eNASCAR Coke: Garrett Lowe claps back with New Hampshire win, Playoff berth

Garrett Lowe scored his first win of the 2023 eNASCAR season on Tuesday in the 13th race of the season at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.

Two weeks ago in the eNASCAR Coca-Cola iRacing Series, Garrett Lowe (Jim Beaver Esports) was on the losing end of the battle for the Nashville Superspeedway trophy against Jimmy Mullis (Rise Esports). The move was controversial, and Lowe was less than pleased with the occurrence just three races before the end of 2023’s Regular Season, essentially costing him a spot in the eNASCAR Playoffs.

With a pair of all-black paint schemes that read “Todo Es Justo En Amor Y Carreras” on the door handle, which roughly translates from Spanish to “all is fair in love and racecars” in English, the two cars from Jim Beaver Esports showed up to New Hampshire with a call back to a 1996 NASCAR race at Dover where team owner Felix Sabates wrapped Kyle Petty’s No. 42 the same as Dale Earnhardt’s iconic Black No. 3 car, in protest to a penalty that he felt was unjustly warranted and would not have been issued had a certain black car had done the crime.

While Beaver and his team were not protesting a penalty, they were more protesting the unfair racing etiquette that cost his car a chance at a win two weeks ago, the message was sent loud and clear as Lowe scored the team’s first eNASCAR victory in a dominant run to the end, passing the fast Donovan Strauss (Williams Esports) late, then holding off fresher tires from Zack Novak (Rise Esports) in the closing laps for his third career win.

Lowe: “The mindset was just ‘go get a win'”

Starting from the third position with a note regarding his rival “taped” to the left rear bumper panel, Lowe was out for redemption on Tuesday night (25th July). Honestly, even if Hollywood wasn’t on strike, they couldn’t have written a better script.

Jordy Lopez scored his first career pole position and led the first lap, but on the second lap, Strauss managed to assume control. Lowe followed through into second as Lopez faltered to third. The race would stay green for the first 62 laps, and that meant green flag pit stops were on the table around halfway of the 101-lap event.

About half of the field opted to pit in that window while the other half stayed out. Strauss had cycled to what would be the lead, but he had Lowe right on his tail. The caution on lap 62 was a result of the hard racing for what would be the lead as Strauss drove into the back of a slower Dylan Duval (Stewart-Haas Racing) and spun him out.

The drivers who had not yet pitted did so, cycling Strauss back to the top spot. Yellow fever sprung up, and a wave of cautions befell the field in the second half.

On the 74th lap, Lowe let Strauss know he was coming through, using the bumper to move him out of the way. Strauss didn’t get out of control, but he was less than pleased after the race to be moved out of the way for his potential first win, which is a tad ironic given how it went down two weeks ago.

The race would end up in eNASCAR Overtime with Lowe in the lead, Strauss second and Novak in third with a little fresher of a tire. Novak was able to get second, but Lowe managed to scoot away and claim a redemption victory, locking him and the No. 15 team into the 2023 playoffs.

Race 13 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway – Top 10 Results

FINSTACAR #DRIVERTEAMINTERVALLEDPTS
1315Garrett LoweJim Beaver Esports105 LAPS3240
22375Zack NovakRise Esports+0.724 secs035
3251Donovan StraussWilliams Esports+0.922 secs5934
4338Michael ContiJR Motorsports+1.132 secs033
5920Wyatt TinsleyKansas City Pioneers+1.149 secs132
6610Steven WilsonStewart-Haas Racing+1.229 secs031
72746Jimmy MullisRise Esports+1.361 secs030
8152Corey VincentPittsburgh Knights+1.680 secs029
92466Tyler GareyKanaan Esports+1.761 secs028
103945Michael Guest23XI Racing+1.883 secs027

Huge shakeup in 2023’s playoff picture

Both Malik Ray (Jim Beaver Esports) and Michael Cosey Jr (Front Row Motorsports) came into Tuesday’s race pretty securely inside the Top 10 and in the eNASCAR Playoffs. With Lowe winning and Mullis moving up into the Top 20 in the points, those two spots just went away and both drivers find themselves outside looking in.

Both had troubles through the night. Ray wound up retiring after sustaining heavy damage in one of the many second half incidents. Cosey kept chugging after his multiple incidents, but a black flag late sealed his fate with a minimum points finish as well.

Seven drivers are now officially locked with two drivers basically locked depending on how Pocono turns out.

The seven locked drivers include Bobby Zalenski (Joe Gibbs Racing), Michael Conti (JR Motorsports), Tucker Minter (Team Dillon Esports), Casey Kirwan (XSET), Steven Wilson (Stewart-Haas Racing), Lopez and Lowe. Mathematically, anyone 28th or higher in points can still make the playoffs with a win, and in some cases, help.

If Mullis manages to stay within the Top 20 following Pocono in a week’s time, he will have a seat. If he falls out, that will lock Nick Ottinger (William Byron Esports) without a doubt. Ottinger can also lock if Mullis makes it and there is no new winner that gets into the Top 20, as he’s 50 points ahead of the Playoff points cutoff.

Ottinger is only 27 points ahead of 10th place Graham Bowlin (Charlotte Phoenix) though, and if both Mullis AND a new winner take the eighth and ninth spots, Bowlin will need to make up those points to take the final spot from Ottinger. Bowlin also needs to hold off Ray, Parker White (Kanaan Esports), Cosey Jr and Matt Bussa (William Byron Esports) who can all mathematically pass him.

Playoff Seeding after Race 13 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway

POS#DRIVERTEAMPTSBEHWINST5T10
118Bobby ZalenskiJoe Gibbs Racing285WIN336
28Michael ContiJR Motorsports375WIN278
333Tucker Minter [R]Team Dillon Esports316WIN256
495Casey KirwanXSET312WIN256
53Jordy Lopez Jr [R]Team Dillon Esports322WIN136
610Steven WilsonStewart-Haas Racing290WIN125
715Garrett LoweJim Beaver Esports278WIN136
846Jimmy MullisRise Esports223WIN134
925Nick OttingerWilliam Byron Esports335+51047
1048Graham A. BowlinCharlotte Phoenix308+24048
— CUT OFF —
117Malik RayJim Beaver Esports284-24057
1211Parker White [R]Kanaan Esports280-28024
1338Michael Cosey Jr [R]Front Row Motorsports279-29026
1397Matt BussaWilliam Byron Esports279-29016
Garrett Manes (15th) are all mathematically eliminated from pointing into the playoffs and needs a win to get in SHOULD Mullis maintain his place.

Five teams now in striking distance for Team Title

As for the Team Title, Team Dillon Esports continues to lead despite another off race for the Altus duo of Lopez and Minter. They did extend their lead over William Byron Esports to 24 points, but in the same regards, now JR Motorsports, Jim Beaver Esports and Stewart-Haas Racing are within striking distance before the end of the season.

Rise Esports won the week at New Hampshire and moves up to ninth overall, bypassing the likes of Joe Gibbs Racing, XSET and the Charlotte Phoenix. Team Points will not be affected by any playoff points resets, so it’s still anyone’s game with five races left in the 2023 season.

Team Standings after Race 13 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway

POSCAR #sTEAMPTSBEHWINST5T10
13 | 33Team Dillon Esports6383812
225 | 97William Byron Esports614-240513
38 | 88JR Motorsports577-61278
47 | 15Jim Beaver Esports562-760813
510 | 41Stewart-Haas Racing552-86139
611 | 66Tony Kanaan Esports498-140027
734 | 38Front Row Motorsports488-150028
823 | 4523XI Racing466-172036
946 | 75Rise Esports422-216146
1043 | 48Charlotte Phoenix418-220049
Joe Gibbs Racing: P11, 3 wins | XSET: P13, 2 wins

New Hampshire Motor Speedway – Box Score

  • Six cautions for 24 laps in 105 completed laps (+4 in eNASCAR Overtime)
  • Five lead changes among five drivers
  • Pole sitter: No. 3 Jordy Lopez (30.225 secs)
  • Most laps led: No. 51 Donovan Strauss (59 laps led)
  • Lap Leaders:
    • #3 Jordy Lopez (pole-1)
    • #51 Donovan Strauss (2-49)
    • #20 Wyatt Tinsley (50)
    • #95 Casey Kirwan (51-62)
    • #51 Donovan Strauss (63-73)
    • #15 Garrett Lowe (74-105)
  • Fastest lap: No. 8 Michael Conti (Lap 57, 30.407 secs)
  • Hard charger(s):
    • No. 8 Michael Conti (Started 33rd, Finished 4th | +29 spots)
    • No. 45 Michael Guest (Started 39th, Finished 10th | +29 spots)
  • Hard luck: No. 36 Brandon McKissic (Started 5th, Finished 31st | -26 spots)
  • Fewest incidents: Five drivers at 0x (Highest finisher, No. 75 Zack Novak, 2nd)
  • Most incidents: No. 55 Vicente Salas (20x)
  • Rookie of the race: No. 20 Wyatt Tinsley (5th Place)
  • Team of the race: No. 46 / No. 75 Rise Esports (65 points, 2nd and 7th)
  • Winning Club: Carolina

Up Next: A-Fixed Regular Season Finale at Pocono

eNASCAR Coca-Cola: Casey Kirwan wins in photo finish at Pocono

Only one race remains in the 2023 eNASCAR Coca-Cola iRacing Series Regular Season. Three spots are still up for grabs in the 2023 Playoffs. Ottinger, Bowlin and Mullis are holding on to those tickets, but a whopping 18 other drivers could have something to say about that in a week’s time at Pocono Raceway in the fixed setup race.

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.

The 60-lap event 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 Monza | Winner: BOBBY ZALENSKI30
618-AprTalladega Superspeedway | Winner: CASEY KIRWAN70
72-MayLas Vegas Motor Speedway | Winner: MICHAEL CONTI100
816-MayDarlington Raceway | Winner: CASEY KIRWAN120
930-MayCharlotte Motor Speedway | Winner: TUCKER MINTER100
1013-JunWorld Wide Technology Raceway at Gateway | Winner: JORDY LOPEZ120
1127-JunChicago Street Course | Winner: BOBBY ZALENSKI40
1211-JulNashville Superspeedway | Winner: JIMMY MULLIS100
1325-JulNew Hampshire Motor Speedway | | Winner: GARRETT LOWE101
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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