March 16th, 2021 by Chris Leone
Round four of the 2021 eNASCAR Coca-Cola iRacing Series season takes drivers to one of the most beloved tracks in stock car racing, as drivers will prepare to take on Atlanta Motor Speedway on Tuesday night. Atlanta’s worn paved surface has long been credited with producing great racing in both the real and virtual worlds, and the track has produced some of the most thrilling finishes in NASCAR history, from Alan Kulwicki’s 1992 championship to Kevin Harvick’s cathartic first career victory in the spring of 2001.
Part of the first five editions of this championship, Atlanta has been an off-and-on part of the schedule ever since, so 2021 marks the first time it’s been on the calendar in back-to-back years since 2013 and 2014. As such, not too many drivers on the current eNASCAR grid can say they’ve won here in this series; Wood Brothers Racing’s John Gorlinsky is the only repeat winner here after back-to-back triumphs in 2011 and 2012, while Mode Motorsports driver Matt Bussa’s lone eNASCAR victory so far came here in 2018.
Four-time series champion Ray Alfalla is the defending Atlanta winner, and a repeat performance would go a long way after a frustrating start to the season. Issues at Homestead and Las Vegas have dropped the Joe Gibbs Racing driver to a tie for last in the championship, a distant 34 points out of the top 20. A win alone wouldn’t guarantee his playoff ticket until he returned to the top half of the field, but with many drivers at the bottom of the points table bunched tightly, it would get much of that legwork done with plenty of time before the playoffs.
Whoever wins in Atlanta has the chance to join Michael Conti of JR Motorsports, Keegan Leahy of 23XI, and Ryan Luza of XSET on the 10-driver playoff grid. Luza’s teammate Casey Kirwan enters the race with more points than anyone else thanks to two top-10 finishes, and looks to extend his winning streak to three consecutive seasons. Other drivers who have started the year off strong include Letarte Esports’ Chris Shearburn, who has carried the momentum of a win in last year’s finale into fourth in points thus far, and Joe Gibbs Racing’s Femi Olat, who jumped six spots in points in Las Vegas and is now the top rookie in the standings in seventh.
Coverage of eNASCAR Coca-Cola iRacing Series action from Atlanta Motor Speedway begins at 9PM ET/6PM PT on eNASCAR.com/live, iRacing.com/live, and NASCAR and iRacing social media channels. NASCAR director of racing operations Jusan Hamilton is scheduled to be tonight’s grand marshal. The season continues on March 30 at Auto Club Speedway, as Ashton Crowder will look to defend his 2020 victory. For more information on the eNASCAR Coca-Cola iRacing Series, visit www.eNASCAR.com. For more information on iRacing and for special offers, visit www.iracing.com.