The G.O.A.T.’s winless streak has ended at 25 races.
Ray Alfalla dominated in the eNASCAR Coca-Cola iRacing Series’ first-ever Friday-night race from Atlanta Motor Speedway, snapping a much-publicized separation from Victory Lane dating back to his 2018 championship-winning race.
— NASCAR (@NASCAR) May 30, 2020
Rookie Kollin Keister, who broke through for his first Coca-Cola Series victory in the series’ last race at Charlotte, continued his wave of momentum in the first half of the 167-lap event, snagging the lead from pole-sitter Corey Vincent early. Keister looked like the driver to beat for much of the event, maintaining control through a flurry of crashes involving contenders like Ryan Luza, defending series champ Zack Novak, and defending Atlanta winner Matt Bussa.
It was a different story in the second half of the race, however, as Alfalla, the four-time champ, marched his way toward the front from his 26th-place starting position, using his experience to navigate through green-flag pit stops and put himself in position atop the leaderboard.
Charges in the dwindling laps from Keister and Keegan Leahy weren’t enough to unseat Alfalla from first place – a familiar place for the Coca-Cola Series’ all-time wins leader – who cruised to the win, silencing those wondering if ‘4-Time’ still knew his way to Victory Lane.
Garrett Lowe surged late to finish second – his fourth runner-up finish of 2020 – while Caine Cook brought home a career-best third-place finish. Series veteran Chris Shearburn finished fourth, while Keegan Leahy faded to fifth when the checkered flag fell.
The end of a 25-race winless streak meant career victory No. 25 for Alfalla, who moved to upstart Team VRS for the 2020 season and returned to his familiar No. 2 machine. It’s the team’s first victory.
Alfalla failed to make the Coca-Cola Series top 20 in 2019, relegating him – even as a giant of the league – to the second-tier iRacing Pro Series in the off-season, where he responded by winning the championship to graduate back to his rightful place in the top series.
Alfalla, a mail carrier for the U.S. Postal Service, may just have plans to report for his working duties still in "uniform."
— Ray Alfalla (@rayalfalla) May 30, 2020
With Atlanta in the books, it means the regular season has reached its halfway point; eight races remain until the top-eight drivers fight for the winner’s $100,000 prize in the playoffs. Alfalla’s victory moves him to ninth in points, just two markers away from playoff contention.
Up next on the eNASCAR Coca-Cola iRacing Series menu is the series’ non-points All-Star Race on Tuesday, June 16. Details for the race will be announced soon on eNASCAR.com.