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Ryan Luza Richmond

Luza Finds Victory Lane Again at Richmond

Flipsid3 Tactics’ Ryan Luza won his third eNASCAR PEAK Antifreeze iRacing Series race of the season, and second in a row, winning from the pole at Richmond Raceway. A late caution set up a one-lap shootout for the second race in a row, and once again Luza executed to perfection, easily pulling away from Team Dillon eSports’ Blake Reynolds to win by .512 of a second.

Keegan Leahy and G2 eSports came from thirty-second on the grid to finish third after leading 60 laps late. The third-place result extended Leahy’s top-five streak to five races. Brian Schoenburg finished fourth for his first top-five for Williams eSports and Burton Kligerman Motorsports driver Logan Clampitt rounded out the top five.

Richmond Green FlagLuza was dominant early, comfortably leading the first 57 laps despite frequent cautions closing the field up. Leahy inherited the lead on Lap 58 by staying out under caution while Luza and most of the other leaders headed to the pits for fresh tires.

On the restart, Leahy surged ahead using clean air to his advantage while Luza and JR Motorsports driver Michael Conti battled to be the first car on fresh tires. Luza was temporarily held up in the outside groove which allowed Conti to overtake him as the pair set their sights on the leaders.

At the front, Leahy could not hold off Logan Clampitt as he moved into the lead, followed by Conti and Luza. Leahy fell to fourth, but another quick caution created a split strategy again, this time Leahy led a group into the pits and Luza, Conti, and others stayed on the track.

It was Leahy who made the right call as the next run was the longest of the evening. By Lap 112, Leahy was back in the lead with Blake Reynolds, also on fresher tires, in tow. As the run wore on, drivers started to hit pit road as nobody could go the distance on fuel. A crash during the cycle of pit stops trapped many drivers a lap down, while others, like Schoenburg, benefited as they had yet to pit.

Leahy and Luza were both on the lead lap when the caution flew and stayed out for track position, but Conti led a few drivers back into the pits for another set of fresh tires. The plan backfired for Conti, as he was caught up in a wreck trying to pass cars on older tires. The damage crippled his car and he wound up twelfth.

Richmond PassBack at the front, Leahy was doing everything he could to keep Luza behind him, but Luza finally prevailed on Lap 174. Even with the late-race cautions, Luza’s restart skills kept him comfortably ahead of Reynolds and Leahy, as neither driver was able to mount much of a challenge over the last 25 laps.

With yet another win, Luza continues to build his championship lead, which is now 26 points over Leahy. Conti is third but is 43 points, almost a full race, behind Luza. Jimmy Mullis and Matt Bussa complete the top five and both are within 11 points of Conti in the battle for third.

Luza has looked unstoppable through the first five races of 2019, but the equalizer is coming – Talladega Superspeedway. The second restrictor-plate race of the season should be as unpredictable as the first, which saw Roush Fenway Racing’s Zack Novak find victory lane. Who can avoid the chaos and capture the trophy at NASCAR’s fastest track? Find out in two weeks when iRacing’s best take on ‘Dega.

Race Results

Finish Start Driver Points Laps Laps Led Status
1 1 Ryan Michael Luza 45 200 83 Running
2 21 Blake Reynolds 39 200 0 Running
3 32 Keegan Leahy 39 200 60 Running
4 23 Brian Schoenburg 37 200 0 Running
5 5 Logan Clampitt 37 200 46 Running
6 22 Phillip Diaz 36 200 7 Running
7 37 Brad Davies 34 200 0 Running
8 19 Matt Bussa 33 200 0 Running
9 10 Michael Guest 32 200 0 Running
10 33 Malik Ray 31 200 0 Running
11 27 Christian Challiner 30 200 0 Running
12 8 Michael Conti 29 200 0 Running
13 6 Jake Nichols 28 200 0 Running
14 15 Jimmy Mullis 27 200 0 Running
15 3 Chris Shearburn 26 200 0 Running
16 38 Chris Overland 26 200 1 Running
17 4 Casey Kirwan 24 200 0 Running
18 20 Nathan Lyon 23 200 0 Running
19 12 Bobby Zalenski 22 200 0 Running
20 13 Ray Alfalla 21 200 0 Running
21 9 Dylan Duval 20 200 0 Running
22 14 Jarl Teien 19 200 0 Running
23 26 Michael Guariglia 18 200 0 Running
24 11 Corey Vincent 17 200 0 Running
25 36 Ryan Lowe 16 200 0 Running
26 29 Brandon Hayse Kettelle 15 200 0 Running
27 17 Zack Novak 15 200 2 Running
28 2 Cody Byus 13 200 0 Running
29 24 Casey Tucker 12 200 0 Running
30 28 Logan Kress 11 200 0 Running
31 31 Adam Benefiel 11 200 1 Running
32 30 Benjamin W. Nelson 9 200 0 Running
33 35 Timmy Hill 8 200 0 Running
34 16 Eric J. Smith 7 200 0 Running
35 18 Garrett Lowe 6 200 0 Running
36 34 Nickolas Shelton 5 180 0 Running
37 25 Taylor Hurst 4 175 0 Running
38 7 Ashton Crowder 3 166 0 Running