October 10th, 2019 by Chris Leone
There’s no more time to waste for the four top drivers in the eNASCAR PEAK Antifreeze iRacing Series.
On Thursday night, Keegan Leahy, Zack Novak, Blake Reynolds, or Bobby Zalenski will take the checkered flag at Homestead-Miami Speedway and become a series champion. With it, they’ll earn $40,000 of the series’ record prize pool of more than $100,000, plus the right to fly to Homestead next month and be honored before the real-world Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series season finale. And did we mention that they’ll also get a test day in both a US Legends Car and a NASCAR Pinty’s Series car with Canada’s Best Racing Team?
In short, there’s a ton on the line, and which of the four drivers going for it will take the spoils is anyone’s guess. All four have used different means to get here: Leahy by incredible pace and strategy, Novak by dominating the series’ faster ovals, Reynolds by consistency, Zalenski by winning when it counted most in the final playoff race from the Charlotte Roval. And with none of the quartet cracking the top five here last season, the championship may come down to a race of attrition.
But that’s not all. Thursday’s race also determines which 20 drivers earn an automatic berth into next year’s championship, and which 20 will have to earn their way back in through the NASCAR iRacing Pro Series this winter. Phillip Diaz currently sits on the bubble with 350 points, but nobody up to Jarl Teien in 13th place has mathematically clinched their spot yet. Likewise, drivers as far down the list as 27th place Chris Shearburn can still earn their way into a locked-in spot with the right combination of finishes, and the list of drivers still battling it out includes none other than four-time series champion Ray Alfalla.
Fittingly, the biggest event in series history will also earn the most significant TV time in iRacing history. iRacing, NASCAR, and NBC Sports have partnered to bring Thursday’s race to NBCSN’s NASCAR America for a special telecast starting at 5PM ET/2PM PT. Following a pair of all-star races in July and August, each of which saw NBCSN analyst Parker Kligerman compete live against the series’ top drivers from the NBC Sports studio, this week’s telecast will expand to two hours as the series’ first-ever points-paying race to be shown on national TV.
The 2019 eNASCAR PEAK Antifreeze iRacing Series season finale from Homestead-Miami Speedway kicks off at 5PM ET/2PM PT on NBCSN. The race will also be streamed live on the iRacing eSports Network on Facebook, Twitch, and YouTube for international viewers. Further announcements about the series’ 2020 schedule and prizes will be made in the coming months. For more information on iRacing and for special offers, visit www.iracing.com.