eNASCAR Coca-Cola iRacing Series Race Preview: Race 8 – Charlotte

NASCAR’s backyard is the destination of the eNASCAR Coca-Cola iRacing Series event on Tuesday night, the ninth of the 2023 season. The virtual Charlotte Motor Speedway will host the top 40 current oval iRacing drivers on the platform as they compete on Complete 100 laps of the 1.5 mile D-shaped oval.

Last year, a battle over fuel economy and tire savings ensued between three drivers, all desperate to win. Malik Ray (Jim Beaver Esports) was unable to finish his #7 Mustang due to his fuel supply. Zack Novak (Rise Esports) fought Ray for the spot, had the fuel but lost the tire.

As a result, Matt Bussa, then driving for Mode Motorsports, came through to take the win, his first of the 2022 season. Can Bussa now do it back-to-back with William Byron Esports in 2023? Or will the Oval pick a 14th different winner in 15 races at the track?

TWO WEEKS AGO IN DARLINGTON

Casey Kirwan (XSET) managed to take his battered and battered Tony Stewart down the Darlington winning streak, from wrecker to checker, two weeks ago.

Things weren’t looking good for the reigning eNASCAR Champion early on – the first incident of the night came after he, Femi Olatunbosun (Charlotte Phoenix) and Daniel Faulkingham (Joe Gibbs Racing) came together from Turn 2. Kirwan chose to stay out and manage the damage throughout the race. His concern was more about his tires.

A long run allowed Kirwan to really test these virtual Goodyear tires and luckily they escaped unhurt. After the pit stop, he moved up to the front. A few more bookings threw up the order, but Kirwan was able to regain control late on and stop Nick Ottinger (William Byron Esports) for his second win of 2023.

RACE 8 AT DARLINGTON – TOP 10 RESULTS

FIN STA AUTOMOBILE # DRIVER TEAM INTERVAL LEDs PTS
1 14 95 Casey Kirwan XSET 120 ROUNDS 32 40
2 6 25 Nick Ottinger William Byron Esports +0.325 sec 18 35
3 10 8th Michael Conti JR Motorsports +1,670 sec 1 34
4 1 48 Graham A Bowlin CharlottePhoenix +3.095 sec 3 33
5 28 7 Malik Ray Jim Beaver Esports +4.415 sec 17 32
6 26 12 Garret Manes FGR Accel eRacing +4.483 sec 0 31
7 4 97 Matt Bussa William Byron Esports +5.058 sec 36 30
8th 21 18 Bobby Zalensky Joe Gibbs Racing +5.514 sec 0 29
9 29 33 Tucker Minter Team Dillon Esports +5.572 sec 0 28
10 11 3 Jordy Lopez Team Dillon Esports +5.609 sec 5 27

CHARLOTTE STORY

eNASCAR Coca-Cola: Matt Bussa Saves Enough Gas to Win Coca-Cola 150

No track on the eNASCAR schedule has had more events than Charlotte Motor Speedway. That’s partly because it was twice on the inaugural-season schedule in 2010. Additionally, for a few years, the series returned for a trip around the Roval in the fall.

Because of these Roval races, Bobby Zalenski (Joe Gibbs Racing) has two for the most wins on track, tied with four-time Champion Ray Alfalla. Alfalla is the only rider to have multiple victories on the oval, the other 12 winners are all different and Zalenski is not one of them.

2010 winners include Richard Towler, Brad Davies, Thomas Hazard, Nick Ottinger, Joey Brown (FGR Accel eRacing), Danny Hansen, Alex Warren, Kenny Humpe, Nickolas Shelton, Keegan Leahy (23XI Racing) and Kollin Keister ( eRacr) and Matt Bussa.

Who to look out for

eNASCAR Coca-Cola: Matt Bussa Saves Enough Gas to Win Coca-Cola 150

Who hasn’t won at Charlotte? Michael Conti (JR Motorsports), Casey Kirwan and Steven Wilson (Stewart-Haas Racing) come to mind. Malik Ray, Zack Novak and Graham Bowlin (Charlotte Phoenix) were all in good positions last season as well.

Ray Alfalla can’t win a third, so who could win a second? Both William Byron Esports drivers (Ottinger and Bussa) could do it given their current pace. Both are aiming for their first wins of the season and Charlotte could offer that opportunity. Joey Brown and Kollin Keister also want to change their season.

Keegan Leahy and Bobby Zalenski could also play a part. I’ve certainly mentioned many names, but that’s the nature of Charlotte on this show. Anyone can win with the right strategy.

PLAYOFF SEED AFTER RACE 8 IN CHARLOTTE

POS # DRIVER TEAM PTS BEH WINS T5 T10
1 8th Michael Conti JR Motorsports 244 WIN 2 4 4
2 95 Casey Kirwan XSET 216 WIN 2 4 5
3 18 Bobby Zalensky Joe Gibbs Racing 189 WIN 2 2 4
4 33 Tucker Minter [R] Team Dillon Esports 207 WIN 1 3 4
5 10 Steven Wilson Stewart Haas Racing 157 WIN 1 1 2
6 25 Nick Ottinger William Byron Esports 230 +58 0 4 5
7 48 Graham A Bowlin CharlottePhoenix 211 +39 0 3 6
8th 3 Jordy Lopez Jr [R] Team Dillon Esports 206 +34 0 2 3
9 7 Malik Ray Jim Beaver Esports 199 +27 0 4 5
9 38 Michael Cosey Jr [R] Motorsport in the front row 199 +27 0 2 4
11 23 Keegan Leahy 23XI race 172 -27 0 2 2
12 12 Garret Manes FGR Accel eRacing 166 -33 0 1 4

WHERE TO SEE

eNASCAR Coca-Cola iRacing Series Race Preview: Coca Cola 150 in Charlotte

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 just after 9:00pm EDT / 2:00am BST for the 100-lap event in Charlotte.

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 100
10 Jun 13 World Wide Technology Raceway at Gateway 120
11 Jun 27 Watkins Glen International 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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