After enduring the smell of defeat in the previous two weeks, defending Chevy Performance Street Stock League champion Tyler Jackson returned to his usual winning ways Wednesday night with a dominating performance at Kokomo Speedway, leading the last 17 laps of the race en route to his ninth career DIRTcar eSports Feature win.
Seay finishes second, keeps 1-point gap to Bergeron
The current DIRTcar eSports Tour points leader showed exactly why he sits atop the standings last Wednesday night.
Reigning iRacing Sprint Car World Champion Alex Bergeron climbed all the way from 11th on the starting grid to the lead in the first 14 laps of the first-ever 360 Non-Wing Sprint Car race in DIRTcar eSports and held on for his second career victory in the Epperson Painting Night Before the 500 pres. by Wheeler Motorsports Consulting.
“These are things you can add to your stats,” Bergeron said of the special event’s prestige. “The event being as big as it is, the Fake 500 at Indianapolis [Motor Speedway]… we’re not a part of that but will definitely be watching.”
The race, which drew a total of 49 entries in the preliminary event held before Elbows Up Sim Sport’s marquee Fake 500 event on asphalt, endured several caution flags in the 40-lap affair. Bergeron used those to his advantage, getting great restarts and using the very bottom lane around the Kokomo Speedway to dig for the lead in the early going.
On lap 13, he finally got his chance. Leader Dylan Yeager overshot the bottom lane into Turns 3-4 and Bergeron was there to pounce. He crossed the line in second by less than a hundredth of a second but was able to take the lead away for good the next time around.
“I just had to wait for the right chance,” Bergeron said. “We took it when [Yeager] made a mistake.”
From there on out, it was all Bergeron. Yeager gave it a valiant effort in the closing laps to catch the three-time iRacing world champion, nearly getting underneath him with six laps left, but clipped an infield tire, dashing his chances for victory.
Yeager brought it home in second, followed by Californian Adam Elby, making his first Tour start of Season 4, Hayden Cardwell and Gregory Lamey.
The wings go back on the 360 Sprint Cars for this Wednesday night’s (Dec. 15) event at Williams Grove Speedway. Catch all the action live on DIRTVision.
Open setups, show-up points, broadcasted on DIRTVision and Twitch
The anticipation is building for DIRTcar eSports’ first-ever special event on iRacing.
The third annual Epperson Painting Night Before the 500 pres. by Wheeler Motorsports Consulting takes 360 Non-Wing Sprint Cars to the virtual Kokomo Speedway for the first time in DIRTcar eSports Tour history on Wednesday, Dec. 8, for a $250-to-win, $20-to-start special, broadcasted live on DIRTVision.
Elbows Up Sim Sport has partnered with DIRTcar eSports to co-sanction the marquee event, run one night prior to the start of Elbows Up’s annual Fake 500 asphalt event at iRacing’s Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Contrary to traditional DIRTcar eSports events, the Night Before will feature open setups, allowing drivers to create a custom car setup that fits their driving style. The School of Sim Racing has created a recommended setup to get drivers in the right ballpark, which can be downloaded at the link below.
While the race will pay out the normal DIRTcar eSports Tour purse, the open-setup stipulation makes it a show-up points event for all entrants. All drivers who attempt to qualify for the Night Before will receive 45 points toward the DIRTcar eSports Tour championship standings.
As an added twist, Tour championship chasers will have the opportunity to make up big gaps in the standings on their opponents in the final event of the season, when the Bicknell Racing Products Big Block Modifieds take to The Dirt Track at Charlotte on Jan. 19 for a double-points Feature event (1st – 150 pts, 2nd – 140 pts, 3rd – 130 pts, etc.)
The event format follows the traditional DIRTcar eSports format, which can consist of up to three separate rounds of racing. The exact race format used will depend on the number of entries, all of which is detailed in the link below.
DIRTVision.tv will have live coverage of the Night Before with announcers Chase Raudman and Justin Prince. The all-new DIRTcar eSports Twitch channel will also stream the event; drivers with Twitch accounts are encouraged to watch, share and interact with the channel throughout the winter season.
The session will go live on iRacing servers at 7:40pm ET with a 20-minute (minimum) practice session. Qualifying will begin immediately following the conclusion of the preceding Chevy Performance Street Stock League race at Bristol Motor Speedway.
If Qualifying Rounds and/or Preliminary Rounds are necessary, they will all be held on Wednesday night in succession, as opposed to the Tuesday before (as specified in the DIRTcar eSports format).
Tucker pads large points lead, looks to seal second straight title in two weeks’ time
White flag. Big slide job in Turns 1-2 by Alex Bergeron. Kendal Tucker crosses underneath him with the lead as they exit Turn 2. Then, big contact.
Both drivers dove for the inside of Turn 3 at Kokomo Speedway, neither willing to give an inch as they rounded the final corners before the finish line. Some contact was made, then some more, and even more still as they crossed underneath the checkered flag in Wednesday night’s NOS Energy Drink 360 Sprint Car Feature.
The iRacing simulation showed Bergeron as the winner, but DIRTcar eSports officials determined, in post-race review, that Bergeron was at fault in the incident for initiating the contact with Tucker. Therefore, Bergeron was handed a two-spot post-race penalty, and officially scored in third place.
This handed the $250 Feature win over to Tucker and moved original third-place Dylan Houser into second.
The last-lap fireworks succeeded a very entertaining 30 laps around the virtual quarter-mile, filled with several clean slide jobs for the lead as Houser and Bergeron tried to wrestle the lead from polesitter Tucker, who led all but the final lap.
Houser was the first to do so on Lap 25, launching a big slider in Turns 3-4 that Tucker quickly turned underneath to regain the position. Bergeron threw one the very next corner, which Tucker answered immediately, driving right back by him on the inside to take the spot back.
Tucker led the race through the white flag before Bergeron threw the slide job at him again in Turn 1 before the final-corner melee that decided the race, ultimately handing Tucker his second Tour Feature victory of Season 3.
The DIRTcar eSports Tour is back in action next Wednesday night, May 19, for Round #9, featuring the 358 Small-Block Modifieds at USA International Speedway. Catch all the action live on DIRTVision presented by Drydene.
KOKOMO, IN – He won the inaugural DIRTcar eSports Tour event back in April. And just like that, Evan Seay is now the Tour’s third multi-time Feature winner.
Forced to climb back up to the top after slipping back from his pole starting spot early in the Summit Racing Equipment UMP Modified Feature at the virtual Kokomo Speedway, Seay ran a strong yet patient race en route to the $250 victory, holding off a late-race charge from fellow iRacing Pro Kendal Tucker.
At the drop of the green, Seay, of Chesnee, SC, dropped back to second and proceeded to mix it up with the top-five through the first half of the race, trailing the likes of Alex Bergeron, of Drummondville, QC, and Blake Matjoulis as the race progressed.
A few caution flags bunched the field up for several restarts before halfway, setting the stage for a ferocious battle between leaders Bergeron and Matjoulis, of Ashville, NY. The two traded slide jobs several times before coming together out of Turn 2 on Lap 24, sending Matjoulis around into the wall and Bergeron around with contact from passing cars.
Both drivers restarted from much further back in the field from where they were as the leaders. Back to green the field went, Seay back to the lead now after assuming the spot after the incident.
Tucker, now back to the runner-up spot, gave Seay all he could handle as the laps wound down, chasing him on the high side. It seemed as though Seay was going to walk it on back to the checkers as he came to the stripe to take the white flag, but a yellow was suddenly thrown.
Seay was on top of his game, though, using that high-side momentum to carry himself through the green-white-checkered restart. After taking the white, Seay threw it to the bottom in the final two corners to protect the spot from Tucker trying to get by underneath. Some slight contact was made coming out of Turn 4, but Seay prevailed as he drove across the stripe first to collect $250 and 75 points toward the overall Tour championship.
This was Seay’s second career DIRTcar eSports Feature victory and first with the UMP Modifieds. Coming home in third was the first non-Pro driver finish in the field – Magnolia, TX’s own Karter Battarbee, after a great run inside the top-six all night long.
The DIRTcar eSports Tour action continues next Wednesday night, Dec. 9, with the Drydene Pro Late Models from The Dirt Track at Charlotte. Catch all the action LIVE on DIRTVision!
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