eNASCAR Coca-Cola iRacing Series Race Preview: Race 5 – Monza

The fifth points paying race of the 2023 eNASCAR Coca-Cola iRacing Series season will take place at Autodromo Nazionale Monza on 11th April.

The eNASCAR Coca-Cola iRacing Series goes international on Tuesday night (11th April) as the top oval drivers on the sim head over to the Autodromo Nazionale Monza for the first time ever in series history.

Utilizing the Grand Prix layout but with no chicanes, what is normally an 11-corner circuit in Italy becomes seven with a lap distance of 5.63-kilometers, or 3.5-miles. It’s the second brand-new venue on the 2023 schedule, third if you count the new configuration at Atlanta, and all of these have come in the first five races of the season.

Monza is a staple venue on many of iRacing’s top esports series. Originally released on the service in 2015, it’s been seen on schedules for the iRacing World Championship Grand Prix Series, the Porsche TAG Heuer Esports Supercup Series and even the Force Dynamics Dallara iRacing Grand Prix Championship. Now, it debuts for eNASCAR.

TWO WEEKS AGO AT RICHMOND

zalenski leads richmond 4

Richmond Raceway added a fourth different winner to the win column two weeks ago when Bobby Zalenski (Joe Gibbs Racing) crushed the field in the 130-lap event. Holding off the likes of Michael Conti (JR Motorsports) and the rest of the Team Conti crew, Zalenski might have led them all if not for some errant yellows mid-race.

Nick Ottinger (William Byron Esports) was likely his closest competition, winning out on a pit cycle early on, taking the lead from Zalenski. Ottinger was able to hold off the green No. 18 for a good chunk of it before another yellow flew, mixing up the order again. Zalenski took advantage, leaving the field behind once he got back to the point.

Zalenski joins Conti and Tucker Minter (Team Dillon Esports) as playoff-eligible drivers thus far. Steven Wilson (Stewart-Haas Esports) was victorious at Atlanta four weeks ago, but currently sits outside the Top 20 in the points, which means he couldn’t use his win to qualify for a playoff spot at this current time.

RACE 4 AT RICHMOND – TOP 10 RESULTS

FINSTACAR #DRIVERTEAMINTERVALLEDPTS
1118Bobby ZalenskiJoe Gibbs Racing130 LAPS9540
298Michael ContiJR Motorsports+0.904 secs035
31046Jimmy MullisRise Esports+1.280 secs034
4325Nick OttingerWilliam Byron Esports+1.432 secs2333
5223Keegan Leahy23XI Racing+1.601 secs032
61215Garrett LoweJim Beaver Esports+2.233 secs031
72851Donovan StraussWilliams Esports+2.671 secs030
81477Ryan DoucettePittsburgh Knights+2.768 secs029
91838Michael Cosey JrFront Row Motorsports+2.782 secs028
102597Matt BussaWilliam Byron Esports+3.595 secs027

WHO TO WATCH FOR

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

Monza is going to be a tough one to predict. The series has never been there, and it’s unlike any other road course that’s ever been on an eNASCAR schedule.

Still, Zalenski has to be a favorite on Tuesday night, having once been a king of the road in eNASCAR for many years. That was before Mitchell deJong and Steven Wilson showed up. In the last two seasons, in six road course races, including an All-Star Race last year, deJong has won three times, Wilson has won twice times, and Zalenski has been shut out.

With deJong retired from the series, Zalenski’s biggest road rival has to be Wilson, right? Graham A. Bowlin (Charlotte Phoenix) also has a win during that stretch, at Watkins Glen in 2021. Casey Kirwan (XSET) has been playing in the Porsche field this season, and has shown speed in eNASCAR roadie events.

Both Conti and Ottinger could prove to be factors, as could Keegan Leahy (23XI Racing) who was recently credited with helping his real-world teammates to victory at Circuit of the Americas last month. In the rookie class, you also have to keep an eye out for Parker White (Kanaan Esports) who runs with the Apex Racing Academy during many special events.

PLAYOFF SEEDING AFTER RACE 4 AT RICHMOND

POS#DRIVERTEAMPTSBEHWINST5T10
18Michael ContiJR Motorsports119WIN122
233Tucker Minter [R]Team Dillon Esports105WIN111
318Bobby ZalenskiJoe Gibbs Racing104WIN112
425Nick OttingerWilliam Byron Esports122+36023
548Graham A. BowlinCharlotte Phoenix114+28023
638Michael Cosey Jr [R]Front Row Motorsports109+23023
723Keegan Leahy23XI Racing93+7011
841Dylan DuvalStewart-Haas Esports88+2002
93Jordy Lopez Jr [R]Team Dillon Esports87+1000
1042Kollin KeistereRacr86+0011
1034Allen BoesFront Row Motorsports86-0002
1295Casey KirwanXSET85-1012
1266Tyler Garey [R]Kanaan Esports85-1002
Steven Wilson: 24th in points with 1 win – Atlanta | Tiebreaker for 10th would go to highest finish

WHERE TO WATCH

The Countdown to Green 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 inaugural 30-lap Monza event.

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

2023 ENASCAR COCA-COLA IRACING SERIES SCHEDULE

RACEDATETRACKLAPS
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 Monza30
618-AprTalladega Superspeedway70
72-MayLas Vegas Motor Speedway100
816-MayDarlington Raceway120
930-MayCharlotte Motor Speedway100
1013-JunWorld Wide Technology Raceway at Gateway120
1127-JunWatkins Glen International45
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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