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Coca-Cola iRacing Series season in review: 21st-30th

With the record-setting 2020 eNASCAR Coca-Cola iRacing Series season in the rearview mirror, we’re breaking down the season driver by driver for the world’s fastest sim racers. This week, we’re looking at the racers who ended up ranked 21st through 30th in points, coming up just short of a guaranteed spot in next year’s series.

30. Michael Guariglia, No. 15 Jim Beaver eSports

Michael Guariglia Headshot Preview

0 Wins
1 Top 5
2 Top 10s
Average Finish: 23
Laps Led: 58
Incidents: 88

The sophomore slump was real for Michael Guariglia, who slogged through a rough first half of the season. He managed to impress during the playoffs, however, scoring a seventh-place finish at Las Vegas and a fifth at Kansas after nearly stealing the race win.

29. Brandon Hayes Kettelle, No. 14 Clint Bowyer Racing

Brandon Kettelle Headshot Preview

1 Win
1 Top 5
4 Top 10s
Average Finish: 22
Laps Led: 36
Incidents: 98

Finally, a winner! It was a long time coming, but Brandon Kettelle finally notched his first career victory after 63 tries thanks to a flawless Talladega performance. Occasional bright spots couldn’t make up for some not-so-good finishes, however, and Kettelle will return to the iRacing Pro Series over the winter in hopes of a Coca-Cola Series return in 2021.

28. Kollin Keister, No. 17 Roush Fenway Racing

Kollin Keister Headshot Preview

1 Win
2 Top 5s
5 Top 10s
Average Finish: 21
Laps Led: 174
Incidents: 104

Kollin Keister is likely thinking about what could have been had he not missed two races over the course of the season. Even as a rookie, he made a convincing statement by grabbing his first career win in the longest race of the year at Charlotte — but zero points at Dover and Daytona contributed to his 28-point gap from the top 20 at the end of the season. If he’d started those races and finished in his season-average 21st position, he’d handily make the top 20. Instead, it’s back to the Pro Series.

27. Chris Overland, No. 16 Wood Brothers Racing

Chris Overland Headshot Preview

0 Wins
2 Top 5s
2 Top 10s
Average Finish: 22
Laps Led: 14
Incidents: 113

Chris Overland’s still searching for that first-career victory, and came close in the championship race by finishing second to Chris Shearburn. For now, he’s relegated to the winter iRacing Pro Series, where he’s graduated back to the Coca-Cola iRacing Series the past two seasons.

26. Eric J. Smith, No. 9 Jim Beaver eSports

Eric J Smith Headshot Preview

0 Wins
3 Top 5s
5 Top 10s
Average Finish: 22
Laps Led: 3
Incidents: 113

While he wasn’t able to work his rookie-season magic and snag a win this year, Eric J. Smith came close, finishing second in two consecutive superspeedway races. He may have earned himself the title of best pusher in the series, though he’ll need a little luck over the winter to return for a third season.

25. Michael Guest, No. 33 Team Dillon eSports

Michael Guest Headshot Preview

0 Wins
0 Top 5s
4 Top 10s
Average Finish: 22
Laps Led: 21
Incidents: 82

It’s back to the iRacing Pro Series for the second year in a row for Michael Guest, who’s still seeking his first Coca-Cola iRacing Series victory. The 2020 season wasn’t much to write home about in terms of the results sheet, though Guest often showed top-10 speed. Fun tidbit: Guest has never disconnected from the server in all 56 career races; that never-give-up attitude will come in handy over the winter as he looks to return for a fourth season.

24. Dylan Duval, No. 41 Stewart-Haas eSports

Dylan Duval Headshot Preview

0 Wins
1 Top 5
2 Top 10s
Average Finish: 22
Laps Led: 2
Incidents: 107

A top-20 points finish looked like it was in the cards for Dylan Duval heading into the season finale, but the bad luck bug bit the No. 41 as it did numerous times throughout the season, and the Nova Scotian ended up 13 points out. His best run of the season came at Dover, where he finished third behind Nick Ottinger and Brad Davies — a race that seemed to favor the series veterans.

23. Matt Bussa, No. 5 Williams Esports

Matt Bussa Headshot Preview

0 Wins
1 Top 5
3 Top 10s
Average Finish: 21
Laps Led: 2
Incidents: 104

It sure seems like Matt Bussa used up all his luck by reaching the Championship 4 in 2018. Since then, it’s like he’s carried a black cat under a ladder on Friday the 13th. For instance, Bussa entered the championship race 20th in points — in position to avoid relegation — then came home 25th at Homestead after a rough night, dropping him out of the top 20. He’ll look to shed the monkey off his back over the offseason and return to 2018-esque pace next year.

22. Nathan Lyon, No. 6 Roush Fenway Racing

Nathan Lyon Headshot Preview

0 Wins
1 Top 5
3 Top 10s
Average Finish: 22
Laps Led: 4
Incidents: 72

Though he didn’t crack the top 20 in the final standings, Nathan Lyon showed marked improvement in results compared to his rookie season, where he ended the year 35th. He seemed to hit his stride later in the season, scoring four top-20 finishes in a row heading into the championship race. The speed’s there, though; eight times he qualified in the top 10.

21. Zack Novak, No. 90 Richmond Raceway eSports

Zack Novak Headshot Preview

0 Wins
3 Top 5s
5 Top 10s
Average Finish: 22
Laps Led: 27
Incidents: 106

Few could have predicted the defending Coca-Cola iRacing Series champion to struggle after an incredible 2019 championship season. Much like Ray Alfalla’s 2018 championship season that led to a 2019 shutout and relegation, Novak stayed out of the wins column in 2020 despite leading the series in victories on his way to the 2019 title. To put into perspective, the difference from this year to last year, Novak led 27 laps all season — across 20 races — compared to 2019, where he led more than 27 laps in five different races. He’ll have his work cut out for him in the iRacing Pro Series over the winter if he wants to try for a second Coca-Cola Series title.

Catch our season review of eNASCAR Coca-Cola iRacing Series drivers ranked 11th-20th on eNASCAR.com next week.