May 25th, 2021 by Chris Leone
After rewriting the series record book with an eighth consecutive different winner to start the season last week at Circuit of the Americas, the eNASCAR Coca-Cola iRacing Series season looks ahead to its longest race of the season tonight at Charlotte Motor Speedway. The Coca-Cola 300, which mirrors this weekend’s real-world NASCAR Cup Series Coca-Cola 600, challenges drivers with 200 laps of day-to-night racing action.
23XI’s Mitchell deJong was the big winner at COTA last week, ending Letarte Esports’ Bobby Zalenski’s dominance of recent eNASCAR road races and joining teammate Keegan Leahy as part of the first team to put both of its drivers in the playoffs. Only 10 drivers get to compete for the championship, and with eight different winners so far and six races left before the cut, there’s an ever-increasing chance that a win may no longer be enough to guarantee a spot. Points serve as the tiebreaker, so one-win drivers on the lower end of the top 20 may be in jeopardy if new winners keep coming through.
And the list of drivers who have yet to win includes some heavy hitters. Zalenski is one of them, and he’ll be a heavy favorite once again on the road courses at Road America and Watkins Glen later this summer. So is defending series champion Nick Ottinger of William Byron eSports, a multiple-race winner last year who sits 12th in points, and last year’s race runner-up and 2020 playoff driver Garrett Lowe of Wood Brothers Racing.
The list of winless drivers also includes the top two in points who haven’t won yet and thus currently complete the playoff grid; Michael Guest continues to be the surprise of the year with Jim Beaver eSports at third in points, while Team Dillon eSports’ Corey Vincent is sixth. If all of the above, or any combination of three drivers, take victories—and stranger things have happened, considering the season so far—Vicente Salas, Bob Bryant, and deJong might be sweating on points unless they can take second victories.
Before the action gets underway, iRacing Countdown to Green will begin streaming live at 8:30PM ET/5:30PM PT. Host Amy Long will join series veterans Brandon Kettelle, Michael Guariglia, and Chris Overland to preview tonight’s race and predict the winners.
Coverage of eNASCAR Coca-Cola iRacing Series action from Charlotte Motor Speedway begins at 9PM ET/6PM PT on eNASCAR.com/live, iRacing.com/live, and NASCAR and iRacing social media channels. The series takes a multi-week break after Charlotte, returning to action on June 22 at Pocono Raceway. 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.