CONCORD, NC – Make it seven different winners in eight races in the DIRTcar eSports league.
Dylan Wilson earned himself a hard-fought victory in Wednesday night’s DIRTcar eSports Summit Racing Equipment UMP Modified Showdown after battling it out with Alex Bergeron and Dylan Houser in the latter portion of the race to score the big check at The Dirt Track at Charlotte and a new virtual trophy on his shelf.
Wilson led the opening circuits but was quickly tracked down by the race’s Hard Charger, Dylan Houser, who started 14th on the grid and made the pass for the lead just 15 laps in. Houser kept up the momentum while Bergeron began to put the pressure on next, taking the lead for a few laps himself just past the halfway point.
Wilson and Houser later became locked in a dogfight for the lead in the final laps, trading multiple slide jobs in lapped traffic. But in the end, it was Wilson coming out on top, making the final pass on Houser for the lead with 5 laps to go to take the checkers.
The DIRTcar eSports action continues in two weeks’ time with the DIRTcar Street Stock Showdown at USA International Speedway on July 29. Sign up today at DIRTcar.com/eSports, and catch all the action on DIRTVision presented by Drydene.
DIRTcar eSPORTS SHOWDOWN; DIRTcar UMP Modifieds at The Virtual Dirt Track at Charlotte; July 15, 2020 – RESULTS
KOKOMO, IN – Even in the virtual world, there’s a reason they call it Indiana’s Baddest Bullring.
A perfectly timed slide job right after the race’s only restart was all it took for recent World of Outlaws Morton Buildings Late Model iRacing World Championship winner Hayden Cardwell to score his first-ever victory in the Hoosier Racing Tire DIRTcar eSports 360 Sprint Car Showdown at Kokomo Speedway, besting his teammates David Heileman and Dylan Houser in a final seven-lap shootout for the $300 top prize.
“Luckily, we still got the 1-2-3… David [Heileman] almost got me there at the end, but it was a wild, wild deal,” Cardwell said. “This is my second start [in DIRTcar eSports]; I hope to be back more. It was a blast.”
And wild it was. Swindell SpeedLab eSports driver Kendal Tucker had taken the lead from polesitter Tyler Schell early on and was swiftly navigating through lapped traffic on the slicked-off quarter mile when a lapped car got loose and spun right in front of him. Tucker instantly piled right into him, sending his #00 flipping through Turns 1-2 and surrendering the lead on lap 25.
The yellow flag was thrown, and Tucker was able to salvage his now-bruised ride, lining up fifth for the restart. But despite his best efforts to reach the head of the field again, Tucker dropped back even further, setting for a 14th-place finish.
Out front for the restart was Heileman, who inherited the lead after a solid run inside the top-five throughout the race. He and the rest of the field hit the gas on the restart, gunning for the win in a seven-lap dash to the finish.
Cardwell lined up to Heileman’s outside and got a great run around the top before diving to the bottom in Turns 3-4 to set up a big slide job to take the lead in the next two corners. Heileman came back with a slider of his own on the next lap, but Cardwell’s top side momentum was just too strong. He stole the lead back and held off his hard-charging teammates in the final corners to secure the victory.
“I had a lot of luck come my way in that race. It helps when you have two of the best in the game and two of your teammates right there in lapped traffic. It helped me see the wreck with Tucker,” Cardwell said.
In the final three laps, Cardwell, Heileman and Houser were parked right on the cushion the entire way around the track with nearly zero margin for error. Cardwell’s #7 scrubbed the outside wall a few times in the closing laps and opened the door for Heileman to try and make a last-ditch effort run down low in the final corner, but he was unsuccessful.
“I actually got a lot more grip off the bottom than I thought in that last corner, and I mashed the throttle,” Heileman said of his last-lap move to the bottom. “I didn’t really think I was gonna be that close. Even if I kinda worked up the throttle right, [Cardwell] still might have nicked me at the line.”
“I was waiting for it, but [Heileman] never threw it. I probably could have protected, but I have a good history of hitting yuke tires, so I wanted to stay away from them as best I could,” Cardwell said.
The DIRTcar eSports action continues in two weeks’ time – Wednesday, July 15. The DIRTcar UMP Modifieds will take to The (virtual) Dirt Track at Charlotte for a $350 top prize, broadcasted LIVE on DIRTVision presented by Drydene.
DIRTcar eSPORTS SHOWDOWN; 360 Sprints at Virtual Kokomo Speedway; July 1, 2020 RESULTS
Tucker bests iRacing Champ Bergeron in VP Racing Fuels Pro Late Model action
ROSSBURG, OH – Finally. After three-straight runner-up finishes, twice behind one of his biggest rivals, Kendal Tucker is a DIRTcar eSports winner.
The Swindell SpeedLab eSports star finished second to fellow iRacing Pro driver Alex Bergeron in two of the last three races and found himself in a similar spot Wednesday night at the virtual Eldora Speedway, staring down the rear spoiler of Bergeron, who had led the first 19 laps of the 50-lap contest.
And after getting beat by Bergeron almost six weeks ago in the DIRTcar Pro Late Model division, Tucker wasn’t about to let it happen again. He made a terrific move to the outside of Bergeron’s ABR #12 on a Lap 20 restart, beat him back to the line and led the rest of the way to collect a big $300 check in the VP Racing Fuels Pro Late Model Showdown.
“We’ve been trying the last three or four times they’ve put these races on to win one, and we’ve been in contention to win them all, just had some bad luck and three second-place finishes to show for it,” Tucker told DIRTcar eSports announcer Hannah Newhouse in the DIRTVision post-race interview. “I’m just glad to finally get one of these wins.”
Coming from fifth on the starting grid, Tucker spent only a short time in the low groove before putting his #00 right on the top side and carefully began picking off spots in the opening laps. A big slide job thrown on Cometic Gasket Quick Time Award winner Evan Seay on Lap 10 moved him into second, about 10 car-lengths behind Bergeron, and Tucker’s pursuit of the lead began.
The race’s first caution was thrown on Lap 17, which re-stacked the field and put Tucker to Bergeron’s outside. Tucker got a great restart and carried his top-side momentum down the backstretch, taking the lead away from Bergeron as the field rounded Turn 4 and passed under the flag stand as another caution was quickly displayed, setting Tucker as the race leader.
This time, Tucker was the one to choose the inside lane for the restart and made the most of it, slamming the door shut on Bergeron’s attempt to drive down even lower as the field barreled into Turn 1. The two traded some paint before the exchange was over, but Tucker made it stick on the top side.
Now just past halfway, Tucker took the lead and ran with it. Making slight work of lapped traffic on the top side with Bergeron right on his tail the entire time, Tucker never once broke his concentration, leading the field all the way back to the finish and fending off Bergeron’s surge in the closing laps.
“He closed in on me with about 10 to go, and I started hitting my marks, being a little smoother and I started pulling away,” Tucker said. “I really didn’t want to give that one away when I saw him closing in on me like that. He was going to have to do everything to get by me.”
Tucker in hot pursuit of the lead (Joe Grabianowski Photo)
Once they were clear of lapped traffic, Tucker and Bergeron were able to break away from the rest of the pack using a very creative line, dive-bombing into the corners then pushing way up to the outside wall on corner exit. In the end, Tucker said it was his smoothness in this line that carried him to victory.
“I was trying to position the car to where it needed to be to catch the moisture off the cushion on both ends because the curb up there was really big and really fast,” Tucker said.
One spot further back found a stumped Alex Bergeron, who ran a great race overall and provided some relentless pressure on Tucker throughout, but was unable to come up with the kryptonite for the leader’s strength in the end.
“The right side of the spoiler was bent and that costs a lot of speed in these cars,” Bergeron said. “It’s tough to get in the race when someone jumps the start like that, so there’s nothing we could have done there. This track was just one-laned, nothing we could have done.”
Alex Bergeron (12) and Evan Seay bring the field to the green flag at Eldora (Joe Grabianowski Photo)
Kevin Dedmon, the DIRTcar eSports Street Stock Showdown winner at Lanier, picked up the DIRTVision Hard Charger award in the VP Racing Fuels Feature after a solid run to complete the podium from eighth on the starting grid. He preferred the bottom lane at the start, and said it began to work for him as the race progressed.
“I was able to make it work a little bit, though, and get up to third by the end of the race, but it was just too little, too late,” Dedmon said. “I would have loved to have seen a caution there with 5 or 10 to go and seen if I could have found some magic at the end.”
The DIRTcar eSports action continues in two weeks when the DIRTcar 360 Sprint Cars tackle virtual Kokomo Speedway on DIRTVision! Drivers can register for this and all future events at DIRTcar.com/eSports.
SARVER, PA – In one of the most incredible battles seen in virtual racing action on DIRTVision presented by Drydene all year, Alex Bergeron became the first repeat winner in DIRTcar eSports competition Wednesday night at virtual Lernerville Speedway.
Bergeron and fellow iRacing pro license driver Kendal Tucker took center stage in the final six laps of the 30-lap DIRTcar 305 Sprint Car contest and engaged in a heated game of cat-and-mouse that ended with big contact between the two, sending Tucker almost completely around as Bergeron drove away for the $300 check and his first DIRTcar eSports victory since his win in the Pro Late Models at virtual Volusia Speedway Park on May 9.
“Tucker got into me a little bit on the front straightaway there, we were very close there. It was a close race, close battle, especially the start with Bryce [Bailey]. Sliders on sliders. But to be able to come out here and win another DIRTcar eSports race is awesome,” Bergeron told DIRTVision host Chase Raudman in the post-race interview.
Every story has two sides, and Tucker saw the contact between the two quite a bit differently than Bergeron.
“I think we had that one won, but I don’t know. I went to cross over under [Bergeron’s] slider, and I don’t know if the world champ can’t hold a line or what, but I was holding my line down below him and he just came right down into me,” Tucker said.
Joe Grabianowski Photo
Tucker had led the race since wrestling the top spot away from Bergeron and third-place Bryce Bailey in a seven-lap side job fest that saw a new leader every other corner. Back-and-forth the three wheelmen traded slide jobs, inside-and-outside, putting on a fantastic show out front. Until Tucker made a superb door-slamming maneuver in Turns 1-2 on Lap 8 to cut Bergeron and Bailey off from any further bids for the lead.
“That was a fun race, for sure,” Bailey said, reflecting back on the ultimate duel for the lead in the early going. “The first 10 laps were just crazy. Whatever happened, happened. But the first 10 laps, that’s what we race for. It was just a blast.”
Tucker’s lead held up until just under 10 laps to go, when Bergeron finally wound-up enough momentum behind the Swindell SpeedLab #00 and threw a big slide job into Turn 3 to take the lead, only to have Tucker cross back underneath to steal it back as they crossed the flag stand. Bergeron tried it again two laps later and this time was successful, but not without some controversial nerf bar banging.
Tucker crossed back underneath Bergeron’s slide job coming out of Turn 4, and space between the two just plain ran out. They bounced off one another, Bergeron off the outside wall, but both kept it rolling into Turns 1-2 where even further contact was made.
Joe Grabianowski Photo
“He went to slide me down there. On the straightaway, instead of keeping his car straight, he just decided to hook a hard left into me. I got my car all squirrely. I went down into Turn 1 the next lap and got into his tail tank and it about spun me out,” Tucker said of his view inside the cockpit.
“I came off of Turn 4 and the car got loose a little bit,” Bergeron said of the incident. “I was able to stay straight, but then [Tucker] came up a little bit. So, it was kind of a racing incident, pretty much. He came up, I came down, and we tangled up. I didn’t expect to stay in the wall like that on the front straightaway, I almost flipped my car there.”
Now with the lead and several lapped cars in between he and Tucker, Bergeron put his ABR #12 machine on cruise control and led the field back around to the checkered flag unchallenged for yet another virtual Sprint Car victory for the two-time World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car iRacing World Champion.
Shortly after the big three-car battle out front for the lead ended, Bailey broke his stride and slipped over the banking in Turns 1-2, losing several spots of track position in the process. But he was able to recover, using the lone caution flag and some smart passing to climb his way back up to a podium finish.
“I just made a mistake on the cushion. I just overdrove it. When those guys found the bottom, I’m not a very good bottom feeder, I just kinda jumped it,” Bailey said.
The DIRTcar eSports action continues in just two weeks’ time – DIRTcar Pro Late Models at virtual Eldora Speedway. Catch all the action on DIRTVision presented by Drydene – the broadcast home of DIRTcar eSports!
DIRTcar eSPORTS HOOSIER RACING TIRE 305 SPRINT CAR SHOWDOWN RESULTS; June 3, 2020 at Lernerville Speedway
Kevin Dedmon holds off iRacing stars to earn first DIRTcar eSports win at virtual Lanier National Speedway
BRASELTON, GA — May 20, 2020 — On any other day of the week, Kevin Dedmon is the lead singer and fiddler of his own country band, but on Wednesday night at virtual Lanier National Speedway, the Dirty Grass Soul frontman laid a serious licking on the DIRTcar Street Stock field to win his first DIRTcar eSports Showdown.
Beating out fellow iRacing pro Kendal Tucker and DIRTcar Street Stock regular DJ Kilanowski, Dedmon took his Team VLR #0 to Victory Lane as the fourth different winner in as many races on the DIRTcar eSports circuit.
“This was my first-ever DIRTcar race,” Dedmon said. “I had a blast, and got to sweep the night, so it was fun.”
Indeed, he did. Dedmon was also the victor in the Hoosier Racing Tire Preliminary Round #1 COMP Cams Feature, which transferred him into the VP Racing Fuels Final Round. With a third-place Racing Electronics Qualifying effort, Dedmon got a great start at the drop of the green and immediately began digging to the inside on leader Tucker.
Joe Grabianowski Photo
For several of the opening laps in the 50-lap Chevy Performance Feature, Dedmon and Tucker rode side-by-side, lap-after-lap until Dedmon pulled a big slide job on Tucker on Lap 12, to swipe the lead away. Tucker came back at him on the next restart, putting the pressure on Dedmon from behind. In their side-by-side battles, a bit of scraping and rubbing was seen, but nothing extreme. Just enough to turn the heat up early on.
“It was awesome, me and Kendal were beatin’ and bangin’ doors there in the first half of the race,” Dedmon told DIRTVision broadcast host Chase Raudman in the post-race interview. “It was all clean racing, in my opinion. He got into me a little bit and I got into him a little bit, but that’s kinda what you gotta do in these. I wasn’t holding anything against him for that.”
“I really would have liked to have gotten a better start and got out front,” Tucker said. “Probably could’ve just used the old mirror and held ’em off, but that’s just how it goes sometimes.”
A few yellows thrown intermittently from that point on broke the competitive tension between Dedmon and Tucker, but Dedmon did seem to have a better line in the long run, which gave him the advantage he needed to stay out front of Tucker and a hard-pressing Kilanowski as the laps clicked off.
Joe Grabianowski Photo
Tucker and Kilanowski chased Dedmon down through the closing laps, where they got their best chance to make a move on the leader. With seven laps left on the board, the leaders caught the rear of a lapped car out of Turn 4. Dedmon just barely tapped the driver-side door of the slower car while passing on the inside, while Tucker made a bit more significant contact, cutting into his momentum just enough to allow Dedmon to open up the gap and drive away with the win.
“I pinched one of the lapped cars off pretty good, and actually got him with my right-rear. I was running that kinda slider-line out of Turns 3-4 and coming in high, so I was like, ‘Man, I gotta go! Can’t be waiting,’” Dedmon said of his lane choice in the closing laps.
“I kept trying that line in Turns 3-4 that [Dedmon] was running,” Tucker said of his view from the cockpit. “Every time I went to that line, he was just yanking me so much harder. I don’t know how much harder I could have drove this thing, it’s only running about 60 miles an hour.”
Joe Grabianowski Photo
This was Tucker’s third venture into the DIRTcar eSports world, and the third time he’s been seen up front without a win. In his mind, though, persistence is key.
“We’ve been up front in all of ‘em, just need some things to go our way. You need a lot of luck on this sim to win. As long as we can keep being up front, we’ll get one eventually,” Tucker said.
“I was kinda sitting back, waiting to see if they’d go two-wide and just pick the dominant lane and hopefully get up to second,” Kilanowski said. “Kendal was keeping the car wide enough that I couldn’t get to another lane to pass him. So, I was happy running third.”
The fifth round of DIRTcar eSports action continues in two weeks’ time; track and car class to be announced in the coming days. Catch all the action live on DIRTVision!
Weekly DIRTcar eSports Showdown RESULTS; May 20, 2020 at Lanier National Speedway