to go low collided with cars in the low line causing a big wreck. Brian Scott avoided the mess to take home the victory. Following him were Lesnick, Gallagher, Adam Maxwell, and Darryl Griffith. In the overall standings, the top four remain the same. Lesnick moved up five spots to take over the fifth position.
Next week, both teams head to Darlington, where they will hopefully race the track and not each other.
By Buddy Lance
26 April 2013 -- Dust in the Wind
Both Fusion Sim Racing divisions went to Kansas this week. The trucks had an uneventful night as they went caution free. The cup cars had it a little more difficult as once again the weather caused havoc with setups.
William Ridgeway won his first truck pole of the year, posting a time of 32.443. On the outside was Steve Gallagher with a time of 32.473. They were followed by Gary Jackson, 32.565 and Ed Vaughn, 32.569. As I previously mentioned, there were no cautions, but there were accidents. Ted Sullivan, Scott Dyche, and Rick Nelson all retired early due to bent up trucks. Ridgeway lead 67 of the 94 laps, but he did not lead the most important lap. Steve Gallagher got the win. He was followed by Ridgeway, Kinnard Furtick, Ed Vaughn, and Greg Checovetes. The win vaulted Gallagher to the overall series lead as he broke up the three way tie for second place. Carey Henderson dropped to second, followed by Checovetes, Howard McLeod, and Furtick. The top 4 places are separated by a total of ten points. ITDH maintains the team points lead over Redline Motorsports by 44 points.
A brutal 16 mile per hour wind caused some distress for the cup drivers as turns three and four were almost impossible to drive. The wind kept wanting to push the cars up into the wall. The wind didn’t seem to bother the racers at ICON Motorsports as the top three starting spots went to their drivers. Cam Brown got the pole with a time of 29.746 followed by William Ridgeway, 29.818 and Kinnard Furtick, 29.872. Steve Gallagher joined Furtick in the second row with a time of 29.911. The only other sub 30 second qualifying run was by Steve Metzler with a time of 29.948. The high winds directly lead to the first caution of the race. On lap three, Dave Reed was pushed up high into the wall. While trying to avoid him, Greg Checovetes had to duck low. Unfortunately, both Howard McLeod and Adam Maxwell were also going low. Checovetes and McLeod brushed each other. Jeff Garner was collected as well.
The final caution of the night, on lap 88 set up a two lap dash to the finish. On the restart, Brown was in the lead followed by Ridgeway. Going into turn four, Ridgeway pushed high into the wall. He came off the wall just as Furtick was going to pass him low. Ridgeway was slammed back into the wall severely damaging his car. At about the same time, Brown lost control of his car, and he slammed into Furtick pushing him into the wall. After the wreckage, Gallagher had the lead followed by a recovered Furtick. Going into the last turn of the race, Furtick was able to get underneath Gallagher for the win. Finishing third fourth and fifth were Darryl Griffith, Greg Checovetes, and Metzler. Its just ol’ Buddy L talking here, but it seems to me that the ICON boys were playing a little demolition derby at the end of the race. Fortunately, the rest of the FSR drivers played it smart and were able to avoid the ICON drivers.
Furtick retained his overall lead over Gallagher. Griffith remains in third place. Checovetes moved up three spots to fourth and Dave Reed remains in fifth.
By Buddy Lance
21 April 2013 -- I Got A Rock
The FSR divisions split up this week with the trucks heading to the famed track at Rockingham, while the Cup cars tried to tame the heavy winds at Texas
Newcomer Baker Bryant started them off on the pole with a time of 24.737. He was followed by Steve Gallagher 24.740, Kinnard Furtick 24.825 and Carey Henderson 24.855. Bryant was actually unable to start the race as his truck would not start. The race was dominated by three drivers as Furtick, Gallagher and Henderson combined to lead all but six laps. Even though the drivers haven’t raced at the Rock for quite some time, there were only 6 cautions. The last caution on lap 122 set up a 10 lap sprint to the finish. Henderson started in front, followed by Gallagher and Furtick. Henderson held onto the lead as Gallagher and Furtick ran side by side for several laps. Finally Furtick could not keep running the high line because his tires gave out. He dropped back and eventually finished in 8th place. The top five finishers were Henderson, Gallagher, Darryl Griffith, Steve Metzler and Greg Checovetes. Henderson maintains his overall lead with three drivers, Gallagher, Howard McLeod and Checovetes, all 11 points back. Henderson celebrated his second win of the season by playing a few rounds of golf after the race.
An 11 mile per hour wind caused havoc at Texas Motor Speedway for the Cup drivers. The southeast wind made it very difficult for drivers to stay off the wall in turns three and four. Kinnard Furtick didn’t seem to have a problem with it in qualifying as he was the only driver to post a sub 27 second lap. He ran a 26.997 lap. He was followed by Steve Metzler 27.082, Cam Brown 27.125, and Greg Checovetes 27.127. Brown lead 54 laps, but a late race spin ended his night. The last 15 laps featured a battle between William Ridgeway and Joe Bishop. Ridgeway got the better end of the deal as he took home the win. He was followed by Bishop, Scott Pryor, Furtick and Steve Gallagher. The top two spots in the standings didn’t change as Furtick leads Gallagher by 10 points. Darryl Griffith moved up to third, Carey Henderson up to fourth and Dave Reed up to fifth.
Next week both divisions head to Kansas.
By Buddy Lance
14 April 2013 -- Marty Party
Hello youngsters, Buddy Lance with another FSR weekly race recap for you. Both divisions were in action this past week. The teams traveled back east for some racing short track style at Martinsville.
The trucks started the week off on Monday night. Cam Brown took the pole, his league leading third of the season with a time of 20.610 seconds. He was followed by Carey Henderson (20.723), William Ridgeway (20.731) and Danny Boswell (20.760). Unfortunately, it was a typical Martinsville night as there were 12 cautions. The longest green flag run of the night was only 23 laps. Most of the cautions were for self spins, or drivers running into the truck in front of them going into the turns. It wasn’t a particularly good night for Ed Vaughn nor Steve Metzler as Vaughn received a 5 point penalty for a restart lap caution, while Metzler received 10 penalty points for restart cautions.
Cam Brown seemed to avoid all of the accidents as he finished in first place ahead of Henderson, Howard McLeod, Tome Emasie, and Greg Checovetes, who rounded out the top five. Because of the penalties, Metzler dropped 6 spots in the standings, dropping to eighth place. Henderson took over the overall lead followed by McLeod, Checovetes, Brown, and Steve Gallagher.
It was déjà vu on Thursday night as Cam Brown once again started on the pole with a time of 19.431. He was followed by Ed Vaughn (19.669), Greg Checovetes (19.690), and Howard McLeod (19.737). Not to be outdone by the trucks, the cup cars created 15 cautions during the race. Again, it was a tough night for Ed Vaughn as he accounted for three cautions and was disqualified from the race, earning zero points. Carey Henderson also had a rough night. He was running up front most of the night when on lap 168 of 175 he blew the engine ending his night. This set up a green white race to the finish. In a battle for 14th place on the final turn of the race, Darryl Griffith ran into the back of rookie driver Mark Royce, catapulting him forward into Scott Dyche who slammed into the wall. Also gathered up in the accident were Kinnard Furtick, Adam Maxwell, Ed Vaughn, and Jim Barrow.
Cam Brown won the race followed by Brian Scott, Greg Checovetes, Jeff Garner, and William Ridgeway. The top two spots in the standings didn’t change. Furtick is in the lead followed by Steve Gallagher. Positions 3 through 5 were shuffled around as Griffith is in third followed by Brown and Henderson.
By Buddy Lance
06 April 2013 -- All Quiet in Atlanta
It was a relatively quiet week this week here at Fusion Sim Racing. The Cup series was off as they get ready for next weeks clash at Martinsville. The truck series headed to Atlanta this week, for an all together unexciting race. The 18 entrants ran all 114 laps without causing a caution. The closest we came to drama was on lap 77 when Greg Checovetes, running in third place blew an engine. He was able to safely get off the track though, so no caution flew.
Steve Gallagher won the pole with a time of 31.232. He was closely followed by Checovetes, 31.236, Cam Brown, 31.238, and William Ridgeway, 31.240. These four drivers were at the front of the pack for most of the night. Gallagher and Brown each lead 55 laps, while Checovetes and Darryl Griffith lead two apiece. It came down to a two man race at the end between Brown and Gallagher. After the last pit sequence, Brown came out over seven seconds faster than Gallagher. He ended up winning by over five seconds. Following Brown and Gallagher was Carey Henderson, William Ridgeway, and Tom Emasie, all finishing over 15 seconds behind the leader.
With the win, Brown moves up 5 spots in the standings to 8th place. Gallagher moves in t the top spot.. Steve Metzler, Henderson, Kinnard Furtick and Checovetes round out the top 5. All of them are less than nine points of the lead. Next week the trucks will join the Cup cars at Martinsville for some short track racing.
By Buddy Lance
30 Mar 2013 -- Chicago Fire
The Fusion Sim Racing league divisions split up this week. The trucks were in Chicago while the cars headed out West to California. There was some concern for the trucks as the Chicago track was shrouded in smoke and fog throughout the race. A wild fire near the track was giving the drivers some trouble seeing the track. The pole went to Greg Checovetes with a time of 30.672. Not to be outdone, Cam Brown posted the exact same time. Checovetes commented that he must have paid the race officials more money. The second row featured Dave Lesnick (30.680) and Steve Gallagher (30.694). Checovetes lead the first two laps, but then appeared to slow it down a bit to save tires. This proved costly as on lap 23 he got together with teammate Danny Boswell. Checovetes got the worst of it and was a non factor for the rest of the night. On the restart, Carey Henderson lost fourth gear, ending his night. As Henderson was slowing and heading up the track, both Howard McLeod and Ted Sullivan went low to avoid him. Darryl Griffith went to the apron as Dave Nestor and Scott Pryor were coming on hard. Griffith came back up off the apron and Nestor went high to avoid him, but Pryor was there and bounced off the wall – right into Henderson who was trying to go low. Henderson then bounced into Steve Metzler. The whole thing could have been avoided if everyone used some patience and slowed down when Henderson lost fourth gear. The last caution of the night occurred on lap 89. With only 5 laps to go, Boswell, in fourth place attempted to pass Metzler. Metzler went to block him low so he attempted to pass high and draft with the leading cars who were up high. Boswell attempted to pass both high and low but was blocked each time. On his last attempt high, he was bumped from behind by Lesnick who was coming on fast as Metzler and Boswell were slowing as they jockeyed for position. Lesnick ended up in the wall. He had some choice words for Boswell, but ol Buddy think he maybe should have had more of an issue with Metzler. The race went back green for two laps with Gallagher coming out on top, followed by William Ridgeway, Metzler, Sullivan and Boswell. With the win, Gallagher moves up six places in the standings. Kinnard Furtick took over the lead, with Metzler second. Checovetes fell from first to third. Next week, on April Fools Day, the teams head to Atlanta.
The Cup teams tried to tame California this week. Cam Brown won this pole outright with a time of 37.045. William Ridgeway was second with 37.113 followed by Jeffery McClintock with 37.217 and Joe Bishop with 37.264. This race saw a bunch of fast cars get knocked out, by their own teammates yet. On lap 44 Steve Gallagher, trying to avoid a slower car, ended up spinning and taking out teammate Dave Lesnick as well as Kinard Furtick and Jim Pagano. On lap 76, with just 12 to go, Jeff Garner was allowing teammate Greg Checovetes to pass him low. It didn’t work out like they planned as Checovetes lost control of his car and slid up the track right into Garner, ending the night for both of them. Ol Buddy had his news van parked in front of the Garner pits again, but we quickly moved it after seeing the look on Garner’s face. All we heard from him is that a sure top five for both teammates ended in disaster. The most unfortunate accident of the night was yet to come though. On lap 85, with just three laps to go, Darryl Griffith was leading the pack and feeling pretty good about bringing home the win, when the lapped car of Brian Scott blew his engine. Scott attempted to keep it low but he ended up sliding up the track – right into Griffith as well as Furtick, Pagano, and Tom Emasie.
By Buddy Lance
22 March 2013 -- Bristol Banging
The Fusion racing teams loaded up the trucks and headed back east to Bristol this week, for some short track racing. There was a lot of banging and scraping, but surprisingly few outbursts – at least not on the public channel. BuddyL traveled back from Vegas, with a little less money in his pocket, but full of promise for some fun times at Bristol.
The truck division was up first. Cam Brown started on the pole with a time of 16.659. He was joined on the front row by Ed Vaughn who was .089 seconds slower. The second row featured Carey Henderson and Dave Lesnick. The early part of the race seemed to be drivers just feeling each other out and avoiding the early mishaps. There were 5 single truck spins in the first 82 laps, plus one unexplainable accident where the 78 car of Gary Jackson seemed to just disappear, only to reappear a second later in a totally different area of the track. Driver Tom Emasie was overheard on the radio, “Did you guys just see that? I think its aliens or something”. His crew chief’s response, “Well we are close to Roswell, now shut up and keep driving.” After lap 82, the drivers went green for the rest of the race. This led to some pit strategy and gas conservation. The lead drivers, Carey Henderson, Steve Gallagher, Brown, and William Ridgeway started to save gas as it became apparent that the race could go green to the end. Some drivers were better at it than others. Greg Checovetes had to pit with 12 to go for some gas. Howard McLeod had to go in with 5 to go. Ed Vaughn went in as well. They all started falling off. Henderson was the only one that stretched it far enough. Just enough that is. He ran out of gas on the final lap, but still managed to sputter across the finish line first. Following close on his heels was Gallagher. One notable finish was between McLeod and Checovetes, battling it out for ninth and tenth spot. Coming into the final turn, Checovetes went high. McLeod was low but started to spin it, bumping Checovetes in the process. Both cars went over the finish line backwards. Checovetes maintains a slim two point lead over teammate Henderson in the standings.
The cup race featured some very fast cars on the track made slick by the 54 degree temperature. Cam Brown, William Ridgeway, Jeffrey McClintock, and Carey Henderson all drove at least one sub 16 second lap. But, as ol Buddy knows, fast doesn’t always win the race, especially at Bristol. Can Brown lead the field at the start with a 15.581 qualifying time. Jeffrey McClintock started next to him. Behind them came Carey Henderson and William Ridgeway. Brown was the man to catch early on. He lead 50 of the first 52 laps, but lap 52 was the last lap at the front for him. He retired from the race with 58 laps to go. The lead changed hands quite often mid race due to cautions and pit stops. Ed Vaughn lead 18 laps and Adam Maxwell lead 15. One notable exchange happened on lap 61 as Brown and Steve Gallagher came together. Gallagher was not happy and let Brown know about it. After the race was over, he approached Brown, but was turned away by race officials.
The latter part of the race was the Kinnard Furtick show. He dominated by leading the final 38 laps to bring home the victory. He was followed by teammate Ridgeway, Greg Checovetes, Gallagher, and Dave Lesnick. Gallagher retains a healthy 16 point lead in the standings, but with the win, defending champ Furtick is charging to the front.
By Buddy Lance
16 March 2013 -- SinCity Sizzler
What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas – unless Buddy Lance is reporting for you. The Fusion Sim Racing league paid a visit to Vegas this week and ol’ BuddyL has all the action for you.
Monday night was not a good night to be the leader early in the race. Cam Brown had the early lead with teammate Kinnard Furtick right behind him. It appeared as though Brown was trying to slow up a bit to allow Furtick to get the lead. Greg Checovetes, in third at the time was able to move up to second as Furtick took over the lead. After a few laps, Checovetes made a move to take the lead. He was underneath Furtick, but bumped him into the wall ending his night. After the green flag flew, Brown was back in the lead. Again after several laps, as Brown scraped the wall, Checovetes went low and took the lead. Apparently Brown didn’t like the idea of losing the lead because he immediately attempted the crossover move to grab the lead back. However, in his haste, he couldn’t make the pass cleanly and spun Checovetes out, effectively ending his night. Brown went on to lead the rest of the race for a total of 74 laps. Furtick led four laps. Rounding out the top 5 were Carey Henderson, Steve Metzler, Steve Gallagher, and Howard Mcleod.
The cup race featured a nasty East wind at 10 mph which caused a lot of problems in turns one and two. It didn’t seem to be a problem for William Ridgeway as he lead 43 of the 94 laps. The drivers had to find a fine balance between making the car too loose for turns three and four, and too tight for turns one and two. For the most part they got it right as there were only four yellow flags all night. Two of the yellows were for self spins early on. Another occurred on lap 88, setting the stage for a final 3 lap dash to the checkered flag. Ridgeway decided to pit and take tires. It proved costly as the rest of the leaders stayed out. On the restart, there were a few cars that had trouble getting up to speed. Howard Mcleod and Adam Maxwell got stuck down low, Jeffrey McClintock bounced off the outside wall. This allowed Greg Checovetes to move up to sixth place. However, going into the turn, Steve Gallagher slowed in order to hold the low line. Teammate Joe Bishop, in order to avoid hitting Gallagher, slid high, but Checovetes was right there and got pushed up into the wall. He then bounced off the wall and slid back down the track, hitting Adam Maxwell, causing his car to once again slide up the track where teammate Jim Pagano was attempting to pass high. They came together with both cars flipping multiple times before coming to rest. Bishop apologized for the initial contact, but the replay shows it was just a racing deal. Checovetes jokingly responded that he should have just hit teammate Gallagher instead. Bishop responded with, “I can’t hit the bossman!” Cam Brown went on to win the race under caution. The rest of the top five were, Kinnard Furtick, Dave Reed, Gallagher, and Bishop.
The league heads back east next week for some short track racing at Bristol. There is sure to be some bumping, scraping, and flaring tempers. BuddyL will have all the action for you.
By Buddy Lance
08 March 2013 -- Phoenix Fun
The Fusion Sim Racing league visited Phoenix this week as both the CW Truck series and the Cup series raced in Arizona. Would Kinnard Furtick and Carey Henderson continue their winning ways, or would other drivers take the checkers?
After Henderson finished first in the Cup series, he followed that up by winning the Truck series pole. Joey Staton, in the 3 truck started on the outside, followed by Furtick and Howard McLeod. The race featured a fantastic start as the drivers went almost 40 laps before a caution came out. The first casualty of the race was Rick Nelson who suffered a black flag and in defiance of race officials chose to park it rather than serve the penalty. He was heard talking to his crew chief over the radio, “I got a 15 second penalty. Screw that, I’m parking it.” Nothing gets by ace reporter Buddy Lance.
There were 5 or six trucks that seemed to lead the way all night. They included Ed Vaughn, Steve Gallagher, Mcleod, Furtick, Staton, and Greg Checovetes. The caution flew with 36 laps to go. The current leader, Furtick chose to pit for fresh tires, while the rest of the drivers stayed out. This put Vaughn in the lead followed by Checovetes, Gallagher and Staton. The rest of the race was caution filled as drivers made desperate attempts to improve their positions with aggressive driving. Furtick’s pit decision almost paid off, but he didn’t have enough green laps to make it all the way back to first place. Instead, Ed Vaughn won the race under caution followed by Checovetes, Staton, Furtick, and Steve Metzler.
For some reason, after the last caution flew, the pace car apparently ran out of gas and was not seen by the leaders. Because of this the unofficial scoring showed the leaders a lap down and Scott Pryor as the winner. There was a brief protest by Pryor which was quickly squashed as race official, Gallagher produced the official results. This reporter is wondering if this may be the start of some bad blood between Pryor and Gallagher. I’ll keep my eye on them next week for all of you race fans.
Thursday night’s Cup race was caution filled. All pit stops were under yellow. There were twelve cautions in total. William Ridgeway took the pole beating out Kinnard “Special K” Furtick by .185 seconds. Carey Henderson and Ed Vaughn were in row two. The first casualty of the night belonged to Jeff Garner. With the caution already out, he was part of a chain reaction hit that caused a fiery wreck and ended his night. The next casualty was Ridgeway who had an engine failure on lap 35. He was dominating until that point, leading 32 of his 35 laps. With Ridgeway out of the race, other drivers began to assert themselves. Steve Gallagher made his move to the front and ended up leading the most laps for the night with 36.
With seven laps to go, the front runners got bunched up on a restart causing an accident that took out Dave Lesnick, who had been quietly moving up to the front all night long. This set the stage for a final two lap sprint to the finish. On the restart, Gallagher got off to a good start. Furtick was in second and Jeffrey McClintock was in third. McClintock must really have wanted the win, because he went under the yellow line and passed Furtick. Furtick, realizing that its better to finish the race rather than get taken out, stayed high to let McClintock go by. The exact same thing happened on the next lap, as McClintock dove low again under the yellow line. This time race leader, Gallagher also, realizing that its better to finish the race rather than get taken out stayed high so that McClintock could pass. McClintock went on the win the race followed by Gallagher, Vaughn, Henderson and Furtick.
Ol’ Buddy Lance has been around a long time and has seen this before. Hopefully the rookie will realize soon that the racers at Fusion Sim Racing don’t care how fast he is, nor how many wins he has. They care more about “smart” driving.
Next week the league heads to Las Vegas for some racing in Sin City. Buddy will be here with the recap for you race fans – provided he doesn’t meet up with a former show girl friend of his.
By Buddy Lance
01 March 2013 -- Daytona in the Books
This week the Fusion Sim-Racing league kicked off its 2013 season for real. Both the CW Truck Series and the Cup Series went racing at Daytona this week, and ol’ BuddyL was in the pressbox for all the action.
Kinnard Furtick in the 9 GMAC truck took home the CW season’s first pole. Filling out the front row, was Greg Checovetes in the 24 Welches truck who was .04 behind Furtick in qualifying. The racers spent the first part of the race jockeying for position as teammates found each other on the track and hooked up with each other. Furtick and teammate Cam Brown found each other early and attempted to run the high line, while teammates Checovetes and Carey Henderson went to the bottom line. The high line wasn’t really working all night and as Furtick and Brown fell back, no other drivers really made a push to try it for the rest of the race. After some great pitting toward the end of the race, Furtick and Brown found themselves in the lead with Checovetes in third. Coming down the final lap turn, Checovetes started to go high but was blocked by Brown. Checovetes then attempted to go back low and snuck in a second place finish. Furtick won the night with Brown taking home third place.
Thursday night’s Cup action saw 30 drivers take the green flag. Scott Pryor won the pole with a blistering time of 45.886 seconds. The race had several large accidents which results in only 11 cars actually finishing the race, with only 7 of them on the lead lap. Of the cars that did finish, only a few were damage free. The early part of the race featured ITDH and ITDH2 drivers Greg Checovetes and Ed Vaughn taking turns on the point. Vaughn ended up leading the most laps with 17. However, as we all know, leading the most laps, and leading early doesn’t mean much at the plate tracks. Because of all the early accidents, there were a lot of slower lapped cars on the track. After a couple of close calls, Fusion Sim-Racing Cup commissioner Steve Metzler issued an announcement that all cars not meeting the minimum speed requirement must leave the track. It appeared that drivers were confused by whether or not they should stay low or high on the track to let the faster cars go by. Unfortunately, one instance of this caused trouble for the race leaders. As the leaders were making their way, slower cars were both low and high causing the leader, Vaughn, to attempt to thread the needle, but it was not to be. One of the lapped cars made contact with Vaughn which started a chain reaction and took out several race winner contenders. Steve Gallagher, Dave Lesnick, Carey Henderson, Metzler and Checovetes made it through unscathed. With 12 laps to go, the green flag flew, and the drivers were looking for a green finish, but that was not to be. With six laps to go the caution flew for the last time. No one is sure what happened, and replays were inconclusive, but Metzler described it best, “One second Checovetes was in front of me, then he just disappeared for a second, then reappeared on my roof.”. This perplexing accident again damaged or took out the race leaders. Henderson and Gallagher were in first and second and didn’t take any damage. Checovetes was out of the race, and both Metzler and Vaughn took damage. What would have been a classic battle between RedLine/RPM and ITDH/ITDH2 turned into a lone stand by ITDH’s Henderson. The green flew with three to go. Henderson had the lead followed by RedLine/RPM members Gallagher, Lesnick and Metzler. Henderson was able to hold them all off to bring home the win. Rounding out the top five were Gallagher, Lesnick, Vaughn, and Metzler.
By Buddy Lance
19 February 2013 -- A Brief Introduction
I'd like to take a few minutes of your time to introduce myself. My name is Buddy Lance, but everyone calls me BuddyL I'm a former NASCAR driver and follower of this league for quite some time. Since I'm an older fella and the eyesight isn't as good as it used to be, I can't drive with you fellas like I would like too. I figured I could do the next best thing. I contacted Mr. Jeff Garner to see if it was OK for me to report on the league from time to time. I'll say that man has quite the vocabulary on him. I still don't quite know what an F-Bomb is, but it can't be good. Anyway, he told me it was fine for me to write a few articles. I also quietly spoke to a few others involved in the league so that I can get replays along with TeamSpeak chat. I'm not exactly sure how that TeamSpeak works, but after listening to last nights, it seems pretty lively.
It seems like there was quite the dust-up at the end of the race last night - and it wasn't even a points race! The drivers involved seemed to settle down right quick though. Back in my day, we would have settled it with yelling, helmet throwing and a few punches. That's how I got the slightly crooked nose. Ah, but that's another story for another time. Congratulations are in order for Spanky for winning the event and getting a quick 5 point jump on the competition before the action starts for real next Monday night. It looks to be an exciting season in the trucks. The field is wide open. There hasn't been a regular season truck division in a few years. If it's anything like this past winter season, any driver can win on any given night.
Let's not forget the Cup season warmup this Thursday. The teams and drivers have been working on their setups for the past two weeks. I'm sure there will be more tinkering after this Thursdays warmup for the regular season.
Well, that's it for now. If you have any questions for ol BuddyL to investigate please leave them in the forum for me. Until next time, keep firing on all cylinders.
By Buddy Lance
Dec 2012 -- Online Truck Series Returns
By league wide vote, the Fusion Sim-Racing Community has spoken; starting the 2013 Season the Truck Series will return to action replacing the Nationwide Series. Fusion Sim-Racing will use the NCTS09 Mod and are scheduled to host a Winter Series using this same mod but racing on Thursday nights for the next seven weeks and ending just prior to the kick-off races of the 2013 Season.
As mentioned this Truck Series will replace the Nationwide Series on the Monday night schedule with same settings and times: practice starts at 8 PM EST with qualifying at 8:50 PM EST and race at 9 PM EST. The schedule will mirror the NASCAR Camping World Series schedule with filler tracks on off weeks – Fusion Sim-Racing schedule will be 30+ races, depending on Holiday’s in the 2013 calendar year.
Updates to the website and forums will be coming later and closer to the 2013 Season start. Stay tuned here for additional information and registration requirements.
By Steve Gallagher
30 Nov 2012 -- 2012 Year In Review
The second year of Fusion Sim-Racing was an exciting season. Although the league did not host any Offline Series this year membership remained high and participation better than expected – new registrations continued throughout the course of the season.
This league continued to prove why it is one of the “platinum” leagues of the NR2003 community still holding strong. The competition base expanded making return champions scratching their heads on finding the best line, the best setup, the best strategy to repeat and defend their title. But at the end of the year two new champions were crowned.
Fusion-Sim Racing hosted the Nationwide Series and a CUP Series both online competition. The CUP Series continued to utilize the same NASCAR format. The NWS Series changed up, by popularity of vote; to a “Chase” style format same as the NASCAR CUP Series. And same as last year, the league also recognized a Team Champion for each Series.
Week in and Week out, Fusion-Sim Racing hosted events to 18+ drivers throughout the year keeping Championship Standing points tights and the importance of participating in events realized by all members – a provisional request here and there reduced a members chances of battling for the title.
Fusion Sim-Racing would like to recognize Kinnard Furtick for earning the CUP Series Championship from the former and three time consecutive champion Steve Gallagher in his first year as a member of the league. Kinnard recorded 12 victories, 30 top five finishes, 32 top ten finishes, nine poles, an average 4.53 finishing position, and average 3.67 starting position in 36 races. Cam Brown finished second 47 points behind Kinnard but did earn 10 wins. Defending series champion Steve Gallagher finished sixth overall.
Steve Gallagher did however manage to bring home a title, this year in the Nationwide Series. Greg Checovetes was the Nationwide Series defending champion and he finished second 53 points behind Steve Gallagher. Greg had a tough year with getting involved in incidents not of his own doing causing some poor finishes and leading to his battle with several other drivers to runner-up recognition. Greg and Carey Henderson, teammates at ITDH Racing, battled vigorously the final three races of the season for that infamous bridesmaid recognition on the Championship Standings podium.
A sophomore driver this author would like to recognize is Scott Dyche. Scott came into this season looking to improve personally and did he exceed that goal. Joining the ITDH Racing stables during the 2011/2012 Winter Series, he must have felt he had something to prove. Scott will agree he had a rough 2011 season at Fusion Sim-Racing but did bounce back during the 2012 season. In fact, had the Nationwide Series not gone to the “Chase” format Scott would have finished eighth in the final Championship Standings. Congratulations to Scott on a great sophomore season.
The league will kick off the 2013 season the week of February 18, 2013 with each Series hosting a “warm-up” type race. In the interim Fusion Sim-Racing will host a Winter Series utilizing the NCTS09 mod (Truck Series) on Thursday nights with fixed weather conditions and fixed setups. If you are interested please register with the league on the available “register” drop-down menu on the Fusion Sim-Racing front page.
By Steve Gallagher
11/15/2012 -- Kinnard Furtick takes 2012 Fusion Cup Series Championship
18 drivers took the green flag for the final race of a long Fusion Cup Series season. Kinnard Furtick capped his championship season with a last-lap pass of Brian Scott to pick up his third win of the Chase at a wild race at Homestead. Kinnard dominated the series and led all of the main categories: 12 wins, an incredible 30 Top 5s and 32 Top 10s. The only place he did not completely dominate was poles, where he had 'only' nine.
Brian Scott finished second after trying unsuccessfully to hold off Kinnard with old tires during the final green/white/checker restart. Jeff Garner and Joe Bishop fought a furious battle leading to the checkers to take 3rd & 4th with Steve Metzler rounding out the Top 5.
'I would like to dedicate the trophy to my grandmother Rosa Bell Eleazer and also honor the late Wendell Scott, who was a pioneer for African-Americans in Stock Car Racing during the 1960's' Kinnard said in his post-race interview. 'I would also like to acknowledge my better half Ashley for 'putting up with me' during the entire season. Hats off to team 25!!!!!!'
Kinnard's ICON Motorsports teammate Cam Brown (4 Chase wins) finished second in points followed by Carey Henderson and his two Chase wins in third, Howard Mcleod in 4th and Greg Checovetes took 5th. The Redline Motorsports team of Steve Gallagher, Howard Mcleod, Dave Lesnick and Steve Metzler took the team championship by a wide 289 point margin over ITDH Racing.
A very hearty THANK YOU to all drivers who ran with us in the Cup series at Fusion this season. It was great fun and we had some real good green flag racing the last 2-3 months while still getting 15-18 cars a week. Keep checking the forums for Winter Series details. Only 98 days until the Fusion Cup Series opens at Daytona. Have a great winter everyone!
By Steve Metzler