The last race of the eNASCAR PEAK Antifreeze iRacing Series regular season always has the potential to be a wild card event, but tonight’s event at Bristol Motor Speedway just might take that to the next level.
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That’s because Bristol hasn’t been a part of the schedule since before most of the drivers in the series had ever made it to the top level. And with one of NASCAR’s shortest ovals well known for producing plenty of bumping and banging anyway, don’t be surprised if there are a lot of hurt feelings coming out of tonight’s race.
Three drivers—Michigan winner Garrett Lowe, points leader Ryan Luza, and Blake Reynolds—have locked in their spots in the eight-driver playoff field. Eight others have the opportunity to lock themselves in tonight, but only five will succeed. And the list of drivers fighting for those remaining spots reads like a who’s who of the series.
Bobby Zalenski, Keegan Leahy, Michael Conti, Jimmy Mullis, and Zack Novak hold the five transfer spots at the moment, while Nick Ottinger, Casey Kirwan, and Christian Challiner are on the outside looking in. A playoff berth would be extra special for Conti, who will honor his mother Gina and her recent passing with a special paint scheme tonight. In the scenario that both Ottinger and Challiner fight their way into the top eight, JTG Daugherty Racing will become the only team with two playoff drivers this season.
Tonight’s eNASCAR PEAK Antifreeze iRacing Series race from Bristol Motor Speedway will air live at 9PM ET on the iRacing eSports Network. The series turns around immediately for two more races next week: August 27’s playoff opener at Darlington Raceway, where drivers will celebrate Throwback Weekend by honoring some of the most iconic paint schemes in NASCAR history, and August 29’s eNASCAR PEAK All-Star race on NBCSN’s NASCAR America.
Driver Profile: Garrett Lowe
One of just three drivers to secure his spot in this year’s eNASCAR PEAK Antifreeze iRacing Series playoffs, Renegades’ Garrett Lowe has taken the series by storm as a rookie in 2019. The 17-year-old is a graduate of the eNASCAR IGNITE Series who parlayed a win and three top-fives in six starts in last winter’s Pro Series to a berth in eNASCAR’s highest level, and he’s made the most of it so far.
Lowe debuted with a top-10 run at Daytona in February, and earned his first top five in Texas three races later. He’s scored five of them so far this year, but none were bigger than Michigan two weeks ago, when he scored his first career victory in a photo finish.