Months later, as the season hits the halfway point, Minter added a second win to his belt after holding on for the win at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Minter continues to quickly build onto his eNASCAR legacy in his rookie season. The man even had his own version of “the pass in the grass” en route to the win.
It’s Minter’s second victory of the season and of his career. The Charlotte win cements his status as a playoff contender in his rookie season, now with two wins just like Michael Conti (JR Motorsports), Bobby Zalenski (Joe Gibbs Racing) and Casey Kirwan (XSET). Steven Wilson also has a win, but his playoff ticket is still up in the air.
There were four cautions for 15 laps and 12 total lead changes among eight different drivers on Tuesday night (30th May). There are only five races remaining until the 2023 eNASCAR Playoffs, and as it stands, there are still five open seats at the playoff table,
Minter: “I knew my chance was good”
Starting from the seventh position, Tucker Minter managed to pick up in an area he had admittedly been struggling with so far in his rookie campaign—qualifying. Instead of spending the race trying to figure out how to get to the front, his strategy at Charlotte was staying there.
Minter was consistent through the opening stages, running only as low as eighth through the first 69 laps. However, a pit stop caution on lap 70 jumbled the field as some drivers took two tires and others, like Minter, took four. Minter restarted 17th, somewhat dejected, but he stayed in it.
On lap 83, Minter re-entered the Top 10. By lap 93, he was back in the Top 5. With five laps to go, Minter was in third behind the leaders. Jimmy Mullis (Rise Esports) and Casey Kirwan had been side-by-side for nearly 10 straight laps to that point. Then, they wrecked.
On the final restart in eNASCAR Overtime, Minter restarted alongside Garrett Manes (FGR Accel eRacing) with Matt Bussa (William Byron Esports) right behind in third. Minter held on to the lead, and in the final corner, despite a shot from Manes, Minter was able to come across the line for the win.
Neither Kirwan or Mullis wanted to give
Leading up to that overtime battle, Casey Kirwan and Jimmy Mullis put on a battle for the ages. Both had taken four tires, but the challenge at first was getting around the two-tire pitters without burning up their good stuff.
They both managed when Kirwan took control with 15 laps to go from Corey Vincent (Pittsburgh Knights). Vincent also let Mullis through, and about a lap later, the two were side-by-side. For laps, the two would trade the lead. Kirwan had the preferred lane on the top, but Mullis had saved his tires a smidge better, it seemed.
With seven to go, Matt Bussa was in the conversation. Bussa made a low three-wide and took the lead for a brief moment. He couldn’t hold it, and he fell back, Mullis and Kirwan were still alongside one another. The next up to challenge was Minter.
On the frontstretch, Minter made a move. Mullis went down to block, and things were ok. As Mullis pulled back up to race Kirwan, those two collided entering Turn 1. Minter slipped by, but both Mullis and Kirwan were out of contention.
Pit strategery works for some, bites for others
Things got to that point due to a call for two or four tires with 31 laps to go. About a third of the field opted to take two tires instead of four tires. This gave restart advantages to Corey Vincent, Kollin Keister (eRacr) and more. Others in the back of the pack were stuck in the back without track position, like Minter.
Had the cautions flown differently, we could be talking about Vincent’s first win in a few years on the two tire call. Because it went to near the final laps before another caution, the four tire pitters were all in the best spot. One more call came for that eNASCAR Overtime finish. About half the field opted to pit as the other half stayed out.
Things would get dicey because of it, but essentially it allowed for the Top 5 to battle it out amongst themselves, and Minter was able to score the win because of it.
Race 9 at Charlotte Motor Speedway – Top 10 Results
|1||7||33||Tucker Minter||Team Dillon Esports||103 LAPS||7||40|
|2||20||12||Garrett Manes||FGR Accel eRacing||+0.178 secs||0||35|
|3||6||97||Matt Bussa||William Byron Esports||+0.191 secs||14||34|
|4||12||8||Michael Conti||JR Motorsports||+0.528 secs||1||33|
|5||5||2||Corey Vincent||Pittsburgh Knights||+0.533 secs||35||32|
|6||37||55||Vicente Salas||Williams Esports||+0.677 secs||0||31|
|7||17||42||Kollin Keister||eRacr||+0.689 secs||0||30|
|8||25||7||Malik Ray||Jim Beaver Esports||+0.769 secs||0||29|
|9||4||38||Michael Cosey Jr||Front Row Motorsports||+0.788 secs||0||28|
|10||11||3||Jordy Lopez||Team Dillon Esports||+0.821 secs||0||27|
Playoff Seeding after Race 9 at Charlotte Motor Speedway
|1||8||Michael Conti||JR Motorsports||277||WIN||2||5||5|
|2||33||Tucker Minter [R]||Team Dillon Esports||247||WIN||2||4||5|
|4||18||Bobby Zalenski||Joe Gibbs Racing||195||WIN||2||2||4|
|5||10||Steven Wilson||Stewart-Haas Esports||169||WIN||1||1||2|
|6||25||Nick Ottinger||William Byron Esports||251||+50||0||4||5|
|7||3||Jordy Lopez Jr [R]||Team Dillon Esports||233||+32||0||2||4|
|8||7||Malik Ray||Jim Beaver Esports||228||+27||0||4||6|
|9||38||Michael Cosey Jr [R]||Front Row Motorsports||227||+26||0||2||5|
|10||48||Graham A. Bowlin||Charlotte Phoenix||216||+15||0||3||6|
|11||12||Garrett Manes||FGR Accel eRacing||201||-15||0||2||5|
|12||97||Matt Bussa||William Byron Esports||188||-28||0||1||4|
Team Standings after Race 9 at Charlotte Motor Speedway
|1||3 | 33||Team Dillon Esports||480||—||2||6||9|
|2||25 | 97||William Byron Esports||439||-41||0||5||9|
|3||8 | 88||JR Motorsports||401||-79||2||5||5|
|3||34 | 38||Front Row Motorsports||401||-79||0||2||7|
|5||7 | 15||Jim Beaver Esports||369||-111||0||4||7|
|6||23 | 45||23XI Racing||336||-144||0||3||4|
|7||10 | 41||Stewart-Haas Esports||319||-161||1||1||5|
|8||11 | 66||Tony Kanaan Esports||318||-162||0||0||4|
|9||4 | 95||XSET||283||-197||2||4||5|
|10||2 / 77||Pittsburgh Knights||277||-203||0||1||4|
Charlotte Motor Speedway – Box Score
- Four cautions for 15 laps in 103 completed laps (+3 laps OVERTIME)
- 12 lead changes among eight drivers
- Pole sitter: No. 15 Garrett Lowe (29.637 secs)
- Most laps led: No. 2 Corey Vincent (35 laps led)
- Lap Leaders:
- #15 Garrett Lowe (Pole-4)
- #23 Keegan Leahy (5-17)
- #2 Corey Vincent (18-19)
- #23 Keegan Leahy (20-27)
- #8 Michael Conti (28)
- #2 Corey Vincent (29-45)
- #97 Matt Bussa (46-59)
- #46 Jimmy Mullis (60-69)
- #2 Corey Vincent (70-85)
- #95 Casey Kirwan (86-87)
- #46 Jimmy Mullis (88-89)
- #95 Casey Kirwan (90-96)
- #33 Tucker Minter (97-103)
- Fastest lap: No. 69 Collin Bowden (Lap 77, 29.920 secs)
- Hard charger: No. 55 Vicente Salas (Started 37th, Finished 6th | +31 spots)
- Hard luck: No. 23 Keegan Leahy (Started 3rd, Finished 34th | -31 spots)
- Fewest incidents: No. 17 Kaden Honeycutt (0x)
- Most incidents: No. 40 Dylan Ault (16x)
- Rookie of the race: No. 33 Tucker Minter (1st place)
- Team of the race: No. 3 / No. 33 Team Dillon Esports (67 points, 1st and 10th)
- Winning Club: Virginias
Up Next: Return to the World Wide Technology Raceway
Now only five races remain in the 2023 eNASCAR Coca-Cola iRacing Series Regular Season. Next up will be a return trip to St. Louis with the 10th race of the season at World Wide Technology Raceway at Gateway.
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
|10||13-Jun||World Wide Technology Raceway at Gateway||120|
|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|