The eTruck Series Night in America hype has been building for almost a full week.
Should I do a big hosted race on iRacing?
Get some drivers and fans involved and Find a way to have someone stream it? I feel like we all need something to pick our spirits up.#NASCAR
— Ryan Vargas (@RyanVargas_23) March 13, 2020
A simple tweet, a simple question, and a simple answer.
Up-and-coming NASCAR star, Ryan Vargas, showed off his “Race Promoter” skills in a time where the real world action sits sidelined due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Vargas was able to attract sponsors, such as Filter Time, to sign on to endorse the event.
Podium eSports would call the event on the iRacing Twitch channel, with Hailie Deegan and Davey Segal as guest hosts alongside Podium’s James Pike.
Big names, including a handful of eNASCAR Coca-Cola iRacing Series drivers, real world drivers, and community influencers, were signed up to race.
The night was to be run to benefit the National Craniofacial Association (FACES) and Cranio Care Bears, a cause close to Vargas, as he was born with Craniosynostosis.
The eventual winner would also be able to take a prize of $200 and send it to the charity of their choice, courtesy of Carolina Sim Works and World Wide Technology.
That winner would be the 2019 eNASCAR iRacing champ himself, Zack Novak.
Novak held off a late charge from Jake Nichols to take the win in the inaugural eTruck event, lasting against challenges from fellow eNASCAR pros such as Ray Alfalla, Eric J. Smith, and Michael Conti.
“We had a really, really good truck the whole time,” Novak said to Jacob Seelman in Barr Visuals Victory Lane. “Surprisingly, honestly, I didn’t expect to be that good. I had to come through the field all the way in the mid-twenties. Shades of the other night.”
A scheduled 100 laps at Atlanta Motor Speedway went a little extra after two attempts at Overtime.
Conti started on the pole position, and led a good portion of the beginning of the race.
Christian Eckes, of Kyle Busch Motorsports fame, took over command for a bit, taking the lead from iRacing Road-to-Pro Truck Series newcomer, Donovan Strauss.
Max Brady, Alfalla, Michael P. Frisch, and Nichols all took turns leading before Novak took control at lap 65.
A few cautions towards the end set up a battle to the finish. Smith took control after the final round of pit stops, but Novak was determined to get it back sooner than later.
Novak made the move to the outside on Smith, and the two battled closely, side-by-side, for a handful of laps. Eventually, Novak got the better of Smith, and began to pull away.
A caution coming to two laps to go, the field stacked back up for a shot at overtime.
In fact, it ended up as two overtime attempts, but at the end of it all, Novak held on, holding off a late charge from Nichols.
In total, the race saw nine cautions for 36 laps. Nine drivers led at one point, with the lead switching hands ten times through the 109 lap event.
- Zack Novak
- Jake Nichols
- Ray Alfalla
- Max R Brady
- Oliver Cordell
- Jacob Fisher
- Michael P Frisch
- Eric J. Smith
- Tyler Garey
- Michael Conti
- Carson S. Hocevar
- Colton Salek
- Jarrett Liebert
- Elliott Henderson
- Kyle Riley
- John Theodore
- Mike Rasimas
- Adam Baker
- Matt H Wishart
- Ruben Garcia
- Josh Bilicki
- Brian Mercurio
- Nick Miller
- Gary Sexton
- Chris DeShong
- Reece Baham
- Leighton B Sibille
- Brad Perez
- Nick DeGroot
- Parker Kligerman
- Daylon M Barr
- Austin H Blair
- Joey Stone
- Connor Hall
- Kenny Brady
- Chase Cabre
- Rajah Caruth
- Ryan Truex
- Jerry Brown
- Christian Eckes
- Ty Gibbs
- Max Mclaughlin
- Donovan Strauss
A message from me.
— Ryan Vargas (@RyanVargas_23) March 20, 2020
Columnist / Reporter / Photographer / Webmaster for TheRacingExperts.com