It’s short-track time! The eNASCAR Coca-Cola iRacing Series heads to Richmond Raceway Tuesday night for the first race on a short track in 2021. Here’s what you need to know.
Race 6 of 18
0.75-mile D-shaped oval
Previous Richmond winners
Wins at Richmond come in pairs, it seems; since 2013, each race winner has won two races before handing the crown to somebody else.
2020: Ryan Luza
2019: Ryan Luza
2018: Ray Alfalla
2017: Ray Alfalla
2016: Kenny Humpe
2015: Kenny Humpe
2014: Nick Ottinger
2013: Nick Ottinger
2012: Steve Sheehan
2011: Ray Alfalla
2010: Richard Towler
Last year: Luza triples up
Ryan Luza went on an early-season tear last year, winning three races in a row after a big win at Richmond. Luza’s three-win streak was only the second in series history.
Cannot believe it.. 37TH TO FIRST!!! 🏁
— Ryan Luza (@RyanLuza) April 15, 2020
Last race: Bob Bryant wins first race at Fontana
Coca-Cola iRacing Series sophomore — but sim-racing veteran — Bob Bryant of Kligerman Sport claimed his first-ever win two weeks ago at Auto Club Speedway. Bryant made his way to the lead from a 26th-place starting position and bested other drivers employing a flurry of strategies, prevailing in the caution-free event.
Overwhelmed with happiness. This is the most difficult series on earth. I'm so thankful to the Drill Aisle and Team Conti guys that help make this car go fast, @KligermanSport for believing in me and @Valvoline for all of their support. PLAYOFFS BABY!!!#eNASCAR https://t.co/12Sz9NIJnx
— Bob Bryant (@BBryant53) March 31, 2021
Points picture after five races
1) Keegan Leahy (1 win)
2) Casey Kirwan -13
3) Logan Clampitt -14 (1 win)
4) Michael Conti -15 (1 win)
5) Michael Guest -16
6) Steven Wilson -25
T7) Chris Shearburn -27
T7) Nick Ottinger -27
9) Bobby Zalenski -28
10) Matt Bussa -32
11) Ryan Luza -34 (1 win)
12) Corey Vincent -34
Other playoff-eligible drivers:
15) Bob Bryant (1 win)
Ten drivers will compete in the playoffs and fight for a championship beginning in August.
What to expect at Richmond
Tuesday marks the first race at a short track in the 2021 season after starting the year with superspeedways and intermediate tracks — it’s going to mean a different complexion of a race compared to what we’re used to seeing. And let’s not forget last year’s running of the Richmond 200-lapper was a slugfest: the race was slowed 16 times for caution.
We’ve touched on it plenty, but it’s a good time to remember the Class of 2021 includes 11 rookies — and that means 11 drivers who’ve never competed at a short track at this level. That’s not to say they’ll have a rough time — they’re pros, after all — but experience could come into play.
In this year’s trip to Richmond, drivers will have a limited number of sets of tires, which will no doubt set up for varying strategies, fanning the flames of the track position vs. speed debate.
In our Power Rankings, we’re favoring the veterans this week. Richmond has hosted the Coca-Cola iRacing Series each year since its 2010 inception, and it’s historically been kinder to more experienced drivers. Ryan Luza’s a hot pick given his track record at Richmond, though don’t count out drivers like Jimmy Mullis, who showed up last year with speed until bad luck struck.
How to watch
Round 6 of the season airs live at 9 p.m. ET on Tuesday, April 13.