Bergeron capitalizes, wins iRacing World of Outlaws Thrustmaster Sprint Car Series season opener at Volusia

The 2023-24 iRacing World of Outlaws Thrustmaster Sprint Car Series season kicked off on Monday night with 35 of the top dirt sim racers competing for a $25,000 purse. Last season, three-time Series Champion Alex Bergeron was only eight points away from a fourth, losing out in the final race to Tyler Schell. To start the new campaign, Bergeron took Volusia Speedway Park by the horns, taking the fastest lap in qualifying as well as the overall victory, the 20th of his storied Sprint Car career.

Bergeron battled with both Hayden Cardwell and Shawn English through the main race, but both would fall out of contention by the end. In the closing laps, Bergeron nailed the final restart, defeating Logan Rumsey and James Edens for the win.

Despite scoring the fastest lap in qualifying, Bergeron had to battle Cardwell in Heat 1. Cardwell got the best of Bergeron here, taking the win in the 10-lap sprint. Only the first heat had a lead swap, as the other front runners in Edens (Heat 2), English (Heat 3) and Ross Keiser (Heat 4) all won from the first starting position in their respective races.

Blake Matjoulis, Ryan Avila and Evan Seay all started outside transfer positions in their respective heats and all managed to finish inside the top four to move on. That came at the expense of Tyler Ducharme, Kenny Miller and defending series champion Schell, who would fall into the last chance races. Both Ducharme and Schell, along with Lane Snook and Joey Lingron, managed to escape the LCQ races, but Miller, along with big names such as JD Brown and Kendal Tucker, all saw their nights end early following elimination.

The main event, a 35-lap feature with only green flag laps counting, had Cardwell lead the field to the green. From fifth, Bergeron worked up to the second spot, flirting with the lead before the first caution flew on Lap 12. An immediate second caution on Lap 13 would once again bunch the field, and on the ensuing restart, English was poised to make a move towards the front.

On Lap 23, English and Cardwell got together, sending English towards the back of the pack. Bergeron made it through unscathed, but the running order put Cardwell back to the lead for the Lap 24 restart. With five laps to go, Cardwell pushed it too far up the cushion and into the barriers, flipping end over end and out of contention. Bergeron had already taken control a few laps earlier, and was able to hang on for the win after the final restart.

iRacing World of Outlaws Thrustmaster Sprint Car Series results from Volusia Raceway Park were as follows:

Fin.

St.

No.

Driver

Laps

Interval

Led

Best

Pts.

1
5
12
Alex A Bergeron
35
0.000
10
14.175
77

2
7
41
Logan Rumsey
35
-0.985
0
14.300
74

3
2
52
James Edens
35
-1.570
0
14.388
72

4
12
42
Noah Carpenter
35
-1.844
0
14.389
67

5
13
127
Blake Matjoulis
35
-2.308
0
14.238
63

6
8
20
Aiden Forster
35
-2.490
0
14.364
62

7
14
49
Ryan Avila
35
-2.944
0
14.351
57

8
17
32
Lane Snook
35
-3.319
0
14.451
53

9
11
33
Evan Seay
35
-4.360
0
14.419
52

10
6
24
Tanner Pettit
35
-5.697
0
14.392
50

11
19
25
Tyler Ducharme
35
-5.962
0
14.476
44

12
3
960
Shawn English
35
-6.587
0
14.360
47

13
4
8
Ross Keiser
35
-6.852
0
14.413
45

14
10
74
Adam Elby
35
-8.517
0
14.447
41

15
9
13
Aiden Bierlein
35
-11.359
0
14.341
39

16
15
89
Nathan Van de Wakker
35
-12.679
0
14.468
36

17
20
16
Joey Lingron
32
-3L
0
14.356
32

18
1
07
Hayden Cardwell
31
-4L
21
14.137
35

19
18
85
Tyler Schell
31
-4L
2
14.377
29

20
16
9
Tanner Miller
25
-10L
0
14.461
28

iRacing World of Outlaws Thrustmaster Sprint Car Series points after Race #1 are as follows:

Alex A Bergeron, 77
Logan Rumsey, 74
James Edens, 72
Noah Carpenter, 67
Blake Matjoulis, 63
Aiden Forster, 62
Ryan Avila, 57
Lane Snook, 53
Evan Seay, 52
Tanner Pettit, 50

iRacing World of Outlaws Thrustmaster Sprint Car Series points are accumulated through heat and feature race results. Each event features qualifying and up to four heats to determine the 20 drivers that will compete in the main race, with the top four advancing forward from each 10-lap heat race. There are also two 12-lap consolation races where the top two finishers will move on. In the 35-lap feature races, caution laps do not count. This is the first season of the World Championship-level series since iRacing’s Dirt Refresh was implemented for 2023 Season 3 in June.

While Bergeron’s day has him poised for a fourth title early on, the title defense from the defending series champion Schell is off to a rocky start. After tumbling end-over-end around the midsection of the Volusia feature, Schell sits 19th in the standings, 48 points behind Bergeron after the first race.

Rumsey, the runner-up at Volusia, sits second in the standings after finishing 17th just a season ago. Edens, in third, has finished in the top five in every season to date, and will be looking for one spot better than he was able to do in 2019 to finally capture that elusive title.

Next up for the iRacing World of Outlaws Thrustmaster Sprint Car Series is a trip to Weedsport Speedway on November 20. The racing action will stream live on DIRTVision and across iRacing social media channels every Monday night through November and December in 2023 and January in 2024, all starting at 9PM ET.

For more information on the series, visit www.iracing.com/woosc. For more information on the World of Outlaws, visit www.worldofoutlaws.com. For more information on iRacing and for special offers, visit www.iracing.com.