History was at hand Thursday evening in the eNASCAR PEAK Antifreeze iRacing Series championship race from virtual Homestead-Miami Speedway.
For 17-year-old Zack Novak, he won his first career iRacing championship. For the series itself, Thursday night’s race was broadcast live on NBCSN, marking the first-ever eNASCAR championship telecast in a culmination of one of the series’ most prominent years to date.
Novak passed fellow Championship 4 driver Keegan Leahy, who dominated for much of the 140-lap race, for the lead with seven laps to go, then held off the G2 Esports driver who entered the race as the favorite. The two drivers were side-by-side coming out of Turn 4 on the final lap with Novak holding his line and staying just ahead of Leahy for the win. It was the series-best fourth win for the series champion.
"(Being called champion) sounds awesome," Novak told NBCSN. "That was a grind, all season long. Even the race itself was just a crazy grind and I can’t believe I’m in this position. … (Leahy) kept me real honest, raced very clean. I respected him and I tried to race him as clean as I could back and I hope I accomplished that."
Novak, who will take home $40,000, the largest share of the $100,000 prize pool, drives for Roush Fenway Racing. He won the inaugural eNASCAR IGNITE Series championship (a series for drivers aged 13-16) last year.
Fellow Championship 4 racers Bobby Zalenski (Joe Gibbs Racing) finished fourth and Blake Reynolds (Team Dillon Esports) took ninth.