Seay’s fourth career Tour victory ties him with Alex Bergeron for most all-time
He’s been in Victory Lane with his Summit Racing Equipment UMP Modified on DIRTVision before, and now he’s done it again. With his fourth career victory aboard the DIRTcar eSports Tour Wednesday night at the virtual Bristol Motor Speedway, Evan Seay now sits tied for the most Feature wins in Tour history.
Grabbing the lead at the drop of the green, Seay, of Chesnee, SC, pulled out to a big advantage over his competition early, turning the fastest lap of the race on Lap 2. It wasn’t until the halfway mark passed before Seay received his first challenge from a hard-charging Dylan Yeager, who started on the front row but had fallen all the way back to ninth on the initial start.
Yeager, of Hamilton, NJ, immediately hit the high side and began making up spots rapidly, reaching the runner-up spot by Lap 12. He then used that momentum to track down leader Seay as he approached lapped traffic.
“I told myself I was going to stick to the bottom the first few laps, and it ended up working out and getting me the lead. But all of a sudden, it just slowed way down a ton on the bottom about eight laps in. [Yeager] basically just caught me just running the top – the top was that much faster,” Seay said.
But a few costly mistakes on the treacherous high side of Bristol broke Yeager’s momentum on multiple occasions, giving Seay the edge he needed to pull away.
“As my dad always says, I race better when I’m pissed off, so I got up on the wheel and drove back up to P2,” Yeager said. “I was running down Evan at the end and then I started messing up and hitting the wall.”
Seay turned on the jets in the home stretch and brought home the $250 payday on cruise control. With an eighth-place finish last week with the Big Block Modifieds at Weedsport, Seay now sits inside the top-five of the points standings.
Defending Tour champion Kendal Tucker, of Mount Airy, NC, made his first appearance of the season Wednesday night and had a solid run going, tracking down Yeager in the final laps and making the pass in traffic to clinch a runner-up finish.
With all of the back-and-forth, ups-and-downs Yeager had over the 40-lap contest, it’s no surprise he was almost relieved to see the checkered fly by race’s end.
“I think that’s the first time I’ve ever sweated in a sim race before,” Yeager said.
The DIRTcar eSports Tour action continues next Wednesday night, April 7, with Round 3 of action at the Williams Grove Speedway. The Super DIRTcar Series Big Block Modifieds will be the vehicle of choice – catch all of the action live in the iRacing server or on DIRTVision at 8pm ET.
Tucker runner-up for third time in Season 2, retains points lead after lapped-car tangle
Just two weeks after suffering a last-place finish in his DIRTcar eSports Tour Season 2 debut, Hayden Cardwell now sings a sweet song of redemption.
The iRacing Pro driver from Knoxville, TN, exited the DIRTcar eSports Tour lobby early back on December 16, his Season 2 debut in shambles after starting on the pole of the Big-Block Modified Feature and crashing out less than 10 laps in.
But Wednesday night made up for all of that, as he took his Mike McKinney-identical #96m-painted Summit Racing Equipment UMP Modified to Victory Lane at the Fairbury Speedway for the second time in his DIRTcar eSports career, picking up the $250 winner’s check for the first time since July 1 in Season 1.
“It means a lot to come out here and pick up a win in something that isn’t a Sprint Car,” Cardwell told announcer Chase Raudman in the DIRTVision post-race interview. “It feels pretty good.”
Cardwell began his march to Victory Lane from fourth on the starting grid and had front-row seats to a slide job-fest in the opening laps between polesitters Austin Carr and current Tour points leader Kendal Tucker.
Tucker, of Mt. Airy, NC, eventually won the passing battle and began to open up a gap between he, Carr, Cardwell and 2019 World of Outlaws Morton Buildings Late Model iRacing World Champion Blake Matjoulis.
Cardwell eventually wrestled the runner-up spot away from Carr and set his sights on leader Tucker. He stayed glued to the top side of the virtual quarter-mile and closed the gap on Tucker as the race neared the halfway point. Then, opportunity knocked.
The slower lapped car of David Ortiz II had been running right through the middle groove when Tucker reached his rear bumper and dove to the inside in an attempt to make the pass; Cardwell a half-car-length behind. Tucker slid up the track and right into the side of Ortiz, throwing him off-kilter, opening the door for Cardwell to make the pass on the top.
“I much rather would have gotten passed straight-up than getting into it with a lapped car right there,” Tucker said of the incident. “[Ortiz] was entering in the middle in no-man’s land and I was trying to slide him, but… he should have gotten out of the way in my opinion, but that’s just racing. That’s just how it goes sometimes.”
Cardwell raced into the lead as they crossed the line to complete Lap 17, Tucker a few car-lengths behind. One final restart gave Tucker and Matjoulis behind him a chance to make a move, but both stumbled as the green flag dropped, allowing Cardwell to pull away and bring it back home for his second career DIRTcar eSports Tour victory.
“They are probably one of the hardest cars to run on the top, in my opinion,” said Cardwell, an iRacing Sprint Car regular, of piloting the DIRTcar UMP Modified. “In these, it’s kinda tricky because if you barely miss it, you’ll be off the pace. But if you get the right-rear in the wall too much and the front end comes around, you’ll pretty much knock the right front off and can’t drive it anymore.”
Despite the earlier tangle with the lapped car, Tucker was able to nurse his beaten Swindell SpeedLab eSports #00 home to his fifth-straight podium finish of Season 2. Bottom-feeding for most of the 40-lap contest, Tucker once tried the high line but couldn’t make it work in order to regain the lead.
“I just had too much damage to run up there with them guys. Luckily, I was able to put around that bottom on the slider line in [Turns] 3 and 4 and keep enough speed to keep them guys behind me,” Tucker said.
Matjoulis crossed the line in third after a solid outing in only his third appearance with the Tour this season. Coming from fifth, the Ashville, NY-native picked up $100 for his efforts, but was left with much to be desired from his performance.
“Hayden would have been hard to get by,” Matjoulis commented on his perceived chances to make a move for the lead. “I couldn’t pass; just couldn’t go anywhere. In [turns] 1 and 2, there were a couple grooves but in 3 and 4, it was so single-lane. It was a bummer, honestly.”
The DIRTcar eSports Tour action picks back up next Wednesday night, Jan. 6, with the NOS Energy Drink 305 Sprint Cars at the Chili Bowl Nationals in Tulsa, OK. Catch all the action live on DIRTVision!
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!
CONCORD, NC – Make it seven different winners in eight races in the DIRTcar eSports league.
Dylan Wilson earned himself a hard-fought victory in Wednesday night’s DIRTcar eSports Summit Racing Equipment UMP Modified Showdown after battling it out with Alex Bergeron and Dylan Houser in the latter portion of the race to score the big check at The Dirt Track at Charlotte and a new virtual trophy on his shelf.
Wilson led the opening circuits but was quickly tracked down by the race’s Hard Charger, Dylan Houser, who started 14th on the grid and made the pass for the lead just 15 laps in. Houser kept up the momentum while Bergeron began to put the pressure on next, taking the lead for a few laps himself just past the halfway point.
Wilson and Houser later became locked in a dogfight for the lead in the final laps, trading multiple slide jobs in lapped traffic. But in the end, it was Wilson coming out on top, making the final pass on Houser for the lead with 5 laps to go to take the checkers.
The DIRTcar eSports action continues in two weeks’ time with the DIRTcar Street Stock Showdown at USA International Speedway on July 29. Sign up today at DIRTcar.com/eSports, and catch all the action on DIRTVision presented by Drydene.
DIRTcar eSPORTS SHOWDOWN; DIRTcar UMP Modifieds at The Virtual Dirt Track at Charlotte; July 15, 2020 – RESULTS
iRacing champ surges from 10th to victory in DIRTcar UMP Modified
LIMA, OH — Blake Matjoulis is no stranger to iRacing success. After all, he’s the defending champion of the World of Outlaws Morton Buildings Late Model iRacing World Championship. He leaned on all that experience Saturday night as he powered a DIRTcar UMP Modified to victory in the Weekly DIRTcar eSports Shootout at virtual Limaland Motorsports Park.
By the time the simulated dust settled on the VP Racing Fuels Final Round, Matjoulis, of Ashville, NY, crossed the line ahead of Dylan Wilson and pole-sitter JD Brown in the Summit Racing Equipment Feature.
In all, 73 virtual UMP Modified drivers attempted to qualify for the final 24-car field. The top 12 from each Hoosier Racing Tire Preliminary Round Feature advanced to the VP Racing Fuels Finals, where they requalified for the final Feature of the night.
In Hoosier Racing Tire Preliminary Round action, the first COMP Cams 35-lap Feature mirrored the finale as Matjoulis finished one spot ahead of Dylan Wilson for the win. In COMP Cams Feature 2, Preston Oberle scored the win with a huge slide job. Unfortunately, he qualified poorly and was mired in the back of the pack in the finale.
With the top 12 drivers from each preliminary event advancing, Racing Electronics Qualifying once again shuffled the field for the final 50-lap race to glory.
A Mod Lite driver from Bakersfield, CA, JD Brown, had the fast-time of the night and started the finale on the pole. Eventual race-winner Matjoulis didn’t think he had a chance for the win after a slip up in qualifying placing him 10th.
“When you get into big races with these kinds of guys, qualifying is critical,” Matjoulis said. “It’s nearly everything. It keeps you out of so much trouble and takes a lot of pressure off you.”
Pole-sitter Brown led the first 30 laps, fending off challenges from Wilson throughout, but Matjoulis could not be denied.
From the drop of the green flag, Matjoulis immediately took to the bottom of the speedway.
“I really didn’t think I’d win honestly, but I figured I could get a couple of spots there,” he said. “I got to the bottom early on and never left the tires there until lap 35 or so. It’s one of the best feelings when you find a line that’s gradually faster and people aren’t mirror driving to block your lines.”
After dispatching Brown for the lead, Matjoulis began building on his advantage.
“I was just fortunate enough to make up the ground on the bottom where I was able to take the lead and just run the top from there to hold off Wilson,” said Matjoulis of his $350 winning moves in the second round of weekly DIRTcar eSports action.
Runner-up for the second week in a row, Wilson drove another fast, clean race at the front of the field. The Bakersfield, CA Hobby Stock driver gave Matjoulis all he had.
“On most laps, he [Matjoulis] was faster than me. He was pulling,” Wilson said. “Second is about all we had tonight. We have two seconds in this series and we’ll try again next week.”
Brown hung on for a hard-fought third. The Californian was impressive all night and lost the Hoosier Racing Tire Preliminary Feature to a late slider by Preston Oberle.
Richie Yost took his unsponsored UMP Modified entry through the field from 18th to 7th to earn the DIRTVision Hard Charger award.
On Saturday, May 9, DIRTcar eSports returns with another round of weekly racing, featuring DIRTcar Pro Late Models at Volusia Speedway Park. Stay tuned to social media and the new DIRTcar eSports website to learn how to register for racing.
Weekly DIRTcar eSports Shootout; May 2, 2020 at Limaland Motorsports Park – RESULTS