The fourth race of the eNASCAR Coca Cola iRacing Series took place Tuesday night (March 16) at the virtual Atlanta Motor Speedway after a wild race at Las Vegas just two weeks ago.
In the end, Logan Clampitt came out on top to score his first win of 2021 and his third career victory overall. This snaps a two-and-a-half year winless streak for Clampitt. Lots of emotion was shown by the young driver after the big win.
“It’s been two and a half years, 44 races,” Clampitt said. “I moved out here [to North Carolina from California] with Michael to change my life … and I’m glad I have my friends to celebrate with. We put so much time into this, and so much has gone into this the last two and a half years.”
One aspect of the race that was expected this week versus previous weeks was distinct multi-groove racing. This was the first time we have seen this in almost two years.
Mitchell deJong scored his second pole of the 2021 season and looked to find better results this week after bad luck struck the first few races. It was a fairly clean start to the race, until pit stops were slated to begin on lap 49 and Bob Bryant and Zack Novak made contact. Novak spun Bryant coming onto pit road and only one other driver was collected, that being the machine of Malik Ray.
Clampitt took control of the race on lap 54 after DeJong led the first 53 and looked to be the best car in the field.
A strong start to the race for 23XI Racing was the theme, but it was definitely a good showing for the team as a whole throughout the entire event. DeJong dominated the first half of the race and teammate Keegan Leahy ran runner-up until about lap 42 when Isaac Gann of Kligerman Sport came to life.
Perhaps the biggest incident of the race happened with 69 laps to go when Ashton Crowder, Femi Olat and Brian Schoenberg all collided and made contact. No caution was thrown, but severe damage was inflicted on Crowder’s and Schoenberg’s racecars.
Final pit stops started around 60 to go, and this was vital toward determining the race winner. Coming out on top was defending champion Nick Ottinger, setting up a battle between he and William Byron eSports teammate Clampitt for the win. Clampitt took over the race lead with 43 laps to go and did not look back.
A mechanical (internet connection) issue struck Gann late in the race as he was running in third. He was forced to park 26 laps short of the checkered and was relegated to a 39th-place finish.
Many drivers were working the top lane of the track, which seemed to be the fastest line most of the night. As previously mentioned, after a huge update to the iRacing service, both lines were able to be utilized just as well. We saw a similar battle back in the 2018 eNASCAR Coca-Cola Series race at this track when the top became dominant throughout the race.
This win locks Clampitt into the playoffs, as long as he can stay inside the top 20 in points. He joins Leahy, Michael Conti and Ryan Luza as the drivers who have won this year.
Ottinger finished second and Zack Nichols in third. Conti came home fourth, and Steven Wilson rounded out the top-five finishers.
The next race for the series will be in two weeks on March 30 at Auto Club Speedway. Coverage begins at 9 p.m. ET on twitch.tv/iRacing and eNASCAR.com.
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