Bobby Zalenski finally added his name to the list of winners in the 2019 eNASCAR Peak Antifreeze iRacing Season after a convincing victory on Tuesday night at Sonoma Raceway.
Zalenski led all 55 laps in the predetermined caution-free event, outrunning second place finisher Michael Conti by over eight seconds.
“This is my most favorite track on the sim, and just in general,” Zalenski said to RaceSpot TV in the post-race celebration. “I just love this place, you know, it’s a California track, you could call it a home track, and I just love this place.
“Everytime I come here, I have a different attitude than I come with anywhere else, where I’m just dead set on winning. That is the goal.
“Boy, oh boy, we delivered, and that’s a huge relief, and I’m just stoked.”
Zalenski is 3-for-3 in a row at Sonoma Raceway after his victory tonight.
Even though the event would not see any caution flags, there were still multiple incidents throughout the event.
On the very first lap, defending series champion, Ray Alfalla, as well as the driver of the No. 5 Williams eSports Toyota, Matt Bussa, were forced to retire after heavy damage.
The current series points leader, Ryan Michael Luza, also had his fair share of incidents, most notably coming with just under ten laps to go, when he spun into the tires and back out on to the track, collecting Garrett Lowe and Jake Nichols.
Both Lowe and Nichols were hovering around a Top 10 finish before the incident, but were relegated to lap down finishes of 17th and 28th, respectively. Luza retired after that incident to come home in 33rd.
One of the most bizarre incidents of the day came after the final round of pit stops. Last week’s winner, Keegan Leahy, was battling for third with Talladega winner, Nick Ottinger. Leahy struck a rumble strip in a fashion that sent his car on two wheels, and Ottinger had nowhere to go but into Leahy’s tilted vehicle.
Leahy flipped a couple of times, but landed on all four wheels. In a style that can only be compared to Dale Earnhardt at the 1997 Daytona 500, Leahy still had all his parts and pieces, and the car was still drive-able, so he did just that, coming home with a fourth place finish.
Zalenski becomes the first ever official race winner for Coach Joe Gibbs in the world of eNASCAR, adding to an impressive list of race winners in the rest of the NASCAR world, and an impressive 2019 season altogether for Gibbs, who was recently named as a 2020 NASCAR Hall of Fame inductee.
Only 14 of the 39 drivers finished on the lead lap on Tuesday night.
Zalenski moves into the Top 8 in the points standings again, but not by much.
Luza’s points gap has shrunk down to a mere five points over Leahy entering the next event at Chicagoland Speedway. Zack Novak was victorious in the event in 2018.
Burn it down, Bobby. You earned that one! 🔥🏁
— iRacing.com (@iRacing) June 12, 2019
- 18 – Bobby Zalenski – Joe Gibbs Racing
- 8 – Michael Conti – JR Motorsports
- 47 – Nick Ottinger – JTG Daugherty Racing
- 62 – Keegan Leahy – G2 eSports
- 99 – Logan Clampitt – Burton Kligerman eSports
- 37 – Christian Challiner – JTG Daugherty Racing
- 14 – Casey Kirwan – Clint Bowyer Racing
- 46 – Jimmy Mullis – Richmond Raceway eSports
- 30 – Blake Reynolds – Team Dillon eSports
- 27 – Corey Vincent – Renegades
- 88 – Brad Davies – JR Motorsports
- 75 – Philip Diaz – Mode Motorsports
- 6 – Zack Novak – Roush Fenway Racing
- 77 – Ashton Crowder – Burton Kligerman eSports
- 74 – Taylor Hurst – Independent
- 42 – Dylan Duval – Independent
- 28 – Garrett Lowe – Renegades
- 36 – Chris Shearburn – Letarte eSports
- 16 – Chris Overland – Wood Brothers Racing
- 79 – Nickolas Shelton – Clint Bowyer Racing
- 3 – Michael Guariglia – Independent
- 51 – Eric J. Smith – Independent
- 17 – Michael Guest – Roush Fenway Racing
- 2 – Caine Cook – Independent
- 4 – Nathan Lyon – Letarte eSports
- 19 – Casey Tucker – Independent
- 24 – Cody Byus – Mode Motorsports
- 20 – Jake Nichols – Joe Gibbs Racing
- 80 – Brandon Hayse Kettelle – Independent
- 31 – Logan Kress – Independent
- 7 – Ryan Lowe – Independent
- 83 – Adam Benefiel – Independent
- 53 – Ryan Michael Luza – FlipSid3 Tactics
- 55 – Brian Schoenburg – Williams eSports
- 33 – Benjamin W. Nelson – Team Dillon eSports
- 66 – Jarl Teien – G2 eSports
- 63 – Timmy Hill – FlipSid3 Tactics
- 21 – Ray Alfalla – Wood Brothers Racing
- 5 – Matt Bussa – Williams eSports
Did Not Race: 90 – Malik Ray – Richmond Raceway eSports
Columnist / Reporter / Photographer / Webmaster for TheRacingExperts.com