eNASCAR: Leahy’s Darlington display makes it three in 2020

Keegan Leahy channeled his inner Ricky Craven on his way to his third eNASCAR win of the season with an impressive display at Darlington.

17 years ago at Darlington Raceway, a driver from the northeastern corner of North America found himself in victory lane with an orange and white #32 car, taking a statement victory in one of the crown jewel races of the NASCAR Cup Series season.

History repeated itself on Tuesday night in the virtual world—although there was considerably less damage to the winning machine this time, and the decisive pass actually came on pit road.

Driving Ricky Craven’s iconic Tide colors, Keegan Leahy took the top spot from Michael Conti with a better pit stop during the first caution and never looked back, scoring his third win of the eNASCAR Coca-Cola iRacing Series season. Leahy, Conti, and Nick Ottinger ran in that order for much of the night, as drivers throughout the field struggled to make passes and most of the major shuffles in the pack came as a result of incidents.

Seven cautions for 33 laps slowed the pace, but after four-time series champion Ray Alfalla took contact to spin from a top-10 spot, the final 43 laps of the race went uninterrupted by yellow flags. The Lady in Black didn’t discriminate among her victims on Tuesday night, as fellow series champion Zack Novak, 2019 Championship 4 qualifier Blake Reynolds, and multi-time series winner Casey Kirwan all got caught up in the carnage, and veteran drivers like Matt Bussa and Brian Schoenburg saw their races come to an end before they really began.

But whether they crossed the finish line without a scratch, all used up, or with just a Darlington stripe for their troubles, the nearly 30 drivers who hit the track with throwback paint schemes took a NASCAR tradition and extended it beautifully to sim racing. Leahy, Alfalla, Bobby Zalenski, and Graham Bowlin gave 2003 plenty of love among the front-runners, but from tributes to eNASCAR team owners Clint Bowyer, William Byron, Jon Wood, and Austin Dillon to 1990s classics on the cars of Conti, Chris Shearburn, and Logan Clampitt, this year’s crop of throwback rides managed to touch most eras of the sport.

Full results from eNASCAR Coca-Cola iRacing Series action at Darlington Raceway were as follows:

Fin.

St.

No.

Name

Manufacturer

Laps

Led

Interval

Best

Pts

1 3 32 Keegan Leahy Toyota 184 152 27.111 45
2 1 8 Michael Conti Chevrolet 184 31 -0.333 27.094 40
3 2 25 Nick Ottinger Chevrolet 184 0 -1.731 27.125 38
4 11 99 Logan Clampitt Toyota 184 0 -2.177 27.163 37
5 30 51 Malik Ray Toyota 184 0 -3.088 27.213 36
6 17 55 Caine Cook Ford 184 0 -4.109 27.057 35
7 21 53 Ryan Michael Luza Ford 184 0 -4.990 27.109 34
8 10 88 Brad Davies Chevrolet 184 0 -6.039 27.114 33
9 8 17 Kollin Keister Ford 184 0 -7.785 27.080 32
10 23 24 Jake Nichols Ford 184 0 -8.225 27.221 31
11 7 27 Corey Vincent Ford 184 0 -8.518 27.200 30
12 37 16 Chris Overland Ford 184 0 -8.829 27.335 29
13 9 4 Santiago Tirres Chevrolet 184 0 -8.982 27.265 28
14 28 10 Justin Bolton Ford 184 0 -9.514 27.215 27
15 22 21 Garrett Lowe Ford 184 0 -9.732 27.343 26
16 25 41 Dylan Duval Ford 184 0 -10.826 27.275 25
17 4 2 Ray Alfalla Chevrolet 184 0 -11.605 27.220 24
18 33 15 Michael Guariglia Ford 184 0 -11.751 27.303 23
19 36 6 Nathan Lyon Ford 184 0 -11.822 27.376 22
20 14 3 Blake Reynolds Chevrolet 184 0 -12.001 27.307 21
21 27 36 Chris Shearburn Chevrolet 184 0 -12.161 27.196 20
22 6 83 Bobby Zalenski Chevrolet 184 0 -15.165 27.271 19
23 18 37 Christian Challiner Chevrolet 184 0 -15.598 27.446 18
24 32 75 Phillip Diaz Ford 184 0 -16.307 27.562 17
25 19 18 Graham A. Bowlin Toyota 184 0 -16.590 27.366 16
26 16 46 Jimmy Mullis Toyota 184 0 -16.970 27.366 15
27 13 97 John Gorlinsky Chevrolet 184 0 -18.048 27.370 14
28 29 9 Eric J. Smith Ford 184 0 -18.189 27.245 13
29 12 77 Bob Bryant Toyota 184 1 -19.214 27.431 13
30 24 14 Brandon Hayse Kettelle Ford 184 0 -22.763 27.333 11
31 31 66 Jarl Teien Chevrolet 184 0 -22.797 27.660 10
32 5 23 Casey Kirwan Toyota 183 0 -1 L 27.238 9
33 34 33 Michael Guest Chevrolet 171 0 -13 L 27.412 8
34 20 90 Zack Novak Toyota 137 0 -47 L 27.546 7
35 35 54 Alex McCollum Chevrolet 79 0 -105 L 27.365 6
36 26 79 Brian Schoenburg Ford 62 0 -122 L 27.713 5
37 15 5 Matt Bussa Ford 37 0 -147 L 27.507 4

 

eNASCAR Coca-Cola iRacing Series point standings after 14 rounds are as follows:

  1. Bobby Zalenski, 446
  2. Keegan Leahy, 444
  3. Garrett Lowe, 414
  4. Michael Conti, 405
  5. Ryan Luza, 404
  6. Nick Ottinger, 399
  7. Logan Clampitt, 381
  8. Ray Alfalla, 367
  9. Brad Davies, 347
  10. Corey Vincent, 345

The eNASCAR Coca-Cola iRacing Series season resumes in two weeks’ time at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. As always, the race can be seen live at 9PM ET at eNASCAR.com/live and on the iRacing Facebook, Twitch, and YouTube pages.

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