By Seth Eggert, Staff Writer
A few days after earning his first eNASCAR Contender iRacing Series victory, Dylan Ault made the right move at the right time to win the Third Annual Wicked Brands Fake 500 presented by Wheeler Motorsports Consulting.
Ault ran inside the top-10 throughout much of the 500-mile race at the virtual Indianapolis Motor Speedway. He avoided the carnage, including a race-changing wreck with seven laps to go.
A miscommunication led Corey Carpenter to make a four-wide pass for the lead. The Fake 500 polesitter thought he was only two-wide. Contact with Adam Blocker set off a 10-car pileup. Bryan Blackford, Dave Bodio, Liam Brotherton, Mitchell Hunt, and Eric J. Smith were among those swept up in the wreck.
Coming to the single-file restart, Carpenter led Ault, Keith Jeffrey, and the remaining six other cars. Blackford continued to wheel his damaged No. 33 Lotus 79 around the track. Contact on the restart between the No. 33 and Ryan Broderick forced a final caution as the leaders entered Turn 1.
Ault swung to the inside of Carpenter immediately after the start-finish line. As the duo entered the corner, Ault’s No. 40 CertainTeed Lotus 79 narrowly moved ahead of the No. 30 machine when the caution waved. Fake 500 race control, combined with iRacing’s timing and scoring declared Ault the winner with Carpenter second. The win capped off one of Ault’s most successful weeks on iRacing. Keith Jeffrey completed the podium finishers.
Hank Silver and Wade Fields rounded out the top-five. The rest of the top-10 were Broderick, Blocker, Bodio, Blackford, and Brotherton. Blackford ran the fastest lap of the race on lap 84, 45.400 seconds, 198.238 MPH.
“It’s amazing, crazy, I never thought… this entire week… I can’t put it into words,” a speechless Ault explained. “Oh my gosh this is crazy. I’m just speechless. Didn’t know what to expect in this race. This week and last week I was practicing for the (eNASCAR Contender iRacing Series), that was basically it.
“Got home from school and only had about an hour until the race started, so I put a few laps of practice in. During the race I found out that we had speed. Tried to save fuel the entire race. The last 10 laps before we had that caution, we were all out, just full on brawl. It was fun.
“I know Eric J. Smith and Garrett Mashburn were working on the setup a lot. I just wanted to be in this race and end it cleanly. Only done one Indy 500 and I was wrecked in that.”
The first half of the Fake 500 featured just two cautions. The first waved on lap 20 for an incident that ended Mashburn’s day. Under that caution, an incident on pit road ended the day for Shae Paulo and Jeromy Weigle.
Until the pileup with eight laps to go, most incidents were one or two-car crashes. The race ran clean enough to feature two rounds of green flag pit stops. At one point it appeared that Blocker had played the strategy right, pitting from the lead and leaving pit road with a five-second lead. A caution with just under 15 laps to go erased his advantage.
1. 40-Dylan Ault , 2. 30-Corey Carpenter , 3. 88-Keith Jeffrey , 4. 85-Hank Silver , 5. 71-Wade Fields , 6. 66-Ryan Broderick , 7. 74-Adam Blocker , 8. 16-Dave Bodio , 9. 33-Bryan Blackford , 10. 10-Liam Brotherton , 11. 35-Tommy Brandon , 12. 21-Kyle Odaynik , 13. 72-Jeffrey Steward , 14. 25-Brayden McMahan , 15. 24-Mitchell Hunt , 16. 22-Eric J Smith , 17. 1-Thomas Gould , 18. 14-Timothy Trowbridge , 19. 11-Rylan Gray , 20. 07-Gary Corley , 21. 31-Tyson Landis , 22. 118-Scott King , 23. 13-Aiden Bierlein , 24. 28-Brandon Wright , 25. 007-Henry Bennett , 26. 05-Casey Miller , 27. 5-Clint Stone , 28. 29-Justin Carey , 29. 12-Shae Paulo , 30. 19-Stephen Rogers , 31. 20-Jeromy Weigle , 32. 26-Aaron Roufs , 33. 9-Garrett Mashburn .
Lead Changes: 49 among 15 drivers.
Lap Leader(s): Corey Carpenter 1-13, Justin Carey 14-19, Corey Carpenter 20-37, Dave Bodio 38-39, Eric J Smith 40, Dave Bodio 41, Rylan Gray 42, Liam Brotherton 43-45, Dave Bodio 46-48, Dylan Ault 49, Dave Bodio 50-53, Eric J Smith 54-55, Brandon Wright 56-58, Bryan Blackford 59, Brandon Wright 60, Kyle Odaynik 61-63, Brandon Wright 64, Keith Jeffery 65-66, Kyle Odaynik 67, Keith Jeffery 68-69, Kyle Odaynik 70-71, Keith Jeffery 72-74, Eric J Smith 75-80, Thomas Gould 81, Dylan Ault 82, Thomas Gould 83-84, Corey Carpenter 85-90, Adam Blocker 91-92, Corey Carpenter 93-124, Bryan Blackford 125, Dave Bodio 126, Bryan Blackford 127-128, Dave Bodio 129-135, Tommy Brandon 136-137, Dave Bodio 138-144, Kyle Odaynik 145-146, Corey Carpenter 147, Kyle Odaynik 148, Adam Blocker 149, Thomas Gould 150-152, Dylan Ault 153, Thomas Gould 154, Adam Blocker 155-156, Hank Silver 157-158, Thomas Gould 159-169, Dave Bodio 170-175, Adam Blocker 176-193, Liam Brotherton 194, Corey Carpenter 195-198, Dylan Ault 199-200.
Laps Led: Corey Carpenter 74, Dave Bodio 31, Adam Blocker 23, Thomas Gould 18, Kyle Odaynik 9, Eric J Smith 9, Keith Jeffrey 7, Justin Carey 6, Dylan Ault 5, Brandon Wright 5, Bryan Blackford 4, Liam Brotherton 4, Tommy Brandon 2, Hank Silver 2, Rylan Gray 1.
Hard Charger(s): 66-Ryan Broderick (+23).
Caution Flags: Nine for 26 Laps.
Margin of Victory: Under Caution.
Time of Race: Three hours, five minutes, 7.761 seconds.
Average Speed: 162.049 MPH.
Pole Winner: 30-Corey Carpenter, 193.537 MPH (4-Lap Average).
Fastest Lap: 33-Bryan Blackford, Lap 84, 45.400 seconds (198.238 MPH).
Featured Photo Credit: Photo by Seth Eggert / Kickin’ the Tires.