Ottinger Zalenski Year In Review Enascar 2020

Coca-Cola iRacing Series season in review: 1st-10th


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, let’s take a look at the top 10 in final points, which includes the eight playoff drivers.

10. Logan Clampitt, No. 99 Burton Kligerman Esports

Logan Clampitt Headshot Preview

0 Wins
7 Top 5s
10 Top 10s
Average Finish: 14
Laps Led: 68
Incidents: 79

Despite an untimely Talladega heartbreak that knocked Logan Clampitt out of what looked like a safe playoff spot, the Burton Kligerman Esports driver has a lot about which to smile. The No. 99 was a weekly top-five contender, leading laps in seven races — and given his three straight top fives in three playoff races, he likely would have contended for a Championship 4 spot had he made the playoffs. There’s always next year.

9. Corey Vincent, No. 27 Renegades

Corey Vincent Headshot Preview

0 Wins
1 Top 5
8 Top 10s
Average Finish: 16
Laps Led: 8
Incidents: 114

In the weeks leading up to the playoffs, Corey Vincent made a steady march toward playoff contention, quite reminiscent of 2019. While it wasn’t enough to crack the top eight when it mattered, it probably feels pretty good to be the best of the rest, no?

8. Ray Alfalla, No. 2 Team VRS

Ray Alfalla Headshot Preview

1 Win
3 Top 5s
7 Top 10s
Average Finish: 16
Laps Led: 142
Incidents: 78

We questioned everything after Ray Alfalla’s 2019 collapse that kept him out of Victory Lane, out of the playoffs, and even below the relegation cutline. The four-time series champ responded by winning the iRacing Pro Series championship to graduate back to the Coca-Cola Series, returning to Victory Lane — finally — at Atlanta, and racing his way into the playoffs. He didn’t have a whole lot of luck in the four playoff races, but the G.O.A.T. at least proved he’s far from finished.

7. Garrett Lowe, No. 21 Wood Brothers Racing

Garrett Lowe Headshot Preview

0 Wins
6 Top 5s
9 Top 10s
Average Finish: 12
Laps Led: 12
Incidents: 87

Garrett Lowe was shut out of Victory Lane in 2020, but that’s not to say he was out to lunch. Lowe finished runner-up a remarkable four times and built up a mountain of points early in the year to coast into the playoffs. However, what’s curious to consider is a notable difference in performance from the first half to the second half of the season. Lowe logged a 9.3 average finish and six top fives in the first 10 races, but that number fell to 15.6 with no top fives in the final 10 events.

6. Keegan Leahy, No. 32 Denny Hamlin Racing

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3 Wins
8 Top 5s
9 Top 10s
Average Finish: 13
Laps Led: 385
Incidents: 103

Nobody entered 2020 with as much determination as Keegan Leahy, the oh-so-close runner up to the 2019 Coca-Cola iRacing Series championship. After winning the season opener at Daytona, he proved he meant business — as evidenced by two more victories and eight top-five finishes. His championship hopes disappeared in a flash at Kansas, where, after dominating the race, he tangled with Nick Ottinger in overtime and came home wrecked. A flat run the next week at Texas wasn’t enough to advance Leahy to the championship race, and we expect one of the fastest drivers in the series to return next year with a vengeance.

5. Jimmy Mullis, No. 46 Richmond Raceway eSports

Jimmy Mullis Headshot Preview

2 Wins
5 Top 5s
9 Top 10s
Average Finish: 15
Laps Led: 229
Incidents: 78

Jimmy Mullis knows how to turn up the heat when it’s crunch time. A relatively pedestrian season — spotted with bad luck — positioned Mullis safely out of relegation, but not much of a contender for a playoff spot. Then, in July at New Hampshire, he flipped a switch, bringing home a win and fighting his way toward the top eight. A second win at Las Vegas inched Mullis closer, and then a gutsy top-five performance at Talladega sealed the deal for the No. 46 after Logan Clampitt fell short of the top eight. In the playoffs, Mullis scored a runner-up finish at the Charlotte Roval and notched a sixth place at Kansas, but an incident at Texas kept him out of the Championship 4. If Mullis can keep the gremlins away in 2021, he’s a threat for the title.

4. Ryan Luza, No. 53 Williams Esports

Ryan Luza Headshot Preview

3 Wins
6 Top 5s
10 Top 10s
Average Finish: 16
Laps Led: 383
Incidents: 98

Ryan Luza wasn’t far from becoming a two-time Coca-Cola iRacing Series champion this year. After all, he scratched and clawed his way to a spot in the Championship 4 — even after he thought he was finished after a crash at Texas — and followed up with a championship-caliber effort in the Homestead finale. Despite leading the most laps, it wasn’t meant to be for Luza, who crashed out late while racing for the lead with Bobby Zalenski. Luza once again proved he can contend just about anywhere (road courses notwithstanding), and we expect he’ll make some noise again in 2021. Let’s not forget, the 2017 champ won three races in a row in the spring.

3. Michael Conti, No. 8 JR Motorsports

Michael Conti Headshot Preview

1 Win
7 Top 5s
11 Top 10s
Average Finish: 12
Laps Led: 269
Incidents: 46

A second Coca-Cola iRacing Series title wasn’t in the cards for 2014 series champion Michael Conti, but it’s hard to be upset about a Championship 4 appearance. In a 1-2 finish with JR Motorsports teammate Brad Davies, Conti returned to Victory Lane at Texas, snapping a 37-race winless streak, and more importantly, overcoming an early playoff mishap where a missed shift at the Charlotte Roval ended his night early. The veteran can also boast about his clean driving record: His 46 incident-points recorded over the course of the 20-race season were the lowest of all full-time drivers. We expect more of the same from Conti in 2021.

2. Bobby Zalenski, No. 83 Team VRS

Bobbyzalenski Headshot Preview

3 Wins
10 Top 5s
15 Top 10s
Average Finish: 9
Laps Led: 254
Incidents: 56

This was undoubtedly the breakout season for Bobby Zalenski, who led the series in top 10s, top fives, and tied heavy hitters Keegan Leahy and Ryan Luza with a series-high three wins. After his season, it’s no longer reasonable to push him to the margins as "just the road-course guy" — though, he still holds the title after winning six road races in a row. A questionable tire strategy (or, too many late restarts, depending which way you look at it) ultimately kept Zalenski from the championship trophy at Homestead, but he’s cemented himself as a contender. Plus, as long as a road course remains in the playoffs, he’s likely a Championship 4 lock.

1. Nick Ottinger, No. 25 William Byron Esports

Nick Ottinger Headshot Preview

2 Wins
9 Top 5s
13 Top 10s
Average Finish: 10
Laps Led: 173
Incidents: 56

Finally! After nine years of trying, Nick Ottinger’s a champion. In the first year for William Byron Esports, Ottinger managed to snag two victories — Dover and the Kansas playoff race — and more importantly, outdueled the Championship 4 field at Homestead after a hard-fought, strategy-laden battle. His season — particularly the second half — was impeccable: in the last 12 races, he finished outside the top 10 just once (37th in July at Michigan). It was a season of determination and grit — the longest season in history — and Ottinger outlasted everybody. And now, 2020 eNASCAR Coca-Cola iRacing Series champion Nick Ottinger is $100,000 richer.

Stay tuned to eNASCAR.com for more coverage of the eNASCAR Coca-Cola iRacing Series, which returns in 2021.