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TOP GUNS: Bergeron and Jackson win DIRTcar eSports season openers

Alex Bergeron and Tyler Jackson are not unaccustomed to parking their digital dirt cars in virtual Victory Lanes across the iRacing simulator-verse. Bergeron won the 50-lap Bicknell Racing Products Big Block Modified Feature at Weedsport Speedway while the defending DIRTcar eSports Chevrolet Performance Street Stock champion Tyler Jackson picked up where he left off last season by winning at Volusia Speedway Park. 

DIRTcar eSports Bicknell Racing Products Big Block Modifieds

Alex Bergeron’s name is synonymous with success in iRacing. He’s won everything including the World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car iRacing Series and even dabbles in other disciplines like Rallycross on iRacing as well. Despite all of that versatility and success, Bergeron has yet to put it all together and win a DIRTcar eSports championship.

His quest for a first Tour title started off strong Wednesday night, when Bergeron found the fast way around Weedsport Speedway in a Bicknell Racing Products Big Block Modified, leading flag-to-flag to pick up the win.

Bergeron led the entire race but not without real-life drivers Nick Cooper and Bryce Bailey shadowing his every move. Cooper was ready for any slight mistake or bobble by Bergeron. 

Over the course of the 50-lap Feature, the surface of Weedsport Speedway changed and so did the racing line. Cooper made up ground running the bottom in Turns 1 and 2 but lost ground in Turns 3-4 as Bergeron was able to keep a lot of speed and momentum around the top. Bergeron rode that wave all the way across the finish line. 

Bergeron crossed the line first with Nick Cooper and Bryce Bailey filling out the podium. 

“I am kind of mad at myself,” DIRTcar Sportsman Modified driver Nick Cooper said. “I hit the wall pretty hard halfway through that. I broke the suspension a little bit nevertheless I finished second to Bergeron and I’ll take it.”

If not for one mistake, it could have been another story for Cooper and Bergeron. 

Feature (40 Laps) 1. 12-Alex Bergeron [1]; 2. 35-Nick Cooper [2]; 3. 002-Bryce Bailey [10]; 4. 33-Evan Seay [5]; 5. 48-Dylan Yeager [3]; 6. 22-Mason Hannagan [6]; 7. 096-Gunnar Swanchara [4]; 8. 41-Logan Rumsey [13]; 9. 2-Dylan Houser [9]; 10. 14-Payton Talbot [8]; 11. 21-Quinn Wallis [12]; 12. 09-Tanner Tomasi [17]; 13. 8-Austin Hunter [21]; 14. 029-Leo McGurrin [20]; 15. 331-Dustin Hall [23]; 16. 9-Brad Almond 11]; 17. 74-Loic Bernier [7]; 18. 29-Richie Yost [15]; 19. 51-Clayton Tilley [18]; 20. 85-Tyler Schell [16]; 21. 4-Brandon Stuhler [22]; 22. 72-AJay Potrzebowski [19]; 23. 00-Kendal Tucker [14]

DIRTcar eSports Chevrolet Performance Street Stocks 

Six Heat Races of Chevrolet Performance Street Stocks assembled at the virtual Volusia Speedway Park in an effort to make the first DIRTcar eSports Street Stock race of season four.

Qualifying is always important with the talent at the front of DIRTcar eSports events. Feature winner Tyler Jackson had to be at the top of his game all night. 

“That was an interesting night,” Jackson said. “I qualified third, which is great because I didn’t think I’d qualify that well. In the Heat I was just missing something. Sage was catching me and he threw a slider. He didn’t quite clear me but luckily he missed me off enough that I was able to keep the hammer down on the bottom. We were able to find a new lane that no one else had.”

In the Feature, star iRacers Zane Yost and Carl Kilgore battled for the lead early but with 20 laps to go Kilgore was sent spinning into the infield off of Turn 4 resulting in a massive pile up. 

“In the Feature there, Carl got sideways and by the time I realized and checked up I think four or five guys got me,” Tyler Jackson said of the melee. “My right front was so bent in it handled so bad I think it made it good.

Yost brought the field back to green with Tyler Jackson close behind looking to strike on the bottom. Jackson dove under Yost with 15 laps remaining, sliding under him only to give the position back on the over-under. 

Jackson continued working on Yost and finally completed the pass only to be turned completely sideways down the backstretch. Jackson somehow hung on for the lead. 

The defending eSports champ survived one final restart to hang on for the Feature win.

Chevy Performance Feature (20 Laps) 1. 822-Tyler Jackson [3]; 2. 21-Charles Barnes [4]; 3. 29-Richie Yost [5]; 4. 93-Zane Yost [1]; 5. 1-Alex Breuer [8]; 6. 26-Sage Luther [9]; 7. 57-Jim Reavis [10]; 8. 28-Bailey Hipp [11]; 9. 002-Clifford Bellomy [14]; 10. 83-Brian Taft [15]; 11. 60-Kyle Householder [16]; 12. 17-Brett Rowles [22]; 13. 30-Stevin Goldner [19]; 14. 5-Isaac Salas [21]; 15. 021-Carl Kilgore [2]; 16. 70-Davin Cardwell [12]; 17. 717-Bobby Rafferty [13]; 18. 48-Kyle Vaughn [17]; 19. 999-Tim Taylor [24]; 20. 97-Butch Baker [20]; 21. 69-Keith Hackney [6]; 22. 46-Jonathan Nause [18]; 23. 045-Kyle Jared [7]; 24. 68-Ronald Pyles [23]

NEXT UP: DIRTcar eSports season four, race two, is next Wednesday, November 17. The Tour visits Fairbury in the UMP Modifieds while the Chevrolet Performance Street Stocks pick up the fight at Lanier. Join the fun by signing up now on iRacing or watch the racing live every Wednesday night on DIRTvision presented by Drydene. 

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