eNASCAR Coca-Cola iRacing Series Race Preview: Race 11 – Chicago Street

Another change in the eNASCAR Coca-Cola iRacing Series schedule for the 2023 season came just recently when it was announced that the 11th race would no longer be Watkins Glen International but would be the series’ inaugural race on the Chicago Street Course.

Two years ago, the track made its debut on the iRacing platform as a test of sorts in the eNASCAR Pro Invitational iRacing Series. After scanning Grant Park in Chicago, Illinois at Soldier Field, iRacing was able to turn the streets into a working racetrack. Further revisions make this track its debut in the real world this weekend.

Last season, the older version of the track hosted the eNASCAR All-Star event (although there haven’t been too many major updates from the initial scan to the actual real-world races). Steven Wilson (Stewart-Haas Esports) won this event ahead of Bobby Zalenski (Joe Gibbs Racing) and Mitchell deJong.

Two weeks ago at Gateway

In recent racing history, the series recorded another rookie winner at World Wide Technology Raceway in Gateway two weeks ago. Jordy Lopez (Team Dillon Esports) edged out Garrett Manes (FGR Accel eRacing) on ​​older tires at Turn 2 and then held off Michael Conti (JR Motorsports) on better tires at the finish line.

The lead to victory was 0.006 seconds, making it one of the closest finishes in series history. Lopez now joins Conti, teammate Tucker Minter, Zalenski, Wilson and defending champion Casey Kirwan (XSET) as the winner of the season. Four more spots remain in the 2023 playoffs.

Manes, on the other hand, had to fare significantly worse due to the incident that took his chance to put the ball in the goal. Manes is now 40 points behind 10th-placed Graham Bowlin (Charlotte Phoenix) with just four races to go before the playoffs begin.

Race 10 at WWT Raceway at Gateway – Top 10 Results

FIN STA AUTOMOBILE # DRIVER TEAM INTERVAL LEDs PTS
1 8th 3 Jordy Lopez Team Dillon Esports 124 ROUNDS 1 40
2 7 8th Michael Conti JR Motorsports +0.004s 7 35
3 13 11 ParkerWhite Canaan Esports +0.588 sec 0 34
4 14 15 Garret Lowe Jim Beaver Esports +0.851 sec 0 33
5 9 48 Graham A Bowlin CharlottePhoenix +1.143 sec 0 32
6 22 43 Femi Olatunbosun CharlottePhoenix +1.262 sec 0 31
7 6 10 Steven Wilson Stewart Haas Racing +1.342 sec 4 30
8th 11 38 Michael Cosey Jr Motorsport in the front row +1.859 sec 0 29
9 38 97 Matt Bussa William Byron Esports +2.046 sec 3 28
10 17 20 Wyatt Tinsley Kansas City Pioneers +2,590 sec 0 27

From All-Star to eNASCAR points event

eNASCAR Coca-Cola: Steven Wilson wins the Chicago Street All-Star Event

Steven Wilson put on a great performance at last season’s All-Star event. While Mitchell posed a threat to deJong all night, Wilson played the tricks right and scored an invert for the main event that put him in the best position to succeed.

Bobby Zalenski gave Wilson everything he had, but Wilson was able to defend the win, which didn’t count for points but padded his wallet a bit with a worthy prize.

Now it’s a crucial point in the crosshairs of the 2023 season. Will Wilson make another attempt to secure his place in the 2023 playoffs for good? Can Zalenski get the win this time? How about the other street course do-gooders like Conti, Kirwan, Bowlin and Nick Ottinger (William Byron Esports)?

Who to look out for

eNASCAR Coca-Cola: Steven Wilson wins the Chicago Street All-Star Event

Everyone mentioned so far is worth keeping an eye on, except of course deJong since he is no longer in the series.

Wilson will be a clear favorite, but with his pace slightly different from 2022, Zalenski will likely be the one to make it unless something happens. Manes is looking for redemption and will be aiming for a top result at all costs.

Also, Lopez, Minter, Kirwan, Bowlin, Conti, and Ottinger are all great picks. I would even include Matt Bussa (William Byron Esports) if he was racing from the comfort of his home. However, he will be racing live from Navy Pier as part of the weekend hype-up, so unfamiliarity could play a role.

Playoff seeding after race #10 at WWT Raceway in Gateway

POS # DRIVER TEAM PTS BEH WINS T5 T10
1 8th Michael Conti JR Motorsports 312 WIN 2 6 6
2 33 Tucker Minter [R] Team Dillon Esports 248 WIN 2 4 5
3 95 Casey Kirwan XSET 229 WIN 2 4 5
4 18 Bobby Zalensky Joe Gibbs Racing 199 WIN 2 2 4
5 3 Jordy Lopez Jr [R] Team Dillon Esports 273 WIN 1 3 5
6 10 Steven Wilson Stewart Haas Esports 199 WIN 1 1 3
7 25 Nick Ottinger William Byron Esports 257 +41 0 4 5
8th 38 Michael Cosey Jr [R] Motorsport in the front row 256 +40 0 2 6
9 7 Malik Ray Jim Beaver Esports 249 +33 0 4 6
10 48 Graham A Bowlin CharlottePhoenix 248 +32 0 4 7
11 97 Matt Bussa William Byron Esports 216 -32 0 1 5
12 12 Garret Manes FGR Accel eRacing 208 -40 0 2 5

where to see

The Countdown to Green, now sponsored by Wendy’s, begins at 8:30pm EDT / 1:30am BST to provide you with everything you need to know ahead of the event. The race clears for the Chicago event just after 9:00 p.m. EDT / 2:00 a.m. BST.

The broadcast will be available at eNASCAR.com/live or on iRacing’s social channels.

ENASCAR COCA-COLA IRACING SERIES 2023 SCHEDULE

RACE DATE RAIL ROUND
COLLISION Jan 31 eNASCAR fight at LA Coliseum | Winner: CASEY KIRWAN 20/40/70
1 14 Feb Daytona International Speedway | Winner: TUCKER MINTER 80
2 Feb 28 The Milwaukee Mile | Winner: MICHAEL CONTI 100
3 the 14th of March Atlanta Motor Speedway | Winner: STEVEN WILSON 100
4 28th March Richmond Raceway | Winner: BOBBY ZALENSKI 130
5 Apr 11 National Autodrome Monza | Winner: BOBBY ZALENSKI 30
6 Apr 18 Talladega Super Speedway | Winner: CASEY KIRWAN 70
7 2.May Las Vegas Motor Speedway | Winner: MICHAEL CONTI 100
8th May 16th Darlington Raceway | Winner: CASEY KIRWAN 120
9 30th May Charlotte Motor Speedway | Winner: TUCKER MINTER 100
10 Jun 13 World Wide Technology Raceway at Gateway Winner: JORDY LOPEZ 120
11 Jun 27 Chicago street course 45
12 July 11th Nashville Superspeedway 100
13 July 25th New Hampshire Motor Speedway 101
14 Aug 1 Pocono Raceway 60
15 – PO1 Aug 15 Michigan International Speedway 60
16-PO2 Aug 29 Dover Motor Speedway 120
17-PO3 12 Sept Phoenix Raceway 120
18-C4 26 Sept Homestead Miami Speedway 100

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