Tonight (14th March), the eNASCAR Coca-Cola iRacing Series is scheduled to take on a returning venue, but with a new flair this time around. Following the real-world reconfiguration of Atlanta Motor Speedway in 2022, the top virtual series will finally get its turn with 100 laps at the nearly wide open track.
New Atlanta is one of the new additions to the 2023 schedule after the series visited the historic 2008 venue last season. Not technically known as a Superspeedway due to it’s size, it is still an intermediate, but a common phrase to call it by is “Daytona in a can”.
This is the third race of the 2023 season, and the second superspeedway-style race in just that short amount of time. It is unknown how the race will play out when the Top 40 oval sim racers in the world take to the track. Could it be wide open, or will handling come in to play heavily?
TWO WEEKS AGO AT MILWAUKEE
In the second race of the season, there were some hurt feelings for some, and that combined with incredible storylines from the front runners on the night. One driver (Darik Bourdeau, Elliott Sadler Esports) is suspended tonight. Another driver checked one thing off of his final season to-do list early.
Nick Ottinger (William Byron Esports) was the best car in the first part, but Malik Ray (Jim Beaver Esports) showed up during a slew of cautions and pounced, taking the lead late in the going. However, Ray would be unsuccessful in holding off Michael Conti (JR Motorsports) as the laps wound down.
As Ray slid back into the clutches of Ottinger and Garrett Manes (FGR Accel eRacing), Conti, in his retirement tour season, went on to become the second winner on the year and the second to be all but locked in when the Regular Season ends following the 14th race, joining Daytona winner Tucker Minter (Team Dillon Esports).
RACE 2 AT MILWAUKEE – TOP 10 RESULTS
|1||10||8||Michael Conti||JR Motorsports||100 LAPS||20||40|
|2||1||25||Nick Ottinger||William Byron Esports||+0.282 secs||61||35|
|3||21||12||Garrett Manes||FGR Accel eRacing||+1.428 secs||0||34|
|4||9||7||Malik Ray||Jim Beaver Esports||+1.970 secs||18||33|
|5||8||48||Graham A. Bowlin||Charlotte Phoenix||+1.999 secs||0||32|
|6||6||95||Casey Kirwan||XSET||+2.097 secs||0||31|
|7||13||18||Bobby Zalenski||Joe Gibbs Racing||+2.205 secs||0||30|
|8||31||75||Zack Novak||Rise Esports||+2.333 secs||0||29|
|9||27||40||Dylan Ault||Letarte Esports||+2.786 secs||0||28|
|10||7||41||Dylan Duval||Stewart-Haas Esports||+2.900 secs||0||27|
As mentioned, the track is brand new for 2023, despite existing on the eNASCAR Coke Series schedule since the inaugural year in 2010. The very first race that season was won by former series driver Steve Sheehan. John Gorlinsky, another former driver, won the next two seasons back to back.
In 2013, an interesting name appears on the winners list – Joey Brown (FGR Accel eRacing). Brown made his return to the top level this offseason after winning the eNASCAR Contender iRacing Series championship for 2022. Brown previously left the series after 2014.
Thomas Lewandowski, PJ Stergios, Ray Alfalla and Logan Clampitt are all former winners at the old track, and are also no longer in the series this year (Alfalla was relegated and Clampitt retired following the 2022 season). Who is in the series that has won in the past includes Matt Bussa (William Byron Esports) and last year’s winner, Steven Wilson (Stewart-Haas Esports).
WHO TO WATCH FOR
With the track as a brand new configuration, some who do well at wide open tracks like Daytona and Talladega may find their way to the front of the field this week. Malik Ray has more points than anyone so far this season, and Atlanta may suit his driving style perfectly enough to grab that first career win.
Daytona winners in the last two years, Tucker Minter and Femi Olatunbosun (Charlotte Phoenix) could be contenders when the race comes down to it. How about Wilson, though? He won here last year on the old track and he needs to get his season pointed in the right direction sooner than later.
Other solid picks would likely be the defending champion of the series, Casey Kirwan (XSET), the Front Row Motorsports duo of Allen Boes and rookie Michael Cosey Jr, and how about Jordy Lopez Jr after that last race? He was very impressive in both races so far, look for that No. 3 Team Dillon Esports Chevy to make waves.
PLAYOFF SEEDING AFTER RACE 2 AT THE MILWAUKEE MILE
|1||8||Michael Conti||JR Motorsports||65||WIN||1||1||1|
|2||33||Tucker Minter||Team Dillon Esports||61||WIN||1||1||1|
|3||7||Malik Ray||Jim Beaver Esports||68||+20||0||2||2|
|4||25||Nick Ottinger||William Byron Esports||66||+18||0||1||2|
|6||48||Graham A. Bowlin||Charlotte Phoenix||61||+13||0||1||2|
|7||75||Zack Novak||Rise Esports||53||+5||0||0||1|
|8||34||Allen Boes||Front Row Motorsports||51||+3||0||0||1|
|9||66||Tyler Garey||Kanaan Esports||50||+2||0||0||1|
|10||41||Dylan Duval||Stewart-Haas Esports||49||+1||0||0||1|
|11||38||Michael Cosey Jr||Front Row Motorsports||48||-1||0||1||1|
|12||18||Bobby Zalenski||Joe Gibbs Racing||44||-5||0||0||1|
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 Atlanta 100 lap race event.
2023 ENASCAR COCA-COLA IRACING SERIES SCHEDULE
|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|