Evan Seay leads all but two laps en route to third Feature win, Bergeron runner-up in points
After going eight consecutive weeks of notching nothing but wins and runner-up finishes on the DIRTcar eSports Tour, Kendal Tucker is now a two-time DIRTcar eSports Tour champion.
An incredible season for the driver from Mt. Airy, NC – notching three wins, eight top-fives, eight top-tens and all but the first event started.
“It feels good to go back-to-back in this deal,” Tucker said. “It’s the first time I’ve ever done that in a series on iRacing.”
But his podium streak was abruptly ended when some contact from an incident involving Alex Bergeron and Blake Matjoulis on Lap 5 spilled over into his path. Matjoulis and Bergeron came together at the exit of Turn 4, nearly sending Bergeron completely around in front of the field.
His spinning momentum caught the nose of Richard Murtaugh Jr. and then sent him through the Turn 1 grass, back up onto the track and right into the side of Tucker, who collected several other innocent bystanders in a wild flipping sequence in Turns 1-2. Tucker nursed his heavily damaged racecar back to the pits under the yellow but was met with terminal damage upon arrival at his pit stall, forcefully ending his night.
However, coming into the event a secure 75 points ahead of Bergeron in the Tour standings, the championship gold was not lost. Neither was the love between the drivers in the DIRTVision post-race interviews regarding the incident.
“Not much of a surprise coming from the 12 car,” Tucker said. “He has no regard for people around him on the track, it seems like. Goes into the infield when he had some bad luck and comes up in front of everybody else trying to compete for position on the track.”
Bergeron repaired his car, restarted from the rear of the field and went on an incredible passing spree over the next 45 circuits, crossing the stripe third by the drop of the checkered.
“We were definitely the fastest driver out here tonight,” Bergeron said. “It’s just sad that we get wrecked intentionally every week… We did everything we could and went from nearly dead last to up to the front.”
In the end, two spots ahead of Bergeron was the one true dominant force of the race – Evan Seay. The Chesnee, SC-driver led almost all 50 laps of the Bicknell Racing Products Big Block Modified Feature at The Dirt Track at Charlotte and scored his third $250 check of Season 3.
“It’s difficult to win these races with them being fixed [setup],” Seay said. “You’ve gotta figure out what line to run and be better at that line than everybody else.”
While Tucker held the virtual championship trophy high in Victory Lane at the end of the night, he was only credited with a 23rd-place finish, much to his disappointment.
“I definitely thought we could have competed for another win,” Tucker said. “It’s probably one of my favorite tracks on here, so for the night to end pretty early, it definitely stings a little bit.”
Bicknell Racing Products Feature (50 Laps) – 1. 33-Evan Seay ; 2. 127-Blake Matjoulis ; 3. 12-Alex A Bergeron ; 4. 48-Dylan Yeager ; 5. 22-Mason Hannagan ; 6. 331-Dustin Hall3 ; 7. 33-Richard Murtaugh Jr. ; 8. 85-Tyler Schell ; 9. 1-Jesse Enterkin ; 10. 0-Kevin Dedmon ; 11. 115-Boddie Parker3 ; 12. 717-Bobby Rafferty ; 13. 17-Brett Rowles ; 14. 13-Matt Remick ; 15. 2-Chance Carr ; 16. 2-Bradley Steinruck ; 17. 114-Joe Garcia ; 18. 72-Joseph Grabianowski ; 19. 78-Justin Bishop3 ; 20. 29-William Richardson4 ; 21. 91-Jeffrey Eddy ; 22. 46-Jonathan Nause ; 23. 0-Kendal Tucker ; 24. 58-Ryder Sroufe