Conti, Davies Take Texas 1-2 as Conti Punches Ticket to eNASCAR Coca-Cola iRacing Final Race

Photo courtesy of Justin Melillo

JR Motorsports | 10/28/2020

Brad Davies eNASCAR iRacing Michael Conti News TrueTimber WR1 Sim Chassis

JRM's Michael Conti won Tuesday night's eNASCAR Coca-Cola iRacing Series race at the virtual Texas Motor Speedway and will compete for the $100,000 winner's share next week. Brad Davies finished second to complete the sweep.

Track Specs: 1.5-mile quad-oval / 169 laps
Conti’s finish: 1st
Davies’ finish: 2nd

MOORESVILLE, N.C. (Oct. 28, 2020) – On a night when he had to win to earn a shot at the $100,000 payday in the eNASCAR Coca-Cola iRacing Series championship race, JR Motorsports driver Michael Conti did so, breaking a 37-race winless streak at absolutely the right time in the penultimate race of the Round of 8 and the season at the virtual Texas Motor Speedway. Teammate Brad Davies made it a double victory for JRM, slipping past a final-turn accident to finish second. (Watch the full race.)

Conti entered Tuesday night’s event 43 points below the cut line to advance following a DNF at Charlotte and a last-lap crash that led to 12th place last week at Kansas. The 2014 eNASCAR Coca-Cola iRacing Series champion dominated the race from the green flag, leading 73 of the 169 laps in his No. 8 WR1 Sim Chassis Chevrolet and overcoming rivals Ray Alfalla, Keegan Leahy, Garrett Lowe and Jimmy Mullis for a spot in the final race. Ryan Luza earned the fourth and final berth despite finishing 25th after sustaining damage in an earlier crash.

The triumph, Conti’s 10th overall, was his first since Oct. 9, 2018 at the virtual Dover International Speedway. That victory also put him into the Championship 4 that season.

The race—originally set for 167 laps--boiled down to the final few circuits. Conti held the lead with five to go when Logan Clampitt and Leahy tangled while fighting over second, collecting a dozen cars in the aftermath including Lowe and Alfalla. Clampitt had been Conti’s wingman as the race wound down, and he lost position in the melee, leaving Conti to fend for himself.

That put the race into overtime and put Conti in position to take the victory. As the field boiled into Turn 4 on the final lap, Keister got a huge run on the top but slipped sideways next to Graham Bowlin and Nathan Lyon, which triggered the pile-up behind. Davies, whose No. 88 TrueTimber® Camo Camaro was right behind the scrum when it broke out, took to the infield to miss the spinning cars and emerged unscathed to follow his teammate to the finish line for second.

It was the first 1-2 finish for JRM in the series this season and the 10th career victory for Conti.

One of the key moments of the race took place on lap 67 when Alfalla headed to pit road. As he slowed to make the turn onto pit road, Luza slammed into the rear of Alfalla’s machine while trying to avoid contact. Conti was intending to come to pit road the next time by under green, and the caution saved him from doing so, allowing him to make his stop from the lead under yellow. It also put all but the top four cars a lap down to the leader.

Another pivotal moment came with 25 to go, when the first of four yellow flags waved for a crash on the front straightaway. The last one was the one in which Clampitt—Conti’s roommate—tangled with Leahy and set up the final green-white-checkered.

Davies built on qualifying success last week at Kansas by doing more of the same, resulting in a seventh-place starting spot. The Florida driver pitted early for tires and fuel at lap 15, using the fresh rubber to drive forward past cars that stayed out for what turned out to be a long green-flag run.

The race came down to varying pit strategies, with different groups of cars taking different steps to advance. Davies played his strategy to perfection and was fifth coming to the checkered when the three cars ahead of him tangled off Turn 4. The seas parted and Davies brought the TrueTimber Camo Chevrolet through the opening to earn his best finish of the season.

The runner-up finish also served to lock in the veteran driver for next season in the top NASCAR league in all of iRacing.

The eNASCAR Coca-Cola iRacing Series will conclude on Monday night, Nov. 2, with the winner-take-all race at the virtual Homestead-Miami Speedway. Coverage begins at 8 p.m. ET on eNASCAR.com and twitch.tv/iracing.

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

“Tonight was one of those nights where all of the stars align and things just go your way. Everything worked out perfectly; we could not have planned it any better if we tried. From taking tires early on, to catching a timely caution before the first round of green-flag stops, tonight seemed like something that was just meant to be. I felt horrible after the Roval, absolutely gutted. Last week was a roller-coaster too. But we kept our heads down, put in the time over the last seven days, and brought an incredible No. 8 WR1 Chevy to the virtual Texas. I can't thank everyone at JRM, WR1, iRacing and NASCAR enough for giving us this platform to race on. For someone like me who always wanted to race growing up, but didn't have the opportunity because of limited funding, this has honestly been the next best thing. It's so cool to see the support from everyone after we won tonight and it fuels our fire even more to go get us a championship at Homestead next Monday. Let's do this!” 

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

“Really interesting race tonight. With everyone on such different tire strategies, I didn’t really know what to expect but our No. 88 TrueTimber® Camo Chevy Camaro was really fast all night so we’re pretty pleased to able to show it. We were a little free in the middle part of a long run but very fast the longer the run went on. We’re also beyond thrilled that our JRM teammate in Michael Conti was able to take home the checkered and solidify his spot in the Championship 4 at Homestead next week. We’re locked in to a spot for next year so our focus is going shift more to the No. 8 for Homestead and try to get them into victory lane and bring us home a championship for JRM.”

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1Austin Cindric (P)40400
2Justin Allgaier (P)4032-8
3Justin Haley (P)4029-11
4Chase Briscoe (P)4028-12
5Noah Gragson2306-1734
6Brandon Jones2273-1767
7Ross Chastain2270-1770
8Harrison Burton #2248-1792
9Michael Annett2202-1838