The exciting and thunderous eNASCAR Coca-Cola iRacing Series recently visited Richmond Raceway. The action packed race, had it all.
The eNASCAR Coca-Cola iRacing Series recently visited Richmond Raceway where Bobby Zalenski took the chequered flag and victory in an eventful virtual race.
Last year, Bobby Zalenski’s path to the eNASCAR Coca-Cola iRacing Series playoffs came through points, as the series had fewer than 10 playoff-eligible race winners and he was the top-scoring winless driver at the cutoff. He won’t have to worry about repeating that this year, though, after taking Tuesday night’s checkered flag as the series returned to Richmond Raceway. It marked the seventh consecutive year that the Joe Gibbs Racing driver has won an eNASCAR race, and his first trip to the winner’s circle since his playoff victory at Talladega last September.
Zalenski qualified on pole, lining up alongside former series champion Keegan Leahy of 23XI, who made real-world NASCAR news this week after team owner Denny Hamlin credited his work with Tyler Reddick as a key part of Reddick’s real-world win at Circuit of the Americas last weekend. He would lead the first quarter of the 130-lap race before William Byron eSports’ Nick Ottinger would get past on Lap 40, as much of the first half of the race would stay green.
Unfortunately, if there’s one thing that Richmond has established as one of the only tracks to be on every schedule in eNASCAR history, it’s that its cautions tend to breed cautions. The first caution saw fgrACCEL’s Joey Brown and Stewart-Haas Racing’s Steven Wilson get together on Lap 33, but the field got in 20 more green-flag laps after that yellow flag ended. The second, which included fgrACCEL’s Garrett Manes, Stewart-Haas Racing’s Dylan Duval, and Letarte Esports’ Brandon McKissic, set off a string of consecutive yellows that eventually led to race control switching to single-file restarts.
In that time, eRacr’s Collin Bowden also spent some time in the lead thanks to an alternate pit strategy, but Zalenski would take it back for good on Lap 73 just moments before the fourth caution flew. Fortunately for Zalenski, the final 30 laps of the race saw just one yellow flag on Lap 114 when Tony Kanaan Esports’ Tyler Garey got into Jim Beaver eSports’ Malik Ray. With a 10-lap green-flag run to the finish, the Fresno native was able to put nearly a second on the field on the way to the win, tallying 95 laps led in total. JR Motorsports’ Michael Conti and Rise Esports’ Jimmy Mullis would come home second and third, while Ottinger and Leahy rounded out the top five.
eNASCAR Coca-Cola iRacing Series points through four rounds are as follows:
- Nick Ottinger, 122
- Michael Conti, 119
- Graham Bowlin, 114
- Michael Cosey Jr., 109
- Tucker Minter, 105
- Bobby Zalenski, 104
- Keegan Leahy, 93
- Dylan Duval, 88
- Jordy Lopez Jr., 87
- Kollin Keister, 86
The eNASCAR Coca-Cola iRacing Series makes history in its next event, leaving the United States for the first time with a road course round at Autodromo Nazionale Monza. Race coverage begins on Tuesday, April 11 at 9 p.m. ET at eNASCAR.com/live, with Countdown to Green kicking off at 8:30 to set the stage for the action.
For more information on the eNASCAR Coca-Cola iRacing Series, visit www.enascar.com or www.iracing.com/enascar. For more information on iRacing and for special offers, visit www.iracing.com.