iRacing: Michael Conti wins Texas secures Championship 4 berth

In an unpredictable final race in the play-off round of 8, a win-or-go-home race for Michael Conti and Keegan Leahy settled in Conti’s favour when the JR Motorsports driver scored the eNASCAR Coca-Cola iRacing Series win at Texas Motor Speedway on Tuesday night.

Conti’s win allowed him to secure an automatic Championship 4 berth for next week’s season finale alongside Charlotte Roval winner Bobby Zalenski and Kansas winner Nick Ottinger.

“This is crazy—I can’t believe that happened!” said Conti. “I’ve never been that excited to win a race before. This was the most intense season by far, to be in the spot we were in after the Roval and almost have it last week but have it ripped away. I thought we were going to walk away with it tonight on that last run, but then it got exciting again. I can’t thank everyone enough. It took two years (with JRM) to get a win, but we did it at the right time.”

During green flag pit stops just before halfway, an incident involving multiple playoff contenders was just the first to dramatically shook up the playoff picture.

Ryan Luza, who had been above the cut line before the green flag, took the heaviest damage, leading to a restart where the entire playoff field was separated by six points for the final bubble spot as Conti held the top spot. At one point, Garrett Lowe, Keegan Leahy, and Ray Alfalla were even tied for fourth.

The race appeared to be playing into Conti’s hands after the final planned pit cycle, as Alfalla began sliding back in the pack from the lead. But with 25 laps to go, Chris Overland slapped the wall coming out of Turn 4 and slid into Chris Shearburn, allowing the entire field to come to the pits.

That set off a flurry of cautions, none more significant than the one with five laps to go where Keister moved Clampitt out of the way for second and the resulting stack-up caused a massive wreck that affected multiple cars, including playoff drivers Lowe and Jimmy Mullis.

Conti and Keister started side by side for the first attempt at overtime, but Conti pounced to the lead quickly and hung on for dear life. Keister and Graham Bowlin put the pressure on, but Keister lost control coming to the checkered, triggering a massive wreck that also collected Leahy, Nathan Lyon, and others.

Conti’s JR Motorsports teammate Brad Davies and Zalenski came home second and third, while Luza improbably hung onto the final playoff spot after surviving the late-race chaos.

eNASCAR Coca-Cola iRacing Series results from Texas Motor Speedway were as follows:

Fin.

St.

No.

Name

Manufacturer

Laps

Led

Interval

Best

Pts

1 12 8 Michael Conti Chevrolet 169 73 28.758 45
2 7 88 Brad Davies Chevrolet 169 0 -0.260 28.731 39
3 4 83 Bobby Zalenski Chevrolet 169 0 -0.383 28.667 38
4 31 99 Logan Clampitt Toyota 169 0 -0.844 28.800 37
5 17 17 Kollin Keister Ford 169 21 -1.016 28.745 37
6 33 27 Corey Vincent Ford 169 0 -1.510 28.835 35
7 15 25 Nick Ottinger Chevrolet 169 0 -1.804 28.652 34
8 37 14 Brandon Hayse Kettelle Ford 169 0 -1.924 28.798 33
9 13 41 Dylan Duval Ford 169 0 -2.141 28.784 32
10 35 97 John Gorlinsky Chevrolet 169 1 -2.220 28.832 32
11 5 32 Keegan Leahy Toyota 169 6 -2.249 28.754 31
12 32 36 Chris Shearburn Chevrolet 169 0 -2.669 28.859 29
13 10 6 Nathan Lyon Ford 169 0 -2.733 28.768 28
14 18 3 Blake Reynolds Chevrolet 169 0 -2.907 28.826 27
15 1 18 Graham A. Bowlin Toyota 169 8 -3.100 28.818 27
16 38 47 Steve Sheehan Chevrolet 169 0 -3.158 28.849 25
17 9 5 Matt Bussa Ford 169 0 -3.498 28.741 24
18 27 24 Jake Nichols Ford 169 0 -3.522 28.885 23
19 3 37 Christian Challiner Chevrolet 169 0 -3.553 28.866 22
20 28 16 Chris Overland Ford 169 0 -3.594 28.833 21
21 36 4 Santiago Tirres Chevrolet 169 0 -3.712 28.435 20
22 22 21 Garrett Lowe Ford 169 0 -4.213 28.722 19
23 24 75 Phillip Diaz Ford 169 0 -4.445 28.795 18
24 11 90 Zack Novak Toyota 169 0 -4.508 28.791 17
25 8 53 Ryan Michael Luza Ford 169 3 -4.822 28.925 17
26 25 54 Alex McCollum Chevrolet 169 0 -4.887 28.836 15
27 23 15 Michael Guariglia Ford 169 0 -4.889 28.794 14
28 14 23 Casey Kirwan Toyota 169 7 -4.889 28.803 14
29 19 55 Caine Cook Ford 169 0 -9.197 28.818 12
30 29 10 Justin Bolton Ford 169 0 -11.329 28.916 11
31 6 46 Jimmy Mullis Toyota 169 0 -11.879 28.774 10
32 2 77 Bob Bryant Toyota 169 32 -20.161 28.927 10
33 34 79 Brian Schoenburg Ford 169 6 -21.839 28.953 9
34 30 33 Michael Guest Chevrolet 168 8 -1 L 29.128 8
35 21 2 Ray Alfalla Chevrolet 166 0 -3 L 28.736 6
36 20 51 Malik Ray Toyota 164 4 -5 L 28.792 6
37 16 9 Eric J. Smith Ford 162 0 -7 L 28.638 4
38 26 66 Jarl Teien Chevrolet 69 0 -100 L 29.110 3

Zalenski, Ottinger, Conti, and Luza will now head to Homestead-Miami Speedway for a shot at becoming the first $100,000 championship winner in series history, as the season finale moves up a day to next Monday, 2 November.

Related Posts

crossorigin="anonymous">