January 25th, 2021 by Chris Leone
For driver #12, tonight’s hope is that title #3 is easy as 1-2-3.
Alex Bergeron carries his biggest points lead of the 2020-21 iRacing World of Outlaws NOS Energy Sprint Car World Championship into tonight’s season finale at The Dirt Track at Charlotte, a 30-point advantage over primary title rival Hayden Cardwell. The 1-2-3 in question would be another sweep of qualifying, his heat race, and the feature, a feat he most recently accomplished just three weeks ago in the series’ debut at Cedar Lake Speedway. The payoff? The largest share, a cool $10,000, of the series’ annual $25,000 prize pool.
Up until last week’s action at Williams Grove Speedway, a meaningful double-digit points advantage seemed highly unlikely at any point in the season. For the first eight rounds, Bergeron and Cardwell seemed to trade blows on track as often as the championship lead off of it. But that bit Cardwell one time too many in the Williams Grove feature, as the former Late Model World Champion and Sprint Car rookie became the night’s only caution and suffered a disappointing 12th place finish. While it was Tyler Schell who would end up taking his first career victory on the night, Bergeron’s second place performance was more than good enough to extend the championship lead.
Behind them, there’s still plenty to fight for among the front half of the field. While Kendal Tucker appears to be solidly in third, James Edens, Knoxville winner Tim Ryan, and Schell are separated by just 15 points for fourth. Weedsport winner Cameron Merriman and consistent front-runners Nick Cooper and Tyler Ducharme are also within shouting distance of top-five points finishes, while last season’s breakout driver Braden Eyler has a 19-point cushion on Austen Semmelmann for the final spot in the top 10.
Further back, the top 15 points finishers retain their licenses for the following season without needing to requalify for the championship. While the top 14 in points appear fairly safe, Rusty Kruger only has a one-point advantage over Mason Hannagan for the final spot. Colton Davis, Cole Neuhalfen, Shae Paulo, and Alex Smolders are also within mathematical range of 15th, while the 15 drivers from Zane Scott on back will need to regroup in the next qualifying series in hopes of regaining World Championship eligibility.
DirtVision is the new home of the iRacing World of Outlaws NOS Energy Sprint Car World Championship for the 2020-21 season. Fans can visit www.dirtvision.com and register for a free account to watch every race of the season for free on Monday nights at 9PM ET.
Tonight’s iRacing World of Outlaws NOS Energy Sprint Car World Championship action from The Dirt Track at Charlotte kicks off at 9PM ET on DirtVision. For more information on iRacing and for special offers, visit www.iracing.com.