NO PROBLEM ON THE BOTTOM: Wilson Shines on New iRacing Update to Win DIRTcar eSports at Limaland

Californian becomes second repeat winner in eSports history in Drydene Pro Late Model Showdown

LIMA, OH – Four starts in DIRTcar eSports competition for iRacing Pro Dylan Wilson. Two Feature wins and two runner-up finishes to show for it.

And what a unique win it was for the Bakersfield, CA-native, having won on the brand-new simulation update from iRacing that was finalized just hours before the green flag was thrown. A new feature that accounts for the moisture in layers beneath the racing surface rolling to the bottom of the track in banked areas was added to all dirt ovals, including Ohio’s Limaland Motorsports Park – the site of Wednesday’s Drydene DIRTcar eSports Pro Late Model Showdown.

The drivers seemed quite pleased with the new update, but none more than Wilson, who picked up a total of $325 in winnings and contingency for his victory in the 11th DIRTcar eSports event of the season.

At the drop of the green, the 2019 iRacing World of Outlaws Morton Buildings Late Model Series World Champion Blake Matjoulis grabbed the lead and began to set the pace out front.

However, it was Wilsons’s D1RT Racing #80 using the bottom-middle lane to make the pass for the lead on Lap 3.

“I tried that groove a lane off the bottom above the tires and thought it was actually good, so I went there on the start,” Wilson said. “It seemed to stay good all race. I kept watching the splits and they would grow just a hair, lap-after-lap. I just stayed right where I was and didn’t have to move around much.”

Wilson fought through several groups of lapped traffic but was able to keep the lead as the field found its first caution flag of the night on Lap 19 of the 40-lap Drydene Feature.

Back a bit further in the field was the two-time iRacing World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car World Champion Alex Bergeron battling with fellow iRacing Pros Devon Morgan and Kendal Tucker. They got it sorted out after the restart as Bergeron took second behind Wilson and Tucker chasing Morgan down for third.

Joe Grabianowski Photo

Tucker soon switched from the middle groove back to the top side and got a big run on Morgan for third on Lap 32. It took a slide job in Turns 3-4 to get it to work, but Tucker was able to hang on through Wilson’s rebuttal slider the very next corner and take the spot permanently.

Tucker gave a big tip-of-the-hat to the iRacing staff for its newest update – one he feels played a role in his, and everyone else’s, ability to run the bottom and the middle.

“I thought the racetrack was really good,” Tucker said of the simulation update. “Everybody was making the bottom to middle work, it seemed like. I was able to run the top just as fast, and there were definitely two-to-three grooves right there in that track.”

Bergeron came out on top of the mad scramble for second near the midway point of the race and said he truly could feel the difference in the way each of the grooves on the track came in throughout the night.

“With this new update, I feel like this really helped the racing,” Bergeron said. “A lot more lines, a lot more racing for sure. We tried some stuff, tried the outside, and to come away with second place is very, very good.”

Bergeron settled-in behind Wilson by the home stretch, and despite having won three DIRTcar eSports races prior, was satisfied with just a runner-up result Wednesday night.

“If I would have got to Wilson, I would have tried to pass him. But with the lapped cars there, I just wished for a good race and to be able to win it fair,” Bergeron said.

Joe Grabianowski Photo

“It’s tough to just go out there and pass somebody like that. We’re all very good, and you need them to make mistakes to be able to pass somebody.”

But in the end, nobody was catching Wilson. With only a few lapped cars still in his path, Wilson cruised across the line for his second career victory with the DIRTcar eSports league.

In the closing laps, Tucker was turning some of the fastest laps of the race. The problem – the leader was a full straight-away ahead. Despite not being able to catch Wilson in the closing laps, Tucker was confident he had the hot rod to do it, had the race been a bit longer distance.

“We were tracking down the leaders pretty quick,” Tucker said. “I just wish it might have been 50 laps. I don’t know if we could have got them, but we definitely would have got there to them at the rate we were going.”

“We just needed a caution right there. We had the speed again, just needed a little luck and it to play out differently.”


Drydene Feature (40 laps) – 1. 80-Dylan Wilson [3]; 2. 12-Alex Bergeron [5]; 3. 00-Kendal Tucker [2]; 4. 33-Evan Seay [6]; 5. 127-Blake Matjoulis [1]; 6. 112-Devon Morgan [7]; 7. 033-Richard Murtaugh Jr. [9]; 8. 63-Clifford Driskel [10]; 9. 0-Kevin Dedmon [4]; 10. 3-Dylan Thomas [13]; 11. 03-Hunter Stiffler; 12. 27-Jeremy Rose [15]; 13. 500-Tyler Berry [17]; 14. 171-Brandon Freeburg [12]; 15. 75-Brandon Dobbratz [16]; 16. 08-Coty Slawson [14]; 17. 8-Tyler Jackson [8]; 18. 13-Justin Flagg [19]; 19. 14-Braden Johnson [23]; 20. 22-AJ Albreada [21]; 21. 229-Jacob Cook [20]; 22. 012-Peggy Evans [24]; 23. 48-Scott Fritz [18]; 24. 96-Logan Matthews [22]

HEAVY HITTERS: Bergeron Bullies Top-5 to Win Volusia DIRTcar eSports Showdown

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.

Joe Grabianowski Photo

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. 

Joe Grabianowski Photo

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. 

Joe Grabianowski Photo

“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, and follow us on Twitter and Facebook for updates. 

Weekly DIRTcar eSports Showdown RESULTS; May 9, 2020 at Volusia Speedway Park

CHEVY PERFORMANCE Feature (37 laps) — 1. 12-Alex Bergeron [2] [$300]; 2. 6-Kendal Tucker [1] [$200]; 3. 33-Evan Seay [5] [$100]; 4. 127-Blake Matjoulis [4] [$75]; 5. 230-Austin Anderson [9] [$50]; 6. 2-Dylan R. Houser [3] [$45]; 7. 96-Mike McKinney [6] [$40]; 8. 32-Bradley Bauer [13] [$35]; 9. 43-Jacob Hall [12] [$30]; 10. 18-Trevor Landrum [15] [$25]; 11. 77-Brandon Planck [8] [$20]; 12. 8-Coty Slawson [19] [$20]; 13. 34-Kyle Behnke [20] [$20]; 14. 27-Daniel Cummings Jr [7] [$20]; 15. 53-Dan Hoekstra [24] [$20]; 16. 151-Anthony Ricketts [21] [$20]; 17. 25-Chase Rhinerson [14] [$20]; 18. 117-Joshua Johnson [16] [$20]; 19. 35-Brett Punkari [17] [$20]; 20. 23-Chase Odom [18] [$20]; 21. 97-Rocky Battenfield [11] [$20]; 22. 23-Bryce Weldon [10] [$20]; 23. 4-Cody Kontny [23] [$20]; 24. 52-David Mikulski [22] [$20]. Lap leaders: Kendal Tucker 1-18, 23-28; Mike McKinney 19-22; Alex Bergeron 29-37. DIRTVision Hard Charger: Dan Hoekstra +9.

RACING ELECTRONICS Qualifying — 1. 6-Kendal Tucker [16.561] [$25/Cometic Gasket]; 2. 12-Alex Bergeron [16.586]; 3. 2-Dylan R. Houser [16.588]; 4. 127-Blake Matjoulis [16.606]; 5. 33-Evan Seay [16.660]; 6. 230-Austin Anderson [16.711]; 7. 27-Daniel Cummings Jr [16.724]; 8. 77-Brandon Planck [16.758]; 9. 96-Mike McKinney [16.778]; 10. 23-Bryce Weldon [16.841]; 11. 97-Rocky Battenfield [16.854]; 12. 43-Jacob Hall [16.856]; 13. 32-Bradley Bauer [16.864]; 14. 25-Chase Rhinerson [16.864]; 15. 18-Trevor Landrum [16.867]; 16. 34-Kyle Behnke [16.887]; 17. 46-Jonathan Nause [16.906]; 18. 85-Andrew Forbes [16.907]; 19. 117-Joshua Johnson [16.923]; 20. 52-David Mikulski [16.935]; 21. 46-Cole Gajdorus [16.950]; 22. 8-Coty Slawson [16.967]; 23. 23-Chase Odom [16.972]; 24. 181-Randy Rockwell [16.985]; 25. 151-Anthony Ricketts [16.992]; 26. 35-Brett Punkari [17.000]; 27. 39-Ian Blanchard [17.025]; 28. 1-Jordon Cox [17.039]; 29. 92-Caleb Kill [17.084]; 30. 27-Trevor Shaw [17.096]; 31. 4-Cody Kontny [17.101]; 32. 53-Dan Hoekstra [17.117]; 33. 410-Michael Fowler [17.304]; 34. 19-Chris Dolack [18.298]; 35. 99-Mitchell Hedstrom [NT]; 36. 8-Mark Senterfitt Jr [NT].

DRYDENE Heat 1 (10 laps) — Top 5 transfer — 1. 6-Kendal Tucker [1] [$20]; 2. 127-Blake Matjoulis [2]; 3. 27-Daniel Cummings Jr [3]; 4. 23-Bryce Weldon [4]; 5. 32-Bradley Bauer [5]; 6. 117-Joshua Johnson [7]; 7. 8-Coty Slawson [8]; 8. 151-Anthony Ricketts [9]; 9. 34-Kyle Behnke [6]; 10. 4-Cody Kontny [11]; 11. 1-Jordon Cox [10]; 12. 19-Chris Dolack [12].

DART Heat 2 (10 laps) — Top 5 transfer — 1. 12-Alex Bergeron [1] [$20]; 2. 33-Evan Seay [2]; 3. 77-Brandon Planck [3]; 4. 97-Rocky Battenfield [4]; 5. 25-Chase Rhinerson [5]; 6. 52-David Mikulski [7]; 7. 35-Brett Punkari [9]; 8. 23-Chase Odom [8]; 9. 53-Dan Hoekstra [11]; 10. 92-Caleb Kill [10]; 11. 46-Jonathan Nause [6]; 12. 99-Mitchell Hedstrom [12].

ARP FASTENERS Heat 3 (10 laps) — Top 5 transfer — 1. 2-Dylan R. Houser [1] [$20]; 2. 96-Mike McKinney [3]; 3. 230-Austin Anderson [2]; 4. 43-Jacob Hall [4]; 5. 18-Trevor Landrum [5]; 6. 85-Andrew Forbes [6]; 7. 181-Randy Rockwell [8]; 8. 410-Michael Fowler [11]; 9. 27-Trevor Shaw [10]; 10. 8-Mark Senterfitt Jr [12]; 11. 46-Cole Gajdorus [7]; 12. 39-Ian Blanchard [9].

FOX RACING SHOX Last Chance Showdown (21 laps) — Top 9 transfer — 1. 117-Joshua Johnson [1] [$25]; 2. 35-Brett Punkari [5]; 3. 23-Chase Odom [8]; 4. 8-Coty Slawson [4]; 5. 34-Kyle Behnke [10]; 6. 151-Anthony Ricketts [7]; 7. 52-David Mikulski [2]; 8. 4-Cody Kontny [13]; 9. 53-Dan Hoekstra [11]; 10. 27-Trevor Shaw [12]; 11. 85-Andrew Forbes [3]; 12. 46-Cole Gajdorus [18]; 13. 181-Randy Rockwell [6]; 14. 1-Jordon Cox [16]; 15. 19-Chris Dolack [19]; 16. 92-Caleb Kill [14]; 17. 39-Ian Blanchard [21]; 18. 410-Michael Fowler [9]; 19. 46-Jonathan Nause [17]; 20. 8-Mark Senterfitt Jr [15]; 21. 99-Mitchell Hedstrom [20].