For the first time ever, the eNASCAR Coca-Cola iRacing Series heads to the Daytona International Speedway Road Course Tuesday. Here are the 10 drivers we’re watching when the world’s fastest sim racers turn left and right for the first time in 2020.
Chris Shearburn, Letarte Esports
Rank: 10 (previously not ranked)
The Michigan polesitter has been quite a pleasant surprise in recent weeks, climbing all the way up to a playoff spot with just a few races remaining in the regular season. Though experienced, Shearburn isn’t necessarily a road-course ace – but that doesn’t mean he can’t keep the momentum rolling into Daytona.
Ryan Luza, Williams Esports
Rank: 9 (-4)
Ryan Luza is really, really good. He’s an A-list champion driver in the Coca-Cola Series who’s second on the all-time wins list and boasts the highest start-to-win ratio out of anyone in series history. With all that being said, road courses are not his strength – like, at all. He has a career average finish of 30.3 on road courses with a career-best finish of 20th. We bet his focus is on moving past this week’s race.
Graham Bowlin, Joe Gibbs Racing
Rank: 8 (-4)
A driver with no Coca-Cola Series road course starts heading to a brand new track to the series? It sure makes expectations difficult to set, but the good news for Graham Bowlin is that he has just as much experience on the Daytona Road Course as the rest of the field.
Logan Clampitt, Burton-Kligerman Esports
Rank: 7 (+3)
With two top-10 finishes in a row, it would appear Logan Clampitt’s making his case for a playoff spot. He’s just four points shy of making it happen, but he’ll need to keep the momentum rolling at Daytona. Clampitt’s road-racing prowess might give him an edge on the drivers ahead of him on points, though beyond this week there are some tough tests ahead on the schedule. Perhaps the change of scenery – Clampitt’s in the middle of a cross-country move to North Carolina – can give his season a spark.
Garrett Lowe, Wood Brothers Racing
Rank: 6 (-5)
Michigan wasn’t the repeat-win performance Garrett Lowe hoped to have, finishing a dismal 35th after some crummy luck. Even with a bad day, he still holds a 48-point grasp on a playoff spot – something that probably feels pretty good heading into one of the biggest unknowns of the season.
Ray Alfalla, Team VRS
Rank: 5 (-3)
We’re not sure what happened to Ray Alfalla since May, but since returning to Victory Lane at Atlanta, he’s looked like the Ray Alfalla of old again – a weekly contender. If only everything else in 2020 went back to normal.
Keegan Leahy, Denny Hamlin Racing
Rank: 4 (-1)
He’s still searching for that first road-course victory, but it’ll happen soon – he’s Keegan Leahy, for goodness’ sake. One good thing the points leader has going for him heading to Daytona is that he’s heading back to the site of his win in this year’s season opener. Perhaps a sweep is in order?
Nick Ottinger, William Byron eSports
Rank: 3 (+4)
Nick Ottinger boasts a career average finish of 3.14 (pi, anyone?) on road courses in the Coca-Cola iRacing Series, including a win at Watkins Glen at 2015. Also, he’s really good at superspeedway racing. The Daytona Road Course combines both these things – a good sign for Ottinger fans.
Michael Conti, JR Motorsports
Rank: 2 (+4)
Michael Conti is really, really good at road courses in the Coca-Cola iRacing Series. He has just one road-racing win to his name – Watkins Glen in 2014 – but has only finished off the podium once in seven career road-course starts.
Bobby Zalenski, Team VRS
Rank: 1 (+8)
Who else could be the favorite on a road course than Bobby Zalenski? He was simply untouchable for the past several seasons – and now, with the challenge of a track that’s new to the series, Zalenski’s in position to pick up his first win of 2020.
??Catch the eNASCAR Coca-Cola iRacing Series race from the Daytona Road Course Tuesday, August 11, at eNASCAR.com/live.