Zalenski Survives Triple Overtime to Earn eNASCAR Victory at Pocono

Zalenski Survives Triple Overtime to Earn eNASCAR Victory at Pocono

What had initially looked to be a fuel mileage race turned into a triple-overtime battle of survival as the eNASCAR Coca-Cola Series made its return to Pocono Raceway on Tuesday night. When all was said and done, seven cautions in the final third of the race turned the event from a typical superspeedway event to feeling like a short track, but it was Letarte Esports’ Bobby Zalenski who hung on to score his first win of the season and finally punch his playoff ticket in the latest twist of a dramatic and unpredictable season.

“I wasn’t gonna let that go—I was gonna race hard for that,” Zalenski said after taking his ninth career series win. “Thankfully, I had a friend up front with Mitchell (deJong), we’ve been friends for year. It’s great. It’s been a high pressure year, especially on the road courses with Mitchell. we’re going to have a hell a battle next week for you guys for sure.”

Normally unbeatable on road courses, Zalenski entered Pocono still looking for a victory after 23XI’s Mitchell deJong broke his perfect record on those tracks at Circuit of the Americas earlier this year. But before next week’s inaugural visit to Road America will likely crown the first repeat winner of the year between one of the duo, the Fresno, California native took away some of the sense of urgency a week early by becoming the series’ record-extending 10th different winner to start the season. Ironically enough, deJong and Zalenski are also part of the only teams with both drivers having taken wins this season, as deJong’s teammate Keegan Leahy and Zalenski’s teammate Chris Shearburn have already made trips to the winner’s circle.

Pit strategy looked to be the name of the game early on. Many of the front runners would pit on Lap 20 to establish a three-stop gameplan, others would come down on Lap 31 to shoot for two stops, and a small group would attempt to stretch fuel mileage to one stop, with Mode Motorsports’ Matt Bussa making it the longest among them. But the playing field would reset with 20 laps to go, as Elliott Sadler Esports’ Ashton Crowder would turn Leahy around in Turn 1, with the William Byron Esports pairing of polesitter Nick Ottinger and Logan Clampitt and JR Motorsports’ Michael Conti all involved.

With many of the fastest cars out of the race, Zalenski would settle into the lead and that would essentially close it out. With a succession of six more cautions, basically in a row, Zalenski’s strong restarts would enable him to close the deal, even as deJong would climb to second after getting past Crowder on one of the green flags. None of the three overtime attempts would make it to the white flag, with another wreck adding insult to injury for Conti among others on the final attempt.

Full results from Tuesday’s eNASCAR Coca-Cola iRacing Series race from Pocono Raceway were as follows:

Fin.

St.

No.

Name

Manufacturer

Laps

Interval

Led

Best

Pts

1 4 83 Bobby Zalenski Chevrolet 100 38 53.188 40
2 20 51 Ray Alfalla Toyota 100 -0.138 0 53.127 35
3 9 23 Mitchell deJong Toyota 100 -0.859 0 53.021 34
4 13 1 Ashton Crowder Toyota 100 -1.083 0 53.064 33
5 6 77 Bob Bryant Chevrolet 100 -1.387 0 53.112 32
6 7 55 Vicente Salas Ford 100 -2.165 1 53.160 31
7 10 17 Steven Wilson3 Ford 100 -3.136 2 53.151 30
8 35 29 Zack Nichols Ford 100 -4.944 4 53.456 29
9 11 21 Garrett Lowe Ford 100 -7.453 0 52.990 28
10 39 47 Brian Schoenburg Chevrolet 100 -8.114 18 53.218 27
11 14 41 Dylan Duval Ford 100 -9.217 0 53.059 26
12 19 18 Femi Olat Toyota 100 -9.799 0 53.422 25
13 37 90 Zack Novak Toyota 100 -10.726 1 53.445 24
14 30 67 Allen Boes Chevrolet 100 -13.918 0 53.387 23
15 16 10 Graham A. Bowlin Ford 100 -15.532 1 53.455 22
16 12 38 Casey Kirwan Ford 100 -17.057 0 53.212 21
17 32 9 Michael Guest Ford 100 -17.460 0 53.379 20
18 18 66 Blake Reynolds Chevrolet 100 -19.945 0 53.077 19
19 34 46 Jimmy Mullis Toyota 100 -20.252 0 53.300 18
20 31 14 Blade Whitt Ford 100 -21.846 0 53.246 17
21 24 2 Garrett Manes Toyota 100 -22.315 0 53.347 16
22 40 75 Matt Bussa Ford 100 -22.536 5 53.518 15
23 17 4 Ryan Michael Luza Ford 100 -24.569 0 53.489 14
24 21 15 Caine Cook Ford 100 -24.962 0 53.487 13
25 29 6 Nathan Lyon Ford 100 -25.069 0 53.318 12
26 26 24 Jake Nichols Ford 100 -25.456 0 53.271 11
27 2 88 Brad Davies Chevrolet 100 -27.420 9 53.189 10
28 23 16 John Gorlinsky Ford 100 -27.577 0 53.348 9
29 38 33 Taylor Hurst Chevrolet 100 -28.839 0 53.543 8
30 28 52 Jake Matheson Ford 100 -29.491 0 53.712 7
31 27 44 Anthony Burroughs Chevrolet 100 -30.324 0 53.435 6
32 3 8 Michael Conti Chevrolet 100 -30.552 10 53.103 5
33 5 32 Keegan Leahy Toyota 100 -33.366 0 53.292 4
34 33 37 Derek Justis Chevrolet 100 -33.992 0 53.222 3
35 15 36 Chris Shearburn Chevrolet 100 -39.639 0 53.572 2
36 25 79 Ryan Doucette Ford 96 -4 L 0 53.294 1
37 8 97 Logan Clampitt Chevrolet 96 -4 L 0 52.955 1
38 36 3 Corey Vincent Chevrolet 95 -5 L 0 53.357 1
39 22 11 Malik Ray Ford 92 -8 L 0 53.335 1
40 1 25 Nick Ottinger Chevrolet 81 -19 L 11 53.093 1

 

The eNASCAR Coca-Cola iRacing Series playoff grid through 10 rounds is as follows:

  1. Keegan Leahy, 1 win, 268 points
  2. Bobby Zalenski, 1 win, 227 points
  3. Logan Clampitt, 1 win, 220 points
  4. Vicente Salas, 1 win, 216 points
  5. Bob Bryant, 1 win, 215 points
  6. Ryan Luza, 1 win, 212 points
  7. Michael Conti, 1 win, 210 points
  8. Mitchell deJong, 1 win, 206 points
  9. Chris Shearburn, 1 win, 190 points
  10. Michael Guest, 241 points

The eNASCAR Coca-Cola iRacing Series returns to action immediately next week with its first-ever visit to Road America. As always, coverage begins with iRacing Countdown to Green at 8:30PM ET, with the racing action picking up at 9PM ET on eNASCAR.com/live and iRacing’s social media channels. For more information on iRacing and for special offers, visit www.iRacing.com.

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