It’s playoff time! After a grueling season, eight eNASCAR Coca-Cola iRacing Series drivers will compete in a four-race stretch of races – with no off-weeks – culminating in a winner-take-all championship event at Homestead-Miami Speedway that awards $100,000 to first place.
Here’s how the eight contenders stack up heading into Tuesday’s opening round of the playoffs at the Charlotte Motor Speedway Roval.
Ryan Luza, Williams Esports
If there’s anybody who doesn’t like to see a road course in the playoffs, it’s Ryan Luza, who’s more of an oval specialist – in both iRacing and in real-world short tracks in Texas. His best finish at a road course in four series attempts is a 13th-place effort earlier this year at the Daytona Road Course. Another top 15 might feel like a win – and, if you count the nine playoff points earned from his three victories earlier in the year, it might not knock him out of contention.
Garrett Lowe, Wood Brothers Racing
We haven’t heard much from Garrett Lowe lately. He hasn’t scored a top-five finish since Indianapolis in June – and until now, he’s coasted on his mountain of points built up to open the year. He’ll need to return to early-season form if he plans to advance to Miami.
Ray Alfalla, Team VRS
He made it! One wrong move in the last-lap Talladega crash could have kept Four-Time out of the playoffs for the second year in a row, but he managed to dodge the chaos and establish himself as a championship contender again. Might we see a Five-Time in our future?
Keegan Leahy, Denny Hamlin Racing
Keegan Leahy’s not too shabby when it comes to road racing – or anything else sim-racing, really – but where we expect he’ll really shine is the Kansas-Texas run following the Roval. We expect a top-five-ish run out of the No. 32 before he cranks up the heat on the 1.5-milers.
Jimmy Mullis, Richmond Raceway eSports
So nice of you to join us, Jimmy! Jimmy Mullis made one heck of a run from counted-out to contender in the weeks leading up to the playoffs, clinching a spot after surviving Talladega. And now, officially in championship contention, a road course awaits, which is good news for Mullis, who finished runner-up at the Daytona Road Course earlier this season.
Michael Conti, JR Motorsports
Sneaky, sneaky! While Michael Conti hasn’t returned to Victory Lane yet this season, he managed to finish second in the regular-season standings. Such consistency will be key throughout the month of October, and Conti knows how to post rock-solid numbers when it comes to road courses.
Nick Ottinger, William Byron eSports
Nick Ottinger’s always a contender when it comes to road racing. He’s finished third in the last three road-course races, and he’s been showing off his practice hustle on Twitter all week. Expect Ottinger to rack up some points to start out the playoffs.
Bobby Zalenski, Team VRS
Bobby Zalenski’s on top of the world right now: he just won the regular-season championship and now heads to a road course, his specialty, to kick off the playoffs. History tells us there’s no reason to expect anything other than a win for the No. 83 Tuesday.
??Catch the eNASCAR Coca-Cola iRacing Series race from the Charlotte Roval Tuesday, Oct. 13, at eNASCAR.com/live.