eNASCAR Coca-Cola iRacing Series Race Preview: Auto Club

Believe it or not, we’re already about a quarter of the way through the eNASCAR Coca-Cola iRacing Series entering tonight’s round at Auto Club Speedway. The high-speed two-mile oval didn’t make its series debut until the 2014 season, where current defending series champion Nick Ottinger took the checkered flag, but has been a mainstay of the series ever since.

Elliott Sadler Esports’ Ashton Crowder is the defending winner at Auto Club, having taken the win in the second round of the 2020 season in an intense duel with Wood Brothers Racing standout Garrett Lowe. Half the field in last year’s race was separated by under five seconds at the finish, while six different drivers—Crowder, Bobby Zalenski, Jake Nichols, Ray Alfalla, Keegan Leahy, and Logan Clampitt—spent double-digit laps at the head of the field.

Speaking of Clampitt, he enters tonight coming off of an emotional win in the series’ most recent race from Atlanta Motor Speedway. The William Byron eSports driver snapped a 44-race winless drought two weeks ago, taking his first win since moving from California to North Carolina to further his sim racing career. He joins his roommate, JR Motorsports driver Michael Conti, as well as 23XI’s Leahy and XSET’s Ryan Luza as race winners so far this year, meaning he’ll be in the playoffs as long as he can stay in the top half of the standings come cutoff time.

Seeing a fifth different winner in five races to start the year wouldn’t be much of a surprise. Both Crowder and Alfalla are past Auto Club winners still looking for their first victories of 2021, and with each mired below 30th in points, a repeat victory here could reshape their respective seasons. At the sharp end of the standings, incoming points leader Casey Kirwan hopes to join his teammate Luza in the winner’s circle before long, while Roush Fenway Racing rookie Steven Wilson, Letarte Esports’ Chris Shearburn, Jim Beaver eSports’ Michael Guest, and William Byron eSports’ Ottinger are all within a handful of points of one another, and well within reach of the top five with a good night.

Before the action gets underway, iRacing Countdown to Green will begin streaming live at 8:30PM ET/5:30PM PT. Host Amy Long will join series veterans Brandon Kettelle, Michael Guariglia, and Chris Overland to preview tonight’s race and predict the winners.

Coverage of eNASCAR Coca-Cola iRacing Series action from Auto Club Speedway begins at 9PM ET/6PM PT on eNASCAR.com/live, iRacing.com/live, and NASCAR and iRacing social media channels. Richmond Raceway hosts the next round of the championship on April 13, as the track’s own drivers Jimmy Mullis and Zack Novak look to reclaim the winner’s trophy after Luza took it last year. For more information on the eNASCAR Coca-Cola iRacing Series, visit www.eNASCAR.com. For more information on iRacing and for special offers, visit www.iracing.com.