The championship may have already been decided, but that didn’t stop the Chevy Performance Street Stock League racers from putting on an edge-of-the-seat show in the final race of Season 4 at The Dirt Track at Charlotte.
After wrestling the lead away from polsitter Raphael Gougeon and CFM eSports driver Carl Kilgore in the opening laps, outside polesitter Jordan Gage led only a handful of circuits before giving the lead right back to Kilgore on a restart after halfway. But Kilgore, a former League championship contender himself in Season 3, was unable to hold off a big run from Gage, who threw a race-winning slide job coming to the white flag to retake the lead and score his third victory of the season.
Defending League champion Tyler Jackson, of Rockford, IL, had another strong run in fifth, and was officially crowned champion of the Chevy Performance Street Stock League champion for the second time in his iRacing career.
For the second week in-a-row, Jordan Gage has defeated the Chevy Performance Street Stock League regulars. This time, he drove 20 mistake-free laps around the half-mile of Williams Grove Speedway to score the $100 check and his third career DIRTcar eSports victory.
Points leader Tyler Jackson put relentless pressure on Gage throughout the race, but was unable to make a move for the top spot and came home second, maintaining his spot atop the points standings. With only two races remaining on the schedule, time is running out for the other competitors to try and stop a repeat championship from T-Jack.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Team No Love finishes 1-2 in Feature, take home 2-3 in points standings
He was dubbed the “people’s champ” after winning three Chevy Performance Street Stock League races in DIRTcar eSports Season 2. Now, Tyler Jackson has made it official as the first-ever champion of the League in Season 3, locking it up after his third-place performance in the finale Wednesday night at The Dirt Track at Charlotte.
Three Feature wins this season propelled the Rockford, IL-native to a 43-point lead over Carl Kilgore coming into the finale, and he was able to hold it after battling it out with Kilgore and fellow Team No Love member Keith Hackney in the closing stages.
Jackson started on the pole for the 25-lap affair and led Laps 2-13 before a big effort on a restart from Hackney gave him the opening he needed to sneak on by. Jackson took a low-to-high approach into Turns 1-2 while Hackney stayed up top and crossed down underneath him at the exit of Turn 2 to take the lead into Turn 3.
“I timed it right there on that last restart, and I knew he was gonna throw it in there on a slider. I had already backed out of it once I got up in the corner, because I was going to drive underneath him,” Hackney said.
Kilgore had to wait for his turn to pass, and finally got that opportunity with two laps remaining as he cashed-in on a big slide job attempt as they dove into Turns 1-2. Kilgore planted it on Jackson’s nose and took the spot, but Jackson returned the favor in Turns 3-4.
Kilgore stayed persistent and crossed it back underneath Jackson as they crossed under the flag stand. This time, Jackson hung back with one thing on his mind.
“Tonight, I definitely could’ve slid Keith a couple of times, but I figured I’d just roll second. I saw Carl coming and he kinda used me up going into [Turn] 1 and then slid me, but I just figured I’d let both of them go and take home the big trophy,” Jackson said.
His championship points strategy had worked – Jackson made some conservative decisions coming into the final races and points raced his way to a first big trophy. One which he will likely carry into the fall DIRTcar eSports season and try to defend.
Back out front, Hackney had driven away with the W, wrapping up his second Feature win of the year against his two biggest pieces of competition.
“Especially my teammate [Kilgore] and Tyler [Jackson] also – we were pretty much the class of the season, and it’s always fun racing with everybody,” Hackney said.
Jackson takes 43-point lead into final race next Wednesday at The Dirt Track at Charlotte
The two biggest forces in the Chevy Performance Street Stock League have battled neck-and-neck all season long, and it came to a boiling point on Wednesday night at Williams Grove Speedway – just one week out from their epic championship finale.
With points, pride and money on the line, Carl Kilgore hung tough out front of points leader Tyler Jackson through 20 defensive laps on the very bottom of the track, enduring relentless pressure from behind to win his fourth Feature of the season.
“I love it when this place gets around the bottom,” Kilgore said. “It’s a hit-your-mark kind of place and we just hit ‘em every lap.”
With both drivers making up the front row for the initial start, Kilgore, of Greenville, MS, had to get a great start to get the jump on Jackson and win the battle heading into Turn 1. Which, he did, setting him right up for a non-stop defensive battle on the bottom over the next 20 circuits.
Jackson, of Rockford, IL, did all he could to try and pry the top spot from Kilgore’s hands, but could only muster a few thwarted pass attempts by the checkered flag. Digging harder every lap, Jackson tried and tried to get even lower than Kilgore on the track but could not do so without hitting the inside wall.
In the final laps, Jackson knew he had to try something quick. He drove his Osman Racing #25 in deep and gave Kilgore a few taps on the quarter-panel to try and break the defending race winner loose, but was unsuccessful in the end.
“He left a little crack open down there and I figured I’d shove it in there and see what happened, but he did a good job of cutting back down,” Jackson said.
Kilgore was able to hold it together and drive back around to the stripe to collect another $100 prize check.
Coming into Wednesday night, Jackson sat a comfortable 48 points ahead of Kilgore in the standings, on the back of three Feature wins since the start of the season. With Kilgore’s fourth win of DIRTcar eSports Season 3 Wednesday, he shaves five points off Jackson’s lead heading into the final race at Charlotte.
And while 43 points in one race is a lot to make up, considering Jackson’s finishes this season, Kilgore’s not out yet. A big wreck, technical difficulties or one bad miscue somewhere in the qualifying events does have the potential to ruin Jackson’s lead.
Kilgore has the scenario in the back of his mind, but isn’t going to let that distract him from getting a fifth win next Wednesday night on DIRTVision presented by Drydene.
“We’re gonna give it our all, but we’re here for the $100-to-win though,” Kilgore said.
The Chevy Performance Street Stock League puts a cap on its second season of action next Wednesday night, May 26, with a final stop at The Dirt Track at Charlotte. Catch all the action live on DIRTVision with a FAST PASS subscription.
Kilgore places 19th, loses ground on points leader Jackson while Hackney rebounds
Although he recently traded-in some of his iRacing experience in for some seat time in a real-world DIRTcar Stock Car, Tyler Jackson proved Wednesday night that he still knows how to wheel it in the virtual world, too.
Leading all but four laps in the seventh race of the Chevy Performance Street Stock League, Jackson, of Rockford, IL, went head-to-head in a fierce home-stretch battle to the checkers with defending Limaland Feature winner Keith Hackney, of Calhoun, GA, to collect his third win of DIRTcar eSports Season 3.
Jackson took off from the third starting spot, grabbed the lead from polesitter Aidan Skraha on Lap 3 and began his defense of the top spot right away, as Hackney went right with him and slipped into second shortly thereafter.
Hackney hammered the top side of the 3/10-mile lap-after-lap and kept pace with Jackson’s #25 until he decided to make a daring move for the lead with under five laps remaining. A big slide job in Turns 3-4 by Hackney caused a bit of contact as they sailed through the turns, but Jackson was able to keep momentum and returned the favor in Turn 1-2.
“I saw Keith coming and had to make a move to try and win the race,” Jackson said. “So we battled it out, and he threw kind of a nasty slide job but he owed me one from the Heat, so it’s all good from here.”
The two exchanged slide jobs several times more over the final two laps until Jackson went low to protect the lead on the final lap. Hackney drove it in deep underneath one final time in Turn 3, but it wasn’t enough. Jackson survived the bumper tap and drove away with his third $100 payday of the season.
With his third win of the season, Jackson now extends his points lead over Carl Kilgore. It was a rough night for the Greenville, MS-native, who had made it up to fifth before contact with Skraha sent him backwards in the final laps, leaving him with a 19th-place finish.
To a bunch of his on-virtual-track success, Jackson attributes his time on the sim rig. Last weekend, he got his first taste of a real-life DIRTcar Stock Car in a weekly event at Fairbury Speedway – just one of several events he plans to compete in this year, using what he’s gathered on the virtual track.
“Even though we crinkled-up some fenders, I went down and helped Greg [Osman, car owner] beat some of that stuff out. We’ll be back racing Macon [Speedway, Illinois] Memorial Day,” Jackson said.
The Chevy Performance Street Stock League is back in action next Wednesday night for Round #8 of DIRTcar eSports Season 3 at the Eldora Speedway. Catch all the action live on DIRTVision presented by Drydene.
Chevy Performance Feature (25 Laps) – 1. 25 Tyler Jackson (3), 2. 69 Keith Hackney (6), 3. 17 Brett Rowles (2), 4. 121 Edward Farness (5), 5. 717 Bobby Rafferty (4), 6. 05 Devin Ramsey (12), 7. 48 Kyle Vaughn (7), 8. 71 Daniel Stiffler (10), 9. 21 Jim Reavis (9), 10. 077 Holden English (17), 11. 93 Steve Miskolczi (13), 12. 225 Nathan Lemons (24), 13. 18 Justin Henson (19), 14. 111 Jaron Valley (11), 15. 77 Anthony Corini (23), 16. 38 Ryan Carlisi (21) 17. 73 Scott Reid (20), 18. 6 Mitch Erickson (15), 19. 021 Carl Kilgore (8), 20. 53 Aidan Skraha (1), 21. 92 Payton Gries (16), 22. 23 Brayden McMahan (14), 23. 546 Randy Axner (22), 24. 026 Sage Luther (18)