Matt Bussa returned Kyle Long’s Mode Motorsports to the winner’s circle for the first time in 2022, saving just enough fuel to hold off 2019 series champion Zack Novak of Rise eSports in a dash to the finish of the Coca-Cola 150 at Charlotte Motor Speedway. While many of the front-runners, including polesitter and top lap leader Michael Conti of JR Motorsports, elected to pit under green-flag conditions, Bussa and Novak headed up a handful of drivers who were willing to take the risk on a long green-flag run to hold out.
Conti dominated the race until pitting on Lap 70, while XSET’s Casey Kirwan led 10 laps of his own before pitting. That left Malik Ray out front late at Charlotte for the second season in a row, but he couldn’t save enough fuel or keep the gap large enough to stave off Bussa and others. Bussa made the winning pass with five laps to go and hung on, running out of fuel on his cool-down lap.
World Wide Technology Raceway’s history is one of constant growth. Opened in 1967 as a drag strip, the facility added a road course in the 1980s before everything was demolished and a new oval was built on the grounds in the mid-1990s. Rechristened as Gateway International Raceway, the track re-opened in 1997 with what is now known as the NASCAR Xfinity Series on the bill. After a brief closure in 2011, the track has seen a resurgence of interest in recent years, culminating in its first-ever NASCAR Cup Series race later this week.
Following Gateway, the eNASCAR Coca-Cola iRacing Series takes on Nashville Superspeedway on Tuesday, June 21 at 9 p.m. ET. Last year, Nashville hosted eNASCAR’s All-Star Race to celebrate its revival, and current Rise eSports driver Jimmy Mullis passed Team Dillon eSports’ Corey Vincent on the final lap to earn the win. Much like Gateway, however, this will be the first time Nashville has hosted an eNASCAR points race.