The Team Dillon Esports rookie scored his maiden victory on Tuesday night (13th June) at World Wide Technology Raceway after an eventful final lap in eNASCAR Overtime.
On the final lap, Lopez, on a two tire strategy call, made a move to get around Garrett Manes (FGR Accel eRacing) who had stayed out. The result sent Manes spinning out of contention, but the battle was not done yet. Michael Conti (JR Motorsports) had four fresh tires and got to Jordy’s inside out of Turn 4. The margin of victory was 0.005 seconds.
Lopez only led one lap, and it was the most important one of his career to date. The victory vaults Lopez to second in the standings and fifth on the Playoff Grid with four races remaining in the Regular Season.
Conti collects his sixth Top 5 finish in 10 races and ultimately extends his points lead, now over Lopez. As it stands, Lopez and Conti will be joined by Tucker Minter (Team Dillon Esports), Bobby Zalenski (Joe Gibbs Racing), Casey Kirwan (XSET) and Steven Wilson (Stewart-Haas Racing) in the 2023 playoffs.
Four races remaining, and four spots left in the playoffs. If there are no new winners, Nick Ottinger (William Byron Esports), Michael Cosey Jr (Front Row Motorsports), Malik Ray (Jim Beaver Esports) and Graham Bowlin (Charlotte Phoenix) would be the four in on points so far.
Lopez: “I just can’t believe it”
From the eighth starting position, Lopez was a consistent factor in the Top 10 throughout the race. On the final pit stop of the night, the strategy was fractured among different teams and drivers.
Manes opted to stay out, hoping for enough caution laps to keep him in the top spot. Lopez, along with Minter, Cosey Jr and Parker White (Kanaan Esports) opted for the two tire call. Ottinger, the pole sitter, took four tires and restarted in the fourth row.
The field couldn’t stop wrecking, and eventually it made its way into eNASCAR Overtime. Lopez was up to second as Manes led the field into Turns 1 and 2. A lap later, Lopez did what he needed to do and it paid off big, the newest winner on the eNASCAR circuit.
A night not without controversy
This result didn’t come without some sort of controversy. With just over 20 laps to go, contact between Wyatt Tinsley (Kansas City Pioneers) and Collin Bowden (eRacr) put the field in the position that set up the rest of the race.
Whether the contact or the spin was intentional or not remains to be seen, but I’m not here to speculate. The fact is that the incident happened and that led to how Lopez was able to win.
Of course, the win was controversial in its own right. Lopez did what he felt he needed to do to score the win. Manes didn’t see it the same way, and some fans on social media would tend to agree.
Other points through the night had their own flavor of trouble. Both Ryan Luza (XSET) and Malik Ray were penalized by the game near the quarter-race mark for passing entering the pits. Those penalties were likely due to the field catching up while drivers pitting were on the access road.
There was also an incident under caution following a wreck where Dylan Duval (Stewart-Haas Racing) was inadvertently spun after Tinsley and Allen Boes (Front Row Motorsports) possibly went to show their displeasure to one another.
Playoff Picture getting clearer with four races to go
Controversies aside, the playoffs are much more clear following the 10th race of the season, unless of course we start getting new winners in the final four Regular Season races outside the Top 10 as of current.
If there are no new winners, Ottinger, Cosey Jr, Ray and Bowlin are sitting pretty, all more than or just about a full race’s points difference ahead of 11th place in the standings, Matt Bussa (William Byron Esports). Manes took a huge hit in falling from a possible win or Top 5 to a 30th place finish. Now it’s a 40 point gap back to Bowlin.
Parker White is about the only other driver who has a remote shot to make it on points, but even he might need to get a win to get in. From Keegan Leahy (23XI Racing) on down, it seems a win is their only path to making this year’s Playoffs.
Race 10 at World Wide Technology Raceway – Top 10 Results
|1||8||3||Jordy Lopez||Team Dillon Esports||124 LAPS||1||40|
|2||7||8||Michael Conti||JR Motorsports||+0.004 secs||7||35|
|3||13||11||Parker White||Kanaan Esports||+0.588 secs||0||34|
|4||14||15||Garrett Lowe||Jim Beaver Esports||+0.851 secs||0||33|
|5||9||48||Graham A. Bowlin||Charlotte Phoenix||+1.143 secs||0||32|
|6||22||43||Femi Olatunbosun||Charlotte Phoenix||+1.262 secs||0||31|
|7||6||10||Steven Wilson||Stewart-Haas Racing||+1.342 secs||4||30|
|8||11||38||Michael Cosey Jr||Front Row Motorsports||+1.859 secs||0||29|
|9||38||97||Matt Bussa||William Byron Esports||+2.046 secs||3||28|
|10||17||20||Wyatt Tinsley||Kansas City Pioneers||+2.590 secs||0||27|
Playoff Seeding after Race 10 at World Wide Technology Raceway
|1||8||Michael Conti||JR Motorsports||312||WIN||2||6||6|
|2||33||Tucker Minter [R]||Team Dillon Esports||248||WIN||2||4||5|
|4||18||Bobby Zalenski||Joe Gibbs Racing||199||WIN||2||2||4|
|5||3||Jordy Lopez Jr [R]||Team Dillon Esports||273||WIN||1||3||5|
|6||10||Steven Wilson||Stewart-Haas Esports||199||WIN||1||1||3|
|7||25||Nick Ottinger||William Byron Esports||257||+41||0||4||5|
|8||38||Michael Cosey Jr [R]||Front Row Motorsports||256||+40||0||2||6|
|9||7||Malik Ray||Jim Beaver Esports||249||+33||0||4||6|
|10||48||Graham A. Bowlin||Charlotte Phoenix||248||+32||0||4||7|
|11||97||Matt Bussa||William Byron Esports||216||-32||0||1||5|
|12||12||Garrett Manes||FGR Accel eRacing||208||-40||0||2||5|
Team Standings after Race 10 at World Wide Technology Raceway
|1||3 | 33||Team Dillon Esports||521||—||3||7||10|
|2||25 | 97||William Byron Esports||473||-48||0||5||10|
|3||8 | 88||JR Motorsports||460||-61||2||6||6|
|4||34 | 38||Front Row Motorsports||431||-90||0||2||8|
|5||7 | 15||Jim Beaver Esports||423||-98||0||5||9|
|6||10 | 41||Stewart-Haas Esports||379||-142||1||1||6|
|7||11 | 66||Tony Kanaan Esports||370||-151||0||1||5|
|8||23 | 45||23XI Racing||360||-161||0||3||4|
|9||43 | 48||Charlotte Phoenix||326||-195||0||4||8|
|10||4 | 95||XSET||300||-221||2||4||5|
|10||2 | 77||Pittsburgh Knights||300||-221||0||1||4|
World Wide Technology Raceway – Box Score
- Seven cautions for 26 laps in 124 completed laps (+4 laps OVERTIME)
- Nine lead changes among eight drivers
- Pole sitter: No. 25 Nick Ottinger (33.813 secs)
- Most laps led: No. 25 Nick Ottinger (79 laps led)
- Lap Leaders:
- #25 Nick Ottinger (pole-26)
- #97 Matt Bussa (27-29)
- #25 Nick Ottinger (30-68)
- #8 Michael Conti (69-75)
- #23 Keegan Leahy (76)
- #10 Steven Wilson (77-80)
- #69 Collin Bowden (81-90)
- #25 Nick Ottinger (91-104)
- #12 Garrett Manes (105-123)
- #3 Jordy Lopez (124)
- Fastest lap: No. 8 Michael Conti (Lap 78, 34.189 secs)
- Hard charger: No. 97 Matt Bussa (Started 38th, Finished 9th | +29 spots)
- Hard luck: No. 55 Vicente Salas (Started 2nd, Finished 38th | -36 spots)
- Fewest incidents: No. 55 Vicente Salas (0x)
- Most incidents: No. 4 Ryan Luza (24x)
- Rookie of the race: No. 3 Jordy Lopez (1st place)
- Team of the race: No. 43 / No. 48 Charlotte Phoenix (63 points, 5th and 6th)
- Winning Club: New Jersey
Up Next: A fight on the Streets of Chicago
Now only four races remain in the 2023 eNASCAR Coca-Cola iRacing Series Regular Season. Next up will be an inaugural visit to the Chicago Street Course with the 11th race of the season on 27th June.
Things will kick off with the eNASCAR Countdown to Green, now presented by Wendy’s, which begins at 8:30 p.m. EDT / 1:30 a.m. BST. The race itself starts at 9:00 p.m. EDT / 2:00 a.m. BST. Evan Posocco, Blake McCandless, Alan Cavanna, Camille Salazar Hadaway and James Pike are expected to be on the call.
2023 eNASCAR Coca-Cola iRacing Series Schedule
|11||27-Jun||Chicago Street Course||TBA|
|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|