The Race of Champions Invitational Series’ trip to the virtual Oxford Plains Speedway on Thursday may not have been circled on Bryce Bailey’s calendar. However, he had no trouble circling the tough 3/8-mile bullring, dominating to win the 125-lap feature event.
Bailey flexed his muscle throughout the night, winning the first heat race of the night and winning the feature from the pole. However, the impressive showing came at a track the New York racer admittedly was not his favorite on iRacing.
“That track was definitely not my favorite,” said Bailey on the Speed51 broadcast. “But it was a good time, for sure. The track had a lot of bite there at the end. We started with a very greasy track, and it just came in very nicely once the rubber laid down.”
In the close confines of the Maine track, Bailey said the biggest key was creating space between himself and the opposition. Outside of one late restart where Eddie McCarthy closed in, Bailey was able to do that throughout the race.
“I got really good restarts which prevented that. [McCarthy] gave a shot there, but I give him respect for not wrecking us both. That was cool of him, and I’m glad we came away with the win.”
McCarthy is another driver who admitted to struggling at times with Oxford Plains. Nonetheless, the real-world Modified pilot from New Jersey came away pleased with a runner-up finish to Bailey.
“Just a little more grip,” McCarthy said when asked what he needed to challenge Bailey. “It was tough to find out there. I wasn’t going to try to wreck Bryce, I just wanted to hold off the 83 and ride it out. This isn’t one of my better tracks, so we did alright, I guess.
“I probably was waiting for him to wiggle a little bit and feed him a little bumper and sneak underneath him. He ran his race good. Most of the race, I was playing defense because the 83 was driving it in there pretty hard.”
Daniel Carter completed the podium for the event. Alonzo Morales finished fourth, with Riely O’Keefe closing out the top five one week after finishing second at Concord Speedway.
Race fans who missed Thursday’s race can click here to watch a replay of the event on Speed51.
The RoC Invitational Series will be off next Thursday, returning to action April 23 at USA International Speedway. Click here to see a full rundown of all of Speed51’s upcoming sim racing broadcasts.
-Story by: Zach Evans, Speed51 Content Supervisor – Twitter: @ztevans