Call him Jimmy July.
Jimmy Mullis claimed his third career victory in the eNASCAR Coca-Cola iRacing Series Tuesday night at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, continuing a curious theme: his third win in three seasons in the month of July.
Mullis kept his Richmond Raceway eSports Toyota out front throughout a flurry of late-race cautions at the ‘Magic Mile’ to outduel Matt Bussa and Nick Ottinger in the closing laps of the 157-miler, extended six laps due to overtime.
Rookie Graham Bowlin started the race in pole position and showed the way for the first 41 laps. Bowlin, still chasing his first points-paying win of the season, found himself six points out of a playoff position heading into Tuesday’s race, meaning a strong run was a welcome sight.
The sole lead change of the night came when Mullis, who started second, made his way past Bowlin’s Joe Gibbs Racing machine on Lap 42. While Bowlin’s car showed speed on fresh tires, he’d tend to give up track position as each run progressed.
The theme of this trip to New Hampshire, however, was carnage. While not unusual for the tricky flat track, the caution flag flew a whopping 11 times for incident, wrinkling fenders and feelings. The latter, most notably, happened in a crash with 21 laps to go between Ryan Luza and Zack Novak. Luza made contact with Novak’s car, raising the ire of the defending season champion, who had been running in the top 10 at the time of contact.
Despite the on-track action, not even an agonizing nine restarts couldn’t keep anybody from touching Jimmy Mullis, who also won the previous race at New Hampshire in 2018. Mullis held on to lead 116 laps – more than double any of his other races prior – on his way to his first win of the season.
It was a much-needed victory for the 19-year-old, who vaulted five positions in points to ninth, just one spot and 19 points shy a playoff position with six races remaining in the regular season. The championship winner earns a $100,000 payday, so Mullis might want to keep the momentum rolling.
The good news for Jimmy July? There’s still one race left before the calendar flips to August.
The eNASCAR Coca-Cola iRacing Series heads to Michigan International Speedway for Round 11 of the season on July 28.