The eNASCAR Coca-Cola iRacing Series playoffs march on Tuesday for the second of four races, this time at Kansas Speedway. If one of the eight playoff drivers wins, he will advance to the winner-take-all championship event at Homestead-Miami Speedway that awards $100,000 to first place, joining Bobby Zalenski, who took home the victory at the Charlotte Motor Speedway Roval.
Here’s how the eight contenders stack up heading into Kansas.
Ryan Luza, Williams Esports
Thanks to his three wins in the regular season, Ryan Luza started off the playoffs with nine bonus points – something to help buffer his usually-not-great road-course results. Luckily for the 2017 series champ, the rest of the season takes place at 1.5-mile tracks, meaning it’s quite possible we’ll see a resurgence of his early-season magic. The bad news? Luza’s made one start at Kansas: a 36th-place DNF last year.
Ray Alfalla, Team VRS
"Four-Time" didn’t have a great start to the playoffs, coming home 24th at the Charlotte Roval. Luckily for him, Kansas lies ahead, where he has finished ninth and second in his previous two starts – though, points-wise, he’s starting out the playoffs in a bit of a hole.
Michael Conti, JR Motorsports
It’s hard to imagine a worse start to the playoffs than Michael Conti’s, making the accidental downshift to second gear instead of upshift to fourth gear on Lap 10 (come on, Conti – paddle shifters!). Kansas hasn’t been kind to Conti, either; he has finished no better than 24th in three attempts. With a 37-point gap to the top four, he’s going to need to swing for the fences.
Garrett Lowe, Wood Brothers Racing
Garrett Lowe kicked off the playoffs with a sixth-place result, his best finish since June. He finished runner-up last year at Kansas, which would be a great time to rack up some more points – and maybe revisit the $500 side bet with his team owner.
Keegan Leahy, Denny Hamlin Racing
Kansas might just be the place for Keegan Leahy to secure his place in the Championship 4. He won in his first outing to the track in 2018 and then followed it up with a pole-winning run in 2019. We know Leahy’s always a contender on intermediate tracks, and with $100,000 in his sights, he must be considered one of the favorites.
Jimmy Mullis, Richmond Raceway eSports
It would appear Jimmy Mullis is peaking at the right time. After his impressive march up the standings into the top eight in the nick of time, Mullis kicked off the playoffs with his second consecutive road-course runner-up finish. He had rotten luck at Kansas last year, but he’ll look to extend his current top-five streak to a fourth race.
Nick Ottinger, William Byron eSports
Sure, everybody’s talking about Bobby Zalenski’s six wins in a row, but let’s tip our caps to Nick Ottinger’s road-course accomplishment: four consecutive third-place finishes. Not too shabby! Looking to Kansas, Ottinger’s a past winner – he scored the win in the series’ first trip there in 2013.
Bobby Zalenski, Team VRS
BFZ once again proved he’s totally untouchable when there’s a road course in the mix, winning at the Roval and locking himself into the Championship 4. While he could, if he wanted, kick back for the next two weeks, that’s not the Zalenski style.
??Catch the eNASCAR Coca-Cola iRacing Series race Tuesday from Kansas Speedway Tuesday at eNASCAR.com/live.