The eNASCAR Coca-Cola iRacing Series was ready to crown a champion for the twelfth time in series history from the virtual Texas Motor Speedway. Following the real life rules of the top three NASCAR series championships, each driver had only one goal in mind – beat the other three championship hopefuls to the checkered flag. Whatever driver did that would be the new eNASCAR champion and capture the better part of $100,000.
It was a front row lock out from 23XI Racing’s Keegan Leahy and Mitchell deJong, both of whom were championship hopefuls. Bobby Zalenski, another championship competitor for Letarte eSports, would start on row five after a less-than-stellar qualifying effort. The big shock would come from William Byron eSports’ Logan Clampitt, who started the race from 31st position in row 16 – a terrible starting position that would put him towards the back of the pack at a track that is notorious for dirty air and being a challenge to pass at.
The race from virtual Texas went caution free all the way through to the end. With no stages in eNASCAR competition, there was no guaranteed yellow flags to bunch the field back up and multiple pit stops would be needed in order to make it to the checkered flag. The lead shuffled between the 23XI teammates of Leahy and deJong throughout the night, with one or both of them in the top two after pit stops cycled. Logan Clampitt, who started in the 31st position, had climbed himself up and into the top-ten before the first round of pit stops even began. Even with Zalenski and Clampitt in close proximity, the 23XI duo controlled the field.
After the final round of pit stops, Clampitt’s car came alive. He drove himself up to second place on the race track and within striking distance of the number 32 Toyota Camry of Keegan Leahy. The battle for eNASCAR glory was on in the closing laps at virtual No Limits, Texas, and neither driver was giving up. The tire wear caught up to Clampitt with only a handful of laps to go, and his championship opportunity drifted away with every pass of the start/finish. As the checkered flag flew, Halifax, Nova Scotia native Keegan Leahy, driver for 23XI Racing (formerly Denny Hamlin Racing), had won the 2021 eNASCAR Coca-Cola iRacing Series championship.
Unlike real life racing series’, drivers can be eliminated from competition and must re-qualify to compete. The top-20 in the points get to stay in the Coca-Cola series for 2022, with the bottom-20 going into the eNASCAR Road to Pro Contender iRacing Series. Those 20 drivers join the top-20 from the eNASCAR Road to Pro Qualifying iRacing Series that took place over the course of 2021, creating a field of 40 drivers who will be competing for the top-20 spots in the points to qualify for the eNASCAR Coca-Cola iRacing Series in 2022. You can catch all seven rounds of the series on Podium eSports (https://www.twitch.tv/podiumesports) and follow the points from round-to-round right here on Pit Box Press.
Featured photo from @KeeganLeahy on Twitter.