Cameron Clifford Sails to 906 SIM League Season Opener Win
Writer's Note: Well, this is quite different! When the 906 SIM League came about, I jumped at the opportunity to race with some of the best racers from the Upper Peninsula. It has been a blast thus far and I hope to continue having fun racing in and writing about the 906 SIM League. To avoid any confusion, I refer to myself in the third person.
The first official race of the Spring Corona Series is in the books for the 906 SIM League, and it was Norway’s Cameron Clifford who would take the virtual checkered flag at Lanier National Speedway. Clifford, who won a non-points exhibition last Saturday, led 53 of the race’s 100 laps on his way to victory. An hour long practice session, which is customary for the league, preceded qualifying and the race. Clifford clocked the fastest lap of the session, followed by Escanaba’s Todd Rose and Robby Iverson respectively. Unfortunately, Iverson would have connection problems to the race server and would fail to start the race despite a fourth place qualifying effort. In qualifying, it was Rose who led the speed charts to claim the pole. Chuck Carmin grabbed second while Clifford rounded out the top three. A total of twelve drivers would qualify, with only eleven taking the green with Iverson’s aforementioned issues.
Rose would jump to the early lead from the pole but would lose the lead to Escanaba’s Cody Johson following an early race restart. Clifford would follow Johnson under Rose to second. After a rash of early yellow flags, the race would run green to the end from a lap 41 restart to the end. Six laps after that restart, Clifford made a move under Cody Johnson for the race lead, completing the pass exiting turn four. He wouldn’t look back the rest of the race. Johnson would fall to third in the exchange as Rose made his way to second following the path cleared by Clifford.
Johnson would later make contact with the lapped car Michael Langtagne, but would recover to hold on to a fifth place finish. Langtagne, after experiencing connection issues early in the race, pit for repairs following the exchange and would run to the end with no further issue.
While Cameron Clifford ran away from the field, a late race battle brewed for second between Todd Rose and Chuck Carmin, with Carmin powering past Rose with only a handful of laps remaining. Clifford would claim his second, and first points, victory in a row in the 906 SIM League. Carmin crossed the line in second with Rose following in third place. “It was very clean but hard racing,” Clifford said about the race, citing it as a great way to keep him sharp in the offseason. “I know it’s not the real thing but most people just don’t understand how real it is.” He added. The 18-year-old Clifford, an 11 year veteran of the sport, normally raced at Norway Speedway in the past, but turned to the TUNDRA Super Late Model series full time last year.
The next installment of the Spring Corona Series for the 906 SIM League takes the drivers to the South Boston speedway this Saturday night. Practice begins at 7 PM EST with qualifying and racing to start at 8 PM EST.
For more information about the 906 SIM League and the iRacing service, follow the links below.
By Todd Rose