eNASCAR Coca-Cola iRacing Series Race Preview: Homestead (Live from the NASCAR Hall of Fame)

The eNASCAR Coca-Cola iRacing Series Championship 4 drivers have made their way to the NASCAR Hall of Fame in Charlotte, where they will battle live Tuesday night on stage for the $100,000 champion’s prize on the virtual Homestead-Miami Speedway. As always, race coverage begins at 9 p.m. ET at eNASCAR.com/live and across iRacing social media channels, while an extended version of Countdown to Green presented by Wendy’s will kick off at 8 p.m. ET to preview the action.

Last Race: Team Dillon eSports rookie Tucker Minter played the right strategy in a high-attrition Logitech G 120 from Phoenix Raceway, staying out on old tires late as continued wrecks in the midfield limited attempts from other playoff drivers to get past him for the top spot in eNASCAR Overtime. Before the final flurry of yellows, he had a huge advantage over defending champion Casey Kirwan of XSET, but fresh tires for Kirwan and the field were no match for Minter’s track position as cautions continued to fly before the field could take the white flag or anyone could make a move.

As a result, Minter earned his third win of the season, one that he needed to take a Championship 4 spot. Playoff drivers came home with the top seven spots in the running order, with Joe Gibbs Racing’s Bobby Zalenski, Kirwan, and Minter’s teammate Jordy Lopez all seeing their Championship 4 dreams end in the next three spots.

Championship 4: Here’s how the eNASCAR Coca-Cola iRacing Series Championship 4 earned the right to compete on stage at the NASCAR Hall of Fame in Charlotte:

Garrett Lowe, No. 15 Jim Beaver eSports: After a statement victory at New Hampshire got him into the eNASCAR playoffs, Lowe wasted no time guaranteeing his Championship 4 spot with a win at Michigan, the same track where he took his first series victory in 2019. Top-five finishes across all three playoff rounds made him the highest point-scorer among the playoff group.
Nick Ottinger, No. 25 William Byron eSports: The 2020 series champion may not have won in the regular season, but it’s not about how you make the playoffs — it’s about advancing through them. In that regard, Ottinger’s first win of the year at Dover came at the perfect time. He qualified on pole for the fifth time this season, led laps throughout the night and passed Lowe for the win with seven laps to go to lock it in.
Tucker Minter, No. 33 Team Dillon eSports: Minter’s season of clutch performances continued with a triple-overtime win at Phoenix, locking up the third Championship 4 spot and ensuring that playoff drivers swept the first three playoff rounds. The Phoenix victory joined other marquee checkered flags in his series debut at Daytona and May’s event at Charlotte.
Steven Wilson, No. 10 Stewart-Haas eSports: Wilson may be the only Championship 4 driver who made the trek to Charlotte last year, but he was also the driver who had to earn his spot the hard way — on points — this year. He ended Phoenix second in points scored to Lowe, and his sixth-place finish there was good enough to lock out Lopez by just five points.

Last Year: In last year’s Championship 4 cutoff race at Homestead, it was Wilson who came out on top, needing to win to advance despite winning more than anyone in the 2022 regular season. He led 50 of the race’s 110 laps, holding off Michael Guest at the line in double-overtime by 0.162 seconds as a huge wreck behind the leaders shuffled the middle of the running order. Ottinger was caught in the last-lap wreck, while Lowe was involved in the incident that sent the race into overtime in the first place.

Track Facts: Opened in 1995 and reconfigured into its current shape just two years later, Homestead-Miami Speedway has long been a popular venue for American oval racing. The NASCAR Xfinity Series has a lengthy history at the track, with its 1995 season finale serving as Homestead’s inaugural race, and the Cup and Truck Series would soon follow; all three would wrap up their championships at the track from 2002 to 2019. Now, Homestead remains a key part of all three series’ playoff pushes.

For more information on the eNASCAR Coca-Cola iRacing Series, visit www.enascar.com or www.iracing.com/enascar. For more information on iRacing and for special offers, visit www.iracing.com.

Image via Justin Melillo