Race Weekend Central

Michael Conti Scores Second Win of eNASCAR Coca-Cola iRacing Season in 200th Career Start

Michael Conti added yet another season of multi-race wins with a dominating performance from the virtual Las Vegas Motor Speedway after Tuesday night’s eNASCAR Coca-Cola iRacing Series race. This win was the 15th for the 2014 series champion and it comes in his 200th start.

“What better way to go out than a win and now we’ve got two so it’s super, super cool,” Conti said after the race. With a strong performance from his Team Conti eSports setup alliance teammates Nick Ottinger and Jimmy Mullis, Conti is looking stronger than ever and brushed off any suggestion that he would possibly reconsider his pending retirement from the series.

“Any professional whether it’s eSports, professional sports, whatever it is, you always want to go out doing just as well as you did at the peak of your career,” Conti said. “For the longest time, I thought the peak was years ago, I thought I was done, I thought I was on the downward trend but this Next Gen car has really brought me back into the fold… but this is it.

“It’s going to be a great way to go out. We’re going to have a fantastic rest of the year, we’re playoff bound. This is the end but we still have a long way to go this year, a lot more to accomplish… a lot to look forward to,” Conti added.

The aforementioned Ottinger was second and Jordy Lopez Jr., who led the first quarter of the race, rounded out the top three. Lopez Jr.’s finish for Team Dillon eSports represents another strong outing for the trio of Altus eSports rookies as Tucker Minter and Michael Cosey Jr. added two more top tens with a fifth and seventh-place finish respectively.

Mullis added a second top-five of the season with his fourth-place finish.

TONIGHT’S ACTION

Keegan Leahy started the evening from the pole but his time out front was short-lived as Lopez Jr. used the outside line to slingshot ahead of Leahy along the backstretch.

Lopez Jr. led for the first quarter of the race before the Team Conti eSports alliance cars came alive with Conti and Ottinger both passing Lopez Jr. to move the Team Dillon eSports driver down to third.

Malik Ray cycled to the lead of the field briefly after opting to not pit during the race’s second caution. Ten laps, and two cautions later, Ray pitted and Conti inherited the race lead as the evening of action entered its second half.

The field settled down after four cautions in the first half of the race to complete the final 53 laps of the race under green flag conditions. The long-run pace of the Team Conti alliance was far and away the best in the field as Jr Motorsports’ Conti, William Byron eSports’ Ottinger, and Rise eSports’ Mullis drove away from the field by over one second, a remarkable gap considering the thin margins that separated the other drivers deeper in the field.

Conti finished 0.843 seconds ahead of Ottinger.

ODDS AND ENDS

  • Team Dillon eSports leads the team’s championship by 36 points over Jr Motorsports.
  • The Altus eSports rookie trio currently sit third, fourth, and fifth in the driver’s championship.
  • Rise eSports got a head start on throwback paint schemes, bringing a tribute to Mark Martin’s 1998 Valvoline design.

NEXT UP

The eNASCAR Coca-Cola iRacing Series will hit the track again on Tuesday, May 16 from the virtual Darlington Raceway. The race will serve as the series’ throwback week. Coverage will begin at 8:30 p.m. ET on Twitch.tv/iRacing, YouTube.com/iRacing, and eNASCAR.com.

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