eNASCAR: Ottinger survives the calamity to win Kansas

William Byron eSports’ Nick Ottinger capitalized on the last of a flurry of late-race restarts on Tuesday night to score the eNASCAR Coca-Cola iRacing Series victory at Kansas Speedway, securing the second guaranteed spot in this year’s Championship 4 in the process.

One of the front-runners all night, the playoff contender finally made the decisive pass during the second overtime to take the lead from Jim Beaver eSports’ Michael Guariglia and guarantee his shot at the $100,000 title.

Unlike the previous 1.5-mile race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Kansas was a mostly clean affair, cycling through two rounds of green flag pit stops. Denny Hamlin Racing’s Keegan Leahy dominated much of the race, leading the most laps and appearing like a lock to either secure the victory or at least have a strong points day.

A select group of drivers, led by Guariglia, Mode Motorsports’ Phil Diaz, and G2 Esports’ Jarl Teien, chose to run an alternate pit strategy, extending their time on track as much as possible and hoping to either make up spots with fresher tires or stay out under a late caution.

That caution came for contact between Brandon Kettelle and Justin Bolton in the closing laps, and Guariglia, Diaz, and Teien led the field with two to go in the scheduled distance. An immediate incident, with Bob Bryant getting the worst of it, sent the race to overtime.

Calamity struck once again before the field could take the white flag on the first attempt, with Leahy getting the worst of it; the Canadian took heavy damage in Turns 3 and 4 while the yellow flag flew.

All of the mayhem set things up perfectly for Ottinger. A pit road miscue meant the veteran driver had been a few laps short on fuel, but the first caution allowed him to both top off and get new tires. On the second overtime restart, Ottinger finally found a way around Guariglia as the field wrecked behind them in Turns 1 and 2.

Guariglia’s older tires meant he would fade to fifth on the final lap, with Burton Kligerman Esports’ Logan Clampitt, Virtual Racing School’s Bobby Zalenski, and Williams Esports’ Ryan Luza also finding a way around.

“I knew they were on old tires, and they were hot,” Ottinger said of the drivers in front of him. “Once we got past 20 laps, I knew they’d be difficult if they did anything. There was a lot of hard work by our team, and I’m so excited to have a shot at the title this year with William Byron eSports. We’re going to Homestead, and I’m excited!”

Full results from eNASCAR Coca-Cola iRacing Series action at Kansas Speedway were as follows:

Fin.

St.

No.

Name

Manufacturer

Laps

Led

Interval

Best

Pts

1 1 25 Nick Ottinger Chevrolet 144 14 29.405 44
2 26 99 Logan Clampitt Toyota 144 0 -0.436 29.498 39
3 8 83 Bobby Zalenski Chevrolet 144 0 -0.579 29.523 38
4 27 53 Ryan Michael Luza Ford 144 0 -0.611 29.343 37
5 25 15 Michael Guariglia Ford 144 36 -0.646 29.484 37
6 16 46 Jimmy Mullis Toyota 144 0 -0.787 29.378 35
7 11 2 Ray Alfalla Chevrolet 144 1 -1.167 29.340 35
8 24 21 Garrett Lowe Ford 144 0 -1.795 29.176 33
9 18 6 Nathan Lyon Ford 144 1 -3.554 29.498 33
10 13 51 Malik Ray Toyota 144 0 -3.740 29.439 31
11 19 4 Santiago Tirres Chevrolet 144 0 -3.902 29.541 30
12 10 8 Michael Conti Chevrolet 144 0 -4.081 29.301 29
13 29 37 Christian Challiner Chevrolet 144 0 -4.405 29.516 28
14 38 79 Brian Schoenburg Ford 144 0 -4.632 29.464 27
15 35 47 Steve Sheehan Chevrolet 144 0 -4.947 29.610 26
16 15 27 Corey Vincent Ford 144 0 -5.390 29.395 25
17 17 14 Brandon Hayse Kettelle Ford 144 1 -5.569 29.396 25
18 30 10 Justin Bolton Ford 144 0 -6.908 29.349 23
19 4 18 Graham A. Bowlin Toyota 144 0 -6.934 29.385 22
20 20 9 Eric J. Smith Ford 144 0 -7.130 29.450 21
21 6 97 John Gorlinsky Chevrolet 144 0 -7.257 29.378 20
22 12 55 Caine Cook Ford 144 0 -7.314 29.415 19
23 28 3 Blake Reynolds Chevrolet 144 0 -8.975 29.494 18
24 33 41 Dylan Duval Ford 144 0 -10.717 29.336 17
25 37 66 Jarl Teien Chevrolet 144 4 -13.018 29.341 17
26 3 77 Bob Bryant Toyota 144 0 -14.014 29.407 15
27 31 16 Chris Overland Ford 144 0 -16.327 29.503 14
28 7 5 Matt Bussa Ford 144 0 -16.670 29.363 13
29 32 24 Jake Nichols Ford 144 0 -18.063 29.726 12
30 21 33 Michael Guest Chevrolet 144 0 -19.220 29.398 11
31 36 75 Phillip Diaz Ford 144 2 -19.913 29.459 11
32 2 32 Keegan Leahy Toyota 144 85 -35.999 29.264 11
33 22 90 Zack Novak Toyota 144 0 -36.347 29.393 8
34 9 36 Chris Shearburn Chevrolet 143 0 -1 L 29.318 7
35 5 88 Brad Davies Chevrolet 143 0 -1 L 29.468 6
36 23 23 Casey Kirwan Toyota 138 0 -6 L 29.370 5
37 14 17 Kollin Keister Ford 138 0 -6 L 29.305 4
38 34 54 Alex McCollum Chevrolet 124 0 -20 L 29.543 3

 

eNASCAR Coca-Cola iRacing Series playoff points through 18 of 20 races are as follows:

  1. Bobby Zalenski, 2089 (1 win)
  2. Nick Ottinger, 2085 (1 win)
  3. Jimmy Mullis, 2080
  4. Ryan Luza, 2076
  5. Garrett Lowe, 2068
  6. Keegan Leahy, 2057
  7. Ray Alfalla, 2055
  8. Michael Conti, 2033

The eNASCAR Coca-Cola iRacing Series playoff Round of 8 concludes next Tuesday at Texas Motor Speedway, with playoff drivers facing one last chance to stave off elimination with a win or by piling up enough points to earn a championship race berth.

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