The eNASCAR Coca-Cola iRacing Series visited Bristol for only the fifth time in series history. Past winners include the first champion Richard Towler and former champion Ryan Luza, who was attempting to go back-to-back at the Last Great Colosseum. 250 laps were on the docket for the best of sim-racing and in typical Bristol fashion, great racing was everywhere on track and only a handful of yellow flags bunched the field back up for a restart.
Keegan Leahy, driver of the #32 for 23XI Racing, would ultimately be victorious after holding off a late race charge from Logan Clampitt (#97 for William Byron eSports). Leahy, still being relatively new to the sport with his first start being in 2018, has already amassed ten wins in the series. This win at Bristol will solidify himself in the Championship 4 of the Playoffs, his second time competing for the championship in the series. The first time he tried was in 2019, earning a second place finish in the finale live on NBCSN.
A notable top-five finish was Ray Alfalla, who at the moment is currently 20th in points. Unlike the NASCAR Cup Series or any real life series, all drivers from 21st on back in points at the end of the eNASCAR season must qualify back into the series through the eNASCAR Road to Pro Contender iRacing Series. In this series, the top-20 from the eNASCAR Road to Pro Qualifying iRacing Series will join the bottom-20 from the eNASCAR Coca-Cola iRacing Series and compete in the Contender series, with the bottom-20 from that series having to go back to square one and try to make it back into the series.
Leahy now joins Zalenski in the Championship 4, with deJong and Clampitt holding on with points. Technically speaking, only Conti is in a must win situation heading into Talladega – but everybody outside of the cutline will be looking for victory lane at Dega. 23XI Racing will be looking to keep both of their drivers in the championship hunt in virtual Alabama, while the rest of the teams focus on catching up and locking themselves in.
The virtual Talladega Superspeedway is just as nerve-wracking as in real life – high banks, racing side by side, three wide for ten rows, and any small mistake can lead to the big one. The energy of the playoffs will reach a crescendo as we will take six drivers out and set the final four loose at Texas for the finale.
As always, coverage starts at 8:30pm eastern with Countdown to Green then race coverage begins at 9:00pm eastern. Catch the action from virtual Talladega on September 28th, live on iRacing’s social medias and eNASCAR.com.
Featured photo from @NASCAR on Twitter.