deJong Runs Away With eNASCAR Coca-Cola iRacing Series Debut at COTA

After qualifying for the eNASCAR Coca-Cola iRacing Series’ debut visit to Circuit of the Americas, the stage was finally set for a proper battle for the win on a road course event. Letarte Esports’ Bobby Zalenski, the dominant force on these circuits for multiple years, finally fell to another driver in qualifying, 23XI’s Mitchell deJong. The duo would share the front row coming to the green flag and, most likely, battle it out for 34 laps on the 20-turn Texas circuit.

Turn one, however, had other plans.

In the rush to the sharp uphill lefthander, defending series champion Nick Ottinger of William Byron eSports made contact with Zalenski, spinning the latter and setting off a chain reaction that scrambled most of the field. Of course, that didn’t include deJong, who steered clear of the chaos and never looked back, leading every lap and extending a lead of more than 17 seconds over Richmond Raceway eSports’ Jimmy Mullis at race’s end.

The win was historically significant for two reasons. First, it meant that the long-standing series record of seven different winners to start a season, set during the inaugural 2010 campaign, was finally broken. Second, deJong, who won the 2014 X Games Rallycross Lites gold medal at this track, joins Dale Earnhardt Jr. at Daytona and Josh Berry at Martinsville as drivers to have won in both eNASCAR and major real-world racing at the same track.

In a dramatic shuffle of the running order for most of the season, none of the top 10 finishers at COTA were previous race winners so far in 2021. Stewart-Haas eSports’ Graham Bowlin completed the podium, while Zalenski charged back from 19th after his spin to secure fourth place in spite of sustaining damage in the first-lap chaos.

Full results from Tuesday’s eNASCAR Coca-Cola iRacing Series race at Circuit of the Americas were as follows:











1123Mitchell deJongToyota34342:08.71440
2746Jimmy MullisToyota34-17.71002:09.54735
3410Graham A. BowlinFord34-23.24202:09.82934
4283Bobby ZalenskiChevrolet34-27.13102:09.01433
51017Steven Wilson3Ford34-29.34702:10.07732
683Corey VincentChevrolet34-33.10402:10.41531
7938Casey KirwanFord34-37.70102:10.20330
82166Blake ReynoldsChevrolet34-40.00002:10.02529
9152Garrett ManesToyota34-44.64002:09.88628
101233Taylor HurstChevrolet34-46.57202:10.85027
11632Keegan LeahyToyota34-48.74702:10.47426
121921Garrett LoweFord34-52.26802:10.66425
13148Michael ContiChevrolet34-57.46202:10.49324
14134Ryan Michael LuzaFord34-57.63902:10.66823
15355Vicente SalasFord34-1:10.96402:10.21722
161141Dylan DuvalFord34-1:12.54302:11.51621
171824Jake NicholsFord34-1:14.08102:09.96920
182477Bob BryantChevrolet34-1:17.35502:10.57719
192644Isaac GannChevrolet34-1:22.22002:10.60018
202375Matt BussaFord34-1:23.13202:11.33617
211797Logan ClampittChevrolet34-1:26.96502:10.67416
222516John GorlinskyFord34-1:29.43802:10.96015
23276Nathan LyonFord34-1:39.29502:12.84814
242936Chris ShearburnChevrolet34-1:43.78002:12.28613
253114Blade WhittFord34-1:44.69102:12.11612
26329Michael GuestFord34-1:46.21002:12.86011
27525Nick OttingerChevrolet34-1:48.91102:10.26110
283379Ryan DoucetteFord34-1:49.61202:12.0779
293415Caine CookFord34-1:52.39302:11.8088
302288Brad DaviesChevrolet34-1:53.58402:11.7457
313652Jake MathesonFord34-2:05.73302:13.2416
321667Allen BoesChevrolet34-2:06.36902:10.7145
333818Femi OlatToyota34-2:11.43902:11.7894
343011Malik RayFord34-2:12.47002:13.8923
352090Zack NovakToyota34-2:14.02902:11.6562
363729Zack NicholsFord33-1 L02:12.4561
373937Derek JustisChevrolet33-1 L02:13.2371
382851Ray AlfallaToyota22-12 L02:12.5121
394047Brian SchoenburgChevrolet13-21 L02:18.9031
40351Ashton CrowderToyota3-31 L01


The eNASCAR Coca-Cola iRacing Series playoff grid through eight races is as follows:

  1. Keegan Leahy, 1 win, 231 points
  2. Logan Clampitt, 1 win, 206 points
  3. Michael Conti, 1 win, 186 points
  4. Chris Shearburn, 1 win, 183 points
  5. Ryan Luza, 1 win, 164 points
  6. Vicente Salas, 1 win, 159 points
  7. Bob Bryant, 1 win, 159 points
  8. Mitchell deJong, 1 win, 157 points
  9. Michael Guest, 190 points
  10. Corey Vincent, 182 points

The eNASCAR Coca-Cola iRacing Series returns to action next Tuesday for the Coca-Cola 300, the longest race of the season, at Charlotte Motor Speedway. As always, coverage begins with iRacing Countdown to Green at 8:30PM ET, with the racing action picking up at 9PM ET on and iRacing’s social media channels. For more information on iRacing and for special offers, visit

Images via Justin Melillo