Retirement is still imminent for JR Motorsports’ Michael Conti, but after his second win of the 2023 eNASCAR Coca-Cola iRacing Series season at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on Tuesday night, the 2014 series champion is looking more competitive than ever. Leading 69 laps en route to his 15th career victory at the top level series, Conti has the rest of the field right where he wants them—in the rear-view mirror.
From the eighth starting position, Conti methodically moved his way to the second position just before the first caution flag of the evening. He restarted alongside Team Dillon eSports’ Jordy Lopez Jr, who took the initial lead from 23XI’s Keegan Leahy, the pole sitter. Lopez Jr, who led his first career laps in the series, led the opening 23 laps before Conti took control.
A few more cautions and a bit of pit strategy from Jim Beaver eSports driver Malik Ray was no deterrent to Conti, who reclaimed the lead on lap 41. He then kept William Byron eSports’ Nick Ottinger on his bumper for the remainder of the race, which went green until the end.
In 100 laps, there were four cautions for a total of 16 yellow flag laps. 35 cars made it the distance, 32 of which finished on the lead lap. Collin Bowden from eRacr, Ryan Doucette from the Pittsburgh Knights, and two-time 2023 race winner Bobby Zalenski were the only retirees. XSET’s Ryan Luza, the other Pittsburgh Knight Corey Vincent, and Elliott Sadler eSports’ Cody Byus were all short on fuel and finished a lap down after having to pit late.
The strategy for Ray allowed him to not only not worry about fuel mileage, but also finish in the eighth position, up from the 33rd starting spot. Ray is one of five drivers without a win that are currently in the playoff picture as the regular season hits halfway, joining Ottinger, Lopez Jr, Leahy, and Front Row Motorsports’ Michael Cosey Jr.
Winners so far on the season include Conti, Joe Gibbs Racing’s Bobby Zalenski, Team Dillon eSports’ Tucker Minter, Stewart-Haas Racing’s Steven Wilson, and the defending series champion from XSET, Casey Kirwan. Wilson, down in 14th, is currently in the playoffs if the season were to end today. However, he’s also only nine points ahead of 21st in the standings, held by Vincent. Playoff eligibility requires winners finish inside the top 20 in the standings at the end of the regular season.
eNASCAR Coca-Cola iRacing Series results from Las Vegas Motor Speedway were as follows:
|1||8||8||Michael Conti||JR Motorsports||100||0.000||69||30.027||40|
|2||4||25||Nick Ottinger||William Byron eSports||100||-0.847||0||29.995||35|
|3||2||3||Jordy Lopez Jr||Team Dillon eSports||100||-0.943||23||30.029||34|
|4||10||46||Jimmy Mullis||Rise eSports||100||-0.975||0||30.087||33|
|5||21||33||Tucker Minter||Team Dillon eSports||100||-2.300||0||30.115||32|
|7||25||38||Michael Cosey Jr||Front Row Motorsports||100||-3.807||0||30.073||30|
|8||33||7||Malik Ray||Jim Beaver eSports||100||-4.152||8||30.051||29|
|9||14||15||Garrett Lowe||Jim Beaver eSports||100||-4.628||0||30.061||28|
|10||31||48||Graham A. Bowlin||Charlotte Phoenix||100||-6.356||0||30.120||27|
|11||29||88||Kevin King||JR Motorsports||100||-6.961||0||30.191||26|
|13||24||10||Steven Wilson||Stewart-Haas Racing||100||-7.028||0||30.058||24|
|14||36||36||Brandon McKissic||LETARTE eSports||100||-7.035||0||30.228||23|
|15||3||40||Dylan Ault||LETARTE eSports||100||-7.916||0||30.135||22|
|17||6||51||Donovan Strauss||Williams eSports||100||-9.192||0||30.131||20|
|18||17||6||Timmy Holmes||RFK Racing||100||-9.891||0||30.138||19|
|20||18||34||Allen Boes||Front Row Motorsports||100||-11.024||0||30.089||17|
|21||11||11||Parker White||Tony Kanaan Esports||100||-11.245||0||30.028||16|
|22||15||17||Kaden Honeycutt||RFK Racing||100||-11.533||0||29.992||15|
|23||23||41||Dylan Duval||Stewart-Haas Racing||100||-11.566||0||30.109||14|
|26||32||1||Darik Bourdeau||Elliott Sadler eSports||100||-11.821||0||30.000||11|
|27||19||75||Zack Novak||Rise eSports||100||-12.262||0||30.039||10|
|28||35||66||Tyler Garey||Tony Kanaan Esports||100||-12.491||0||30.037||9|
|29||13||20||Wyatt Tinsley||Kansas City Pioneers||100||-14.002||0||30.098||8|
|30||12||54||Daniel Faulkingham||Joe Gibbs Racing||100||-15.574||0||30.174||7|
|31||16||31||Derek Justis||Kansas City Pioneers||100||-18.818||0||30.149||6|
|32||28||97||Matt Bussa||William Byron eSports||100||-25.828||0||30.191||5|
|34||20||2||Corey Vincent||Pittsburgh Knights||99||-1L||0||30.092||3|
|35||30||27||Cody Byus||Elliott Sadler eSports||99||-1L||0||30.065||2|
|37||5||77||Ryan Doucette||Pittsburgh Knights||61||-39L||0||30.103||1|
|38||7||18||Bobby Zalenski||Joe Gibbs Racing||45||-55L||0||30.082||1|
eNASCAR Coca-Cola iRacing Series points through seven rounds are as follows:
- Michael Conti, 210, 2 wins
- Nick Ottinger, 195
- Tucker Minter, 179, 1 win
- Jordy Lopez Jr., 179
- Michael Cosey Jr., 178
- Graham Bowlin, 178
- Casey Kirwan, 176, 1 win
- Malik Ray, 167
- Bobby Zalenski, 160, 2 wins
- Keegan Leahy, 160
14. Steven Wilson, 131, 1 win
It’ll be another two weeks until the eNASCAR Coca-Cola iRacing Series returns, this time for a dance with the virtual Lady in Black. Darlington Raceway returns to the schedule, and with that, throwback paint schemes are expected. Race coverage will start on Tuesday, May 16 at 9 p.m. ET at eNASCAR.com/live. The Countdown to Green, now presented by Wendy’s, kicks off the festivities off at 8:30 p.m. ET as usual.
For more information on the eNASCAR Coca-Cola iRacing Series, visit www.enascar.com or www.iracing.com/enascar. For more information on iRacing and for special offers, visit www.iracing.com.