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. 

E-DIRT TO REAL DIRT: Rising iRacing Star Bryce Bailey Goes Real World Racing at Lake View Motor Speedway

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 

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. 

HEILEMANIAC: Turn 4 Slide Job Gives Heileman First Career Tour Victory with 360 Sprints at Knoxville

Bailey denied back-to-back wins after leading late; Tucker notches fourth-straight podium

White flag. Bryce Bailey was five turns away from capturing his second-straight DIRTcar eSports Tour victory as he rounded the high side of Turn 4.

Slide job. David Heileman had stolen the lead and began to drive away as the field dashed into Turn 1.

Checkered flag. Heileman becomes the fourth different Tour winner in four races with the 360 Sprint Cars presented by NOS Energy Drink at Knoxville Raceway.

Bailey, of Waverly, NY, gave it all he had in the final corners, but just couldn’t make the bottom work well enough to close the gap Heileman had opened up with the big slider in Turn 4.

“I can’t roll the bottom here very well. I knew I had to stick to the top or I was just gonna drop and anchor and go backwards,” Bailey told announcer Rick Eshelman in the DIRTVision post-race interview.

But Heileman, of Milwaukee, WI, used up every inch of the bottom lane throughout Wednesday night’s 30-lap Feature event to pick up the $250 paycheck, making the shortest way around the virtual half-mile the best way around right from the drop of the green.

Starting from the outside pole, Bailey got the early jump and led the race through the halfway point, surviving a few restarts while the major players made their way to the front. Specifically, iRacing’s two-time and defending World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car World Champion, Alex Bergeron, who was forced to come from 16th after an incident in his Heat Race put him in a Last Chance race to get him in the show.

Bergeron, of Drummondville, QC, had made his way up to fourth and, after a restart on Lap 16, gave race leader Bailey a big challenge for the top spot as they sped down the backstretch. Heileman was right on his heels heading into Turn 3 and looked low to retake second, but got a nose full of rear bumper.

Bergeron slipped up after the contact while Heileman moved down even lower, but a wheel hop onto the inside berm sent Heileman back up into Bergeron out of Turn 4, sending him into the outside wall and tangling with other cars on the front stretch. The caution was thrown, and for the second time in one night, Bergeron was headed for pit road.

Heileman (49) and Bailey (2) battling for the lead down the backstretch (Joe Grabianowski Photo)

“We came down from the top, had a little more momentum and knocked [Bergeron] off the line a little bit,” Heileman said of the incident. “I thought about back when he jumped the start in the Heat Race, so I saw an open door and took it. That’s just short track racing.”

With Bergeron again forced to come from the back, this opened the door for Heileman to put his focus back on Bailey. Which, he did, pulling even with him as they raced side-by-side under five laps to go. He out-muscled Bailey on the low side to grab the lead with just three-to-go before Bailey returned the pass with a little shove out of the groove down low next lap as they entered Turn 1.

Then, the big slider from Heileman to force the third lead change of the night. He carried the top spot all the way back around to the checkers for his first career victory with the Tour.

“When you’re racing like that, with three to go, especially on the DIRTVision broadcast… it’s kinda like all bets are off. You don’t care about finishing top-three or anything, it’s like we’re either gonna win-it-or-ding it at that point,” Heileman said.

As for Bailey’s second-straight podium finish in as many starts, he was obviously not as pleased this time as he was in Victory Lane the week prior. However, he’s a great sport and realizes a silver medal is just a result of the stiff competition.

“I just made a couple mistakes there at the end,” Bailey said. “When you’re racing people with this high-caliber field, you can’t really make that big of a mistake.

“I jumped the cushion a couple laps in-a-row and couldn’t really get momentum off of [Turn] 2. I knew I was faster in 3 and 4, I just couldn’t really get through 1 and 2 for the last 10 laps.”

An unsung hero of the race was Mt. Airy, NC’s Kendal Tucker, who had a mostly quiet night aboard his Swindell SpeedLab eSports #00. He’s now amassed four-straight podium finishes in as many starts and will retain his points lead heading into Week 5 of Tour competition next Wednesday night, Dec. 30, with the UMP Modifieds presented by Summit Racing Equipment.

“We were right there at the end. We finally figured out how to run some fast laps there towards the end. I know the two leaders had a little contact that helped us get a little closer there. Who knows, maybe if it was 35 or 40 laps, we would’ve had something for them,” Tucker said.

After all he’d been through, Bergeron still was able to make it back up to fourth when the checkered was thrown, which serves as another solid points night for Team ABR.

NOS Energy Drink Feature (30 Laps) – 1. 49-David Heileman [3]; 2. 02-Bryce Bailey [2]; 3. 00-Kendal Tucker [4]; 4. 12-Alex Bergeron [16]; 5. 24-Shaun Timmerman [5]; 6. 331-Dustin Hall [13]; 7. 025-Tyler Ducharme [6]; 8. 30-Stevin Goldner [7]; 9. 99-Gregory Lamey [11]; 10. 33-Evan Seay [1]; 11. 25-Richie Preston [8]; 12. 64-Dawson Cook [10]; 13. 1-Jesse Enterkin [18]; 14. 28-Jordan Porier [9]; 15. 3-Cody Hillman [21]; 16. 787-Cody Zobrist [23]; 17. 15-Brett Punkari [17]; 18. 42-John Smith III [15]; 19. 69-Matthew Schelk [24]; 20. 72-Broc Lawrence [22]; 21. 77-Anthony Corini [20]; 22. 17-Billy Richardson [19]; 23. Thomas Brandon [14]; 24. 13-Chris Papa [12]

PRO-STOPPER: Bailey Beats Giant Big-Block Field at Weedsport, Ends Pro Winner Reign

Super DIRTcar Series stars shine in Feature, McLaughlin 22nd to 8th

WEEDSPORT, NY – The streak is over. Bryce Bailey has dethroned the iRacing Dirt Pro-license drivers and their 13-race reign over the DIRTcar eSports Tour with a victory in the Super DIRTcar Series Big-Block Modifieds’ debut on the Tour, making a stop to the Weedsport Speedway Wednesday night for race #3 of 8.

Not only did he beat iRacing’s very best on dirt, but Bailey also topped five real-life Super DIRTcar Series drivers that came out to take part – DIRTcar OktoberFAST finale winner Max McLaughlin, Jack Lehner, Chris Hile, Mike Mahaney and Demetrius Drellos.

Going all the way back to the beginning of Season 1, which kicked off in late April, each and every Tour Feature had been won by an iRacer with the “Pro” license class – a symbol of the driver’s hard work, simulation skill and dedication to bettering themselves and the rest of the motorsports simulation community. Thirteen consecutive events, with eight different winners, all donning the dark-shaded Pro license.

None of that seemed to matter to Bailey, a real-life DIRTcar Sportsman Modified driver from Waverly, NY. He never once flinched at the size or depth of the Season 2-high 53-car field, taking the lead on Lap 6 of the 50-lap Bicknell Racing Products Feature and bringing it all the way back home for the $250 victory.

“It definitely feels good to win in the cars you drive in real-life,” Bailey told DIRTcar eSports Announcer Chase Raudman in the post-race interview on DIRTVision. “It definitely makes you feel 100 percent better.”

And what a first race to win, against, by far, the toughest field the DIRTcar eSports Tour has seen all year long. With nine Pro-license drivers and five full-time Super DIRTcar Series competitors in the virtual field, this roster gave the word “competition” a whole new meaning when the green flag dropped.

Tucker (00) and Bailey (2) battling for the lead (Joe Grabianowski Photo)

Polesitter Hayden Cardwell, of Knoxville, TN, sped out to the early lead while Bailey and the rest of the field gave chase in the opening laps. But the former Tour winner only held strong for five laps before making contact with Bailey and some other cars in the top-five, spinning around in Turns 3-4 and bringing out the race’s first caution. Cardwell was sent to the rear in the exchange, and eventually called it quits five laps later, leaving him with a 24th-place finish in his first Season 2 start.

Bailey assumed the race lead for the restart and wasted zero time, widening the gap between he and a hungry Alex Bergeron, who hasn’t won a Tour race since late August, and most recent Tour Feature winner Kendal Tucker.

Several restarts came into play as the laps clicked off, but Bailey had the ice in his veins, surrendering the lead for only a mere corner after Tucker got a big run to his inside out of Turn 2 on Lap 38. Tucker slid way up high in Turns 3-4, allowing Bailey the lane to sneak back by out of Turn 4 and reclaim the lead.

“Kendal did what he had to do, I can’t diss it,” Bailey said. “I would have done the same thing. I missed the bottom and he just took it.”

That was Bailey’s only blemish the entire race. Even one final restart inside the final 10 laps couldn’t shake the young gun’s confidence, and he drove it all the way back home to seal it as the first non-Pro iRacer to win a DIRTcar eSports Tour event.

“The field was absolutely stacked. I’m not gonna lie, I was kinda peeing myself on the last restart, trying to keep my cool. I knew who I had behind me and I knew I had to get a good gap. I knew they were gonna be aggressive if they had a chance to win it at the end of the race,” Bailey said.

McLaughlin (32) and Bobby Hackel (97) battling for position (Joe Grabianowski)

Max McLaughlin led the Super DIRTcar Series driver field to the stripe with an eighth-place finish after winning Last Chance Showdown #1 earlier in the night. He started 22nd on the grid, right beside each of the other three SDS regulars in the Feature. Mike Mahaney came from 21st to finish 13th; Jack Lehner went 23rd-to-18th; Chris Hile finished 21st after a shotgun start on the grid.

The DIRTcar eSports Tour next takes the 360 Sprint Car division to The Sprint Car Capital of the World, Knoxville Raceway, next Wednesday night (Dec. 23) for a 30-lap, $250-to-win showdown presented by NOS Energy Drink. Catch all the action live on DIRTVision!

Bicknell Racing Products Feature (50 Laps) – 1. 002-Bryce Bailey [4]; 2. 00-Kendal Tucker [5]; 3. 80-Dylan Wilson [7]; 4. 02-Dylan Houser [11]; 5. 12-Alex Bergeron [3]; 6. 112-Devon Morgan [6]; 7. 33-Evan Seay [2]; 8. 32-Max McLaughlin [22]; 9. 10-Jesse Enterkin [15]; 10. 000-Kevin Dedmon [8]; 11. 3-William Racine [9]; 12. 171-Brandon Freeburg [19]; 13. 35-Mike Mahaney [21]; 14. 33-Richard Murtaugh Jr. [10]; 15. 97-Bobby Hackel [17]; 16. 85-Hunter Heck [20]; 17. 41-Matthew Logan [18]; 18. 2-Jack Lehner [23]; 19. 21-Devin Willis [13]; 20. 787-Cody Zobrist [14]; 21. 5-Chris Hile [24]; 22. 01-Shane James [16]; 23. 127-Blake Matjoulis [12]; 24. 07-Hayden Cardwell [1]

12/16/20 – Big-Block Modifieds at Weedsport

Bicknell Racing Products Feature (50 Laps) – 1. 002-Bryce Bailey [4]; 2. 00-Kendal Tucker [5]; 3. 80-Dylan Wilson [7]; 4. 02-Dylan Houser [11]; 5. 12-Alex Bergeron [3]; 6. 112-Devon Morgan [6]; 7. 33-Evan Seay [2]; 8. 32-Max McLaughlin [22]; 9. 10-Jesse Enterkin [15]; 10. 000-Kevin Dedmon [8]; 11. 3-William Racine [9]; 12. 171-Brandon Freeburg [19]; 13. 35-Mike Mahaney [21]; 14. 33-Richard Murtaugh Jr. [10]; 15. 97-Bobby Hackel [17]; 16. 85-Hunter Heck [20]; 17. 41-Matthew Logan [18]; 18. 2-Jack Lehner [23]; 19. 21-Devin Willis [13]; 20. 787-Cody Zobrist [14]; 21. 5-Chris Hile [24]; 22. 01-Shane James [16]; 23. 127-Blake Matjoulis [12]; 24. 07-Hayden Cardwell [1]

Qualifying (2 Laps) – 1. 07-Hayden Cardwell [15.717] 2. 33-Evan Seay [15.73]; 3. 12-Alex Bergeron [15.825]; 4. 002-Bryce Bailey [15.854]; 5. 00-Kendal Tucker [15.862]; 6. 112-Devon Morgan [15.876]; 7. 80-Dylan Wilson [15.897]; 8. 46-Jonathan Nause [15.909]; 9. 3-William Racine [15.923]; 10. 33-Richard Murtaugh Jr. [15.944]; 11. 02-Dylan Houser [15.969]; 12. 127-Blake Matjoulis [15.996]; 13. 101-Brent Evans [15.996]; 14. 171-Brandon Freeburg [16.007]; 15. 331-Dustin Hall [16.009]; 16. 01-Shane James [16.014]; 17. 97-Bobby Hackel [16.022]; 18. 21-Devin Willis [16.034]; 19. 787-Cody Zobrist [16.035]; 20. 85-Hunter Heck [16.061]; 21. 92-Trent Hitchens [16.061]; 22. 1-Austin Carr [16.068]; 23. 000-Kevin Dedmon [16.078]; 24. 003-Carden Cochran [16.095]; 25. 115-Boddie Parker [16.099]; 26. 9-Hunter Bates [16.127]; 27. 50-Charles Day [16.155]; 28. 2-Jack Lehner [16.156]; 29. 76-Donovan Lussier [16.177]; 30. 242-Blake Stieb [16.2]; 31. 98-Michael Canady [16.208]; 32. 32-Max McLaughlin [16.215]; 33. 41-Matthew Logan [16.232]; 34. 012-Ross Wece [16.234]; 35. 10-Jesse Enterkin [16.253]; 36. 08-Jack Speshock [16.254]; 37. 111-Demetrios Drellos [16.305]; 38. 88-Blayne Nichols [16.322]; 39. 5-Chris Hile [16.339]; 40. 35-Mike Mahaney [16.378]; 41. 7-Connor Dudek [16.397]; 42. 75-Travis Creech [16.412]; 43. 20-Bradley Steinruck [16.497]; 44. 54-Even Racine [16.521]; 45. 234-Ej McAuliffe [16.593]; 46. 93-Steve Miskolczi [16.608]; 47. 200-David Emigh [16.688]; 48. 23-Joey Ladouceur [16.969]; 49. 77-Anthony Corini [16.99];50. 15-Donovan Long [DNQ]

Heat 1 (10 Laps) (Top 4 transfer) – 1. 07-Hayden Cardwell [1]; 2. 112-Devon Morgan [2]; 3. 02-Dylan Houser [3]; 4. 01-Shane James [4]; 5. 92-Trent Hitchens [5]; 6. 93-Steve Miskolczi [10]; 7. 98-Michael Canady [7]; 8. 08-Jack Speshock [8]; 9. 7-Connor Dudek [9]; 10. 9-Hunter Bates [6]

Heat 2 (10 Laps) (Top 4 transfer) – 1. 33-Evan Seay [1]; 2. 80-Dylan Wilson [2]; 3. 127-Blake Matjoulis [3]; 4. 97-Bobby Hackel [4]; 5. 32-Max McLaughlin [7]; 6. 50-Charles Day [6]; 7. 111-Demetrios Drellos [8]; 8. 75-Travis Creech [9]; 9. 200-David Emigh [10]; 10. 1-Austin Carr [5] 

Heat 3 (10 Laps) (Top 4 transfer) – 1. 12-Alex Bergeron [1]; 2. 000-Kevin Dedmon [5]; 3. 21-Devin Willis [4]; 4. 41-Matthew Logan [7]; 5. 2-Jack Lehner [6]; 6. 46-Jonathan Nause [2]; 7. 88-Blayne Nichols [8]; 8. 20-Bradley Steinruck [9]; 9. 23-Joey Ladouceur [10]; 10. 101-Brent Evans [3]

Heat 4 (10 Laps) (Top 4 transfer) – 1. 002-Bryce Bailey [1]; 2. 3-William Racine [2]; 3. 787-Cody Zobrist [4]; 4. 171-Brandon Freeburg [3]; 5. 5-Chris Hile [8]; 6. 003-Carden Cochran [5]; 7. 76-Donovan Lussier [6]; 8. 012-Ross Wece [7]; 9. 77-Anthony Corini [10]; 10. 54-Even Racine [9]

Heat 5 (10 Laps) (Top 4 transfer) – 1. 00-Kendal Tucker [1]; 2. 33-Richard Murtaugh Jr. [2]; 3. 10-Jesse Enterkin [7]; 4. 85-Hunter Heck [4]; 5. 35-Mike Mahaney [8]; 6. 234-Ej McAuliffe [9]; 7. 242-Blake Stieb [6]; 8. 331-Dustin Hall [3]; 9. 115-Boddie Parker [5]; 10. 15-Donovan Long [10]

Last Chance Showdown 1 (14 Laps) (Top 2 transfer) – 1. 32-Max McLaughlin [1]; 2. 5-Chris Hile [2]; 3. 111-Demetrios Drellos [6]; 4. 331-Dustin Hall [10]; 5. 76-Donovan Lussier [7]; 6. 20-Bradley Steinruck [9]; 7. 9-Hunter Bates [13]; 8. 93-Steve Miskolczi [3]; 9. 200-David Emigh [11]; 10. 77-Anthony Corini [12]; 11. 101-Brent Evans [14]; 12. 234-Ej McAuliffe [5]; 13. 08-Jack Speshock [8]; 14. 46-Jonathan Nause [4]; 15. 15-Donovan Long [15]

Last Chance Showdown 2 (14 Laps) (Top 2 transfer) – 1. 35-Mike Mahaney [3]; 2. 2-Jack Lehner [2]; 3. 98-Michael Canady [6]; 4. 012-Ross Wece [10]; 5. 23-Joey Ladouceur [12]; 6. 115-Boddie Parker [13]; 7. 7-Connor Dudek [11]; 8. 92-Trent Hitchens [1]; 9. 75-Travis Creech [9]; 10. 88-Blayne Nichols [7]; 11. 50-Charles Day [4]; 12. 242-Blake Stieb [8]; 13. 003-Carden Cochran [5]; 14. 54-Even Racine [15]; 15. 1-Austin Carr [14]

CHAMP REIGNS SUPREME: Bergeron Scores Thriller DIRTcar eSports 305 Sprint Win at Lernerville

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!


CHEVY PERFORMANCE Feature (30 laps) — 1. 12-Alex Bergeron [1] [$300]; 2. 0-Kendal Tucker [3] [$200]; 3. 2-Bryce Bailey [2] [$100]; 4. 79-Billy Rowlee [6] [$75]; 5. 0-Kevin Dedmon [8] [$50]; 6. 5-Kyle Stoltz [7] [$45]; 7. 17-John Bragman [5] [$40]; 8. 39-Ian Blanchard [17] [$35]; 9. 8-Aidan Skraha [12] [$30]; 10. 51-Matthew Ogden [21] [$25]; 11. 32-Bradley Bauer [22] [$20]; 12. 25-Richie Preston [4] [$20]; 13. 76-Broc Lawrence [24] [$20]; 14. 47-Brett Brunkenhoefer [11] [$20]; 15. 97-Rocky Battenfield [15] [$20]; 16. 35-Adam Ross [18] [$20]; 17. 46-Jonathan Nause [20] [$20]; 18. 15-Brett Punkari [19] [$20]; 19. 24-William Richardson [23] [$20]; 20. 87-Reed Whitney [9] [$20]; 21. 1-Frankie Caprara [10] [$20]; 22. 111-Clay Atwood [14] [$20]; 23. 44-Austin Taborski [16] [$20]; 24. 190-Seth Smyser [13] [$20]. Lap leaders: Alex Bergeron 1, 25-30; Kendal Tucker 2-24. DIRTVision Hard Charger: Matthew Ogden +11.

Racing Electronics Qualifying — 1. 12-Alex Bergeron [14.611] [$25/Cometic Gasket]; 2. 2-Bryce Bailey [14.738]; 3. 0-Kendal Tucker [14.781]; 4. 25-Richie Preston [14.852]; 5. 17-John Bragman [14.853]; 6. 79-Billy Rowlee [14.853]; 7. 5-Kyle Stoltz [14.866]; 8. 0-Kevin Dedmon [14.871]; 9. 190-Seth Smyser [14.871]; 10. 1-Frankie Caprara [14.876]; 11. 47-Brett Brunkenhoefer [14.895]; 12. 8-Aidan Skraha [14.905]; 13. 87-Reed Whitney [14.916]; 14. 111-Clay Atwood [14.930]; 15. 97-Rocky Battenfield [14.953]; 16. 44-Austin Taborski [14.975]; 17. 39-Ian Blanchard [15.011]; 18. 42-Jake Porterfield [15.082]; 19. 15-Brett Punkari [15.201]; 20. 76-Broc Lawrence [15.236]; 21. 66-Shilo Boyce [15.250]; 22. 20-Jason Schroen [15.251]; 23. 6-Tyler Totman [15.258]; 24. 46-Jonathan Nause [15.268]; 25. 24-William Richardson [15.286]; 26. 35-Adam Ross [15.298]; 27. 32-Bradley Bauer [15.313]; 28. 27-Nick Sterna [15.333]; 29. 11-Mitchell Schlater [15.348]; 30. 51-Matthew Ogden [15.364]; 31. 13-Chris Papa [15.382]; 32. 126-Jeffrey Eddy [15.422]; 33. 31-Kevin Clark [15.537]; 34. 19-Chris Dolack [15.631]; 35. 23-Joseph Reyell [15.690]; 36. 29-Robert Mortier [15.834]; 37. 22-Jayton Parish [16.648].

DRYDENE Heat 1 (10 laps) — Top 5 Transfer — 1. 12-Alex Bergeron [1] [$25]; 2. 17-John Bragman [2]; 3. 87-Reed Whitney [4]; 4. 190-Seth Smyser [3]; 5. 39-Ian Blanchard [5]; 6. 24-William Richardson [7]; 7. 66-Shilo Boyce [6]; 8. 22-Jayton Parish [10]; 9. 31-Kevin Clark [9]; 10. 11-Mitchell Schlater [8].

DART Heat 2 (10 laps) — Top 5 Transfer — 1. 2-Bryce Bailey [1] [$25]; 2. 79-Billy Rowlee [2]; 3. 1-Frankie Caprara [3]; 4. 111-Clay Atwood [4]; 5. 35-Adam Ross [7]; 6. 51-Matthew Ogden [8]; 7. 20-Jason Schroen [6]; 8. 19-Chris Dolack [9]; 9. 42-Jake Porterfield [5].

ARP FASTENERS Heat 3 (10 laps) — Top 5 Transfer — 1. 0-Kendal Tucker [1] [$25]; 2. 5-Kyle Stoltz [2]; 3. 47-Brett Brunkenhoefer [3]; 4. 97-Rocky Battenfield [4]; 5. 15-Brett Punkari [5]; 6. 32-Bradley Bauer [7]; 7. 13-Chris Papa [8]; 8. 23-Joseph Reyell [9]; 9. 6-Tyler Totman [6].

ARIZONA SPORT SHIRTS Heat 4 (10 laps) — Top 5 Transfer — 1. 25-Richie Preston [1] [$25]; 2. 0-Kevin Dedmon [2]; 3. 8-Aidan Skraha [3]; 4. 44-Austin Taborski [4]; 5. 46-Jonathan Nause [6]; 6. 126-Jeffrey Eddy [8]; 7. 27-Nick Sterna [7]; 8. 29-Robert Mortier [9]; 9. 76-Broc Lawrence [5].

VP RACING FUELS Last Chance Showdown (14 laps) — Top 4 Transfer — 1. 51-Matthew Ogden [2]; 2. 32-Bradley Bauer [3]; 3. 24-William Richardson [1]; 4. 76-Broc Lawrence [16]; 5. 22-Jayton Parish [9]; 6. 29-Robert Mortier [12]; 7. 20-Jason Schroen [6]; 8. 27-Nick Sterna [8]; 9. 126-Jeffrey Eddy [4]; 10. 23-Joseph Reyell [11]; 11. 6-Tyler Totman [15]; 12. 66-Shilo Boyce [5]; 13. 31-Kevin Clark [13]; 14. 19-Chris Dolack [10]; 15. 13-Chris Papa [7]; 16. 42-Jake Porterfield [14]; 17. 11-Mitchell Schlater [17].