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PEAK Series Power Rankings: An old challenger appears

The eNASCAR PEAK Antifreeze iRacing Series makes stop 12 in its 18-race season Tuesday, July 23 at Pocono Raceway (9 p.m. ET, eNASCAR.com). Points leader Keegan Leahy is the defending race winner.

 

Ray Alfalla (No. 21, Wood Brothers Racing)

Rank: 12 (NR)

“The guy who flipped last week? Are you crazy? He’s 27th in points!” All true, but don’t ignore Four-Time’s resume at the Tricky Triangle. In seven races, the 2013 Pocono winner has finished worse than eighth just once (2017). Plus, Alfalla’s struggled on pretty much every track with four turns this season — maybe a three-turn speedway is what the No. 21 team needs to finally rebound.

 

Brad Davies (No. 88, JR Motorsports)

Rank: 11 (NR)

With a 24.3 average finish in eight races, Pocono Raceway is not a strength for Brad Davies, but we have to give a shoutout to the JRM IT guy for consistency that’s put him 10th in points this season.

 

Christian Challiner (No. 37, JTG Daugherty Racing)

Rank: 10 (–)

Last year’s Pocono polesitter finished runner-up in the race and could certainly contend at the Tricky Triangle again Tuesday, especially since he’s coming off a streak of four straight finishes of 11th or better. Challiner’s kept the car clean, too, with a series-low 31 incident points (tied with Michael Conti) — the last one coming from a minor off-course ding at Sonoma last month.

 

Nick Ottinger (No. 47, JTG Daugherty Racing)

Rank: 9 (-2)

In the last three races, Nick Ottinger has finished sixth, sixth, and third — precisely what he needs to do to stay alive and make the playoffs. Pocono hasn’t been a particularly bright spot on Ottinger’s resume, though he did score a runner-up finish in 2013.

 

Jimmy Mullis (No. 46, Richmond Raceway Esports)

Rank: 8 (+1)

Jimmy Mullis posted his second runner-up finish of the season at Kentucky, and even though he’s just outside the playoff cut line, he’s still very much in contention — just six points behind Nick Ottinger.

 

Garrett Lowe (No. 28, Team Renegades)

Rank: 7 (-1)

Team Renegades’ Garrett Lowe has handled the pressure of his rookie season tremendously, finding himself fourth in points with three races before the playoffs. However, he finds himself at the top of a six-driver battle for a spot in the postseason — just 17 points from falling out of the top eight. His 11.7 average finish this season indicates he’s in solid shape if things continue.

 

Michael Conti (No. 8, JR Motorsports)

Rank: 6 (-2)

Michael Conti dominated the 2014 race at Pocono, starting from the pole and leading 81 laps en route to victory. A lot has changed in five years, though, including a re-scanned, re-paved Pocono and a new rules package.

 

Zack Novak (No. 6, Roush Fenway Racing) 

Rank: 5 (+3)

Keep an eye on Zack Novak at the Tricky Triangle. Not only has he won three races this season, he has an average finish of 6.0 — and that was before the 2019 rules where he’s truly excelled.

 

Blake Reynolds (No. 30, Team Dillon Esports)

Rank: 4 (+1)

Blake Reynolds is one of only three drivers with a bit less points pressure three races before the playoffs begin — he hasn’t finished worse than 13th since February, giving him a comfortable-ish 35-point buffer over ninth in points. Clearly, something’s working in the Team Dillon Esports camp.

 

Ryan Luza (No. 53, FlipSid3 Tactics)

Rank: 3 (-1)

The man who boasted a 20-race top-10 streak not long ago now has three finishes outside the top 20 in the past five races. His best finish at Pocono is a 10th-place effort last year.

 

Bobby Zalenski (No. 18, Joe Gibbs Racing)

Rank: 2 (+1)

Went a little heavy on the pine tree perfume there, kid? No, it’s just the clean mountain air of the Pocono Mountains.

 

Keegan Leahy (No. 62, G2 Esports)

Rank: 1 (–)

Kentucky was uncharacteristic for points leader Keegan Leahy — starting 35th, finishing 20th and leading no laps — but he won last year’s race at Pocono. Plus, he’s won every other race dating back to May, and the pattern suggests he’ll win Tuesday.

 

Tune in to Round 12 of the eNASCAR PEAK Antifreeze iRacing Series Tuesday, July 23 at 9 p.m. ET on eNASCAR.com.