The Coca-Cola 150 will take place on Tuesday night (24th May) at Charlotte Motor Speedway. It’s the eighth race of the 2022 eNASCAR Coca-Cola iRacing Series season.
Tonight, the eNASCAR Coca-Cola iRacing Series heads to Charlotte Motor Speedway for the eighth points paying race of 2022. A sponsored race, the Coca-Cola 150 will feature the 40 best drivers in the eNASCAR ranks competing for 100 laps (150 miles) around the 1.5-mile speedway in Concord, North Carolina.
At Kansas two weeks ago, Garrett Lowe (Wood Brothers Racing) stunned the field to win his first race since 2019. Lowe joins Femi Olatunbosun (Clint Bowyer Racing), Steven Wilson (Stewart-Haas Esports), Michael Conti (JR Motorsports) and Nick Ottinger (William Byron Esports) as a winner on the season.
Last year, Charlotte was double the distance with a brawl between Rays at the end of it. Malik Ray (now driving for iRacing Motorsports) had the lead, but Ray Alfalla (Joe Gibbs Racing) was hot on his tail. Alfalla would get the job done to score a series-leading 26th career victory that night, his most recent win.
Technically speaking, this will be the 16th official race in eNASCAR Coca-Cola iRacing Series history to take place at this particular track tonight. In the inaugural season back in 2010, as well as both 2019 and 2020, the track was visited twice. However, in the latter two, the second visits would be to run the Roval.
Until last season, no driver had won on the oval more than once, which meant 12 different drivers had collected a Charlotte victory since the first season. Alfalla was the first and only driver to go against this last year. In fact, five of the previous winners are also champions of the series, so it makes sense that the only multi-time champion, Alfalla, has multiple wins now.
The inaugural event was won by Richard Towler while Brad Davies scored the latter race win that season. As for the drivers that are still racing today, besides Alfalla, drivers such as Ottinger, Nickolas Shelton (Clint Bowyer Racing), Keegan Leahy (23XI Racing) and Kollin Keister (Charlotte Phoenix) are all coming into the Coca-Cola 150 looking for their second win at the track.
SPECIAL SCHEMES FOR MEMORIAL DAY
Being that this weekend in the States is Memorial Day weekend, many drivers and teams will be showing their support by running patriotic schemes on their cars. In total, 15 cars will have some salute to the nation whether it be in the red, white and blue of the United States flag or with military camo wrapped in.
The 15 drivers that will have patriotic schemes:
- #2 Liam Brotherton – Elliott Sadler Esports
- #3 Corey Vincent – Team Dillon Esports
- #5 Zack Novak – Rise Esports
- #6 Parker Retzlaff – RFK Racing
- #8 Michael Conti – JR Motorsports
- #9 Michael Guest – Jim Beaver Esports
- #10 Steven Wilson – Stewart-Haas Esports
- #15 Blake Reynolds – Jim Beaver Esports
- #17 Kaden Honeycutt – RFK Racing
- #25 Nick Ottinger – William Byron Esports
- #31 Garrett Manes – Elliott Sadler Esports
- #36 Brian Mercurio – LETARTE Esports
- #40 Dylan Ault – LETARTE Esports
- #79 Femi Olatunbosun – Clint Bowyer Racing
- #88 Briar LaPradd – JR Motorsports
The race itself is titled the Coca-Cola 150, which is the same entitlement sponsor as the real-world event this weekend at the same venue, the Coca-Cola 600, which is the longest race on the NASCAR calendar.
WHO TO WATCH FOR
Looking historically at this venue, with Alfalla as the only multiple time winner here, it’s easy to say he’s the favorite. However, his season hasn’t been what he’d hoped for to this point. Struggling to find a working balance with the NASCAR NEXT Gen cars, Alfalla only sits 27th in points, not nearly up far enough to be considered a threat to win.
However, backtracking all of what I just said, it wasn’t until Charlotte last season that Alfalla was able to turn his season around. The win didn’t get him into the playoffs, unfortunately, but it did help him avoid relegation for a second time in his career. Maybe Charlotte lights the fuse under 4-Time once again?
I’d also say previous winners this season are mostly all worth watching out for. On one side, Wilson did well at Kansas before he was wrecked and Olatunbosun worked his magic to take back the points lead following another solid finish. On the other, the more dominant duo of Ottinger and Conti both struggled to stay out of trouble, but they both are threats to win just about every week.
For those who haven’t won yet, I’m still keeping an eye on Graham A. Bowlin (Charlotte Phoenix), his teammate Keister who won here two years ago, Casey Kirwan (XSET) who was very close at Kansas, and maybe, just maybe, we’ll see some signs of life from the 23XI duo of Leahy and Mitchell deJong.
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 and James Pike down on pit road.
Check out our Traxion.GG mid-season rankings to see where your favorite drivers and teams stack up halfway through the eNASCAR Coca-Cola iRacing Series Regular Season.
POINTS ENTERING RACE #8 – CHARLOTTE MOTOR SPEEDWAY
|1||25||Nick Ottinger||William Byron eSports||2||199||5||5|
|2||8||Michael Conti||JR Motorsports||2||157||3||3|
|3||79||Femi Olatunbosun||Clint Bowyer Racing||1||203||3||4|
|4||10||Steven Wilson||Stewart-Haas eSports||1||198||4||4|
|5||21||Garrett Lowe||Wood Brothers Racing||1||136||1||2|
|6||75||Matt Bussa||Mode Motorsports||0||179 (+21)||1||4|
|7||95||Casey Kirwan||XSET||0||178 (+20)||2||5|
|8||15||Blake Reynolds||Jim Beaver eSports||0||169 (+11)||1||3|
|9||33||Taylor Hurst||Team Dillon Esports||0||168 (+10)||0||4|
|10||3||Corey Vincent||Team Dillon Esports||0||162 (+4)||2||4|
2022 eNASCAR COCA-COLA iRACING SERIES SCHEDULE
|24-May-22||8||Charlotte Motor Speedway||100|
|31-May-22||9||World Wide Technology Raceway||120|
|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|