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eNASCAR: Ottinger survives the calamity to win Kansas

William Byron eSports’ Nick Ottinger capitalized on the last of a flurry of late-race restarts on Tuesday night to score the eNASCAR Coca-Cola iRacing Series victory at Kansas Speedway, securing the second guaranteed spot in this year’s Championship 4 in the process.

One of the front-runners all night, the playoff contender finally made the decisive pass during the second overtime to take the lead from Jim Beaver eSports’ Michael Guariglia and guarantee his shot at the $100,000 title.

Unlike the previous 1.5-mile race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Kansas was a mostly clean affair, cycling through two rounds of green flag pit stops. Denny Hamlin Racing’s Keegan Leahy dominated much of the race, leading the most laps and appearing like a lock to either secure the victory or at least have a strong points day.

A select group of drivers, led by Guariglia, Mode Motorsports’ Phil Diaz, and G2 Esports’ Jarl Teien, chose to run an alternate pit strategy, extending their time on track as much as possible and hoping to either make up spots with fresher tires or stay out under a late caution.

That caution came for contact between Brandon Kettelle and Justin Bolton in the closing laps, and Guariglia, Diaz, and Teien led the field with two to go in the scheduled distance. An immediate incident, with Bob Bryant getting the worst of it, sent the race to overtime.

Calamity struck once again before the field could take the white flag on the first attempt, with Leahy getting the worst of it; the Canadian took heavy damage in Turns 3 and 4 while the yellow flag flew.

All of the mayhem set things up perfectly for Ottinger. A pit road miscue meant the veteran driver had been a few laps short on fuel, but the first caution allowed him to both top off and get new tires. On the second overtime restart, Ottinger finally found a way around Guariglia as the field wrecked behind them in Turns 1 and 2.

Guariglia’s older tires meant he would fade to fifth on the final lap, with Burton Kligerman Esports’ Logan Clampitt, Virtual Racing School’s Bobby Zalenski, and Williams Esports’ Ryan Luza also finding a way around.

“I knew they were on old tires, and they were hot,” Ottinger said of the drivers in front of him. “Once we got past 20 laps, I knew they’d be difficult if they did anything. There was a lot of hard work by our team, and I’m so excited to have a shot at the title this year with William Byron eSports. We’re going to Homestead, and I’m excited!”

Full results from eNASCAR Coca-Cola iRacing Series action at Kansas Speedway were as follows:

Fin.

St.

No.

Name

Manufacturer

Laps

Led

Interval

Best

Pts

1125Nick OttingerChevrolet1441429.40544
22699Logan ClampittToyota1440-0.43629.49839
3883Bobby ZalenskiChevrolet1440-0.57929.52338
42753Ryan Michael LuzaFord1440-0.61129.34337
52515Michael GuarigliaFord14436-0.64629.48437
61646Jimmy MullisToyota1440-0.78729.37835
7112Ray AlfallaChevrolet1441-1.16729.34035
82421Garrett LoweFord1440-1.79529.17633
9186Nathan LyonFord1441-3.55429.49833
101351Malik RayToyota1440-3.74029.43931
11194Santiago TirresChevrolet1440-3.90229.54130
12108Michael ContiChevrolet1440-4.08129.30129
132937Christian ChallinerChevrolet1440-4.40529.51628
143879Brian SchoenburgFord1440-4.63229.46427
153547Steve SheehanChevrolet1440-4.94729.61026
161527Corey VincentFord1440-5.39029.39525
171714Brandon Hayse KettelleFord1441-5.56929.39625
183010Justin BoltonFord1440-6.90829.34923
19418Graham A. BowlinToyota1440-6.93429.38522
20209Eric J. SmithFord1440-7.13029.45021
21697John GorlinskyChevrolet1440-7.25729.37820
221255Caine CookFord1440-7.31429.41519
23283Blake ReynoldsChevrolet1440-8.97529.49418
243341Dylan DuvalFord1440-10.71729.33617
253766Jarl TeienChevrolet1444-13.01829.34117
26377Bob BryantToyota1440-14.01429.40715
273116Chris OverlandFord1440-16.32729.50314
2875Matt BussaFord1440-16.67029.36313
293224Jake NicholsFord1440-18.06329.72612
302133Michael GuestChevrolet1440-19.22029.39811
313675Phillip DiazFord1442-19.91329.45911
32232Keegan LeahyToyota14485-35.99929.26411
332290Zack NovakToyota1440-36.34729.3938
34936Chris ShearburnChevrolet1430-1 L29.3187
35588Brad DaviesChevrolet1430-1 L29.4686
362323Casey KirwanToyota1380-6 L29.3705
371417Kollin KeisterFord1380-6 L29.3054
383454Alex McCollumChevrolet1240-20 L29.5433

 

eNASCAR Coca-Cola iRacing Series playoff points through 18 of 20 races are as follows:

  1. Bobby Zalenski, 2089 (1 win)
  2. Nick Ottinger, 2085 (1 win)
  3. Jimmy Mullis, 2080
  4. Ryan Luza, 2076
  5. Garrett Lowe, 2068
  6. Keegan Leahy, 2057
  7. Ray Alfalla, 2055
  8. Michael Conti, 2033

The eNASCAR Coca-Cola iRacing Series playoff Round of 8 concludes next Tuesday at Texas Motor Speedway, with playoff drivers facing one last chance to stave off elimination with a win or by piling up enough points to earn a championship race berth.

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