The eNASCAR Coca-Cola iRacing Series returns for the second points paying race of the 2023 season on Tuesday night (28th February). For the first time in series history, the 40 best NASCAR oval iRacers are taking to The Milwaukee Mile for the DBOX at The Milwaukee Mile 100.
Together with the Monza Circuit in April, Milwaukee is part of the two new additions to the 2023 schedule. So far in 2023, the series has been West to Los Angeles with the L.A. Clash at the Coliseum exhibition and Southeast to Daytona Beach with the Regular Season-opening Daytona 200 mile event.
This week, the series heads north to Wisconsin to take on the 1.015-mile (1.633-kilometer) oval located on the grounds of the Wisconsin State Fair Park.
LAST WEEK AT DAYTONA
One of the big stories from the off-season was the level of competition as high as it has ever been, and that came to fruition when a rookie driver in Tucker Minter (Team Dillon Esports) went to victory lane two weeks ago at Daytona.
It came down to a last lap, last corner, heck, even a last straightaway move by Minter to stick his nose low on the defending Series Champion Casey Kirwan (XSET) just barely, which sent the No. 95 sideways coming to the line.
It may have been a Superspeedway race, but Minter scored one for the rookies right away, a promising sign for others like Michael Cosey Jr (Front Row Motorsports), Timmy Holmes (RFK Racing) and Parker White (Kanaan Esports) who have also shown similar promise so far through Daytona and The Clash.
RACE 1 AT DAYTONA – TOP 10 RESULTS
|1||8||33||Tucker Minter||Team Dillon Esports||87 LAPS||14||40|
|2||38||7||Malik Ray||Jim Beaver Esports||0.085 secs||0||35|
|3||20||1||Darik Bourdeau||Elliott Sadler Esports||0.212 secs||1||34|
|4||11||95||Casey Kirwan||XSET||0.220 secs||5||33|
|5||6||38||Michael Cosey Jr||Front Row Motorsports||0.418 secs||11||32|
|6||10||25||Nick Ottinger||William Byron Esports||0.514 secs||0||31|
|7||31||66||Tyler Garey||Kanaan Esports||0.616 secs||1||30|
|8||12||48||Graham A. Bowlin||Charlotte Phoenix||0.824 secs||0||29|
|9||19||34||Allen Boes||Front Row Motorsports||0.864 secs||26||28|
|10||28||2||Corey Vincent||Pittsburgh Knights||0.936 secs||0||27|
Probably more well known for its Champ Car and IndyCar days, The Milwaukee Mile also has a storied stock car history within the NASCAR Xfinity Series, NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series and most recently with the ARCA Menards Series.
The track opened all the way back in 1903 and held racing events every year up until 2015. In 2009, NASCAR stopped coming up to the weirdly-shaped mile track. Up until that point, drivers like Ron Hornaday Jr, Greg Biffle, Dale Jarrett, Carl Edwards and even Dale Earnhardt Jr had won among the ranks.
From 2010 until 2020, National Stock Car racing was not seen at The Milwaukee Mile, but in 2021, ARCA made its return to the track as Ty Gibbs was victorious. ARCA also ran in 2022, with Sammy Smith taking that win, but in 2023, NASCAR Trucks will return to the venue in later on in the season, in August.
With NASCAR’s return, that comes with eNASCAR’s debut. One of the early tracks added to the iRacing roster was The Milwaukee Mile, but because it wasn’t a NASCAR Cup venue, the eNASCAR Coca-Cola iRacing Series never ran there. 2023 will mark the inaugural event.
WHO TO WATCH FOR
Perhaps the closest comparison track to The Milwaukee Mile would be New Hampshire Motor Speedway, another venue on the 2023 schedule but a track that hasn’t seen any NEXT Gen racing yet as the last race took place in 2021.
Jimmy Mullis (Rise Esports) was the winner that day, and if New Hampshire is the closest thing we’ve got, I would say he’s got a great chance. Another common venue that has seen NEXT Gen racing is WWT Raceway at Gateway. The inaugural race there was won by Graham A. Bowlin (Charlotte Phoenix).
I would argue that there isn’t much data out there, however, that can give us a solid pick. With that said, the usual suspects have got to be Kirwan, Steven Wilson (Stewart-Haas Esports), Michael Conti (JR Motorsports) and Nick Ottinger (William Byron Esports) as the favorites to pick in big unknowns.
This may also be a great opportunity for the Rookie Class of 2023. Guys like Minter, Holmes, Cosey Jr, White and more can make a statement against the pros by taking another early victory in the season at a track nobody has been to in this car or in this series.
WHERE TO WATCH
The Countdown to Green starts at 8:30 p.m. EDT / 1:30 a.m. GMT 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. GMT for the DBOX at the Milwaukee Mile 100 race event.
The broadcast will be available at eNASCAR.com/live or on the iRacing social channels.
2023 ENASCAR COCA-COLA IRACING SERIES SCHEDULE
|2||28-Feb||The Milwaukee Mile||100|
|3||14-Mar||Atlanta Motor Speedway||100|
|5||11-Apr||Autodromo Nazionale Monza||30|
|7||2-May||Las Vegas Motor Speedway||100|
|9||30-May||Charlotte Motor Speedway||100|
|10||13-Jun||World Wide Technology Raceway at Gateway||120|
|11||27-Jun||Watkins Glen International||45|
|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|