After 47 starts in SCOR-sanctioned points paying events, Jack Stevens finally found victory lane to start Season 4. The North Carolina driver took his STP No. 18 to his first career win at Darlington Raceway, passing Alex Light in the closing laps for the triumph.
With Stevens’ taking the elusive checkered flag, a new question arises: Who will be the next driver to score their first career win in the National Simulation Racing Series (NSRS)? Here is a list of five potential candidates to join the group of 13 drivers who have won in the NSRS.
34 starts, 10 top-fives, 17 top-tens
Best finish: 2nd (Iowa, Season 3)
Perhaps the most surprising name on this list, Dave Lake won at Oxford Plains Speedway in the inaugural season of STSC. However, he has been winless since moving up to NSRS, and currently sits ninth in season standings after a top-ten run at Bristol. Lake has ten career top-five finishes and has shown the ability to run at the front of the field but hasn’t sealed the deal with a victory. Can that change this season?
34 starts, 3 top-fives, 6 top-tens
Best finish: 2nd (Talladega, Season 2)
Surprisingly enough, O’Sullivan is the highest on this list in NSRS points so far. In the past two seasons, O’Sullivan scored only four top-ten finishes, with two coming on road courses which have been removed from the series schedule. However, O’Sullivan has shown marked improvement with her oval program in Season 4, with an 11th-place finish at Darlington and a fifth-place run at Bristol. Currently fifth in points, and after spending some time at the front of the field at Bristol, can O’Sullivan find victory lane this season?
2 starts, 0 top-fives, 1 top-ten
Best finish: 9th (Darlington, Season 4)
A rookie contender this season in NSRS, Tuck won last year’s STSC season opener at Martinsville Speedway and finished fourth in series standings. The top three in STSC points in Season 3 all stuck to the short-track circuit for Season 4, making Tuck the odds-on favorite for Rookie of the Year. A ninth-place finish at Darlington shows some early promise for the rookie, already holding his own against the veterans of NSRS.
34 starts, 2 top-fives, 10 top-tens
Best finish: 4th (Mid-Ohio/Road America, Season 2)
Last in alphabetical order but first in your heart, Wes Winston currently sits eighth in NSRS points. Unfortunately for Winston, he’s going to have a hard time breaking down the barrier for his first win with his racing style. He is a consistent finisher with a fair amount of top-ten finishes, but rarely cracks into the top-five and has led only 10 laps in his NSRS career. An eighth-place finish at Darlington offers some hope, but Winston needs to take a step forward to contend for wins.
18 starts, 1 top-five, 3 top-tens
Best finish: 2nd (Bristol, Season 4)
Yelkrab earned a spot on this list with a runner-up finish to Charlotte Bowey at Bristol in the last NSRS race. It was the first top-five NSRS finish for Yelkrab, entering his second season in the series. Back in Season 2, Yelkrab won a pair of STSC races at South Boston Speedway and Five Flags Speedway. After some struggles as a rookie in Season 3, overshadowed by the much more impressive Spark Spencer III and Cooter Bigsby, Yelkrab appears poised for a breakout season.