Tucker Minter punches playoff ticket with eNASCAR Coca-Cola iRacing Series win at Nashville

The question of ‘when’ was answered on Tuesday night for William Byron eSports’ Tucker Minter.

Following a stretch of races that saw him finish second on three occasions, with a third place in between, Minter’s chances at clinching a spot in the 2024 eNASCAR Coca-Cola iRacing Series playoff field were dwindling. Dover Motor Speedway was arguably his best shot, but it took until the other concrete intermediate, Nashville Superspeedway, for the sophomore to punch his ticket. Minter only led the final 14 laps, but a combination of speed and strategy put him in the perfect position for victory.

“Been so close all season long,” Minter said post-race. “I haven’t had the luck, in some ways. With how the playoffs picture is, it was so tight, sweating that. It feels really relieving going into the Chicago Street Course next week, racing from the Navy Pier, I don’t have to worry about my playoff points standings.”

From third on the grid, Minter started behind Bobby Zalenski (Joe Gibbs Racing) and Vicente Salas (Kanaan Esports). The opening sequence saw little separation, with Salas and Zalenski side-by-side for nearly an entire 10-lap run. Minter took the pair three-wide, but that allowed for Salas to get the jump off of the corner and take full control.

From there, Minter moved up into second while Zalenski began to fade backwards. The only caution of the race fell on lap 12, when Garrett Manes (fgrAccel eRacing) took a slide after contact with Kevin Harvick Inc’s Jimmy Mullis, last year’s winner at Nashville.

The majority of the field stayed out, with some faking pit entry to try and sway others in. On the ensuing restart, three-wide racing between Donovan Strauss (Williams Esports), Kaden Honeycutt, and Darik Bourdeau (Front Row Motorsports) resulted in a spin by Bourdeau, which collected former champion Casey Kirwan (Spire Motorsports) and his teammate, Malik Ray.

The race stayed green, however, as the field quickly singled out. Another close call, this one involving Quami Scott (Letarte eSports), Jonathon Dulaney (Team Dillon Esports), and Timothy Holmes (RFK Racing) sent the two rookies into a drift, but both were able to correct.

From here, a number of strategies were set for the end of the running of the 100-lap event. At halfway, Zack Novak (OXYGEN Esports) began the first cycle of stops. Salas reacted and pitted the next time by, but Minter was able to leap frog through the pit cycle.

The other OXYGEN car, Femi Olatunbosun, also pitted early, with him and RFK Racing’s Collin Bowden leading the cycle. Parker White (Williams Esports) opted for a two-tire strategy, soon after Minter had pitted for four tires. The shorter stop put White ahead of Minter, and eventually, both were able to get around Olatunbosun and Bowden for the lead of the cycle.

Meanwhile up front, Steven Wilson (M80) and Seth DeMerchant (fgrAccel eRacing) were running a longer strategy. DeMerchant had a hybrid strategy, pitting between the early stoppers and the late stoppers. Taylor Hurst (Team Dillon Esports) and Keegan Leahy (23XI) were the last to pit with just about 15 laps to go.

As the pit stops cycled, Minter caught White for the net lead. White didn’t put up too big of a fight, and Minter was able to slide by easily. The two had a healthy gap over those racing for third, and White possibly figured finishing in second would be best for his points outlook.

Minter strolled home for the victory, his first of 2024 and the fourth of his career. The win all but locks him into the 2024 eNASCAR Playoffs, as he becomes the eighth different winner in 11 races so far. White wound up in second, while DeMerchant, on the hybrid strategy, took Bowden, Salas, and Michael Cosey Jr (Front Row Motorsports) four-wide on the final lap to score third, his best career finish.

eNASCAR Coca-Cola iRacing Series results from Nashville Superspeedway were as follows:

Fin.

St.

No.

Name

Team

Laps

Interval

Led

Best

Pts

1397Tucker MinterWilliam Byron eSports1000.0001430.46640
21153Parker WhiteWilliams Esports100-0.694130.43635
3714Seth DeMerchantfgrAccel eRacing100-3.038730.47334
41738Michael Cosey JrFront Row Motorsports100-3.117030.38833
5211Vicente SalasKanaan Esports100-3.1625030.47732
64017Collin BowdenRFK Racing100-3.372130.37631
7422Femi OlatunbosunOXYGEN Esports100-3.632030.44330
82448Graham A. BowlinQuikTrip Pioneers Gaming100-3.758030.47729
91389Garrett LoweBS+COMPETITION100-3.927030.50628
10510Steven WilsonM80100-4.3131530.30027
111090Jordy LopezBS+COMPETITION100-5.024030.40026
1268Kaden HoneycuttJR Motorsports100-5.352030.36425
13118Bobby ZalenskiJoe Gibbs Racing100-5.365130.46724
142025Nick OttingerWilliam Byron eSports100-6.724030.47323
15155Zack NovakOXYGEN Esports100-7.023030.51122
163355Ryan DoucettePittsburgh Knights100-7.081030.53721
173412Garrett ManesfgrAccel eRacing100-7.286030.56120
182866Kollin KeisterKanaan Esports100-9.817030.42819
193141Dylan DuvalNitro Circus Sim Racing100-10.777030.51518
203542Tyler GareyeRacr100-11.052030.52817
211980Ryan LuzaM80100-11.796030.45516
222529Jimmy MullisKevin Harvick Inc.100-12.311030.46815
232154Daniel FaulkinghamJoe Gibbs Racing100-14.636030.29014
24127Malik RaySpire Motorsports100-14.732030.46713
251651Donovan StraussWilliams Esports100-14.736030.44512
263799Matthew ZwackNitro Circus Sim Racing100-14.912030.42811
271488Briar LaPraddJR Motorsports100-15.036030.51510
281820Wyatt TinsleyQuikTrip Pioneers Gaming100-15.146030.3849
292640Dylan AultLetarte eSports100-15.327030.4748
30396Timothy HolmesRFK Racing100-15.745030.3587
312345Michael Guest23XI100-16.385030.5256
323069Ray AlfallaeRacr100-17.676030.4385
333827Cody ByusPittsburgh Knights100-18.152030.4724
342262Matt BussaKevin Harvick Inc.100-18.651030.5153
35977Casey KirwanSpire Motorsports100-21.078030.5442
36273Jonathon DulaneyTeam Dillon Esports100-27.678030.5131
372933Taylor HurstTeam Dillon Esports100-27.9421030.4071
383223Keegan Leahy23XI100-29.780130.6911
393636Quami ScottLetarte eSports99-1L030.5351
40834Darik BourdeauFront Row Motorsports93-7L030.6031

eNASCAR Coca-Cola iRacing Series Driver’s Standings through Round 11 are as follows:

  1. Steven Wilson, 343 (3 WINS)
  2. Parker White, 321
  3. Vicente Salas, 305 (1 WIN)
  4. Nick Ottinger, 294
  5. Tucker Minter, 283 (1 WIN)
  6. Bobby Zalenski, 279 (1 WIN)
  7. Kaden Honeycutt, 256
  8. Casey Kirwan, 254
  9. Zack Novak, 244
  10. Jordy Lopez, 240
    11. Garrett Lowe, 233 (1 WIN)
    14. Dylan Duval, 221 (1 WIN)
    20. Wyatt Tinsley, 202 (1 WIN)
    ————————————-
    21. Malik Ray, 191 (1 WIN)

eNASCAR Coca-Cola iRacing Series Segment 3 Standings after Round 2 of 5 are as follows:

  1. Parker White, 79
  2. Steven Wilson, 77
  3. Tucker Minter, 75
  4. Graham A. Bowlin, 73
  5. Jordy Lopez, 61
  6. Zack Novak, 60
  7. Seth DeMerchant, 57
  8. Michael Cosey Jr, 55
    Bobby Zalenski, 55
    Femi Olatunbosun, 55

eNASCAR Coca-Cola iRacing Series Team Standings through Round 11 are as follows:

  1. William Byron eSports (#25/#97), 572
  2. Williams Esports (#51/#53), 518
  3. Kanaan Esports (#11/#66), 515
  4. M80 (#10/#80), 512
  5. Joe Gibbs Racing (#18/#54), 491

With only three opportunities left to punch a ticket to the eNASCAR Playoffs, next up is a return date to Chicago for some street course racing next week. Both Wyatt Tinsley (QuikTrip Pioneers Gaming) and Malik Ray are teetering on the top 20 line, with Tinsley in and Ray out leaving Nashville. They’ll need to be above that line to have a chance at racing for the Dale Earnhardt Jr Cup this season.

Parker White doesn’t have a win yet, but he does lead the Segment #3 standings after two races with Chicago up next, a track he nearly won at a season ago. In the Team Standings, William Byron eSports extends their lead with their first win of the season.

The 40 top-rated eNASCAR drivers will head to the Chicago Street Course after a short week for the 12th race of the 2024 season. Last year, Bobby Zalenski outdueled Parker White and Steven Wilson for the inaugural victory.

Tune in on Tuesday, July 2nd, at 7:30 p.m. ET for the Countdown to Green. Race coverage for the event 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.