Wyatt Tinsley stays undefeated in 2024, wins eNASCAR Coca-Cola iRacing Series Daytona opener

The 15th season of the eNASCAR Coca-Cola iRacing Series kicked off at Daytona International Speedway on Tuesday night with a first-time winner. Wyatt Tinsley took his first career points-paying victory in eNASCAR Overtime, making the move on Joe Gibbs Racing’s Bobby Zalenski into Turn 3 on the final lap with M80’s Steven Wilson, the 2023 series champion, tucked up right behind.

Off of the final turn, Wilson looked to make a move, as did Spire Motorsports’ Malik Ray back in third. As the two bounced off one another behind him, Tinsley came across the line to win, becoming the 65th different driver to win a race at the Coke Series level. He was also the eighth different first-time winner at Daytona, joining the likes of the last two winners at the track, Femi Olatunbosun and Tucker Minter, as well as NASCAR Hall of Famer Dale Earnhardt Jr, who won the first ever race here back in 2010.

Two weeks ago, the QuikTrip Pioneers Gaming driver made his way into eNASCAR victory lane in the eNASCAR Coca-Cola iRacing Series Clash at Daytona exhibition. Tinsley won both his heat race and the main event that night, and Tuesday’s win completes the Daytona sweep for the season. He found it hard to describe the winning feeling while soaking in the victory for the Kansas City-based team, a win that came just days after the Kansas City Chiefs took the Lombardi Trophy home after winning Super Bowl LVIII.

“It’s unimaginable,” an exuberant Tinsley said post-race. “Words can’t describe how happy I am right now. To be a part of the series, and to be a part of winning that race, I have no words… The overwhelming support is just amazing. Everyone from the Kansas City Pioneers have been texting me, and my Grandma and Dad were watching. Words can’t describe it, man. It’s just amazing.”

Tinsley started the race third, behind 2020 series champion Nick Ottinger of William Byron eSports and newcomer Quami Scott of Letarte eSports on the front row. Ottinger led the first lap, but it was the Altus eSports-backed trio of Michael Cosey Jr (Front Row Motorsports), rookie Seth DeMerchant (fgrAccel eRacing), and Ryan Doucette (Pittsburgh Knights) who set the tone early.

The first half of the race would go green, but there were still some tense moments. Tyler Garey, driving for eRacr this season, got into a slide on Lap 16 after a bump gone wrong with Dylan Duval (Nitro Circus Sim Racing). A few laps later, the Altus trio broke up as Williams Esports’ Parker White moved into the top spot on Lap 25 following a huge shove from RFK Racing’s Collin Bowden. Doucette was the odd man out, getting caught in the middle. As he attempted to move back into line, the hole closed up and he made contact with BS+COMPETITION eSports’ Garrett Lowe. Luckily, all were able to continue on.

Pit stops came right after the halfway point, with the entire field managing to make it safely on and off the pit lane and only two speeding penalties for Kevin Harvick Inc.’s Jimmy Mullis (on entry) and Nitro Circus Sim Racing’s Matthew Zwack (on exit). The field accordioned, and everyone tried to figure out where they were supposed to be. As a result, the first caution flew on Lap 50 as Olatunbosun got turned sideways and collected numerous others, including Minter. Duval took the worst damage in the incident and was forced to retire.

On the restart, BS+COMPETITION eSports’ Jordy Lopez led the way with 23XI’s Keegan Leahy, the 2021 series champion, tucked up behind in second. Now in the race to the finish, bumping became more aggressive as drivers hoped to traverse the pack. Lopez slammed the wall on the backstretch following some bumping gone wrong behind him, but the race stayed green. Tinsley’s teammate Graham Bowlin found his way to the front of the field, but the second caution flew after he was turned sideways in the middle of the lead pack.

The rest of the race would be filled with cautions and ensuing restarts, each resulting in a new running order. The Spire Motorsports duo of Ray and 2022 series champion Casey Kirwan was formidable, but the Norse Force Racing alliance, which included Tinsley, Wilson, and Williams Esports’ Donovan Strauss, were also in the hunt.

Towards the end, Zalenski managed to put himself into the lead with no backend support. His closest ally was his Joe Gibbs Racing teammate, Daniel Faulkingham, but he was mired on the fringe of the top 10. The race entered eNASCAR Overtime after the fourth and final caution flew on Lap 78. Taking the white flag, Zalenski was a lone wolf in a sea of Norse Force and Deadzone drivers.

Wilson was tucked up right behind Tinsley down the entire backstretch, water temps pushing the absolute limits. There was no lifting, however, as the two made a synchronized move to the double yellow line entering Turn 3. As Zalenski fell out of contention, Ray and Kirwan managed to sneak into the conversation. Wilson looked to make a move, but Ray also made a move at the same time. The two made contact, but they kept it straight. That was all Tinsley needed to capture his first win.

eNASCAR Coca-Cola iRacing Series Race 1 at Daytona results were as follows:

Fin.

St.

No.

Name

Team

Laps

Interval

Led

Best

Pts

1320Wyatt TinsleyQuikTrip Pioneers Gaming830.000743.94940
23410Steven WilsonM8083-0.023043.95035
3257Malik RaySpire Motorsports83-0.0801043.92134
43077Casey KirwanSpire Motorsports83-0.195243.98933
52418Bobby ZalenskiJoe Gibbs Racing83-0.221644.34132
61251Donovan StraussWilliams Esports83-0.367044.72731
7398Kaden HoneycuttJR Motorsports83-0.534044.43530
8754Daniel FaulkinghamJoe Gibbs Racing83-0.656144.40029
92823Keegan Leahy23XI83-0.694243.79928
10538Michael Cosey JrFront Row Motorsports83-0.8192344.37027
111155Ryan DoucettePittsburg Knights83-0.907044.63626
121545Michael Guest23XI83-0.913044.61125
133212Garrett ManesfgrAccel eRacing83-0.900044.62324
141366Kollin KeisterTony Kanaan eSports83-0.931144.67623
152711Vicente SalasTony Kanaan eSports83-1.069044.76122
161088Briar LaPraddJR Motorsports83-1.429044.87121
171453Parker WhiteWilliams Esports83-1.4771344.72220
18195Zack NovakOXYGEN Esports83-1.824044.58419
19125Nick OttingerWilliam Byron eSports83-1.845344.62118
203734Darik BourdeauFront Row Motorsports83-1.827044.48817
211689Garrett LoweBS+COMPETITION eSports83-1.954044.73716
224099Matthew ZwackNitro Circus Sim Racing83-2.078044.76715
233522Femi OlatunbosunOXYGEN Esports83-2.274044.47614
243142Tyler GareyeRacr83-2.280044.46513
253317Collin BowdenRFK Racing83-2.547044.58712
26206Timothy HolmesRFK Racing83-2.569044.69311
273897Tucker MinterWilliam Byron eSports83-2.699044.38110
28914Seth DeMerchantfgrAccel eRacing83-3.691244.4619
292133Taylor HurstTeam Dillon Esports83-3.702044.5888
302669Ray AlfallaeRacr83-3.871044.7417
313680Ryan LuzaM8083-3.974044.7486
322362Matt BussaKevin Harvick Inc.83-6.483044.6505
3383Jonathon DulaneyTeam Dillon Esports83-7.239044.7964
342948Graham A. BowlinQuikTrip Pioneers Gaming83-9.518344.6053
35440Dylan AultLetarte eSports83-9.634044.4142
361727Cody ByusPittsburg Knights83-13.965044.7171
37629Jimmy MullisKevin Harvick Inc.82-1L044.8751
382290Jordy LopezBS+COMPETITION eSports82-1L1044.2791
39236Quami ScottLetarte eSports74-9L044.7361
401841Dylan DuvalNitro Circus Sim Racing51-32L044.6781

eNASCAR Coca-Cola iRacing Series Driver’s Standings through Round 1 are as follows:

  1. Wyatt Tinsley, 40 (1 WIN)
  2. Steven Wilson, 35
  3. Malik Ray, 34
  4. Casey Kirwan, 33
  5. Bobby Zalenski, 32
  6. Donovan Strauss, 31
  7. Kaden Honeycutt, 30
  8. Daniel Faulkingham, 29
  9. Keegan Leahy, 28
  10. Michael Cosey Jr, 27

eNASCAR Coca-Cola iRacing Series Segment 1 Standings through Round 1 of 4 are as follows:

  1. Wyatt Tinsley, 40
  2. Steven Wilson, 35
  3. Malik Ray, 34
  4. Casey Kirwan, 33
  5. Bobby Zalenski, 32
  6. Donovan Strauss, 31
  7. Kaden Honeycutt, 30
  8. Daniel Faulkingham, 29
  9. Keegan Leahy, 28
  10. Michael Cosey Jr, 27

eNASCAR Coca-Cola iRacing Series Team Standings through Round 1 are as follows:

  1. Spire Motorsports (#7/#77), 67
  2. Joe Gibbs Racing (#18/#53), 61
  3. 23XI (#23/#45), 53
  4. Williams Esports (#51/#53), 51
    JR Motorsports (#8/#88), 51

The first race also means the first Segment of the season is underway. While the points will be scored through the season as normal, extra bonus points and cash are on the line for winning one of the three Segments of the season. Segment #1 will also include races at Las Vegas, Atlanta, and Richmond.

Tinsley leads the way in both standings by five points over the defending series champion, Wilson. Spire Motorsports, with their drivers third and fourth, takes ownership of the Team Championship lead early on, by six points over Joe Gibbs Racing and 14 over 23XI.

Las Vegas will be the first Intermediate challenge for the 40 top-rated eNASCAR drivers in two weeks. Last season, the 2014 series champion, Michael Conti, took his #ItsBeenGr8 retirement tour to victory lane for his 15th and final career victory in the series.

Tune in on Tuesday, February 27th, at 7:30 p.m. ET for the Countdown to Green. Race coverage begins at 8 p.m. ET at eNASCAR.com/live and across iRacing social media channels.

For more information on the eNASCAR Coca-Cola iRacing Series, visit www.enascar.com or www.iracing.com/enascar. For more information on iRacing and for special offers, visit www.iracing.com.