Only three races remain in the 2023 season Regular Season for the eNASCAR Coca-Cola iRacing Series. Between Nashville Superspeedway, New Hampshire Motor Speedway and Pocono Raceway, the final four positions in the eNASCAR Playoffs will be decided among those still in mathematical contention.
Bobby Zalenski (Joe Gibbs Racing) was the most recent winner in the series, collecting his third win of the season after crossing the line in first at the inaugural Chicago Street Course event. With no new winner, that means at least one position in the 2023 eNASCAR Playoffs will be guaranteed by points.
As it stands, Zalenski joins Michael Conti (JR Motorsports), Tucker Minter (Team Dillon Esports), Jordy Lopez (Team Dillon Esports), Casey Kirwan (XSET) and Steven Wilson (Stewart-Haas Racing) as the winners locked in, while Nick Ottinger (William Byron Esports), Graham Bowlin (Charlotte Phoenix), Michael Cosey Jr (Front Row Motorsports) and Malik Ray (Jim Beaver Esports) are in as it stands for those on points.
Two weeks ago at Chicago
In eNASCAR’s first points-paying visit to the Chicago Street Course, the big three made up of the eNASCAR Road Course King Zalenski, the All-Star race winner at the same venue a year ago, Wilson, and the rookie with road racing ties, Parker White (Kanaan Esports) stole the show.
Wilson took the pole, but by Turn 1, Zalenski and White had both passed and went side-by-side. White won out on the battle, and the three would pull away from the field in a race that would go caution-free. Wilson made the first jump to pit, gaining back time, but after White pitted, he was still behind.
It came down to some fuel saving and a perfect pit in and out from Zalenski a lap later. As White tried to maintain the lead, he came up on a slower car entering pits as Zalenski was wrapping up. Into Turn 1, Zalenski had made the jump to the lead where he would stay for the remainder.
Race 11 at Chicago – Top 10 Results
|1||3||18||Bobby Zalenski||Joe Gibbs Racing||40 LAPS||11||40|
|2||2||11||Parker White||Kanaan Esports||+0.538 secs||29||35|
|3||1||10||Steven Wilson||Stewart-Haas Racing||+0.895 secs||0||34|
|4||6||33||Tucker Minter||Team Dillon Esports||+11.975 secs||0||33|
|5||7||95||Casey Kirwan||XSET||+13.095 secs||0||32|
|6||4||25||Nick Ottinger||William Byron Esports||+14.764 secs||0||31|
|7||5||15||Garrett Lowe||Jim Beaver Esports||+15.884 secs||0||30|
|8||11||3||Jordy Lopez||Team Dillon Esports||+27.044 secs||0||29|
|9||10||8||Michael Conti||JR Motorsports||+29.954 secs||0||28|
|10||14||48||Graham A. Bowlin||Charlotte Phoenix||+30.190 secs||0||27|
Second race at Nashville SS in series history
Like World Wide Technology Raceway, 2023 marks the second points-paying trip to Nashville Superspeedway in eNASCAR history. While Nashville is technically making its third appearance, like Chicago, 2021 was a year where it was on the schedule as an All-Star event, which was won by Jimmy Mullis (Rise Esports).
The actual first points-paying race last season was won by 4-Time himself, Ray Alfalla, which marked his 27th career victory in the series, the most of all-time. While Alfalla is currently fighting to get back to the top level through the Qualifying Series, this year will guarantee another new points-paying winner at the track.
Who to watch for
Mullis would be a safe bet, considering that he’s won here before and his Team Conti group has been firing on all cylinders with Conti’s two wins and Ottinger’s massive points total. His luck hasn’t been there, seeing as he almost took WWT Raceway before crashing late with Kirwan racing for the win.
Mullis’s teammate at Rise Esports, Zack Novak, also showed promise at the concrete track last season, although this season, the 2019 Champion has been struggling for consistent finishes.
While the usual suspects, like Conti, Ottinger, Minter, Lopez, Kirwan and Bowlin are all safe bets, I also would argue for the rookie White, coming off a pair of Podium finishes with a third at WWT Raceway and a runner-up at Chicago. Nashville seems to be a strong track for White in some of the leagues he’s a part of. That could mean a win and playoff berth for yet another 2023 eNASCAR rookie if he’s able to pull it off.
Playoff Seeding after Race #11 at Chicago
|1||18||Bobby Zalenski||Joe Gibbs Racing||238||WIN||3||3||5|
|2||8||Michael Conti||JR Motorsports||340||WIN||2||6||7|
|3||33||Tucker Minter [R]||Team Dillon Esports||281||WIN||2||5||6|
|5||3||Jordy Lopez Jr [R]||Team Dillon Esports||302||WIN||1||3||6|
|6||10||Steven Wilson||Stewart-Haas Esports||233||WIN||1||2||4|
|7||25||Nick Ottinger||William Byron Esports||288||+46||0||4||6|
|8||48||Graham A. Bowlin||Charlotte Phoenix||274||+32||0||4||8|
|9||38||Michael Cosey Jr [R]||Front Row Motorsports||274||+32||0||2||6|
|10||7||Malik Ray||Jim Beaver Esports||250||+8||0||4||6|
|11||11||Parker White [R]||Kanaan Esports||242||-8||0||2||4|
|12||97||Matt Bussa||William Byron Esports||240||-10||0||1||5|
|13||12||Garrett Manes||FGR Accel eRacing||231||-19||0||2||5|
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 100-lap event at Nashville.
2023 ENASCAR COCA-COLA IRACING SERIES SCHEDULE
|13||25-Jul||New Hampshire Motor Speedway||101|
|15 – PO1||15-Aug||Michigan International Speedway||60|
|16 – PO2||29-Aug||Dover Motor Speedway||120|
|17 – PO3||12-Sep||Phoenix Raceway||120|
|18 – C4||26-Sep||Homestead-Miami Speedway||100|