eNASCAR Coca-Cola iRacing Series All-Star Race Preview: Chicago
The 2022 eNASCAR Coca-Cola iRacing Series season takes a detour to the streets of Chicago for the 2022 All-Star event on Tuesday night.
Tuesday night (2nd August 2022) will see a break in the normalcy of the 2022 eNASCAR Coca-Cola iRacing Series season. Points are NOT on the line this week. Instead, it’ll be a showcase of the top talent in the series around the currently fictional, but soon-to-be real venue around the streets of Chicago.
All eNASCAR drivers on the 2022 roster are invited to compete. A select number of drivers will be locked into the main event while the others not locked in will be sent through the Open. No distances or purses have been announced, but it is expected that will be discussed during the pre-race show.
The course itself is 2.19-miles (3.52-kilometers) long and features 12 total corners. Many of those corners are 90 degrees, those being turns 1, 2, 5, 6, 7, 11 and 12. You’ll find the frontstretch and pit road across the street from Chicago’s Buckingham Fountain. The course is just north of Soldier Field.
CHICAGO ALL-STAR FORMAT
In total, up to 23 drivers will race in the eNASCAR All-Star Event, dependent on who shows up to race. Any driver with a win or pole position in either the 2021 or 2022 season so far is locked into the main event.
The official posting says nothing about Past Champions of the series, however, a change from last season’s prerequisites. That would deny the 2019 Series Champion Zack Novak a locked in place, if that is the case, and he’ll need to make his way through another way.
Novak and the remaining eNASCAR drivers will do battle in the All-Star Open for the two transfer spots on the line into the main. The open will have up to 21 drivers such as Novak, Corey Vincent, Michael Guest, Blake Reynolds, Garrett Manes and Dylan Duval, all of which are inside the Top 20 in the points.
While no official entry list was provided as of yet, here is who we can project as locked into the main event based on the criteria posted.
PROJECTED ALL-STAR ROSTER:
|8||Michael Conti||JR Motorsports|
|10||Steven Wilson||Stewart-Haas Esports|
|18||Bobby Zalenski||Joe Gibbs Racing|
|19||Vicente Salas||Williams Esports|
|21||Garrett Lowe||Wood Brothers Racing|
|23||Mitchell deJong||23XI Racing|
|24||Cody Byus||Mode Motorsports|
|25||Nick Ottinger||William Byron Esports|
|33||Taylor Hurst||Team Dillon Esports|
|45||Keegan Leahy||23XI Racing|
|46||Jimmy Mullis||Rise Esports|
|48||Graham A. Bowlin||Charlotte Phoenix|
|51||Ray Alfalla||Joe Gibbs Racing|
|53||Bob Bryant||iRacing Past Winner|
|75||Matt Bussa||Mode Motorsports|
|79||Femi Olatunbosun||Clint Bowyer Racing|
|88||Briar LaPradd||JR Motorsports|
|97||Logan Clampitt||William Byron Esports|
UNRETIRED FOR ONE NIGHT ONLY
The invitation was open to those drivers who were relegated or retired from the series in between 2021 and 2022. While Chris Shearburn would fit the criteria, he was not announced to be racing and is not currently listed on the iRacing All-Star league page.
Bob Bryant, however, winner at Auto Club Speedway in 2021, was announced as racing on Tuesday night. Bryant was a grizzled rookie in the 2020 campaign, competing at the top level of eNASCAR for the first time, signed to race for Kyle Larson Esports before the team was shut down four races in.
He picked up the No. 77 ride in the middle of the same season driving for Burton Kligerman Esports, finishing 16th in the standings that year. Bryant stayed with the team as they rebranded to Kligerman Sport in 2021. After winning his way into the playoffs, Bryant finished ninth overall and hung it up before the start of the 2022 season.
Bryant will don a fine number – the No. 53 – and will have sponsorship from Justin Belfiore Signs in his one night return to top level competition. Brandon Kettelle was able to utilize a 2020 win and race last year when the All-Star race went to Nashville Superspeedway. Last year’s All-Star winner was Jimmy Mullis, by the way.
WHERE TO WATCH
The race itself will kickoff at 9:00 p.m. EDT / 2:00 a.m. BST following the pre-race festivities, which kick off a half-hour earlier. The Countdown to Green begins at 8:30 p.m. EDT / 1:30 a.m. BST featuring Camille Salazar Hadaway, Alan Cavanna and Brandon Kettelle. Once the race kicks off, you’ll hear the voices of Evan Posocco, Blake McCandless in the booth and James Pike down on pit road.
The broadcast will be available at eNASCAR.com/live or on the iRacing social channels.
2022 eNASCAR COCA-COLA iRACING SERIES SCHEDULE
|02-Aug-22||ALL-STAR||Chicago Street Circuit||TBA|
|16-Aug-22||13||Watkins Glen Int’l||35|
|13-Sep-22||PO1 | 15||Bristol Motor Speedway||175|
|27-Sep-22||PO2 | 16||Talladega Superspeedway||70|
|11-Oct-22||PO3 | 17||Homestead-Miami Speedway||100|
|25-Oct-22||C4F | 18||Phoenix Raceway||110|