CONCORD, NC – Birds are thawing, pies are cooling, and DIRTcar eSports season four, round three is in the record books with Blake Matjoulis and Bobby Rafferty cleaning their plates first.
Blake Matjoulis won $250 in the 40-lap DIRTcar eSports Tour Feature at The Dirt Track at Charlotte driving the iRacing Drydene Pro Late Model this time around. The win should be a significant net gain in the points standings.
Matjoulis became the third different winner in the first three DIRTcar eSports Tour Features so far this season. He came into the night tied for sixth in points with a pair of Dylans; Yeager and Houser.
In Chevy Performance DIRTcar Street Stock competition, Bobby Rafferty was king. After tangling in the Heat Race and sorting it out, Rafferty and Bailey Hipp put on a 25-lap DIRTcar Street Stock barn burner at the virtual Limaland Motorsports Park.
Rafferty topped the duel for the $100 prize on the last lap. It was his first career DIRTcar eSports Feature win.
Pro Late Models presented by Drydene
It wasn’t quite a Thanksgiving turkey shoot for Blake Matjoulis but once he was out in front, the driver of the Swindell Speedlab #127 held his line and kept the competition in his Hoosier Racing Tire tracks for 40 laps. Close behind were Logan Rumsey, Kendal Tucker, and Dylan Yeager who battled tooth and nail all race for the final two podium positions.
Matjoulis couldn’t have started his Thanksgiving festivities any better.
“It was definitely a good run,” Matjoulis said. “We had that middle rolling. I don’t think we ever got off the middle/bottom. I took the lead, put down some consistent laps, never made any mistakes, and it paid off. We ended up pulling away there once we got 10 laps into a run. It felt really good there for a fixed setup.”
Forty-nine Drydene Pro Late Models attempted to make the 23-car field and it was stacked. The field was so good that Matjoulis never caught lapped traffic over the course of a 30+ lap green flag period.
“Usually you have some lapped traffic 15-20 laps into a run,” Matjoulis noted. “It was pretty odd not having any lapped traffic. But it was a good thing for me.”
The top side seemed to dominate qualifying and Heat Races but the winner worked the low line.
“I thought the bottom would have stayed along for a little longer but it seemed to fade around halfway,” Matjoulis said. “We just road the middle there. It would have been interesting to see some lapped traffic to see if they caught up but either way, I think we would have been alright.”
Logan Rumsey took home $175 for second place. His night was set up for success in the Heat Race when two heavyweights exchanged blows in front of him knocking themselves out of the top two spots.
“I didn’t expect much tonight,” Rumsey said. “I got lucky in the Heat Race. Alex [Bergeron] and Hayden [Cardwell] got together so I won the Heat.”
Drivers were constantly watching the changing Limaland surface.
“I wasn’t going to run the top in the Feature,” Rumsey noted. “I was just going to roll the middle to stay out of trouble. It worked out. Blake [Matjoulis] is so good at these slick tracks. Yeager was all over me. I’m pretty sure I was in the way but I’ll take it.”
Third place Kendel Tucker nabbed the final podium position from Dylan Yeager off the final corner of the race. Tucker wasn’t satisfied and knows he needs to improve overall.
“It was a really good run in the Feature,” Yeager said. “I gotta get my qualifying program together. It was terrible. Not sure what I need to do to figure out. It’s tough starting this far back every race I am in.”
DIRTcar Street Stocks presented by Chevy Performance
Former real-world racer and Orange County Fair Speedway fan Bobby Rafferty picked up his first career DIRTcar eSports Feature win after 25 hardscrabble laps around Limaland. Forty DIRTcar Street Stocks presented by Chevy Performance took time in qualifying to make the 24-car field.
The best of the best in dirt track iRacing were on hand and Rafferty came out on top with a last-lap pass after starting from the 12th position.
“It’s been a long time coming,” Rafferty said. “We’ve been strong with you guys in past races but haven’t had the luck fall our way. I am literally shaking after that race. Forget the $100 or anything. This is an official DIRTcar race win. Being a guy from the northeast that lives five minutes from Orange County Fair Speedway, this one means a lot.”
The tight confines of Limaland and its notoriously slick surface on iRacing made for a challenging race track for the competitors. Multiple cautions kept the field bunched up.
“It was a patience game,” Rafferty noted. “Myself, Brett [Rowles], and Bailey [Hipp] all got together in the Heat. I had a discussion with Bailey and to his credit, he manned up and apologized. He said it was on him and I said we were good. You know I race clean. I know you race clean. Let’s go put on a show. I think that’s exactly what we did. I hope everyone enjoyed the show we were able to put on for them.”
With a last-lap, lights out pass, Rafferty and the Street Stockers put on one heck of a show.
NEXT UP: DIRTcar eSports season four is off next week but returns with a special non-points race featuring the wingless 360 sprint cars in the Night Before the Fake 500. Sign up with iRacing and join the fun or watch it all live on DIRTVision on Wednesday, December 8.
CONCORD, NC – The cream of the DIRTcar eSports crop rose to the top once again in another thrilling Wednesday night of iRacing dirt track action. Evan Seay fended off Blake Matjoulis to win his first Tour race of 2021 while Tyler Jackson won again in the Chevy Performance Street Stock.
The points tightened up at the top of the Tour after 40-laps of hard-fought Summit Racing Equipment UMP Modified Feature racing with the top 5 shuffling up. Meanwhile, Tyler Jackson continued to be the man to beat in the full-fendered Street Stocks adding win number two to his 2021 season total.
Summit Racing Equipment UMP Modifieds
Evan Seay, from Chesnee, SC, traded slide jobs with fellow DIRTcar eSports partner Blake Matjoulis for the Feature win in the Summit Racing Equipment UMP Modified Tour stop at Fairbury Speedway. Seay survived Matjoulis’s challenges plus several late-race restarts for the big win live on DIRTVision presented by Drydene.
Seay has found success behind the wheel of the UMP Modifieds over the last few seasons on the Tour and looks forward to seeing them on the schedule.
“We won Bristol last season and Kokomo the year before in one of these UMP Modifieds,” Seay said. “When it gets slick, it suits my driving style just keeping them straight and not making any mistakes. With these open front tires it’s easy to get into the wall. Getting into other cars on the track can definitely mess you up. We kept it smooth tonight controlling the restarts.”
The Summit Racing Equipment UMP Modifieds are one of the most challenging and fun dirt cars on the iRacing simulator, especially on a slick bullring like Fairbury.
“It is easy to overdrive these cars on a track that slick,” Seay noted. “Not making any mistakes was the key tonight. If I didn’t make any mistakes, I felt like it was hard for anyone to get up there and try anything. Any time you throw a slide job on this slick of a track you kill all momentum so I knew to just watch out for those sliders and stay out of the wall.”
Seay’s teammate Blake Matjoulis finished close behind in second.
“I had the bottom rolling in one and two early,” Matjoulis said. “I got up to second there and we weren’t as good as Evan [Seay] on the top. The bottom kind of went away. My only shot was getting even with him off of two and sliding him into three. The bottom just seemed to go away there in the end. Overall it was a good run and a good race.”
Seay and Matjoulis went head-to-head for several late-race restarts.
“He got a gap on us on those restarts,” Matjoulis noted. “We just didn’t get the restarts now. But going one and two for our team is as good as it gets for us.”
Third place runner Alex Bergeron, coming off a second-place effort in the iRacing World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series, found himself on the DIRTcar eSports podium.
“We had a good night,” Bergeron said. “Qualifying wasn’t too good for us but we gained a few spots in the Heat Race. Started the Feature in eighth and made our way up to the front. On those types of tracks, it goes to the top early and it’s tough to pass.”
NEXT UP: The Tour takes on The Dirt Track at Charlotte in the DIRTcar eSports Drydene Pro Late Models next Wednesday, November 24. Catch all the action on DIRTVision presented by Drydene or join in for yourself with on iRacing.
Tyler Jackson makes it two-for-two in DIRTcar eSports Chevy Performance Street Stock Features in 2021. It’s hard to deny the dominance of Jackson as he has not lost a Heat Race or a Feature yet so far this season. He’s also been fast in qualifying with a third and second overall fastest time in the first two races.
There’s no surprise that Jackson has come out of the box fast but the early wins came as a surprise to the defending DIRTcar eSports champion.
“These are my two worst tracks on the circuit,” Jackson said. “I don’t know if I got better from last year or I am getting lucky. I’m not sure.”
Jackson followed pole-sitter Charles Barnes until the halfway point when the race winner knew it was go-time.
“When I was following him [Barnes] I think I showed him the apron line so he chopped the corner really hard there I knew he was going to stay down there and make his car really wide,” Jackson said. “I knew my only shot was to run that second groove.”
The racing was ferocious throughout the field and Jackson was glad to have stayed out in front of the incidents.
“Happy that we were able to come out with the win,” Jackson noted. “I was happy running second tonight but when you get the opportunity you gotta go for the win. Charles ran me clean.”
NEXT UP: The big bad DIRTcar eSports Chevy Performance Street Stocks are set to battle next on Wednesday, November 24 at the virtual Limaland Motorsports Park live on DIRTvision presented by Drydene.
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.
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.
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.
CONCORD, NC – Since the inception of sim racing, fans have dreamt of taking their virtual skills and applying them on a real-world race track. Bryce Bailey, from Waverly, NY, has used winnings from iRacing leagues and specials to help put himself on track in a DIRTcar Sportsman Modified.
Bailey, a rising iRacing talent, won the first DIRTcar eSports race behind the wheel of a Super DIRTcar Series Big Block Modified against a field of premier iRacing pros and real-world drivers alike. Now, he is taking his real signature red #2B to Lake View Motor Speedway in South Carolina along with nearly 40 other DIRTcar Sportsman Modified drivers.
Bailey is not the first and certainly not the last to go from virtual-to-reality racing. In 2008, Nissan created a program to train sim drivers on the Playstation game Gran Turismo with the intention of putting them into real race cars and did so with success.
In 2021, iRacing leads the world in auto racing simulation. With the introduction of Super DIRTcar Series Big Block Modifieds and DIRTcar 358 Modifieds, dirt track drivers and fans can hone their skills on the virtual dirt in the same race cars we race on tracks across the Northeast, Canada, and down through the eastern US.
“The hand-eye coordination you get from iRacing separates the kids now,” Bailey said. “Kids are coming up so fast. We have so many resources to fall back on. The feel of iRacing may not be exact but we’re still staying sharp. It helps you read tracks too as far as what lines you need to run, especially with Weedsport Speedway on here now. The lines you run on Weedsport are the same you would run in real life.”
In addition to his DIRTcar eSports checkered flag, where he held off some of the best in the business, Bailey won the Empire Super Sprint iRacing Series plus other leagues and high profile money races. Now, he is focused on taking that iRacing success to his DIRTcar Sportsman Modified program, starting with Lake View.
Last year, Bailey bought a four-cylinder asphalt racer and won at Lake Erie Speedway against a very strong field of Race of Champions drivers. Now he’s ready for the dirt.
“I ran twice in my Sportsman Modified last year, but 2021 will be my true rookie season,” he said. “This race at Lake View coming up is already one of the most prestigious DIRTcar Sportsman races you can run with all the money they are putting up down there in purse and bonuses.”
The South of the Border Showdown marks the first time DIRTcar Sportsman Modifieds have raced at Lake View Motor Speedway. Although Bailey is up against the best Sportsman drivers out of the Northeast like Kevin Root, Andrew Buff, Zach Sobotka, Kevin Ridley, Tyler Cocoran, and Alan Fink, they will all see Lake View for the first time starting on Thursday, Jan. 28, with a free-to-the-public practice session. That levels the playing field a degree in terms of experience.
“There are a ton of top runners down there,” Bailey said. “Anyone that has won in a Sportsman is going like Kevin Root. The goal is to make the show and maybe get a top 15 but if we can keep our nose clean I’ll be happy. I gotta keep my goals realistic. Kevin Root and I have the same sponsor, FX Caprara. He’s already played a role in my career in helping me out. We actually traded iRacing help for some real-life racing help.”
Bailey has big plans for the rest of 2021, too.
“This year’s plan is to run DIRTcar shows,” he said. “We’ll be at Brewerton, Fulton, Weedsport, Can-Am, plus the big shows. We’ll hit up what we can and race as much as possible.”
Watch Bailey and the stars of the DIRTcar Sportsman Modifieds take on Lake View Motor Speedway Thursday-Sunday, January 28-30 live on Speed51.com.
Turn on DIRTVision tonight, Wednesday, January 27, for free and catch the season 2 DIRTcar eSports finale featuring the Super DIRTcar Series Big Block Modifieds at Lernerville plus Street Stocks at Lanier. Racing begins at 7pm(ET) live only on DIRTVision.
BARBERVILLE, FL – Alex Bergeron stormed his way to the front of the field Saturday night to win the Weekly DIRTcar eSports Showdown at virtual Volusia Speedway Park.
A force to be reckoned with, the 2019 iRacing World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car World Champion from Drummondville, QUE, managed to find his way around the virtual DIRTcar Pro Late Model well enough to claim the $300 winner’s share at the end of the 35-lap Chevy Performance Feature.
“I was following Mike [McKinney] and Tucker while I was running third, and I decided to take it easy until the final couple laps when I made my move on the outside and I was able to get the run off of turn two,” Bergeron said of his race-winning lap-29 pass on real-world driver Mike McKinney.
Contact, however, was prevalent throughout the race although rarely was it enough to result in caution flags.
“It was pretty rough for sure,” Bergeron said.
Bergeron is notable for his new role as an iRacing mentor to the pros, who are finding themselves in the virtual cockpit more than ever. His experience in simulators allows him to anticipate the changing track conditions, and be able to quickly analyze how to wheel a DIRTcar Pro Late Model around The World’s Fastest Half-Mile:
“The bottom was not really there,” he said. “It was pretty much middle in Turns 1 and 2. Going into Turns 3 and 4, the high side wasn’t there at all and if you got off the line you’d fall back a lot. Going into 1 and 2 you get into the middle and hit the apex, then let the car go up and get the moisture off the back straightaway.”
An obviously disappointed Kendal Tucker finished second to Bergeron, who took advantage of a battle between Tucker and Mike McKinney.
His race day started by grabbing the Cometic Gasket Fast-Time Award in Racing Electronics Qualifying with a lap around the World’s Fastest Half-Mile in 16. 561 seconds.
After leading the first 18 laps, pole-sitter Tucker was forced out of the lead by Mike McKinney gave him a few taps before barging his way to the lead.
After retaking the lead, Tucker was dispatched similarly by Bergeron but not without dishing out some hard-nosed racing of his own in the closing stages.
“Alex [Bergeron] got to us and instead of trying to pass he hit us four times in one lap and to finish it off he doored us out of the way,” said the fired up Tucker.
The battle in the top 5 was wild over the course of 2 green/white/checkered flag attempts where the field fanned out going for the lead.
Evan Seay, a World of Outlaws Morton Buildings Late Models iRacing World Champion, crossed the line in third hoping to make that top-side work on the leaders. Seay fell just short, but knew from Lap 1 the competition at the front would be extremely tight.
“This was a good finish tonight,” Seay said. “With Fixed Setups it’s always going to be close. You get into tight battles like that. I was kind of rolling the top there in three and four. It was just as fast as the middle. I stuck with that plan on the last restart and it worked out.”
Notably, Weekly DIRTcar eSports Showdowns feature a Fixed Setup, which means all cars have precisely the same setup including tire pressures, gearing, fuel, suspension and more. This puts everything in the driver’s hands and there’s no room for error at the front.
It also makes for some of the best iRacing eSports competition out there.
The DIRTvision Hard Charger was Dan Hoekstra, who powered the Taylor Farms No. 52 ahead nine positions to finish 15th.
Upcoming Weekly DIRTcar eSports Showdown events will be released soon. Check DIRTcar.com, and follow us on Twitter and Facebook for updates.
Weekly DIRTcar eSports Showdown RESULTS; May 9, 2020 at Volusia Speedway Park
iRacing champ surges from 10th to victory in DIRTcar UMP Modified
LIMA, OH — Blake Matjoulis is no stranger to iRacing success. After all, he’s the defending champion of the World of Outlaws Morton Buildings Late Model iRacing World Championship. He leaned on all that experience Saturday night as he powered a DIRTcar UMP Modified to victory in the Weekly DIRTcar eSports Shootout at virtual Limaland Motorsports Park.
By the time the simulated dust settled on the VP Racing Fuels Final Round, Matjoulis, of Ashville, NY, crossed the line ahead of Dylan Wilson and pole-sitter JD Brown in the Summit Racing Equipment Feature.
In all, 73 virtual UMP Modified drivers attempted to qualify for the final 24-car field. The top 12 from each Hoosier Racing Tire Preliminary Round Feature advanced to the VP Racing Fuels Finals, where they requalified for the final Feature of the night.
In Hoosier Racing Tire Preliminary Round action, the first COMP Cams 35-lap Feature mirrored the finale as Matjoulis finished one spot ahead of Dylan Wilson for the win. In COMP Cams Feature 2, Preston Oberle scored the win with a huge slide job. Unfortunately, he qualified poorly and was mired in the back of the pack in the finale.
With the top 12 drivers from each preliminary event advancing, Racing Electronics Qualifying once again shuffled the field for the final 50-lap race to glory.
A Mod Lite driver from Bakersfield, CA, JD Brown, had the fast-time of the night and started the finale on the pole. Eventual race-winner Matjoulis didn’t think he had a chance for the win after a slip up in qualifying placing him 10th.
“When you get into big races with these kinds of guys, qualifying is critical,” Matjoulis said. “It’s nearly everything. It keeps you out of so much trouble and takes a lot of pressure off you.”
Pole-sitter Brown led the first 30 laps, fending off challenges from Wilson throughout, but Matjoulis could not be denied.
From the drop of the green flag, Matjoulis immediately took to the bottom of the speedway.
“I really didn’t think I’d win honestly, but I figured I could get a couple of spots there,” he said. “I got to the bottom early on and never left the tires there until lap 35 or so. It’s one of the best feelings when you find a line that’s gradually faster and people aren’t mirror driving to block your lines.”
After dispatching Brown for the lead, Matjoulis began building on his advantage.
“I was just fortunate enough to make up the ground on the bottom where I was able to take the lead and just run the top from there to hold off Wilson,” said Matjoulis of his $350 winning moves in the second round of weekly DIRTcar eSports action.
Runner-up for the second week in a row, Wilson drove another fast, clean race at the front of the field. The Bakersfield, CA Hobby Stock driver gave Matjoulis all he had.
“On most laps, he [Matjoulis] was faster than me. He was pulling,” Wilson said. “Second is about all we had tonight. We have two seconds in this series and we’ll try again next week.”
Brown hung on for a hard-fought third. The Californian was impressive all night and lost the Hoosier Racing Tire Preliminary Feature to a late slider by Preston Oberle.
Richie Yost took his unsponsored UMP Modified entry through the field from 18th to 7th to earn the DIRTVision Hard Charger award.
On Saturday, May 9, DIRTcar eSports returns with another round of weekly racing, featuring DIRTcar Pro Late Models at Volusia Speedway Park. Stay tuned to social media and the new DIRTcar eSports website to learn how to register for racing.
Weekly DIRTcar eSports Shootout; May 2, 2020 at Limaland Motorsports Park – RESULTS
South Carolina racer Evan Seay tops more than 110 Street Stock foes at virtual Fairbury Speedway
CONCORD, NC — More than 110 racers battled Saturday in the inaugural Weekly DIRTcar eSports Showdown at virtual Fairbury Speedway, where Evan Seay and his Street Stock did everything but knock down the walls to survive a full day of qualifying and preliminary events to ultimately capture the victory.
Seay, no stranger to the world of eSports as a winner in the World of Outlaws Morton Buildings Late Model iRacing Championship Series, rode the high line to Fairbury’s Victory Lane in the 50-lap DIRTcar Street Stock Chevrolet Performance Feature.
Dylan Wilson chased Seay across the finish line with Hoosier Racing Tire Preliminary Round 2 COMP Cams Qualifying Feature winner Hayden Cardwell in third.
“It honestly couldn’t have gone any better,” said Seay, of Chesnee, SC. “You gotta run the top and it’s tough especially with these guys right behind you. They don’t make a whole lot of mistakes so staying smooth is big.”
Seay slung his DIRTcar Street Stock around Fairbury Speedway in 15.133 seconds during Racing Electronics Qualifying, which was good enough for pole position in the 50-lap Feature. Braden Johnson and COMP Cams Qualifying Feature winner DJ Kilanowski qualified less than a tenth behind in second and third.
“I knew I needed to qualify to be up there with the way this track races with Street Stocks,” Seay said. The main thing was getting the pole, keeping it clean, and not making any mistakes.”
In the early going it was a three-car contest for the lead with Seay holding off charges from Braden Johnson on the low side and Dylan Wilson on the top. On Lap 10, just seconds before the caution flag flew, Wilson made a steely pass on Johnson, who unfortunately finished in the back of the pack nine laps down.
Just as in real-life, the inaugural DIRTcar eSports Feature winner receives a VP Racing Fuels Victory Flag, Hoosier neckband, Feature winner wheel sign, plus two tickets to the World Short Track Championship Oct. 29-31 at The Dirt Track at Charlotte, in addition to the $250 payday.
Throughout multiple restarts, runner-up Wilson managed to keep the pressure on Seay. With a handful of laps to go Wilson took a chance and went for the lead.
“A slider in these cars takes about a year and a half,” Wilson joked. “He [Seay] made a mistake on a restart which allowed me to get a run on the straightaway and that was about all I had. I just wanted to settle into P2 and not throw away a good payday for second.”
Unfortunately, for Johnson, while running third a lapped car got crossed up in front of him and forced him to drop rapidly to the rear of the field. This allowed Cardwell to take advantage and move up into fourth. Cardwell then pounced on Kyle Sirratt in the closing stages to claim third.
Cardwell plans to return for the next two rounds of Weekly DIRTcar eSports Showdowns in a UMP Modified and Pro Late Model.
The jam-packed day of virtual racing started with the Racing Electronics Qualifying Round 1 when 114 DIRTcar eSports Street Stock drivers scraped and clawed around the virtual Fairbury Speedway until only 24 hungry iRacers were left standing.
With the field cut after round one, 60 drivers entered Hoosier Racing Tire Preliminary Shows Round 2 featuring two COMP Cams Qualifying Features.
COMP Cams Qualifying Feature 1 took the green with Hayden Cardwell, Braden Johnson and Larry Barber Jr. locked in a battle in the early going.
After several cautions, Cardwell stayed smooth and fast and checked out on the field to take the win.
Notably, Joel Berkley was well within a transfer position but he was involved in a wreck on the front stretch at the end of the race. Berkley then missed the VP Race Fuels Final Round by just one position.
Blake Brown was the DIRTVision Hard Charger Award winner after passing 14 cars from the 22nd starting position.
COMP Cams Feature 2 got off to a wild start when multiple flips marred the first half of the Feature. DJ Killanowski started on the outside pole, took the lead, and never looked back at the field of Street Stocks nipping at his heels.
With five laps to go, Dylan Wilson threw a slide job on the leader, but Kilanowski saw it coming and powered back under Wilson to retain the lead.
At the white flag Evan Seay benefited from Wilson’s second slide job attempt, but this time he put Kalinowski up onto the wall. Although Seay was gifted the win, all drivers involved crossed the line to transfer in the VP Racing Fuels Final Round.
The COMP Cams Qualifying Feature winners received $25 and two tickets to the World Short Track Championship.
DIRTVision Hard Charger Tom Gajdorus picked up 11 spots to finish 10th.
Next week, Saturday, May 2, the Weekly DIRTcar sSports Showdown moves to Limaland Motorsports Park, where DIRTcar UMP Modifieds will battle on the virtual quarter-mile oval.
Real-world drivers and iRacers are encouraged to join the Weekly DIRTcar eSports Showdowns, which feature three rounds of competition, cash payouts, and professionally organized and race-directed sessions, with rounds two and three airing live on DIRTVision.