Garrett Lowe wins at Charlotte in closest eNASCAR Coca-Cola iRacing Series finish ever

The latest chapter in the Garrett Lowe-versus-Jimmy Mullis rivalry concluded on Tuesday night in Charlotte with yet another historic eNASCAR Coca-Cola iRacing Series finish.

Nearly a year removed from the fireworks at Nashville Superspeedway, which saw Lowe on the losing end of contact from Mullis, the tables turned at Charlotte Motor Speedway in the Coca-Cola 160. With both utilizing new tires in a seven-lap dash to the checkers, M80’s Steven Wilson gave up the lead to the pair with only a lap and a half remaining. With Mullis out front entering Turn 3 on the final lap, Lowe got to Mullis’s bumper, allowing for a drag race to the line. The two locked until just before the line, where Lowe edged Mullis by only 0.001 seconds, the closest finish in series history.

“All I could think of was Nashville,” Lowe said post-race. “I know you don’t want to hold a grudge or anything, but man, you work so hard to win these races, and I feel like we got robbed last year… This thing is bad fast, the Legacy guys did a great job setting it up, just really proud. I know, probably a little dirty, but I mean, you’re here to win in the Coke Series, you’ve got to do what you’ve got to do.”

“I felt like I was in the best spot possible,” Mullis said moments later. “I’m going to replay that one in my head, so many times, but I’m happy to come away with second… I can’t be mad, with how Nashville went last year between me and him. Glad we finished somewhat cleanly there.”

Lowe collects his fifth career victory in the series, the first in 2024 and the first for the new BS+COMPETITION outfit. It’s also Lowe’s first win at Charlotte Motor Speedway, his hometown track. Mullis scores the best finish for his new team, Kevin Harvick Inc, as well with finishing in second.

Most wouldn’t be able to say that they saw either driver coming throughout the 160-lap event, the longest race on the schedule. In fact, Lowe’s day looked to be over around halfway when he slid from the lead back below 30th, getting into a scuffle with RFK Racing’s Timothy Holmes as his tires kept falling further off of the cliff.

It wasn’t until the final restart that both Lowe and Mullis came into the picture that had been occupied by the Norse Force Racing alliance throughout the race. Wilson led the majority of the way, racing mostly against QuikTrip Pioneers Gaming’s duo of Wyatt Tinsley and Graham Bowlin, as well as the Williams Esports duo of Parker White and Donovan Strauss.

William Byron eSports’ Tucker Minter, the defending winner of the race, started on the pole position, but fell back early for tire conservation. Minter aimed to spoil the Norse Force party up front, but towards the end of it, while racing Wilson for the lead, the two made contact, sending Minter into the wall and out of it for the moment. On the second-to-last caution, Minter pitted, the same stop that Lowe and Mullis pitted on. However, Minter was collected in the final caution after contact with Joe Gibbs Racing’s Bobby Zalenski out of Turn 4.

It looked like it would ultimately be a battle between Wilson and White at the end. Mullis restarted in ninth while Lowe was all the way back in 14th. To make matters more complicated for Lowe, he had just been caught up in the Minter-Zalenski fracas, and wound up spinning his brand-new virtual Goodyear tires. With three laps to go, Lowe was fighting for the third spot while Mullis made the move around White for second. The next time by, Wilson slid up out of the groove as Mullis and Lowe sped past.

Mullis hoped that Lowe had taken his redemption and payback as they raced each other in the playoffs last season, with Lowe winning twice after Nashville, advancing to the Championship 4, while Mullis did not. Perhaps this is the final chapter in this heated rivalry, but who knows what will go through either driver’s head the next time they see the other’s back bumper ahead of them with a win on the line. In any case, Lowe is all but playoff-bound once again, with a chance at Championship 4 redemption come August.

eNASCAR Coca-Cola iRacing Series Coca-Cola 160 results from Charlotte Motor Speedway were as follows:

Fin.

St.

No.

Name

Team

Laps

Interval

Led

Best

Pts

1689Garrett LoweBS+COMPETITION1600.0001929.62940
22329Jimmy MullisKevin Harvick Inc.160-0.001129.69935
3553Parker WhiteWilliams Esports160-0.4312229.89334
4127Malik RaySpire Motorsports160-0.558129.69033
5305Zack NovakOXYGEN Esports160-0.615029.77132
648Kaden HoneycuttJR Motorsports160-0.658029.72631
7310Steven WilsonM80160-0.7157129.89430
84022Femi OlatunbosunOXYGEN Esports160-0.815029.76629
93948Graham A. BowlinQuikTrip Pioneers Gaming160-1.0111429.94128
10333Jonathon DulaneyTeam Dillon Esports160-1.253029.77627
112714Seth DeMerchantfgrAccel eRacing160-1.4801629.99626
122238Michael Cosey JrFront Row Motorsports160-1.498029.86525
133733Taylor HurstTeam Dillon Esports160-1.828029.80224
14825Nick OttingerWilliam Byron eSports160-1.984029.87523
151011Vicente SalasKanaan Esports160-2.103029.86022
161454Daniel FaulkinghamJoe Gibbs Racing160-2.156029.87321
171142Tyler GareyeRacr160-2.191029.88720
181890Jordy LopezBS+COMPETITION160-2.261129.90819
191666Kollin KeisterKanaan Esports160-2.346030.04718
20218Bobby ZalenskiJoe Gibbs Racing160-2.447029.88417
212699Matthew ZwackNitro Circus Sim Racing160-2.453029.92916
222945Michael Guest23XI160-2.488030.04615
231555Ryan DoucettePittsburgh Knights160-2.515029.86414
24197Tucker MinterWilliam Byron eSports160-2.535229.93113
252869Ray AlfallaeRacr160-2.522129.69812
263212Garrett ManesfgrAccel eRacing160-2.535030.00411
271341Dylan DuvalNitro Circus Sim Racing160-2.606029.99110
28977Casey KirwanSpire Motorsports160-2.639029.7779
292034Darik BourdeauFront Row Motorsports160-2.634029.9178
301920Wyatt TinsleyQuikTrip Pioneers Gaming160-3.2411029.8297
312188Briar LaPraddJR Motorsports160-3.346030.0076
322436Quami ScottLetarte eSports160-5.000030.0465
333827Cody ByusPittsburgh Knights160-6.188029.8584
343462Matt BussaKevin Harvick Inc.160-9.652029.8723
351780Ryan LuzaM80160-16.896230.1292
36316Timothy HolmesRFK Racing158-2L029.7231
37751Donovan StraussWilliams Esports154-6L029.9341
382517Collin BowdenRFK Racing143-17L029.8561
393640Dylan AultLetarte eSports76DNF030.4751
403523Keegan Leahy23XI3DNF030.6971

eNASCAR Coca-Cola iRacing Series Driver’s Standings through Round 8 are as follows:

  1. Steven Wilson, 234 (2 WINS)
  2. Vicente Salas, 220
  3. Nick Ottinger, 217
  4. Parker White, 217
  5. Bobby Zalenski, 198 (1 WIN)
  6. Kaden Honeycutt, 191
  7. Tucker Minter, 190
  8. Casey Kirwan, 186
  9. Jimmy Mullis, 184
  10. Garrett Lowe, 178 (1 WIN)
    14. Malik Ray, 160 (1 WIN)
    19. Dylan Duval, 145 (1 WIN)

eNASCAR Coca-Cola iRacing Series Segment 2 Standings through Segment Race 4 are as follows:

  1. Bobby Zalenski, 126
  2. Parker White, 126
  3. Tucker Minter, 120
  4. Steven Wilson, 116
  5. Vicente Salas, 115
  6. Garrett Lowe, 105
  7. Jordy Lopez, 102
  8. Nick Ottinger, 101
  9. Jimmy Mullis, 99
  10. Kaden Honeycutt, 92

eNASCAR Coca-Cola iRacing Series Team Standings through Round 8 are as follows:

  1. William Byron eSports (#25/#97), 407
  2. Kanaan Esports (#11/#66), 381
  3. Spire Motorsports (#7/#77), 380
  4. Williams Esports (#51/#53), 369
  5. Joe Gibbs Racing (#18/#54), 364

Wilson continues to lead the way in the overall points by 14 over Kanaan Esports’ Vicente Salas. In the battle for the Segment 2 title, there’s now a tie among Zalenski and White, with Minter, Wilson, and Salas all within striking distance. Lowe jumps up to sixth, but is 21 points behind the lead, with an outside chance heading into Darlington.

With how the winners fall among the top 20 cut line, Mullis, along with Spire Motorsports’ Casey Kirwan, would both be on the outside looking in, as Kirwan’s teammate, Malik Ray, moves back into the conversation following a fourth place effort. Talladega winner Dylan Duval (Nitro Circus Sim Racing) also sits above the cut, in 19th. Daytona winner Wyatt Tinsley sits below the cut, but just barely, in 21st. Las Vegas winner, Keegan Leahy (23XI), suffered another blow in his playoff hopes after early contact with Dylan Ault (Letarte eSports) derailed his efforts, resulting in a last place finish.

The 40 top-rated eNASCAR drivers will return in one week for the ninth race of the 2024 season at Darlington Raceway. It’ll be throwback night, so expect plenty of retro paint schemes among the field.

Tune in on Tuesday, May 28th, at 7:30 p.m. ET for the Countdown to Green. Race coverage for the Sunoco 120 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.