The schedule had been set, the drivers and teams have been announced, the clash had clashed and all that was left was for the season to get underway for real.
With an increased prize pool in 2021 of $330,000, there was bound to be a lot of pressure on drivers going into the first race of the series. Series rookie Mitchel deJong led the 23XI car from the pole but, typically of superspeedway plate racing, he wasn’t there for very long.
Almost a third of the way into the race, lap 31 to be precise, a number top drivers met their doom. Ex-champions Ryan Luza and Zack Novak had their days ended and Novak, in particular, had no friendly words to say about his competitors…
The race remained under green-flag conditions however. Often the pack would find themselves two and three wide but, for the most part, kept their discipline. That would mean that green-flag pitstops were a necessity – not easy to do at over 200mph in a big pack of race cars.
Despite a caution-free 99 laps, there was always bound to be chaos as the drivers chased a highly sought after victory to start their season. With over 30 drivers still in contention on the final corner, Guest and Clash winner Clampitt collided picking up reigning champion Ottinger. Behind them, the big one ensued. Technically no yellow flags were issued as it was the last lap of the race.
Michael Conti was the leading survivor, scoring a W on his mission to win his second championship. With the new playoff system, Conti has already confirmed that he’ll be in the end-of-season – presuming he keeps his place in the top 20 on points.
eNASCAR iRacing Coca-Cola Series – Round 1, Daytona International Speedway Results
|14||10||Graham A. Bowlin||100||-4.86||23|
|32||29||Zack Nichols||99||-1 L||5|
|33||1||Ashton Crowder||99||-1 L||4|
|34||33||Taylor Hurst||99||-1 L||3|
|35||67||Allen Boes||99||-1 L||2|
|36||37||Derek Justis||98||-2 L||1|
|37||47||Brian Schoenburg||97||-3 L||1|
|38||4||Ryan Michael Luza||81||-19 L||1|
|39||11||Malik Ray||34||-66 L||1|