Perfect Strategy Propels Bryant to First Career eNASCAR Coca-Cola iRacing Series Win at Auto Club

Perfect Strategy Propels Bryant to First Career eNASCAR Coca-Cola iRacing Series Win at Auto Club

Without a single caution flag in sight, Tuesday’s eNASCAR Coca-Cola iRacing Series action from Auto Club Speedway came down to whoever could execute the eventual winning strategy. When all was said and done, that strategy was a single pit stop, and no driver pulled that off more effectively than Kligerman Sport’s Bob Bryant.

The sim racing veteran made his only pit stop after the halfway point of the 100-lap race, ensuring he’d have more than enough fuel to make it to the finish without needing to save. He led JTG Daugherty Racing’s Derek Justis and fellow Kligerman Sport driver Isaac Gann as the trio scored the best finishes of their respective eNASCAR careers on the one-stop strategy. Bryant’s first career eNASCAR victory also marked the second year in a row that the #77 car took the checkered flag at the two-mile California speedway, and made him the fifth different winner in five races to start the 2021 season.

“I don’t know what to say,” said Bryant. “We just had an incredible car, and they don’t give these things away. This series is unbelievably difficult, and I’m honestly kind of shocked at the moment. I was sweating it at about Lap 10 when we were 36th and going backwards, but we started going forward about 20 laps into the run, and I knew if we could go a couple more laps than the competition on the first run, it was going to allow us to open the car up the entire second run, and that’s exactly how it played out.”

At the green flag, 23XI’s Keegan Leahy appeared to have the car to beat, pulling away from teammate Mitchell deJong, Letarte Esports’ Bobby Zalenski, William Byron Esports’ Nick Ottinger, and JR Motorsports’ Michael Conti, before making the surprising decision to pit well before the field around Lap 20. By making his two stops well off cycle from everybody else, Leahy’s best shot at a win was to have track position on the rest of the two-stop drivers, and fresher tires than the one-stop drivers.

But it wasn’t meant to be. The Homestead winner’s tires evened off with the rest of the field in the closing laps, and a lack of wrecks meant that the on-track drama would be limited to the chess match of strategy calls. Six of the top 15 finishers, including Bryant, gained 20 or more spots from their starting position thanks to the one-stop gamble.

Full results from Tuesday’s eNASCAR Coca-Cola iRacing Series race at Auto Club Speedway were as follows:

Fin.

St.

No.

Name

Manufacturer

Laps

Interval

Led

Best

Pts

1 26 77 Bob Bryant Chevrolet 100 26 39.645 40
2 16 37 Derek Justis Chevrolet 100 -0.600 13 39.687 35
3 12 44 Isaac Gann Chevrolet 100 -0.897 0 39.649 34
4 2 16 John Gorlinsky Ford 100 -1.968 1 39.654 33
5 6 75 Matt Bussa Ford 100 -2.686 10 39.803 32
6 20 29 Zack Nichols Ford 100 -3.582 0 39.730 31
7 1 32 Keegan Leahy Toyota 100 -4.022 23 39.534 30
8 5 83 Bobby Zalenski Chevrolet 100 -4.095 14 39.355 29
9 4 23 Mitchell deJong Toyota 100 -4.323 0 39.367 28
10 37 9 Michael Guest Ford 100 -4.327 0 39.638 27
11 31 3 Corey Vincent Chevrolet 100 -4.795 0 39.561 26
12 36 11 Malik Ray Ford 100 -4.849 0 39.861 25
13 33 2 Garrett Manes Toyota 100 -5.082 0 39.768 24
14 25 90 Zack Novak Toyota 100 -5.259 0 39.806 23
15 38 47 Brian Schoenburg Chevrolet 100 -6.351 0 39.678 22
16 7 8 Michael Conti Chevrolet 100 -6.676 10 39.416 21
17 40 52 Jake Matheson Ford 100 -6.997 0 39.693 20
18 3 25 Nick Ottinger Chevrolet 100 -7.156 3 39.399 19
19 8 97 Logan Clampitt Chevrolet 100 -7.263 0 39.420 18
20 14 17 Steven Wilson Ford 100 -8.602 0 39.413 17
21 13 36 Chris Shearburn Chevrolet 100 -8.650 0 39.502 16
22 15 21 Garrett Lowe Ford 100 -12.866 0 39.310 15
23 24 10 Graham A. Bowlin Ford 100 -13.117 0 39.429 14
24 18 41 Dylan Duval Ford 100 -13.767 0 39.625 13
25 21 46 Jimmy Mullis Toyota 100 -14.145 0 39.440 12
26 17 38 Casey Kirwan Ford 100 -16.003 0 39.479 11
27 30 66 Blake Reynolds Chevrolet 100 -16.283 0 39.525 10
28 9 88 Brad Davies Chevrolet 100 -16.345 0 39.474 9
29 22 6 Nathan Lyon Ford 100 -16.525 0 39.592 8
30 23 15 Caine Cook Ford 100 -16.744 0 39.551 7
31 35 18 Femi Olat Toyota 100 -18.373 0 39.567 6
32 27 67 Allen Boes Chevrolet 100 -18.413 0 39.503 5
33 19 55 Vicente Salas Ford 100 -19.285 0 39.675 4
34 34 24 Jake Nichols Ford 100 -19.709 0 39.426 3
35 28 33 Taylor Hurst Chevrolet 100 -19.835 0 39.431 2
36 32 51 Ray Alfalla Toyota 100 -19.932 0 39.483 1
37 11 1 Ashton Crowder Toyota 100 -24.815 0 39.682 1
38 29 14 Blade Whitt Ford 100 -40.410 0 39.645 1
39 10 4 Ryan Michael Luza Ford 99 -1 L 0 39.663 1
40 39 79 Ryan Doucette Ford 99 -1 L 0 39.538 1

 

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

  1. Keegan Leahy, 140
  2. Casey Kirwan, 127
  3. Logan Clampitt, 126
  4. Michael Conti, 125
  5. Michael Guest, 124
  6. Steven Wilson, 115
  7. Chris Shearburn, 113
  8. Nick Ottinger, 113
  9. Bobby Zalenski, 112
  10. Matt Bussa, 108

The eNASCAR Coca-Cola iRacing Series takes next week off before returning to action from Richmond Raceway on April 13. After early contact at Auto Club relegated him to the back of the pack, XSET’s Ryan Luza will look to become the first two-time winner of 2021 by defending his triumph in last year’s event. Coverage will kick off at 8:30PM ET with iRacing Countdown to Green, while the race will begin at 9PM ET on eNASCAR.com/live, iRacing.com/live, and NASCAR and iRacing social media channels.

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

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