The third season of the D-BOX eNASCAR International iRacing Series powered by Digital Motorsports kicked off with a 60 lap battle in the heat of the virtual Las Vegas sun on Tuesday (15th November).
A caution-free fight would find Victor Barrales, representing the NASCAR Mexico Series, over in victory lane after a late pass for the lead on NASCAR Drive for Diversity alumnus Rajah Caruth. Another representative driver of the NASCAR Mexico Series, Jake Cosio, wound up finishing in third.
19 of the 29 drivers registered for the series turned out on Tuesday night take on the 1.5-mile D-shaped oval. All 19 finished the race, but only 12 drivers finished every lap. Besides the Mexico Series and Drive for Diversity, the series also includes NASCAR Whelen Euro and NASCAR Pinty’s Series affiliated drivers.
GREEN, BUT NOT COMPLETELY CLEAN
Ruben Garcia (NASCAR Mexico Series) put his iRacing Class B Toyota Supra on the pole position for the event with Caruth starting alongside. The eventual winner Barrales would begin his fight from the sixth starting spot.
On the start, there were a few incidents, mostly towards the rear of the field, but race control opted to keep things green. The race had a live administrator to throw cautions if needed, but they determined that the race would be fine continuing on.
One incident that wouldn’t have been a yellow anyway did effectively change a possible outcome of the race. As Garcia led, Caruth waited patiently behind for the right chance to strike. The two traded the top spot on a few occasions, but Garcia was always able to get back ahead.
Eventually, Caruth decided the top lane would be the best option and went high through Turns 1 and 2. Exiting Turn 2, Garcia left as little room as possible, not making contact, but forcing Caruth into an unforced error. Miguel Gomes would get collected as well, but the race continued on.
UNFORCED PIT ENTRY ERROR
Garcia had a healthy lead following Caruth’s venture into the wall. Barrales took advantage and moved into the second position as Caruth opted for an early pit to utilize the fast repair and get the tires and fuel needed to finish. With 60 laps on the board, pitting at 27 wouldn’t be a death sentence.
With pitting early as well, Caruth would have the ability to grow a lead instead of try to pass for position. Catching back up to Garcia would be one thing, but possibly holding him off would be another. Sadly for Garcia, his chance at victory went up in smoke during his green flag pitstop.
Attempting to slow down the car, the rear end came around and Garcia nosed it into the pit wall. As the pits would cycle, Caruth would have the advantage, but it was Barrales in the perfect position to utilize fresher tires at the end.
ANOTHER FIRST TIME WINNER
The difference was seven laps. Caruth pitted at the end of lap 26 and beginning of lap 27. Barrales was able to stay out until the end of lap 33, and still had plenty of time to use up his tire advantage.
The final winner of the second season, Treyten Lapcevich (NASCAR Pinty’s Series) also chose to pit early, also claiming damage after starting in last. While Lapcevich likely needed a yellow to pull back-to-back wins out of his hat, the strategy did help him wind up in sixth.
Caruth, another winner in the series from last season, was looking to become the second driver in series history to have multiple wins. This is only the ninth race over the course of three seasons, and it’s Season 2 champion Alon Day from the Whelen Euro Series who is the only driver with multiple wins at three.
Barrales, a staple from the initial season, has been in contention on many occasions, but on Tuesday night, he finally cracked through to add his name to the list which includes Day, Caruth, Lapcevich, Simon Pilate, Agustin Canapino and Leonel Pernia.
SEASON 3 RACE 1 – LAS VEGAS TOP 10 FINAL RESULTS
|1||6||39||Victor Barrales||Mexico Series||60 LAPS||15||40|
|2||2||13||Rajah Caruth||Drive for Diversity||+1.113||10||35|
|3||7||51||Jake Cosio||Mexico Series||+2.810||0||34|
|4||3||46||Miguel Gomes||Whelen Euro Series||-3.086||1||33|
|5||9||7||Jean-Philippe Bergeron||Pinty’s Series||-6.133||0||32|
|6||19||20||Treyten Lapcevich||Pinty’s Series||-7.185||0||31|
|7||12||56||Gil Linster||Whelen Euro Series||-10.180||0||30|
|8||8||14||Alex de Alba||Mexico Series||-11.109||0||29|
|9||16||10||Ulysse Delsaux||Whelen Euro Series||-13.799||0||28|
|10||1||88||Ruben Garcia||Mexico Series||-14.348||31||27|
POINTS STANDINGS AFTER RACE 1 – LAS VEGAS
|1||39||Victor Barrales||Mexico Series||40||LEADER|
|2||13||Rajah Caruth||Drive for Diversity||35||-5|
|3||51||Jake Cosio||Mexico Series||34||-6|
|4||46||Miguel Gomes||Whelen Euro Series||33||-7|
|5||7||Jean-Philippe Bergeron||Pinty’s Series||32||-8|
|6||20||Treyten Lapcevich||Pinty’s Series||31||-9|
|7||56||Gil Linster||Whelen Euro Series||30||-10|
|8||14||Alex de Alba||Mexico Series||29||-11|
|9||10||Ulysse Delsaux||Whelen Euro Series||28||-12|
|10||88||Ruben Garcia||Mexico Series||27|
NEXT: ROAD RACING IN CANADA
The next show will take place next Tuesday night at a track that some of the NASCAR Pinty’s Series drivers might know very well. Canadian Tire Motorsports Park is that venue, the 10th race in series history and the first of the third season at a road course.
2022 ENASCAR INTERNATIONAL IRACING SERIES SEASON 3 SCHEDULE
15th November– Las Vegas Motor Speedway
- 22nd November – Canadian Tire Motorsport Park
- 4th December – Daytona International Speedway (9 a.m. ET)
- 13th December – Circuit Zolder
- 20th December – Darlington Raceway