September 27th, 2021 by Chris Leone
For eight of the biggest names in the eNASCAR Coca-Cola iRacing Series, it’s put up or shut up time on Tuesday night.
Bobby Zalenski and Keegan Leahy have already earned their Championship 4 spots through wins at Darlington Raceway and Bristol Motor Speedway, respectively, in the first two rounds of this year’s playoffs. But the rest of their playoff peers will need to survive the always treacherous Talladega Superspeedway in the elimination race of the semifinal round to survive the cut, as more than half of the playoff field will see their chances at $100,000 slip away. Clint Bowyer will join Evan Posocco, Parker Kligerman, and Steve Letarte for a special guest interview on the broadcast, which will begin on Tuesday at 9PM ET on eNASCAR.com/live, while track president Brian Crichton will serve as grand marshal.
With only three possible different winners, at least one driver will have the chance to point their way into next month’s title decider at Texas Motor Speedway with a shot. Right now, Mitchell deJong is the points leader, with a seven-point cushion on Clampitt and 12 more points in hand on Matt Bussa. And as much as a superspeedway race is the last place you can ever take a good points day for granted, deJong’s exceptional consistency this year did include a pole and 14 laps led in his series debut at Daytona International Speedway in February.
The winner of that Daytona race, meanwhile, will be looking for a repeat performance to secure a Championship 4 spot. Michael Conti, the only playoff driver with a past eNASCAR title, suffered a major incident at Bristol that dropped him to 10th on the grid, 44 points behind deJong. His only path to the Championship 4 is a win; even if a non-playoff driver takes the checkered flag, there’s no mathematical scenario where he can be second in points among playoff drivers.
For everybody else who’s still hunting a title, scenarios are abundant, if not necessarily likely. Leahy would’ve been in rough shape if not for the Bristol win at eighth in the standings. That level of urgency might change the character of this race in a big way—and if you thought last year’s playoff cutoff race was intense, well, buckle up.
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 Talladega Superspeedway begins at 9PM ET/6PM PT on eNASCAR.com/live, iRacing.com/live, and NASCAR and iRacing social media channels. After tonight, the playoffs will conclude in two weeks’ time from Texas Motor Speedway. 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.