Seay’s fourth career Tour victory ties him with Alex Bergeron for most all-time
He’s been in Victory Lane with his Summit Racing Equipment UMP Modified on DIRTVision before, and now he’s done it again. With his fourth career victory aboard the DIRTcar eSports Tour Wednesday night at the virtual Bristol Motor Speedway, Evan Seay now sits tied for the most Feature wins in Tour history.
Grabbing the lead at the drop of the green, Seay, of Chesnee, SC, pulled out to a big advantage over his competition early, turning the fastest lap of the race on Lap 2. It wasn’t until the halfway mark passed before Seay received his first challenge from a hard-charging Dylan Yeager, who started on the front row but had fallen all the way back to ninth on the initial start.
Yeager, of Hamilton, NJ, immediately hit the high side and began making up spots rapidly, reaching the runner-up spot by Lap 12. He then used that momentum to track down leader Seay as he approached lapped traffic.
“I told myself I was going to stick to the bottom the first few laps, and it ended up working out and getting me the lead. But all of a sudden, it just slowed way down a ton on the bottom about eight laps in. [Yeager] basically just caught me just running the top – the top was that much faster,” Seay said.
But a few costly mistakes on the treacherous high side of Bristol broke Yeager’s momentum on multiple occasions, giving Seay the edge he needed to pull away.
“As my dad always says, I race better when I’m pissed off, so I got up on the wheel and drove back up to P2,” Yeager said. “I was running down Evan at the end and then I started messing up and hitting the wall.”
Seay turned on the jets in the home stretch and brought home the $250 payday on cruise control. With an eighth-place finish last week with the Big Block Modifieds at Weedsport, Seay now sits inside the top-five of the points standings.
Defending Tour champion Kendal Tucker, of Mount Airy, NC, made his first appearance of the season Wednesday night and had a solid run going, tracking down Yeager in the final laps and making the pass in traffic to clinch a runner-up finish.
With all of the back-and-forth, ups-and-downs Yeager had over the 40-lap contest, it’s no surprise he was almost relieved to see the checkered fly by race’s end.
“I think that’s the first time I’ve ever sweated in a sim race before,” Yeager said.
The DIRTcar eSports Tour action continues next Wednesday night, April 7, with Round 3 of action at the Williams Grove Speedway. The Super DIRTcar Series Big Block Modifieds will be the vehicle of choice – catch all of the action live in the iRacing server or on DIRTVision at 8pm ET.
The virtual Big Blocks, which reached season-high car counts last season, are back as the focus of a 10-race Tour, every Wednesday from March 24 to May 26, for Season 3 – one that also includes the return of the Chevy Performance Street Stock League for its second season.
Beginning with the first race at Weedsport Speedway on March 24, the Big Blocks will contest five races on the Season 3 Tour, alternating each Wednesday night with 360 Sprint Cars, Pro Late Models, UMP Modifieds, 358 Modifieds and the first-ever appearance by dirt Midgets. iRacing’s newest dirt track at Bristol Motor Speedway also has its spot on the docket, setting the stage for a Week 2 showdown with the UMP Modifieds.
All 10 races will be $250-to-win and pay back through the Feature field. Commemorative trophies will be awarded to the podium finishers in the final points standings after the Week 10 finale at The Dirt Track at Charlotte.
The Chevy Performance Street Stock League will also begin March 24, setting out on a 10-race championship chase of its own. Racing across eight different tracks, competitors will chase a $100 top prize each night as Feature winner.
New to the Street Stock campaign in Season 3 is the highly requested addition of a points championship system, mirroring that of the DIRTcar eSports Tour. Trophies will be awarded to the podium finishers in final points after 10 races.
Following the precedent set in Season 2, the Street Stock League will once again be held with the more causal sim racer in mind, and thus only be available for competitors with iRatings 4800 and below.
Every race will once again be broadcasted on DIRTVision presented by Drydene, free to all account holders. Street Stocks will kick each night off with practice at 6:50pm ET and Qualifying at 7pm. The Tour session will open with practice at 7:50pm ET and follow with Qualifying.
Registration for each race tentatively closes the Monday before each event and is now open for all 10 events in each league.
DIRTcar eSports Tour Season 3 Schedule
March 24 – Big Block Modifieds at Weedsport Speedway (50 Laps)
March 31 – UMP Modifieds at Bristol Motor Speedway (40 Laps)
April 7 – Big Block Modifieds at Williams Grove Speedway (50 Laps)
April 14 – Pro Late Models at The Dirt Track at Charlotte (40 Laps)
April 21 – Big Block Modifieds at Lernerville Speedway (50 Laps)
April 28 – Midgets at Lanier National Speedway (30 Laps)
May 5 – Big Block Modifieds at Cedar Lake Speedway (50 Laps)
May 12 – 360 Sprint Cars at Kokomo Speedway (30 Laps)
May 19 – 358 Small Block Modifieds at USA International Speedway (40 Laps)
May 26 – Big Block Modifieds at The Dirt Track at Charlotte Motor Speedway (50 Laps)
Chevy Performance Street Stock League Season 3 Schedule
March 24 – Knoxville Raceway (20 Laps)
March 31 – Limaland Motorsports Park (25 Laps)
April 7 – Eldora Speedway (20 Laps)
April 14 – Fairbury Speedway (25 Laps)
April 21 – Cedar Lake Speedway (25 Laps)
April 28 – Lernerville Speedway (25 Laps)
May 5 – Limaland Motorsports Park (25 Laps)
May 12 – Eldora Speedway (20 Laps)
May 19 – Williams Grove Speedway (20 Laps)
May 26 – The Dirt Track at Charlotte Motor Speedway (25 Laps)
Tucker runner-up for third time in Season 2, retains points lead after lapped-car tangle
Just two weeks after suffering a last-place finish in his DIRTcar eSports Tour Season 2 debut, Hayden Cardwell now sings a sweet song of redemption.
The iRacing Pro driver from Knoxville, TN, exited the DIRTcar eSports Tour lobby early back on December 16, his Season 2 debut in shambles after starting on the pole of the Big-Block Modified Feature and crashing out less than 10 laps in.
But Wednesday night made up for all of that, as he took his Mike McKinney-identical #96m-painted Summit Racing Equipment UMP Modified to Victory Lane at the Fairbury Speedway for the second time in his DIRTcar eSports career, picking up the $250 winner’s check for the first time since July 1 in Season 1.
“It means a lot to come out here and pick up a win in something that isn’t a Sprint Car,” Cardwell told announcer Chase Raudman in the DIRTVision post-race interview. “It feels pretty good.”
Cardwell began his march to Victory Lane from fourth on the starting grid and had front-row seats to a slide job-fest in the opening laps between polesitters Austin Carr and current Tour points leader Kendal Tucker.
Tucker, of Mt. Airy, NC, eventually won the passing battle and began to open up a gap between he, Carr, Cardwell and 2019 World of Outlaws Morton Buildings Late Model iRacing World Champion Blake Matjoulis.
Cardwell eventually wrestled the runner-up spot away from Carr and set his sights on leader Tucker. He stayed glued to the top side of the virtual quarter-mile and closed the gap on Tucker as the race neared the halfway point. Then, opportunity knocked.
The slower lapped car of David Ortiz II had been running right through the middle groove when Tucker reached his rear bumper and dove to the inside in an attempt to make the pass; Cardwell a half-car-length behind. Tucker slid up the track and right into the side of Ortiz, throwing him off-kilter, opening the door for Cardwell to make the pass on the top.
“I much rather would have gotten passed straight-up than getting into it with a lapped car right there,” Tucker said of the incident. “[Ortiz] was entering in the middle in no-man’s land and I was trying to slide him, but… he should have gotten out of the way in my opinion, but that’s just racing. That’s just how it goes sometimes.”
Cardwell raced into the lead as they crossed the line to complete Lap 17, Tucker a few car-lengths behind. One final restart gave Tucker and Matjoulis behind him a chance to make a move, but both stumbled as the green flag dropped, allowing Cardwell to pull away and bring it back home for his second career DIRTcar eSports Tour victory.
“They are probably one of the hardest cars to run on the top, in my opinion,” said Cardwell, an iRacing Sprint Car regular, of piloting the DIRTcar UMP Modified. “In these, it’s kinda tricky because if you barely miss it, you’ll be off the pace. But if you get the right-rear in the wall too much and the front end comes around, you’ll pretty much knock the right front off and can’t drive it anymore.”
Despite the earlier tangle with the lapped car, Tucker was able to nurse his beaten Swindell SpeedLab eSports #00 home to his fifth-straight podium finish of Season 2. Bottom-feeding for most of the 40-lap contest, Tucker once tried the high line but couldn’t make it work in order to regain the lead.
“I just had too much damage to run up there with them guys. Luckily, I was able to put around that bottom on the slider line in [Turns] 3 and 4 and keep enough speed to keep them guys behind me,” Tucker said.
Matjoulis crossed the line in third after a solid outing in only his third appearance with the Tour this season. Coming from fifth, the Ashville, NY-native picked up $100 for his efforts, but was left with much to be desired from his performance.
“Hayden would have been hard to get by,” Matjoulis commented on his perceived chances to make a move for the lead. “I couldn’t pass; just couldn’t go anywhere. In [turns] 1 and 2, there were a couple grooves but in 3 and 4, it was so single-lane. It was a bummer, honestly.”
The DIRTcar eSports Tour action picks back up next Wednesday night, Jan. 6, with the NOS Energy Drink 305 Sprint Cars at the Chili Bowl Nationals in Tulsa, OK. Catch all the action live on DIRTVision!
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
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