In his 63rd try, Superspeedway specialist Brandon Kettelle finally scored his first career eNASCAR Coca-Cola iRacing Series victory on Tuesday night at Talladega Superspeedway. Kettelle used a push from Eric Smith to get past Bob Bryant and outrun challenges led by Nick Ottinger and Bobby Zalenski as the field wrecked behind the leaders coming to the checkered flag, while Jimmy Mullis dominated the race’s early stages and survived the drama to punch his ticket into the playoffs.

“This is Talladega—this is awesome!” exclaimed Kettelle, a noted superspeedway specialist who also took the victory in the independently sanctioned Firecracker 400 earlier this year. “Last week, after the great run I had, I posted a win sticker that I really wanted to put on my computer. This week, it’s finally going on there. This is crazy—I’ve always wanted to win one of these things!”

The relatively clean racing of the season opener from Daytona, and not the caution-heavy drama of the series’ second visit to that track, defined much of the night as the series made its third and final superspeedway stop of 2020. Both sets of pit stops came under green flag conditions, jumbling up the field and pinballing drivers on the playoff bubble through the live point standings. Much of the night saw drivers holding two wide in the pack, but as the race approached its closing stages, the third line began to finally establish itself as a player in the dash to the finish.

After a number of close calls throughout the night, calamity finally struck with eight laps to go when the field caught the lapped car of playoff contender Logan Clampitt. Clampitt kept to the inside, trying to get his damaged machine to blend into the pack, but ended up catching Jake Nichols in the process and causing the first caution of the race.

The green flag flew again with four laps to go, and the field would hang on from there. Bryant would move from the inside line to the outside with two laps to go, temporarily blocking the path for Kettelle, but he’d move back to the bottom for the final lap. That ended up making the difference, as clean air for the tandem of Kettelle and Smith in the middle lane allowed them to nose ahead at the finish line. The top 10 crossed the line unimpeded, but a mid-pack incident shuffled much of the field behind them.

In the end, the uneasy proposition of finishing up the regular season on a wild card track proved to only change one name in the playoffs. Mullis, who led a race-high 27 laps and posted the fastest lap of the race, ended up laying claim to a spot at Clampitt’s expense. Bobby Zalenski and Keegan Leahy had already been locked in, while Ottinger, Michael Conti, Ryan Luza, Garrett Lowe, and four-time series champion Ray Alfalla survived the melee.

eNASCAR Coca-Cola iRacing Series results from Talladega Superspeedway were as follows:

Fin.

St.

No.

Name

Manufacturer

Laps

Led

Interval

Best

Pts

1 9 14 Brandon Kettelle Ford 94 6 47.058 44
2 26 9 Eric J. Smith Ford 94 0 -0.054 47.016 39
3 21 77 Bob Bryant Toyota 94 10 -0.061 47.156 39
4 20 83 Bobby Zalenski Chevrolet 94 1 -0.106 46.932 38
5 2 46 Jimmy Mullis Toyota 94 27 -0.108 46.727 38
6 10 25 Nick Ottinger Chevrolet 94 3 -0.115 47.177 36
7 15 33 Michael Guest Chevrolet 94 0 -0.162 47.107 34
8 4 8 Michael Conti Chevrolet 94 0 -0.171 47.175 33
9 6 90 Zack Novak Toyota 94 1 -0.187 46.744 33
10 32 17 Kollin Keister Ford 94 7 -0.221 47.137 32
11 12 88 Brad Davies Chevrolet 94 0 -0.550 46.872 30
12 16 2 Ray Alfalla Chevrolet 94 0 -0.595 46.743 29
13 37 47 Steve Sheehan Chevrolet 94 0 -0.716 46.901 28
14 3 27 Corey Vincent Ford 94 0 -0.806 46.806 27
15 25 41 Dylan Duval Ford 94 1 -0.845 46.807 27
16 7 66 Jarl Teien Chevrolet 94 0 -0.943 46.959 25
17 18 55 Caine Cook Ford 94 0 -0.986 46.766 24
18 17 6 Nathan Lyon Ford 94 0 -1.013 46.936 23
19 24 21 Garrett Lowe Ford 94 0 -1.152 47.166 22
20 19 18 Graham A. Bowlin Toyota 94 16 -1.285 46.862 22
21 28 3 Blake Reynolds Chevrolet 94 0 -1.289 46.786 20
22 35 75 Phillip Diaz Ford 94 0 -1.362 46.927 19
23 1 37 Christian Challiner Chevrolet 94 2 -1.416 46.813 19
24 36 53 Ryan Michael Luza Ford 94 0 -1.509 47.037 17
25 30 23 Casey Kirwan Toyota 94 0 -1.730 46.767 16
26 23 97 John Gorlinsky Chevrolet 94 2 -1.762 46.943 16
27 5 24 Jake Nichols Ford 94 0 -1.855 47.135 14
28 14 16 Chris Overland Ford 94 0 -2.261 46.861 13
29 27 51 Malik Ray Toyota 94 13 -2.759 46.841 13
30 33 5 Matt Bussa Ford 94 0 -4.721 47.122 11
31 22 54 Alex McCollum Chevrolet 94 0 -13.938 46.921 10
32 11 36 Chris Shearburn Chevrolet 93 1 -1 L 46.795 10
33 31 79 Brian Schoenburg Ford 93 0 -1 L 46.845 8
34 13 4 Santiago Tirres Chevrolet 93 0 -1 L 46.928 7
35 29 32 Keegan Leahy Toyota 93 0 -1 L 47.069 6
36 8 99 Logan Clampitt Toyota 93 4 -1 L 47.578 6
37 34 10 Justin Bolton Ford 92 0 -2 L 47.122 4

 

The unofficial eNASCAR Coca-Cola iRacing Series playoff grid, and their regular-season points totals, are as follows:

  1. Bobby Zalenski, 499
  2. Michael Conti, 475
  3. Keegan Leahy, 474
  4. Nick Ottinger, 474
  5. Garrett Lowe, 458
  6. Ryan Luza, 430
  7. Ray Alfalla, 428
  8. Jimmy Mullis, 422

The eNASCAR Coca-Cola iRacing Series returns to action in two weeks’ time at the Charlotte Motor Speedway Roval. As always, the race can be streamed live at 9PM ET on eNASCAR.com/live and on the iRacing Facebook, Twitch, and YouTube channels. For more information on iRacing and for special offers, visit www.iracing.com.

Share Button


No Comments

Comments are Closed

Interested in special offers, free giveaways, and news?

Stay In Touch

Ad