Before the eNASCAR Coca-Cola iRacing Series settles its 2022 playoff grid, the series takes a quick detour to downtown Chicago for its annual All-Star Race on Tuesday night. As always, race coverage begins at 9PM ET at eNASCAR.com/live and across iRacing social media channels, while Countdown to Green will kick off at 8:30PM ET to preview the action.
Last Race: In one of the most classic finishes in eNASCAR history—and in eNASCAR Overtime, to boot—XSET’s Casey Kirwan secured his first win of the season in a drag race to the line with Rise Esports driver Zack Novak two weeks ago at Pocono Raceway. After two previous attempts to finish the race didn’t make it to the white flag, Kirwan would pull to the inside of Novak coming off the final corner and muscle into the top spot coming to the finish line, winning by just one hundredth of a second in shades of the classic Ricky Craven-Kurt Busch battle at Darlington Raceway in 2003.
Last Year: In celebration of its first-ever NASCAR Cup Series race in 2021, Nashville Superspeedway hosted last year’s All-Star Race in preparation for its first points-paying round earlier this year. Current Rise Esports driver Jimmy Mullis came out on top, outdueling Team Dillon Esports’ Corey Vincent on the final lap shortly after Vincent took the lead from Bob Bryant with five laps to go. Michael Guest of Jim Beaver eSports was the top finisher among the three drivers who advanced through the All-Star Open, coming third in the feature.
Track Facts: Designed by iRacing in collaboration with NASCAR after scanning the city streets in fall 2020, the Chicago Street Circuit will host NASCAR’s first Cup Series street race on Independence Day weekend next year. The layout clocks in at just over two miles and counts Michigan Avenue and Lake Shore Drive among its famous roadways, with iconic landmarks like Grant Park and the Buckingham Fountain in the background.
Event Facts: Tuesday’s All-Star Race will feature any driver who has a win or pole to their name in either the 2021 or 2022 season so far, a list that includes nearly half of the current series roster; former eNASCAR driver Bryant will also return to the field as a one-off, thanks to his win at Auto Club Speedway last spring. The remaining active eNASCAR drivers will do battle in the All-Star Open for the two transfer spots on the line into the big show.
Next Race: Following the All-Star Race, the eNASCAR Coca-Cola iRacing Series season resumes on Tuesday, August 16 at 9PM ET with a trip to Watkins Glen International. Last year’s Watkins Glen trip saw Graham Bowlin surprise the road racing establishment, scoring his first eNASCAR win by holding off Mitchell deJong and Bobby Zalenski in what had been a win-or-die playoff scenario.
Image via Justin Melillo