Evan Seay has won back-to-back iRacing World of Outlaws Late Model Series championships following a controversial final race at Charlotte Motor Speedway’s dirt track.
It capped off a consistent season for the South Carolinian, with two round victories and podiums in every event but one proceeding the final.
Despite those stellar results, both Logan Rumsey and Kendal Tucker went into the 10th evening with the chance of championship glory. Rumsey was off the back of a victory the week prior at Lincoln Speedway while Tucker won at I-55.
The heat rounds began with Rumsey and Seay facing off against each other. Seay made it through behind Nathan Waddell, but Rumsey was embroiled in a battle with Chase Hardy and Colton Zimmer. With two laps to go he sent it down the inside of the Hardy, only for the two to collide.
The #99 was out on the spot, the #41 continued but only finished fifth.
The third title contender, Tucker, won the second heat with consummate ease. The third was won by Blake Matjoulis in a similar fashion, while in the fourth it was Dezmond Busby crossing the chequered flag first.
Last Chance Showdowns
Onto the last chance showdowns, where only the top two from each 10-lap race would join those who progressed from the heats in the final. In the first, Rumsey would avoid a five-car battle behind to win, while second went to Zimmer.
In the next race, Talan Willis won, breaking free of the battle pack at the halfway mark, while Cameron Cason completed the final’s line-up.
It was Waddell on the pole for the 50-lap feature race, but he was soon superseded by Blake Matjoulis for the lead at the end of the opening lap and soon after Tucker followed through for second.
Contact early on with Busby nearly saw Seay turned into the wall, JD Brown lost out in avoidance and retired on the spot, while Busby dropped down the pack.
15 laps in and the championship lead was fired into the fence after contact from behind with Chase Barbara, causing a caution and requiring a tow.
Nearing the halfway stage, both Tucker and Rumsey were on the podium, needing to win to take the title away from Seay. However, the two made contact, the resulting wreck bringing out the caution. Once green, Rumsey was in second, Tucker 12th.
As things settled into a rhythm, Matjoulis still led with Rumsey just 0.2s behind for lap after lap, still in with a chance of the title, but needing to win. His efforts would be futile, however, finishing second behind the #127.
Seay became the 2023 champion by a single point, taking home $10,000.
“I’m disappointed, the second week in a row by the same team we got, what I felt like, purposely taken out or the person that was racing me forgot how to drive at that moment,” said Seay.
“But, luckily, I was spotting for Blake [Matjoulis] and he was able to hold on to that win and that’s what really got us a championship there.
“It’s pretty amazing, I feel like last year we ran as good as we good and this year we ran even better.”
World of Outlaws ButtKicker Late Model Series, Round 10, Charlotte, feature race results
- Blake Matjoulis – 50 laps
- Logan Rumsey +0.490
- Dylan Wilson +2.667
- Mike Augustine +2.805
- Ethan Toedter +3.453
- Tanner Tomasi +4.421
- Kendal Tucker +4.829
- Barrett Bishop +5.214
- Dylan Yeager +6.590
- Dezmond Busby +6.894
2023 iRacing World of Outlaws ButtKicker Late Model Series championship standings
- Evan Seay – 663 pts
- Logan Rumsey – 662 pts
- Kendal Tucker – 647 pts
- Blake Matjoulis – 603 pts
- Dylan Wilson – 538 pts
- Chase Barbara – 499 pts
- James Edens – 488 pts
- JD Brown – 447 pts
- Dylan Yeager – 437 pts
- Mike Augustine – 396 pts
- Barrett Bishop – 389 pts
- Dezmond Busby – 388 pts
- Tanner Tomasi – 374 pts
- Kaden Honeycutt – 360 pts
- Chase Hardy – 332 pts
- Robbie Buchanan Jr – 321 pts