eNASCAR Coke: Rookie Tucker Minter victorious at Charlotte, second career win

Justin Melillo
Tucker Minter scored his second win of the 2023 eNASCAR season, this time at Charlotte Motor Speedway on 30th May in his ninth career start.
Minter burnout

At Daytona, Tucker Minter (Team Dillon Esports) managed to add his name to an exclusive club of drivers that had won in their first career eNASCAR Coca-Cola iRacing Series start.

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

1733Tucker MinterTeam Dillon Esports103 LAPS740
22012Garrett ManesFGR Accel eRacing+0.178 secs035
3697Matt BussaWilliam Byron Esports+0.191 secs1434
4128Michael ContiJR Motorsports+0.528 secs133
552Corey VincentPittsburgh Knights+0.533 secs3532
63755Vicente SalasWilliams Esports+0.677 secs031
71742Kollin KeistereRacr+0.689 secs030
8257Malik RayJim Beaver Esports+0.769 secs029
9438Michael Cosey JrFront Row Motorsports+0.788 secs028
10113Jordy LopezTeam Dillon Esports+0.821 secs027

Playoff Seeding after Race 9 at Charlotte Motor Speedway

18Michael ContiJR Motorsports277WIN255
233Tucker Minter [R]Team Dillon Esports247WIN245
395Casey KirwanXSET217WIN245
418Bobby ZalenskiJoe Gibbs Racing195WIN224
510Steven WilsonStewart-Haas Esports169WIN112
625Nick OttingerWilliam Byron Esports251+50045
73Jordy Lopez Jr [R]Team Dillon Esports233+32024
87Malik RayJim Beaver Esports228+27046
938Michael Cosey Jr [R]Front Row Motorsports227+26025
1048Graham A. BowlinCharlotte Phoenix216+15036
1112Garrett ManesFGR Accel eRacing201-15025
1297Matt BussaWilliam Byron Esports188-28014

Team Standings after Race 9 at Charlotte Motor Speedway

13 | 33Team Dillon Esports480269
225 | 97William Byron Esports439-41059
38 | 88JR Motorsports401-79255
334 | 38Front Row Motorsports401-79027
57 | 15Jim Beaver Esports369-111047
623 | 4523XI Racing336-144034
710 | 41Stewart-Haas Esports319-161115
811 | 66Tony Kanaan Esports318-162004
94 | 95XSET283-197245
102 / 77Pittsburgh Knights277-203014
Joe Gibbs Racing: P15, 2 wins

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.

The 120-lap event broadcast will be available at eNASCAR.com/live or on the iRacing social channels.

eNASCAR Coca-Cola: Graham Bowlin dominates at WWT Raceway

2023 eNASCAR Coca-Cola iRacing Series Schedule

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 Gateway120
1127-JunChicago Street CourseTBA
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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