Burton Kligerman eSports’ Ashton Crowder prevailed in an intense late-race battle in Tuesday night’s eNASCAR Coca-Cola iRacing Series race from Auto Club Speedway. Crowder scored his second career eNCiS win by getting the best of Wood Brothers Racing’s Garrett Lowe, as the two drivers traded the lead multiple times in the final laps of Round 2 of this year’s championship.
The early stages of the race suggested that pit strategy would be a huge factor, as only a handful of drivers elected to try a riskier one-stop gameplan while most of the field pitted around Lap 30. With track position at a premium, their gamble looked to pay off perfectly when Joe Gibbs Racing’s Graham Bowlin made contact with JTG Daugherty Racing’s Christian Challiner just after the pit cycle completed, bringing out the first yellow flag of the race, and the season, on Lap 53.
All of the two-stop drivers pit under yellow, giving the one-stop drivers important track position with just a handful of extra laps on their tires and fuel runs. But that strategy went out the window as the race restarted on Lap 57, as Jim Beaver eSports’ Michael Guariglia got loose in Turn 3 and then took contact from Team Dillon Esports’ Blake Reynolds. The resulting incident collected a number of other front-runners, including Williams Esports’ Ryan Luza and California native Logan Clampitt of Burton Kligerman eSports, who had combined to lead 20 laps.
The second restart of the day went more smoothly, and fellow Californian Bobby Zalenski of Virtual Racing School and Jake Nichols of Mode Motorsports had a prolonged battle for the lead before Crowder found his way to the point for the first time on Lap 79. Lowe, meanwhile, had been carving his way through the top 10, climbing eight spots in 12 laps to grab onto second place on Lap 89. He made a pass for the lead with five laps to go, but Crowder reclaimed the top spot two laps later and held on for the win.
Full results from eNASCAR Coca-Cola iRacing Series action at Auto Club Speedway were as follows:
|15||40||47||Jeremy R Allen||Chevrolet||100||0||-3.557||40.059||26|
|26||16||18||Graham A. Bowlin||Toyota||100||0||-7.715||40.062||15|
|29||36||9||Eric J. Smith||Ford||100||0||-16.682||40.076||12|
|34||30||51||Malik Ray||Toyota||99||0||-1 L||40.240||7|
|35||19||37||Christian Challiner||Chevrolet||99||0||-1 L||40.132||6|
|36||3||53||Ryan Michael Luza||Ford||98||8||-2 L||40.139||6|
|37||34||79||Brian Schoenburg||Ford||96||0||-4 L||40.158||4|
|38||11||99||Logan Clampitt||Toyota||69||12||-31 L||40.323||4|
|39||28||15||Michael Guariglia||Ford||67||0||-33 L||40.458||2|
|40||18||90||Zack Novak||Toyota||58||0||-42 L||40.146||1|
The eNASCAR Coca-Cola iRacing Series season continues on March 17 at Homestead-Miami Speedway. The race can be streamed live at 9PM ET/6PM PT on eNASCAR.com/live and iracing.com/live. For more information on iRacing and for special offers, visit www.iracing.com.