Advertisements
Skip to content

Zack Novak crowned eNASCAR iRacing Champion at Homestead-Miami Speedway

novak celebrates
Zack Novak celebrates his 2019 eNASCAR Peak Antifreeze iRacing Series Championship at Homestead-Miami Speedway on October 10th, 2019. Photo by Justin Melillo / TRE Via iRacing.com.

After 18 races, 2,355 laps, and 240 days since the drop of the green flag in Daytona Beach, Florida, the 2019 eNASCAR Peak Antifreeze iRacing Series Championship was ultimately decided in the last corner on the last lap at the virtual Homestead-Miami Speedway.

In only his third season in the series, the 17 year old driver from Connecticut, Zack Novak, held off Keegan Leahy in a side-by-side battle off of Turn 4 and claimed the 2019 Series Championship.

“That was a grind, all season,” Novak said post-race on NBCSN. “Even that race itself was just a crazy grind, and I can’t believe I’m in this position.

“The very first run of the race, we definitely had a better short run car than Keegan (Leahy), he seemed to be set up a lot better for the long run, and the night as well. I figured we’d be a little bit faster on that last run.”

Bobby Zalenski finished fourth in the event, and third in the overall standings, while Blake Reynolds rounded out the Championship Four with a ninth place finish.

chasingnovak
Blake Reynolds (30), Keegan Leahy (62), and Bobby Zalenski (18) chasing the leaders for a shot at the championship at Homestead-Miami Speedway on October 10th, 2019. Photo by Justin Melillo / TRE Via iRacing.com.

***

The race saw three cautions for twelve laps, and 17 lead changes among seven drivers.

The final caution of the day flew with just 19 laps to go. At the time, Novak was sandwiched in between leader Jimmy Mullis and Ryan Michael Luza, who both were not competing for the championship.

Leahy was mired back in fifth, but was closing in before the caution, with Reynolds in sixth and Zalenski in seventh.

Novak won the race out of the pits, and Leahy restarted in third. Leahy reclaimed the lead on lap 127, but Novak kept in pursuit swapping the lead a few times and staying as close as possible until his next opportunity.

battleFORLEADOMG
The final restart at Homestead-Miami Speedway on October 10th, 2019. Photo by Justin Melillo / TRE Via iRacing.com.

That opportunity came with seven laps to go, as Novak sailed it off in to the corner, completing a successful “slidejob” on his competitor. Leahy attempted the crossover, but could not get back around.

On the final run through Turns 3 and 4, Leahy pulled up right alongside Novak, and the two squeezed up near the wall. Novak held on, and took the checkers, the championship, and the commendations including more than $40,000 in winnings.

Leahy did lead the most laps on the day at 74, but Novak led the most important lap.

final corner
The battle for the championship between Zack Novak (6) and Keegan Leahy (62) on the final corner on the final lap at Homestead-Miami Speedway on October 10th, 2019. Photo by Justin Melillo / TRE Via iRacing.com.

***

The epic 2019 season finale was broadcasted live on NBCSN, the third time on the season that NASCAR America on NBCSN featured the eNASCAR Peak Antifreeze iRacing Series drivers, and the first as a points paying event.

Novak was previously victorious on NBCSN in an “All-Star” event at the virtual Rockingham Speedway, where he held off Michael Conti for the victory.

All three events on NBCSN this season have featured victories that came down to the last lap, as the first “All-Star” event featured Nick Ottinger holding off Ryan Michael Luza at the line at the virtual Iowa Speedway.

Novak will be honored on stage pre-race at the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Championship race on November 17th.

SOURCES:
iRacing
RaceSpot TV
NASCAR
NBCSN

RACE RESULTS:

  1. 6 – Zack Novak – Roush Fenway Racing
  2. 62 – Keegan Leahy – G2 eSports
  3. 46 – Jimmy Mullis – Richmond Raceway eSports
  4. 18 – Bobby Zalenski – Joe Gibbs Racing
  5. 53 – Ryan Michael Luza – FlipSid3 Tactics
  6. 27 – Corey Vincent – Renegades
  7. 21 – Ray Alfalla – Wood Brothers Racing
  8. 42 – Dylan Duval – Independent
  9. 30 – Blake Reynolds – Team Dillon eSports
  10. 36 – Chris Shearburn – Letarte eSports
  11. 20 – Jake Nichols – Joe Gibbs Racing
  12. 90 – Malik Ray – Richmond Raceway eSports
  13. 15 – Michael Guariglia – Jim Beaver eSports
  14. 77 – Ashton Crowder – Burton Kligerman eSports
  15. 37 – Christian Challiner – JTG Daugherty Racing
  16. 51 – Eric J. Smith – Jim Beaver eSports
  17. 75 – Philip Diaz – Mode Motorsports
  18. 16 – Chris Overland – Wood Brothers Racing
  19. 24 – Cody Byus – Mode Motorsports
  20. 47 – Nick Ottinger – JTG Daugherty Racing
  21. 8 – Michael Conti – JR Motorsports
  22. 17 – Michael Guest – Roush Fenway Racing
  23. 19 – Casey Tucker – Independent
  24. 2 – Caine Cook – Independent
  25. 99 – Logan Clampitt – Burton Kligerman eSports
  26. 31 – Logan Kress – Independent
  27. 5 – Matt Bussa – Williams eSports
  28. 66 – Jarl Teien – G2 eSports
  29. 55 – Brian Schoenburg – Williams eSports
  30. 14 – Casey Kirwan – Clint Bowyer Racing
  31. 83 – Adam Benefiel – Independent
  32. 88 – Brad Davies – JR Motorsports
  33. 4 – Nathan Lyon – Letarte eSports
  34. 33 – Benjamin W. Nelson – Team Dillon eSports
  35. 28 – Garrett Lowe – Renegades
  36. 80 – Brandon Hayse Kettelle – Independent
  37. 7 – Ryan Lowe – Independent
  38. 79 – Nickolas Shelton – Clint Bowyer Racing

DID NOT RACE:
63 – Timmy Hill – FlipSid3 Tactics
74 – Taylor Hurst – Independent

Advertisements

Justin Melillo View All

Columnist / Reporter / Photographer / Webmaster for TheRacingExperts.com

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: