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Bobby Zalenski dominates, wins inaugural Daytona Road Course event

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Photo by Justin Melillo / TRE via iRacing.com.

THE VIRTUAL DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. β€” The eNASCAR Coca-Cola iRacing Series is a collection of the best oval sim racers on the iRacing platform, but as they do in real life NASCAR, sometimes the schedule requires both left and right turns to be made.

Originally, the series was set to return to Watkins Glen International, but after the real life race was cancelled and replaced, and with the upcoming real life action this weekend in Daytona Beach, the series officials opted to change up the schedule slightly.

Since 2017, Bobby Zalenski has been the man to beat on these road events. Since his entrance into the top echelon of oval sim racing, he’s collected three straight wins at Sonoma Raceway and a win last season in the inaugural Charlotte Motor Speedway ROVAL race.

Now, Zalenski can add Daytona International Speedway – NASCAR Road Course expert to his resumΓ©, as he was able to lead all 45 laps and win in dominating fashion on Tuesday night.

“I’m happy we went here instead of Watkins Glen, because it was a new track that we all had to go to,” Zalenski said post-race in virtual victory lane. “I know guys like (Michael) Conti and (Nick) Ottinger are killers at The Glen, and I would almost be playing catch up there.”

The win is Zalenski’s fifth straight road course victory, and sixth overall.

***

As all eNASCAR Coca-Cola iRacing Series road races are, the race went green from start to finish, with no cautions for any incident.

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Photo by Justin Melillo / TRE via iRacing.com.

A few times, some cars had found some misfortune. Early retirements included Brian Schoenburg, Kollin Keister, Jarl Teien, and Chris Overland, all of which fell out before halfway due to some sort of damage or incident.

The battle for second was close, as Jimmy Mullis edged Nick Ottinger for the runner-up spot. Christian Challiner and Logan Clampitt had a spirited battle throughout the race, and respectively rounded out the Top 5.

With Zalenski’s win, Virtual Racing School becomes the second team to send both drivers to victory lane in 2020, as Ray Alfalla won one back in May at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Both drivers are currently in playoff contention, with Zalenski in second in the standings, and Alfalla in sixth.

Only four races remain until the 2020 eNASCAR Coca-Cola iRacing Series playoffs, and the battle for the bubble is still fairly close. After the last race, Chris Shearburn and Graham Bowlin shared the final spot, with the tie going to Shearburn. After Tuesday’s race, neither are in as they run.

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Photo by Justin Melillo / TRE via iRacing.com.

Clampitt moves into the final spot by only five points over Mullis and Bowlin. Shearburn falls back to 11th and is 14 points below the cutoff after a 23rd place effort at Daytona.

The series stays in Daytona Beach for it’s next race, a trip to the oval track for a second time in the 2020 season. Points Leader Keegan Leahy was victorious at the track back in February.

 

DAYTONA ROAD 45 RACE RESULTS:

  1. 83 – Bobby Zalenski – Virtual Racing School
  2. 46 – Jimmy Mullis – Richmond Raceway eSports
  3. 25 – Nick Ottinger – William Byron eSports
  4. 37 – Christian Challiner – JTG Daugherty Racing
  5. 99 – Logan Clampitt – Burton Kligerman eSports
  6. 27 – Corey Vincent – Renegades
  7. 8 – Michael Conti – JR Motorsports
  8. 21 – Garrett Lowe – Wood Brothers Racing
  9. 32 – Keegan Leahy – Denny Hamlin Racing
  10. 90 – Zack Novak – Richmond Raceway eSports
  11. 24 – Jake Nichols – Mode Motorsports
  12. 41 – Dylan Duval – Stewart-Haas eSports
  13. 53 – Ryan Michael Luza – Williams eSports
  14. 18 – Graham A. Bowlin – Joe Gibbs Racing
  15. 3 – Blake Reynolds – Team Dillon eSports
  16. 77 – Bob Bryant – Burton Kligerman eSports
  17. 5 – Matt Bussa – Williams eSports
  18. 88 – Brad Davies – JR Motorsports
  19. 23 – Casey Kirwan – Denny Hamlin Racing
  20. 97 – John Gorlinsky – William Byron eSports
  21. 6 – Nathan Lyon – Roush Fenway Racing
  22. 55 – Caine Cook – Renegades
  23. 36 – Chris Shearburn – Letarte eSports
  24. 2 – Ray Alfalla – Virtual Racing School
  25. 75 – Phillip Diaz – Mode Motorsports
  26. 4 – Santiago Tirres – Letarte eSports
  27. 15 – Michael Guariglia – Jim Beaver eSports
  28. 54 – Alex McCollum – G2 eSports
  29. 14 – Brandon Hayse Kettelle – Clint Bowyer Racing
  30. 1 – Steve Sheehan – Independent
  31. 51 – Malik Ray – Joe Gibbs Racing
  32. 33 – Michael Guest – Team Dillon eSports
  33. 9 – Eric J. Smith – Jim Beaver eSports
  34. 16 – Chris Overland – Wood Brothers Racing
  35. 17 – Kollin Keister – Roush Fenway Racing
  36. 66 – Jarl Teien – G2 eSports
  37. 79 – Brian Schoenburg – Clint Bowyer Racing

    Did Not Race:
    10 – Justin Bolton – Stewart-Haas eSports
    47 – Jeremy R Allen – JTG Daugherty Racing

PLAYOFF BATTLE (TOP 8 ADVANCE):

    1. Keegan Leahy +80
    2. Bobby Zalenski +78
    3. Ryan Luza +62
    4. Michael Conti +56
    5. Garrett Lowe +54
    6. Ray Alfalla +32
    7. Nick Ottinger +21
    8. Logan Clampitt +5
      ———————–
    9. Jimmy Mullis -5
    10. Graham A. Bowlin -5
    11. Chris Shearburn -14
    12. Brad Davies -22
    13. Corey Vincent -32
    14. Jake Nichols -38
    15. Casey Kirwan -42

      TOP 20 BUBBLE WATCH:

    16. Matt Bussa +21
    17. Michael Guest +15
    18. Bob Bryant +14
    19. Blake Reynolds +12
    20. John Gorlinsky +8
      ———————–
    21. Christian Challiner -8
    22. Zack Novak -11
    23. Caine Cook -13
    24. Justin Bolton -18
    25. Dylan Duval -26

SOURCES:
iRacing
eNASCAR

Check out the TReSports Photo Gallery from Race #12 at Daytona International Speedway – NASCAR Road Course! All Photos by Justin Melillo via iRacing.com.

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Justin Melillo View All

Columnist / Reporter / Photographer / Webmaster for TheRacingExperts.com

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