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iRacing Road-To-Pro Week 1 – Daytona Stats, Quirks, and Social Media Buzz

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The iRacing Road-To-Pro Series kicked off the 2020 season on Tuesday night at the virtual Daytona International Speedway. Photo by Justin Melillo / TRE via iRacing.com.

If the eNASCAR Coca-Cola iRacing Series can be compared to the NASCAR Cup Series, and the iRacing Pro Series to the NASCAR Xfinity Series, then the eNASCAR iRacing Road-To-Pro Series is one giant community NASCAR Gander RV and Outdoors Truck Series.

The Road-To-Pro utilizes the NASCAR Gander RV and Outdoors Truck Series vehicles, both the Chevrolet Silverado and Toyota Tundra, which is normally run in Class C license iRacing events.

There were 859 iRacers registered for Tuesday night’s opening round of the Road-To-Pro Series, 100 laps among each of the 26 splits. On average, each split was made up of 33 drivers, the only exception being the Top Split, coming in at a 34-truck field.

26 different winners celebrated victories at Daytona International Speedway on Tuesday night, the top honor going to Jordy Lopez, Jr. (7084 iRating, 1st in points) from the Top split.

The other winners from Tuesday night included:

2nd Split: Adam Gilliland (6420 iRating, 4th in points)
3rd Split: Garrett Konrath (6124 iRating, 8th in points)
4th Split: Hunter O Johnson (5789 iRating, 13th in points)
5th Split: Brandon Pipgrass (5468 iRating, 20th in points)
6th Split: Alex W Bell (5030 iRating, 29th in points)
7th Split: Shawn M. Butler (4789 iRating, 41st in points)
8th Split: Steven Steffen (4485 iRating, 52nd in points)
9th Split: Ty E. Bass (4186 iRating, 63rd in points)
10th Split: Matt Forkapa (3900 iRating, 74th in points)
11th Split: Thomas G McBride (3637 iRating, 93rd in points)
12th Split: Noah Rangel (3343 iRating, 110th in points)
13th Split: Duane Hunt (3122 iRating, 125th in points)
14th Split: Andrew Townsend (2931 iRating, 147th in points)
15th Split: Maxime Theriault (2753 iRating, 169th in points)
16th Split: Travis Elliott (2633 iRating, 186th in points)
17th Split: Gary Champion (2418 iRating, 206th in points)
18th Split: Jack Anthony Durham (2330 iRating, 231st in points)
19th Split: David Emigh2 (2094 iRating, 254th in points)
20th Split: Kolby E Fortier (2035 iRating, 277th in points)
21st Split: Mitchell Clark (1880 iRating, 302nd in points)
22nd Split: Kristy Linehan3 (1802 iRating, 327th in points)
23rd Split: Zachary A Mertes (1586 iRating, 357th in points)
24th Split: Jason Bottoms (1518 iRating, 388th in points)
25th Split: Bryan Wang (1376 iRating, 434th in points)
26th Split: David Johnson16 (1120 iRating, 547th in points)

EDITOR’S NOTE: For in-depth analysis of the Top split Road-To-Pro event that was broadcasted live on Podium eSports on Tuesday night, check out the recaps from Jacob Seelman/SPEED SPORT and Seth Eggert/Kickin’ The Tires.

There were 292 drivers who led at least one lap on Tuesday night, the most being led by David Schildhouse (4001 iRating, 97th in points) with 81 laps led in the 9th split, where he finished fifth.

232 of those drivers led multiple laps, including one Justin Melillo (2105 iRating, 593rd in points) who led two laps in the 18th split… sorry, completely irrelevant stat there.

Yeah, I’m competing in the 2020 iRacing Road-To-Pro, but with my very low iRating, I have 0% chance of making it. The driver who won 18th split is only 231st in the points standings, and it’s expected that only 20 will advance from this gigantic online Truck Series into the iRacing Pro Series later this season.

In fact, only the top five split winners, out of all the split winners on Tuesday, find themselves in the Top 20 in the standings. The way the math works out, it will be very unlikely for anyone who constantly runs 4th split or greater to make the iRacing Pro Series. It will even be a super challenge to make it from the 3rd split.

The majority of the expected small crop of drivers that will make the 2020 iRacing Pro Series will likely come from the Top split, with a few possibly from 2nd split.

Cody Byus (7247 iRating, 2nd in points) finished second in the Top split. Byus is removed from the eNASCAR Coca-Cola iRacing Series for the first time since 2011 after failing to advance back following the 2019 iRacing Pro Series.

In the 2019 eNCiS, Byus ran for Mode Motorsports, but had a dismal 36th place finish in the final standings. In the Pro Series, the bad luck continued for Byus, as he finished 23rd overall and was relegated back to the iRacing Road-To-Pro Series in 2020.

Byus is one of the few expected to be a lock for the 2020 iRacing Pro Series, and the strong start from Daytona gives him the ability to tuck-away his mulligan, as the series will drop one week for each driver during the 14-race season.

A few notable drivers and where they finished in their respective split:

Bryan Blackford (7087 iRating, 5th in points) – Top split, 4th place
Benjamin W. Nelson (6146 iRating, 14th in points) – 3rd split, 3rd place
Casey Tucker (6780 iRating, 21st in points) – 2nd split, 6th place
Darik Bourdeau (7343 iRating, 24th in points) – Top split, 9th place
Mitchell Hunt (6346 iRating, 33rd in points) – 2nd split, 8th place
Rajah Caruth (5186 iRating, 57th in points) – 5th split, 7th place
Kevin King (5699 iRating, 95th in points) – 4th split, 12th place
Andrew Fayash III (6176 iRating, 103rd in points) – 3rd split, 14th place
Taylor Hurst (6311 iRating, 120th in points) – 2nd split, 16th place
Nickolas Shelton (6296 iRating, 159th in points) – 2nd split, 18th place
Josh Berry (5202 iRating, 211th in points) – 5th split, 18th place
Kyle Long3 (2297 iRating, 383rd in points) – 17th split, 13th place
Mitchell deJong (6139 iRating, 403rd in points) – 3rd split, 25th place
Nicholas Morse (6890 iRating, 409th in points) – Top split, 27th place
Josh Parker (4946 iRating, 553rd in points) – 6th split, 27th place
Allen Boes (5672 iRating, 628th in points) – 4th split, 29th place
Jon Adams (4782 iRating, 703rd in points) – 6th split, 30th place
Adam Benefiel (3935 iRating, 729th in points) – 9th split, 30th place

EDITOR’S NOTE: If I missed anyone notable, I apologize. There were a lot of drivers.

***

QUIRKY STATS

There were six drivers listed on the points report that received zero points in their first race of the season.

That’s tough.

A few more tough stats:

  • There are six drivers whose Safety Rating dropped below 2.0 on Tuesday night, and they will need to work to get it back above that in order to compete in the next event at Rockingham Speedway.
  • There were nine drivers who hit the 17 incident threshold and received Stop-and-Go penalties, if their vehicle was still running, that is.

Thankfully, no drivers were able to reach the 25 incident limit to get themselves disqualified.

229 drivers completed more than the scheduled distance of 100 laps, as 12 of the 26 splits ended up going into overtime. The Top split was not one of them.

Patrick Mallet (7431 iRating, 817th in points) was the only driver to finish in 34th place out of all of the splits, as only the Top split had 34 entries.

***

ROAD-TO-PRO RACE WEEK 1 IN TWEETS

Twitter has become a great asset for not only NASCAR to promote their drivers and stories, but eNASCAR has followed in their footsteps as the eSport continues to grow.

Check out some of the tweets from around the eNASCAR community from Tuesday’s opening night:

***

Next week, the eNASCAR Coca-Cola iRacing Series heads to Homestead-Miami Speedway for the third round of the 2020 season. Broadcast will be on eNASCAR.com/live at 9:00 pm ET on Tuesday, March 17th, 2020.

In two weeks, the Road-To-Pro will be at Rockingham Speedway for their second event of the season. Broadcast of the Top split will be live on Podium eSports at 9:00 pm ET on Tuesday, March 24th, 2020.

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Justin Melillo View All

Columnist / Reporter / Photographer / Webmaster for TheRacingExperts.com

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