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Ottinger Survives eNASCAR’s Debut on Dirt, Takes Bristol Checkered Flag

Ottinger Survives eNASCAR’s Debut on Dirt, Takes Bristol Checkered Flag

Images via Justin Melillo

William Byron eSports driver Nick Ottinger got around Charlotte Phoenix’s Graham Bowlin with 50 laps to go and never looked back on Tuesday night, scoring his first win of the 2022 eNASCAR Coca-Cola iRacing Series season at Bristol Motor Speedway. The 2020 series champion came from fifth on the grid to score the historic victory in the first-ever dirt race at eNASCAR’s highest level, and took over the points lead in the process.

Much like its real-world NASCAR Cup Series counterpart later this week, Tuesday night’s action at Bristol started with heat races, but the pair of 25-lap sessions couldn’t have been more different from one another. Bowlin checked out on the field in the first, extending a lead of more than two seconds over Stewart-Haas eSports driver Steven Wilson at race’s end, but the second saw the front runners closely packed for the entire race on a more worn-in track. In the end, it was Elliott Sadler eSports’ Garrett Manes winning the latter, taking the lead from Team Dillon Esports’ Corey Vincent with six laps remaining.

But while the two heat races saw half the field in each, the 120-lap main event would put all 40 cars on track together for the first time, and the early results were chaotic. Numerous multi-car accidents in the first half of the race took names like 2021 champion Keegan Leahy and two-time 2022 winner Michael Conti out of contention right away, forcing them to salvage as many points as possible while laps down. Manes was able to make a pass on Bowlin for the lead during one of the green flag pockets, but contact and a spin soon after meant it was short-lived.

When all was said and done, eight cautions for 34 laps slowed the early pace, but the field remained clean and green from Lap 65 forward. It was soon after that restart that Ottinger made the winning pass on Bowlin and never looked back, while Wilson would eventually get around Bowlin for second as well. But despite missing out on the victory, dual top 10s for Bowlin and Kollin Keister enabled Charlotte Phoenix to take over the lead in the teams championship.

eNASCAR Coca-Cola iRacing Series results from Bristol Motor Speedway (dirt) were as follows:

Fin.

St.

No.

Name

Team

Laps

Interval

Led

Best

Pts

1 5 25 Nick Ottinger William Byron eSports 120 0.000 50 18.450 40
2 3 10 Steven Wilson Stewart Haas Racing 120 -3.096 0 18.334 35
3 1 48 Graham A. Bowlin Charlotte Phoenix 120 -4.290 68 18.200 34
4 8 15 Blake Reynolds Jim Beaver eSports 120 -4.869 0 18.423 33
5 7 23 Mitchell deJong 23XI 120 -6.736 0 18.378 32
6 13 95 Casey Kirwan XSET 120 -8.019 0 18.547 31
7 4 97 Logan Clampitt William Byron eSports 120 -8.185 0 18.296 30
8 21 75 Matt Bussa Mode Motorsports 120 -11.874 0 18.956 29
9 22 43 Kollin Keister Charlotte Phoenix 120 -13.351 0 19.094 28
10 6 3 Corey Vincent Team Dillon Esports 120 -13.538 0 18.424 27
11 27 33 Taylor Hurst Team Dillon Esports 120 -14.044 0 18.929 26
12 28 69 Collin Bowden eRacr 120 -14.391 0 18.855 25
13 12 79 Femi Olatunbosun Clint Bowyer Racing 120 -14.408 0 18.352 24
14 34 5 Zack Novak Rise eSports 120 -15.433 0 18.873 23
15 23 7 Malik Ray iRacing Motorsports 120 -15.635 0 18.722 22
16 11 20 Donovan Strauss Williams eSports 120 -16.838 0 18.435 21
17 2 31 Garrett Manes Elliot Sadler eSports 120 -17.188 2 18.248 20
18 29 18 Bobby Zalenski Joe Gibbs Racing 120 -17.481 0 18.939 19
19 10 88 Briar LaPradd JR Motorsports 120 -17.743 0 18.285 18
20 18 24 Cody Byus Mode Motorsports 120 -18.373 0 19.201 17
21 37 46 Jimmy Mullis Rise eSports 119 -1L 0 18.687 16
22 38 4 Ryan Luza XSET 119 -1L 0 18.529 15
23 25 55 Allen Boes Space Station Gaming 119 -1L 0 19.196 14
24 20 2 Liam Brotherton Elliot Sadler eSports 119 -1L 0 18.368 13
25 35 14 Nickolas Shelton Clint Bowyer Racing 119 -1L 0 18.927 12
26 33 51 Ray Alfalla Joe Gibbs Racing 119 -1L 0 18.947 11
27 32 54 Kyle Peddle Space Station Gaming 119 -1L 0 18.813 10
28 40 41 Dylan Duval Stewart Haas Racing 119 -1L 0 18.569 9
29 30 6 Parker Retzlaff Roush Fenway Keselowski 118 -2L 0 18.803 8
30 26 17 Kaden Honeycutt Roush Fenway Keselowski 107 -13L 0 18.802 7
31 16 21 Garrett Lowe Wood Brothers Racing 107 -13L 0 18.682 6
32 19 16 Blade Whitt Wood Brothers Racing 106 -14L 0 18.333 5
33 14 45 Keegan Leahy 23XI 106 -14L 0 18.606 4
34 9 8 Michael Conti JR Motorsports 105 -15L 0 18.399 3
35 39 36 Brian Mercurio Letarte Esports 101 -19L 0 18.890 2
36 15 9 Michael Guest Jim Beaver eSports 101 -19L 0 18.588 1
37 17 40 Dylan Ault Letarte Esports 99 -21L 0 18.431 1
38 24 42 Darik Bourdeau eRacr 86 -34L 0 18.838 1
39 31 19 Vicente Salas Williams eSports 84 Disqualified 0 18.680 1
40 36 12 Derek Justis iRacing Motorsports 27 Disqualified 0 18.592 1

 

eNASCAR Coca-Cola iRacing Series points through five rounds are as follows:

  1. Nick Ottinger, 152
  2. Steven Wilson, 150
  3. Graham Bowlin, 140
  4. Femi Olatunbosun, 135
  5. Matt Bussa, 127
  6. Blake Reynolds, 126
  7. Bobby Zalenski, 119
  8. Michael Conti, 117
  9. Casey Kirwan, 116
  10. Kollin Keister, 114

The eNASCAR Coca-Cola iRacing Series returns to action in two weeks at Dover Motor Speedway, as the high-banked Monster Mile will return to the series calendar after a one-year absence in 2021. Broadcast coverage begins on Tuesday, April 26 at 8:30PM ET with Countdown to Green before the 9PM ET green flag. Live coverage of all the action can be seen at enascar.com/live.

For more information on the eNASCAR Coca-Cola iRacing Series, visit www.enascar.com or www.iracing.com/enascar. For more information on iRacing and for special offers, visit www.iracing.com.

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