eNASCAR Coca-Cola iRacing Series Race Preview: Race 11 – Chicago Street Course

Justin Melillo
The 11th points paying race of the 2023 eNASCAR Coca-Cola iRacing Series season will take place at the Chicago Street Course on 27th June.
eNASCAR Coca-Cola: Steven Wilson wins Chicago Street All-Star event

Another new addition to the eNASCAR Coca-Cola iRacing Series schedule for the 2023 season came just recently when it was revealed that the 11th race would no longer be Watkins Glen International, but instead, the inaugural race in the series at the Chicago Street Course.

Two years ago, the track made its debut on the iRacing platform as some sort of test in the eNASCAR Pro Invitational iRacing Series. After scanning Grant Park in Chicago, Illinois, over by Soldier Field, iRacing was able to turn the streets into a functional racetrack. Further revisions have this track making a real-world debut this weekend.

Last season, the older version of the track hosted the eNASCAR All-Star event (which mind you, there weren’t too many big updates from the initial scan to what will actually race in the real-world). Steven Wilson (Stewart-Haas Esports) won that event over Bobby Zalenski (Joe Gibbs Racing) and Mitchell deJong.

Two weeks ago at Gateway

Lopez Conti WWT Raceway

In more recent racing history, two weeks ago, the series saw another rookie winner at World Wide Technology Raceway at Gateway. Jordy Lopez (Team Dillon Esports) moved Garrett Manes (FGR Accel eRacing) on older tires from the lead in Turn 2, then proceeded to hold off Michael Conti (JR Motorsports) on better tires at the line.

The margin of victory was 0.006 seconds, making it one of the closest finishes in series history. Lopez joins Conti, his teammate Tucker Minter, Zalenski, Wilson and the defending champion Casey Kirwan (XSET) now as a winner on the season. Four more spots remain in the 2023 Playoffs.

Manes, on the other hand, was relegated to a poor finish following the incident that made his chance at pointing in much harder. Manes is now 40 points below 10th place Graham Bowlin (Charlotte Phoenix) with only four races to go until those playoffs begin.

Race 10 at WWT Raceway at Gateway – Top 10 Results

183Jordy LopezTeam Dillon Esports124 LAPS140
278Michael ContiJR Motorsports+0.004 secs735
31311Parker WhiteKanaan Esports+0.588 secs034
41415Garrett LoweJim Beaver Esports+0.851 secs033
5948Graham A. BowlinCharlotte Phoenix+1.143 secs032
62243Femi OlatunbosunCharlotte Phoenix+1.262 secs031
7610Steven WilsonStewart-Haas Racing+1.342 secs430
81138Michael Cosey JrFront Row Motorsports+1.859 secs029
93897Matt BussaWilliam Byron Esports+2.046 secs328
101720Wyatt TinsleyKansas City Pioneers+2.590 secs027

From All-Star to an eNASCAR points event

eNASCAR Coca-Cola: Steven Wilson wins Chicago Street All-Star event

in last season’s All-Star event, Steven Wilson showed out and showed out big. While Mitchell deJong was a threat through the night, Wilson played the gimmicks right, scoring an invert for the main event that put him in prime position to succeed.

Bobby Zalenski gave Wilson everything he had, but Wilson was able to hold on for the win, one that didn’t count towards points but did pad his wallet a bit with a worthy prize.

Now, it’s a crucial point in the crosshairs of the 2023 season. Will Wilson go back to back to lock his spot in the 2023 Playoffs for good? Can Zalenski get the one-up this time around? How about the other road course do-gooders like Conti, Kirwan, Bowlin and Nick Ottinger (William Byron Esports)?

Who to watch for

eNASCAR Coca-Cola: Steven Wilson wins Chicago Street All-Star event

Anyone who has been mentioned to this point so far is one to watch, except for deJong of course since he’s no longer in the series.

Wilson will be an easy favorite, but with his pace somewhat off from where it was in 2022, Zalenski will likely be the one to take it unless something happens. Manes is looking for redemption, and will looking to get a top finish no matter the cost.

Lopez, Minter, Kirwan, Bowlin, Conti and Ottinger are all great picks too. I’d even throw Matt Bussa (William Byron Esports) into the mix if he was racing from the comfort of his own home. He’ll be racing live from the Navy Pier as part of the weekend hype-up, however, so unfamiliarity might play a factor.

Playoff Seeding after Race #10 at WWT Raceway at Gateway

18Michael ContiJR Motorsports312WIN266
233Tucker Minter [R]Team Dillon Esports248WIN245
395Casey KirwanXSET229WIN245
418Bobby ZalenskiJoe Gibbs Racing199WIN224
53Jordy Lopez Jr [R]Team Dillon Esports273WIN135
610Steven WilsonStewart-Haas Esports199WIN113
725Nick OttingerWilliam Byron Esports257+41045
838Michael Cosey Jr [R]Front Row Motorsports256+40026
97Malik RayJim Beaver Esports249+33046
1048Graham A. BowlinCharlotte Phoenix248+32047
1197Matt BussaWilliam Byron Esports216-32015
1212Garrett ManesFGR Accel eRacing208-40025

Where to Watch

The Countdown to Green, now sponsored by Wendy’s, starts at 8:30 p.m. EDT / 1:30 a.m. BST to bring you up to speed on everything you need to know going into the event. The racing will go green shortly after 9:00 p.m. EDT / 2:00 a.m. BST for the Chicago event.

The broadcast will be available at eNASCAR.com/live or on the iRacing social channels.


CLASH31-JaneNASCAR Clash at the LA Coliseum | Winner: CASEY KIRWAN20/40/70
114-FebDaytona International Speedway | Winner: TUCKER MINTER80
228-FebThe Milwaukee Mile | Winner: MICHAEL CONTI100
314-MarAtlanta Motor Speedway | Winner: STEVEN WILSON100
428-MarRichmond Raceway | Winner: BOBBY ZALENSKI130
511-AprAutodromo Nazionale Monza | Winner: BOBBY ZALENSKI30
618-AprTalladega Superspeedway | Winner: CASEY KIRWAN70
72-MayLas Vegas Motor Speedway | Winner: MICHAEL CONTI100
816-MayDarlington Raceway | Winner: CASEY KIRWAN120
930-MayCharlotte Motor Speedway | Winner: TUCKER MINTER100
1013-JunWorld Wide Technology Raceway at Gateway Winner: JORDY LOPEZ120
1127-JunChicago Street Course45
1211-JulNashville Superspeedway100
1325-JulNew Hampshire Motor Speedway101
141-AugPocono Raceway60
15 – PO115-AugMichigan International Speedway60
16 – PO229-AugDover Motor Speedway120
17 – PO312-SepPhoenix Raceway120
18 – C426-SepHomestead-Miami Speedway100
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