Charlotte Iracing 1

Zalenski Scores iRacing Series Win at Roval

Bobby Zalenski came into the Charlotte Motor Speedway Roval needing a win to advance to the 2019 eNASCAR PEAK Antifreeze iRacing Series Championship Four. Not only did Zalenski win, he dominated, leading every one of the race’s 65 laps from the pole in his Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota. Zalenski quickly sprinted away from the field at the drop of the green flag and was never challenged for the lead.

Michael Conti, who finished second, could keep pace on worn tires, but Zalenski was so strong on fresh tires that he was long gone before the lap times began to equalize. Conti also needed to win to advance but came up one position short in his JR Motorsports Chevrolet, missing out on transferring by 10 points.

Nick Ottinger finished third, more than 19 seconds back, closely followed by Logan Clampitt in fourth. G2 eSports’ Keegan Leahy rounded out the top five and easily transferred into the Championship Four.

Charlotte Iracing 2Leahy and Zalenski are joined in the Championship Four by Roush Fenway Racing’s Zack Novak, who only finished 15th at the Roval. However, he has looked extremely strong on the downforce tracks in 2019 and is likely Leahy’s strongest competition for the title.

The battle for the final transfer spot was the most compelling. With Zalenski’s victory looking all but certain the fourth position came down to Blake Reynolds and Garrett Lowe, who entered Charlotte tied in the points standings. Lowe qualified 10th, with Reynolds directly behind in 12th, and the pair were inseparable for most of the race.

Lowe held off Reynolds’ challenge during the first half, but Reynolds chose to short pit on Lap 39, hoping that changing tires a lap earlier would give him the advantage over Lowe. The strategy worked and Reynolds emerged ahead of Lowe after his Lap 40 stop in response to the undercut. Lowe had the faster car and slightly fresher tires and quickly ran down Reynolds, looking for a place to pass. Lowe found an opportunity on Lap 51 and the two raced side-by-side into the infield section, but Reynolds held him off.

Later in the lap, Lowe again challenged for the position, this time on the exit of the backstretch chicane. Lowe pulled to the outside of Reynolds moved up and the two made contact on the exit of the oval Turn 4. The contact pushed Lowe wide and he was unable to stop for the chicane. The resulting slow down penalty cost him several seconds and left him unable to challenge Reynolds, who finished ninth to earn the final Championship Four position.

With the final four set, only one race remains as the 2019 season concludes at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Leahy goes into the last race as the favorite, as his speed on long runs has been head and shoulders above the field in the past several races. Novak and Zalenski have shown race-winning pace in 2019 as well and will look to keep pace with Leahy. Reynolds is the only one of the four who has not won a race, but owns the best average finish of the bunch and should not be counted out.

Who will be crowned 2019 eNASCAR PEAK Antifreeze Series Champion and win the largest prize in series history? Find out in two weeks as the 2019 season wraps up in Miami! Be sure to tune in to NBCSN’s NASCAR America on Thursday, October 10 at 5PM ET to watch drivers compete for their share of a championship prize pool worth over $100,000.

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Finish Start Driver Laps Laps Led Status Team Name
1 1 Bobby Zalenski 65 65 Running Joe Gibbs Racing
2 2 Michael Conti 65 0 Running Jr Motorsports
3 6 Nick Ottinger 65 0 Running JTG
4 5 Logan Clampitt 65 0 Running Burton Kligerman eSports
5 4 Keegan Leahy 65 0 Running G2 eSports
6 7 Jimmy Mullis 65 0 Running Richmond Raceway eSports
7 3 Casey Kirwan 65 0 Running Clint Bowyer Racing
8 15 Christian Challiner 65 0 Running JTG
9 12 Blake Reynolds 65 0 Running Dillon Esports
10 13 Ashton Crowder 65 0 Running Burton Kligerman eSports
11 10 Garrett Lowe 65 0 Running Renegades
12 11 Brad Davies 65 0 Running Jr Motorsports
13 9 Matt Bussa 65 0 Running Williams F1
14 17 Jarl Teien 65 0 Running G2 eSports
15 18 Zack Novak 65 0 Running Roush Fenway Racing
16 14 Corey Vincent 65 0 Running Renegades
17 22 Benjamin W Nelson 65 0 Running Dillon Esports
18 16 Phillip Diaz 65 0 Running Mode Motorsports
19 26 Michael Guariglia 64 0 Running Jim Beaver Esports
20 8 Ryan Michael Luza 64 0 Running Flipside Tactics
21 19 Dylan Duval 64 0 Running N/A
22 20 Chris Shearburn 64 0 Running Letarte Esports
23 23 Jake Nichols 64 0 Running Joe Gibbs Racing
24 28 Taylor Hurst 64 0 Running N/A
25 29 Eric J Smith 64 0 Running Jim Beaver Esports
26 27 Adam Benefiel 64 0 Running N/A
27 35 Nathan Lyon 64 0 Running Letarte Esports
28 25 Casey Tucker 64 0 Running N/A
29 33 Michael Guest 64 0 Running Roush Fenway Racing
30 24 Chris Overland 63 0 Running Wood Brothers
31 30 Malik Ray 63 0 Running Richmond Raceway eSports
32 31 Cody Byus 63 0 Running Mode Motorsports
33 21 Ray Alfalla 25 0 Running Wood Brothers
34 37 Timmy Hill 23 0 DNF Flipside Tactics
35 38 Brandon Hayse Kettelle 7 0 Running N/A
36 32 Brian Schoenburg 6 0 DNF Williams F1
37 34 Nickolas Shelton 5 0 DNF Clint Bowyer Racing
38 36 Ryan Lowe 2 0 DNF N/A