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Keegan Leahy finds victory lane at Charlotte Motor Speedway

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Keegan Leahy celebrates his victory at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Photo by Justin Melillo / TRE via iRacing.com

In the longest race of the 2019 campaign, Keegan Leahy endured to find victory lane for the first time at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

Utilizing the newest version of iRacing’s Charlotte Motor Speedway, Leahy fought through the day to night transition to claim the victory over Blake Reynolds, Chris Shearburn, Ryan Michael Luza, and Logan Clampitt.

“The car was super strong, that carried me to that victory for sure,” Leahy told RaceSpot TV post race. “I was happy with everything I did on track, I don’t think I made too many mistakes there, but pit road was killing me.

“The biggest thing, really, was the balance. We just got the balance just right for the draft. I was able to hold my position and then just, like, blow by people after a few laps when everyone else seemed to get tight.”

***

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Keegan Leahy leads the field in the closing laps at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Photo by Justin Melillo / TRE via iRacing.com

Chris Shearburn led the field to the start of the 200 lap event, with Leahy alongside.

Shearburn was the class of the field for the first half of the event, leading 106 of the first 110 laps before yielding to Bobby Zalenski in the No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota.

Zalenski soon lent the lead to last week’s winner, Zach Novak, and not too long after, the pair of drivers began experiencing network connection issues.

While battling for the lead, Zalenski’s connection dropped, and after taking the lead, Novak was black-flagged for his poor connection. The network issues relegated the two hopefuls to 30-something place finishes.

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Ryan Michael Luza (53) takes Zack Novak (6) and Bobby Zalenski (18) three-wide to take the lead at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Photo by Justin Melillo / TRE via iRacing.com

While that was happening, series points leader Ryan Michael Luza made his way up to the front, and took the lead at lap 147.

Luza didn’t hold the lead for long, as Leahy, who had experienced a handful of pit road issues all night, worked back around to the lead at lap 168.

On the final stint of the long event, Leahy pulled out to over a second an a half lead over Luza. In the closing laps, it was Blake Reynolds chasing Leahy down.

Reynolds was able to bring it within a second, but as the laps ran out, it was Leahy celebrating his fourth career victory, and first on the 2019 season.

***

Luza continues to lead the standings by 34 points over Leahy. Reynolds moves up and into third, while Garrett Lowe and Novak round out the Top 5.

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Defending series champion, Ray Alfalla, saw his chances at victory end with a hard wreck at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Photo by Justin Melillo / TRE via iRacing.com

Defending series champion, Ray Alfalla, had made his way into the Top 5, but misfortune struck again as he was tagged by Casey Kirwin, sending the famed No. 21 Wood Brothers Racing Ford into the inside SAFER barrier.

Another uncharacteristic finish now places Alfalla outside of the Top 20 in the standings, in 21st. Only the Top 20 are guaranteed a place in the 2020 eNASCAR Peak Antifreeze iRacing Series.

Six races remain before the Top 8 is set for the 2019 Playoffs. The series takes an extra week off and returns three weeks from now for the first road course of the season, the long course at Sonoma Raceway.

 


RACE RESULTS:

  1. 62 – Keegan Leahy – G2 eSports
  2. 30 – Blake Reynolds – Team Dillon eSports
  3. 36 – Chris Shearburn – Letarte eSports
  4. 53 – Ryan Michael Luza – FlipSid3 Tactics
  5. 99 – Logan Clampitt – Burton Kligerman eSports
  6. 28 – Garrett Lowe – Renegades
  7. 17 – Michael Guest – Roush Fenway Racing
  8. 83 – Adam Benefiel – Independent
  9. 3 – Michael Guariglia – Independent
  10. 14 – Casey Kirwan – Clint Bowyer Racing
  11. 37 – Christian Challiner – JTG Daugherty Racing
  12. 88 – Brad Davies – JR Motorsports
  13. 7 – Ryan Lowe – Independent
  14. 2 – Caine Cook – Independent
  15. 42 – Dylan Duval – Independent
  16. 74 – Taylor Hurst – Independent
  17. 80 – Brandon Hayse Kettelle – Independent
  18. 77 – Ashton Crowder – Burton Kligerman eSports
  19. 24 – Cody Byus – Mode Motorsports
  20. 79 – Nickolas Shelton – Clint Bowyer Racing
  21. 20 – Jake Nichols – Joe Gibbs Racing
  22. 55 – Brian Schoenburg – Williams eSports
  23. 33 – Benjamin W. Nelson – Team Dillon eSports
  24. 8 – Michael Conti – JR Motorsports
  25. 66 – Jarl Teien – G2 eSports
  26. 16 – Chris Overland – Wood Brothers Racing
  27. 63 – Timmy Hill – FlipSid3 Tactics
  28. 46 – Jimmy Mullis – Richmond Raceway eSports
  29. 75 – Philip Diaz – Mode Motorsports
  30. 5 – Matt Bussa – Williams eSports
  31. 90 – Malik Ray – Richmond Raceway eSports
  32. 27 – Corey Vincent – Renegades
  33. 6 – Zack Novak – Roush Fenway Racing
  34. 21 – Ray Alfalla – Wood Brothers Racing
  35. 31 – Logan Kress – Independent
  36. 47 – Nick Ottinger – JTG Daugherty Racing
  37. 18 – Bobby Zalenski – Joe Gibbs Racing
  38. 4 – Nathan Lyon – Letarte eSports
  39. 19 – Casey Tucker – Independent

Did Not Race: 51 – Eric J. Smith – Independent

SOURCES
RaceSpot TV
iRacing.com
Twitter

Justin Melillo View All

Columnist / Reporter / Photographer / Webmaster for TheRacingExperts.com

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