Two weeks removed from what was the first ever fixed setup race in the eNASCAR Coca-Cola iRacing Series at Talladega, that of which followed a six race stretch to open the season which included three superspeedway style tracks, two brand new tracks and, oh yeah, Richmond, things are getting back to normal tonight. Maybe.
Las Vegas Motor Speedway is the next stop on the 2023 schedule and while this course offers more normalcy among the rest of the previous races, it may still prove to be another wildcard race with less off-throttle time than perhaps desired.
Casey Kirwan (XSET) scored the most recent victory, adding his name to the list of Bobby Zalenski (Joe Gibbs Racing), Steven Wilson (Stewart-Haas Esports), Michael Conti (JR Motorsports) and Tucker Minter (Team Dillon Esports) as winners on the season.
TWO WEEKS AGO AT TALLADEGA
The first-ever fixed setup Coke race was one to remember, for sure. Lead changes were plentiful, the package was competitive, and you didn’t really know who was going to win until the final few feet.
Off of Turn 4 on the final lap, Malik Ray (Jim Beaver Esports) had it. He ended up getting separated from his help, however, which allowed Kirwan and Collin Bowden (eRacr) to both get a run.
Kirwan moved in front of the bullet that was Bowden and received a shot so precise, so exact that it catapulted him just ahead of Ray coming to the line. Kirwan took the spoils and Ray was once again left thinking what could have been with yet another second place finish. Bowden managed to take home third.
RACE 6 AT TALLADEGA – TOP 10 RESULTS
|1||25||95||Casey Kirwan||XSET||71 LAPS||11||40|
|2||23||7||Malik Ray||Jim Beaver Esports||+0.034 secs||9||35|
|3||35||69||Collin Bowden||eRacr||+0.076 secs||6||34|
|4||26||20||Wyatt Tinsley||Kansas City Pioneers||+0.104 secs||0||33|
|5||1||42||Kollin Keister||eRacr||+0.177 secs||0||32|
|6||3||2||Corey Vincent||Pittsburgh Knights||+0.179 secs||1||31|
|7||14||45||Michael Guest||23XI Racing||+0.232 secs||0||30|
|8||30||41||Dylan Duval||Stewart-Haas Esports||+0.255 secs||2||29|
|9||22||17||Kaden Honeycutt||RFK Racing||+0.380 secs||0||28|
|10||17||97||Matt Bussa||William Byron Esports||+0.405 secs||0||27|
LAS VEGAS HISTORY
Another one of those tracks that, if you’ve ever watched a full season of eNASCAR competition at any point previously, you would have come across Las Vegas Motor Speedway on the schedule.
Part of the inaugural season in 2010, the second-ever race in series history was one of legend as Sandeep Banerjee was able to take an incredible victory at the 1.5-mile D-shaped oval.
From 2011 through 2016, the likes of Brad Davies, PJ Stergios (twice), Marcus Lindsey, Kenny Humpe and Corey Vincent (Pittsburgh Knights) were able to score wins at the facility. When 2017 rolled around, and the rookie Ryan Luza (XSET) showed up, Las Vegas was, in actuality, Luza Vegas, scoring four wins in a five year stretch, including his first three-in-a-row.
Jimmy Mullis (Rise Esports) was the one to break the initial streak in 2020 and in 2022, it was Conti taking the most recent checkered flag.
WHO TO WATCH FOR
While Luza didn’t get a fifth victory last season at the track, he did still score a fourth place finish. His track record speaks for itself, despite his recent sour luck. When you talk odds in Vegas, Luza would be an easy bet.
So would Conti and the rest of the Team Conti crewmates. While Ottinger doesn’t have a win here, two of his backend teammates in Conti and Mullis do. Ottinger needs a win and Las Vegas could be the place where he can win big.
Vincent, also a past winner, will be looking to keep his momentum going. He currently sits in 13th in points after six races, and a win could boost him into the playoff talks immediately.
There are also the usual suspects to watch out for. Kirwan, Zalenski, Wilson and Graham A. Bowlin (Charlotte Phoenix) are all looking to get back to that championship race for the second straight season. A win at Las Vegas could prove to be the winning ticket.
PLAYOFF SEEDING AFTER RACE 6 AT TALLADEGA
|1||18||Bobby Zalenski||Joe Gibbs Racing||159||WIN||2||2||3|
|2||8||Michael Conti||JR Motorsports||170||WIN||1||2||2|
|4||33||Tucker Minter [R]||Team Dillon Esports||147||WIN||1||2||2|
|5||10||Steven Wilson||Stewart-Haas Esports||107||WIN||1||1||2|
|6||25||Nick Ottinger||William Byron Esports||160||+25||0||2||3|
|7||48||Graham A. Bowlin||Charlotte Phoenix||151||+16||0||2||4|
|8||38||Michael Cosey Jr [R]||Front Row Motorsports||148||+13||0||2||3|
|9||3||Jordy Lopez Jr [R]||Team Dillon Esports||145||+10||0||1||1|
|10||7||Malik Ray||Jim Beaver Esports||138||+3||0||3||3|
|11||23||Keegan Leahy||23XI Racing||135||-3||0||2||2|
|12||41||Dylan Duval||Stewart-Haas Esports||133||-5||0||0||3|
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 Las Vegas.
The broadcast will be available at eNASCAR.com/live or on the iRacing social channels.
2023 ENASCAR COCA-COLA IRACING SERIES SCHEDULE
|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|