The eNASCAR Coca-Cola iRacing Series is headed to Southern California Tuesday. Here are the 10 drivers we’re watching at Auto Club Speedway.
Ashton Crowder, Elliott Sadler eSports
Rank: 10 (previously not ranked)
The return to the Coca-Cola iRacing Series for Ashton Crowder hasn’t been loaded with highlights like he’d hoped, but there’s one bright spot ahead: Fontana. Crowder held off Garrett Lowe to win last year’s race, and there’s no better place to get 2021 back on track.
Zack Nichols, Williams Esports
Rank: 9 (previously not ranked)
Zack Nichols showed some speed in the three races to open the season, including leading laps at Daytona, but there’s been no better display of the rookie’s potential than at Atlanta. In a race that featured green-flag pit stops at a track that prioritizes tire management, his third-place result should put him on the radar for Fontana and beyond.
Chris Shearburn, Letarte Esports
Rank: 8 (-3)
Chris Shearburn’s remarkable stretch of races seems to have fallen apart after a 23rd-place result at Las Vegas, and with Auto Club Speedway up next, it doesn’t exactly look promising: in four Fontana starts, he’s never logged a top 20.
Michael Conti, JR Motorsports
Rank: 7 (-3)
Fontana hasn’t been kind to Michael Conti. In seven starts, he’s finished in the top 10 just once: an eighth in 2019. Luckily for the Daytona winner, it’s not a terribly meaningful week — he just needs to keep his top-20 points position and he’s cruising to the playoffs.
Nick Ottinger, William Byron eSports
Rank: 6 (–)
We were starting to wonder if the defending-champ curse that struck Zack Novak and Ray Alfalla was a real phenomenon. Looks like the answer is no, as Nick Ottinger posted a solid second-place finish at Atlanta to complete the first-ever 1-2 finish for William Byron eSports. Ottinger won at Fontana back in 2014.
Steven Wilson, Roush Fenway Racing
Rank: 5 (previously not ranked)
It turns out rookie Steven Wilson’s second-place run at Las Vegas was no fluke; he backed up the performance with another top five at Atlanta, a notoriously tricky track. We see you, Driver No. 17.
Logan Clampitt, William Byron eSports
Rank: 4 (previously not ranked)
How about that? Logan Clampitt snapped a 44-race winless streak in Atlanta and proved he’s ready to compete for a championship. The leader of #ClampNation finished runner-up in Fontana in 2017, and momentum from the Atlanta win just might carry him back to such a performance.
Casey Kirwan, XSET
Rank: 3 (–)
After a top-10 finish at Atlanta, Casey Kirwan quietly continues to build his points lead. Team XSET has led the way in team standings so far this season, between Kirwan’s consistency and teammate Ryan Luza’s Homestead win. We expect a showing similar to recent weeks for the No. 38, especially given his seventh-place run in this race last year.
Keegan Leahy, 23XI Racing
Rank: 2 (–)
Somehow, Keegan Leahy’s never won at Fontana, though he’s won two poles and led a handful of laps in two races. His best finish is a runner-up to surprise winner Eric J. Smith in 2019. It feels like he can do one better in 2021.
Ryan Luza, XSET
Rank: 1 (–)
Ryan Luza may have already banked a win this year to secure a playoff spot, but that doesn’t mean he’ll take it easy until August. Luza’s won twice at Fontana — 2017 and 2018 — and he’ll look to rebound from a rough finish last year despite leading laps.
Catch the eNASCAR Coca-Cola iRacing Series live from Auto Club Speedway Tuesday, 9 p.m. ET, at eNASCAR.com/live.