As compelling as the 2019 eNASCAR iRacing Pro Series season has already been through its first four rounds, things are about to get even more interesting with tonight’s visit to Charlotte Motor Speedway. The fifth of seven rounds in the series that determines 20 of next year’s eNASCAR iRacing World Championship drivers, Charlotte represents the first track type that we’ve already seen on the schedule so far: a mile-and-a-half tri-oval.
That’s great news for four-time eNASCAR iRacing World Champion Ray Alfalla, who won the first of those two races three weeks ago at Atlanta Motor Speedway. After an early accident in the Daytona opener put him on the back foot, Alfalla’s Atlanta win stabilized his hopes of getting back to the highest level. Since then, he’s climbed to a comfortable fifth in points, nearly a full race ahead of the 20th place cutoff.
But it’s Graham Bowlin who has been the true standout of the past two weeks, as he scored back-to-back wins in Richmond and Dover to not only claim the points lead, but also extend it to an impressive 26 points over Bob Bryant. Daytona winner John Gorlinsky and Nathan Lyon are tied for third, and all appear to be fairly safe to punch their respective tickets to the highest level next season.
The current benchmark on the bubble is 86 points, a number held by both Santiago Tirres and Adam Gilliland. The good news for them? Ninth place Steve Sheehan is just 18 points ahead of them, and with the right combination of results, either driver could even catch Bryant in tonight’s event. The bad news? Cody Byus is just one point behind them in 21st, and both Corey Carpenter and Nickolas Shelton are also within five points of the cutoff.
Other favorites for tonight’s Charlotte race include Atlanta runner-up Chris Shearburn and third place finisher Brandon Hayse Kettelle, both of whom were World Championship drivers earlier this year. Of this year’s Pro Series drivers who ran last year’s Charlotte race, four finished in the top 10: Logan Kress scored the victory, while Eric Smith finished fifth, Byus came home eighth, and Lyon was 10th.
Tonight’s eNASCAR iRacing Pro Series event from Charlotte Motor Speedway will stream at 9PM ET/6PM PT on the iRacing eSports Network on Facebook, Twitch, and YouTube. After tonight’s Charlotte race, drivers will have three full weeks to contemplate their respective championship positions before the season resumes with a December 11 tilt at Darlington Raceway.