ZERO TO HERO: Bergeron Qualifies Last, Mounts Comeback to Win Night Before the 500

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.

ABBREVIATED RESULTS (view full results)

Night Before the 500 Feature (40 Laps) 1. 12-Alex Bergeron [11]; 2. 48-Dylan Yeager [3]; 3. 74-Adam Elby [6]; 4. 07-Hayden Cardwell [19]; 5. 99-Gregory Lamey [1]; 6. 85-Tyler Schell [14]; 7. 41-Logan Rumsey [5]; 8. 331-Dustin Hall [13]; 9. 06-Rylan Gray [12]; 10. 33-Evan Seay [7]; 11. 49-David Heileman [16]; 12. 70-Zach Jaynes [9]; 13. 5-Rusty Kruger [20]; 14. 69-Shae Paulo [10]; 15. 13-Aiden Bierlein [18]; 16. 18-Austen Semmelmann [23]; 17. 80-Vinnie Sansone [15]; 18. 085-Hank Silver [21]; 19. 63-Jake Froemke [17]; 20. 05-Casey Miller [24]; 21. 127-Blake Matjoulis [4]; 22. 19-Mike Augustine [22]; 23. 90-Trevor Royer [8]; DQ. 09-Tanner Tomasi [2]

GOING TOPLESS: 360 Non-Wing Sprints Race Night Before the 500 at Kokomo

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.

DIRTCAR ESPORTS EVENT FORMAT 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).