Conti, Davies Taken Out Late in eNASCAR Coca-Cola iRacing Playoff Race at Kansas

JR Motorsports | 10/23/2020

Brad Davies eNASCAR iRacing Michael Conti News TrueTimber WR1 Sim Chassis

Michael Conti and Brad Davies had strong runs going in the second eNASCAR Coca-Cola iRacing Series Playoff race on Tuesday night, but neither driver was able to reach the finish line on the virtual Kansas Speedway in position.

Track Specs: 1.5-mile tri-oval / 134 laps
Conti’s finish: 12th
Davies’ finish: 35th

MOORESVILLE, N.C. (Oct. 22, 2020) – Michael Conti and Brad Davies had strong runs going in the second eNASCAR Coca-Cola iRacing Series Playoff race on Tuesday night, but neither driver was able to reach the finish line on the virtual Kansas Speedway in position, as both JR Motorsports drivers were victims of late-race aggression by other competitors. (Watch the full race.)

Conti, who suffered a blown engine in the playoff opener on the Roval at Charlotte a week ago, started his No. 8 WR1 Sim Chassis Chevrolet from the 10th position. As passing is at a premium on the 1.5-mile virtual oval, Conti got a good start and moved up to fourth within the first ten laps. Over the first fuel run, Conti kept moving forward, passing Chris Shearburn for third and pushing second-place Nick Ottinger toward the leader, Keegan Leahy.

Conti short-pitted in an effort to gain track position, but still came out behind Leahy and Ottinger. The order stayed the same until the second green-flag stop. Conti pitted with the leader, Leahy, while Ottinger continued on an additional five laps. Once he stopped, Conti was able to advance to second behind Leahy, but Ottinger was hooked up and took the runner-up position back. Conti was still third with eight laps remaining, and a pivotal caution flag—involving Davies--would fly at that point.

After a couple of wild restarts that winnowed the field—including Leahy--Conti found himself running second for the second attempt at a green-white-checkered finish. As the action picked up, Conti was making a charge for the lead when Phil Diaz booted him out of the runner-up spot on the front straightaway under the white flag. The crash continued into Turn 1 and Conti would finish 12th.

Davies, always good on the intermediate tracks, put his No. 88 TrueTimber® Camo Chevrolet fifth for the start of the 134-lap event and maintained position near the front, but as the high line came in, Davies was unable to advance farther. After making his pit stop at the end of the first fuel run, Davies returned to the track and maintained station in the top 10 and fighting the lack of a second groove.

At the second green-flag stop, track position came into play as Davies got stuck behind a group of slower cars who had pitted before him. The Florida driver was quicker on newer tires, but could not make the bottom groove work to get past. Still fighting forward with 12 laps to go, the caution waved and Davies jumped to pit road for fresh tires. As the green waved to restart the race, cars ahead of Davies crashed, and while he avoided the mess in front, Brandon Kettelle could not avoid Davies and made contact from behind. The impact put Davies into the wall, doing damage to the nose and costing him a lap to the leaders for repairs. He finished 35th.

Conti is now 43 points below the cut line for the Championship 4 with only next week’s race at the virtual Texas Motor Speedway remaining. The New Jersey driver is facing a must-win situation on the 1.5-mile oval to have a chance at the $100,000 winner’s prize. Davies remained 12th in points, 66 out of ninth place.

The eNASCAR Coca-Cola iRacing Series will resume its playoff run on Tuesday, Oct. 27 at the virtual Texas Motor Speedway, where the Championship 4 will be determined. Coverage of the eNASCAR Coca-Cola iRacing Series will be shown on eNASCAR.com and twitch.tv/iracing.

Michael Conti, driver No. 8 WR1 Sim Chassis JR Motorsports Chevrolet team

“That's two weeks in a row where things looked to be going stellar before everything came crashing down. We had a phenomenal No. 8 WR1 Chevrolet tonight and ran top-three all night. Ultimately, it was a bittersweet ending; if the caution with eight to go doesn't come out, I have no chance of beating (Keegan) Leahy. It put us in contention to win and move on to Homestead. On the flipside, the fact that I got wrecked with the checkered and win in sight doesn't hurt any less. The good news for us is that we've had some killer speed at the intermediates this year and should be strong again at Texas next week. It's going to be insane trying to beat Leahy, who's also in a must-win situation, but we've been in this boat before. In 2018, Dover was the final race before the cutoff. I had already locked myself into Homestead, but Keegan still had to. We dueled all night and ultimately, I came out on top. I'm hoping for the same thing in one week's time.”

Brad Davies, driver No. 88 TrueTimber® Camo JR Motorsports Chevrolet team

“Frustrating end of the night for the No. 88 TrueTimber Chevy. We had top-10 pace but got caught on the wrong end of pit strategy after the second round of stops and then run over from behind when trying to avoid a wreck in front of us. It really put a dent in our chances of finishing top-10 in points this year but I guess, looking on the bright side, we had a fast car and we’re still 12th in points and looking pretty good as far as staying locked in for next year. With two races left, we’ll be in Texas next week and with that track being similar to Kansas, we’re really looking forward to having a good run there.”

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