The eNASCAR Coca-Cola iRacing Series takes on one of the most special events in series history on Tuesday night, as the Chicago Street Circuit—a track that originated on iRacing—hosts its first-ever eNASCAR championship round. As always, race coverage begins at 9 p.m. ET at eNASCAR.com/live and across iRacing social media channels, while Countdown to Green will kick off at 8:30 p.m. ET to preview the action.
Last Race: After running up front almost all season long, Team Dillon eSports rookie Jordy Lopez finally got into the winner’s circle after a dramatic dash to the finish at World Wide Technology Raceway at Gateway. Last-lap contact between Lopez, who had taken two tires for the finish, and fgrAccel’s Garrett Manes, who opted to keep track position with old tires, sent Manes spinning coming out of Turn 2, and left some of the field with nowhere to go as they piled in.
But the challenge wasn’t over yet. Former series champion and two-time 2023 race winner Michael Conti of JR Motorsports had taken four tires and was on the charge himself, making contact with Lopez in Turn 3 but not causing as drastic a result. Instead, the two drivers pulled even and leaned on one another down the frontstretch, with Lopez scored ahead by just six one-thousandths of a second at the finish line.
Last Year: 2023 will be Chicago’s first time serving as a points round on the eNASCAR schedule, but the track did host last year’s All-Star Race. In a battle of road racing standouts, and eventual Championship 4 drivers, Stewart-Haas eSports’ Steven Wilson held off Joe Gibbs Racing’s Bobby Zalenski on a dramatic final lap.
Track Facts: Conceived in the fall of 2020 and refined over the past three years, the Chicago Street Circuit was iRacing and NASCAR’s answer to “what if NASCAR held a street race?” Surrounding iconic Chicago landmarks like Grant Park and Buckingham Fountain, the unique new course brings the thrill of stock car racing to the heart of the city.
NASCAR Night at Navy Pier: NASCAR will host NASCAR Night at Navy Pier, a unique esports event presented by Logitech, iRacing & Coca-Cola, on Tuesday from 5-9:30 p.m. CT in the Aon Grand Ballroom. The free event, open to the public, will give visitors a chance to virtually drive the Chicago Street Course on the same official iRacing simulators that NASCAR drivers are using to prepare for the first-of-its-kind event, and to watch William Byron eSports driver Matt Bussa compete in the eNASCAR action. Click here for more information.
Next Up: Following Chicago, the eNASCAR Coca-Cola iRacing Series will head to Nashville Superspeedway on Tuesday, July 11 at 9 p.m. ET. Last year’s Nashville race was won by four-time series champion Ray Alfalla, who extended his record for most career wins in the series with his only triumph of the 2022 campaign.
Image via Justin Melillo