Conti Has Engine Woes, Davies Battles Lack of Grip in eNASCAR Coca-Cola iRacing Playoff Opener on the Roval

JR Motorsports | 10/15/2020

Brad Davies eNASCAR iRacing Michael Conti News TrueTimber WR1 Sim Chassis

The JR Motorsports team of Brad Davies and Michael Conti hoped to start the eNASCAR Coca-Cola iRacing Playoffs with a solid performance, but the event on the virtual Roval was anything but solid.

Track Specs: 2.28-mile road course / 55 laps
Davies’ finish: 21st
Conti’s finish: 37th        

MOORESVILLE, N.C. (Oct. 15, 2020) – The two-car JR Motorsports team of Brad Davies and Michael Conti had high hopes of starting the eNASCAR Coca-Cola iRacing Playoffs with a solid performance, but Tuesday night’s event on the virtual 2.28-mile Roval road course inside Charlotte Motor Speedway was anything but solid. (Watch the full race.)

Conti, who began the event fourth in the playoff point standings, was on the move from 10th at the start when a rare mechanical failure ended his night in 37th position. Davies, who missed the playoff field despite a solid run at Talladega two weeks ago, struggled with grip most of the night and finished 21st.

Conti, driving his No. 8 WR1 Sim Chassis Chevrolet, struggled in qualifying and started the race from 10th place. On a mission to move forward, the New Jersey driver had risen to seventh in short order when the worst happened. As he went to hit third gear on lap 10 at the exit of the infield section and up onto the banking in NASCAR Turn 2, the car popped out of second and landed in first gear. That blew the engine and ended his night. He finished 37th, making his route to the Championship 4 more problematic than it was at the start of the race.

Davies, driving his familiar No. 88 TrueTimber® Camo Chevrolet, was on the hunt for grip in the setup and, unfortunately, didn’t find enough of it in qualifying and started the race from 22nd position. As the race wound down, Davies was forced to ride and make moves when he could.

Given the lack of passing, crew chief Derek Wood called his driver to pit road as soon as Davies hit the window to make it to the end on fuel, and the fresh rubber helped him move up the running order. The short-term gain turned into a long-term loss, as cars who stopped later were able to get back around Davies. The Florida driver slid down the order to finish 21st, one spot higher than where he started.

Bobby Zalenski punched his ticket to the Championship 4, leading every lap on the way to his sixth consecutive victory on a road course. Playoff drivers occupied the next three positions, as Jimmy Mullis was second, with Nick Ottinger third and Keegan Leahy fourth. Non-playoff driver Logan Clampitt rounded out the top five.

Conti is 37 points behind Ottinger for the final spot in the Championship 4 with two races yet to run before the finale is set. Davies is 12th in points, 28 out of ninth place with three races left in the season.

The eNASCAR Coca-Cola iRacing Series will resume its playoff run on Tuesday at the virtual Kansas Speedway. 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

“I absolutely am gutted after what happened tonight. We put more effort into this car than any other we’ve prepared this year and have zero to show for it. What a bummer. I take solace in the fact that there wasn’t much I could do to prevent what happened, which at its core, was a mechanically-induced issue. Just like in real racing, sometimes you’ll have that. Nevertheless, our mission at Kansas and Texas is now very simple: win and we’re in.”

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

“There was just no grip out there, especially on older tires. We were struggling on the brakes, struggling putting the power down, just slipping and sliding around everywhere. It was frustrating because usually we come in to the road courses with top-10 speed. Tonight, we just weren’t very good. Our result dropped us to 12th in points, but only a few out of 10th. Our goal at this point is to put this race behind us and look ahead to Kansas next week where we think we can get back into the top 10 in points. We had a strong car at Vegas a few weeks ago and we look forward to bringing what we learned there to Kansas. I think we’ll have a good piece.”

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RankDriverPointsBehind
1Chase Briscoe (P)31330
2Austin Cindric (P)3103-30
3Justin Allgaier (P)3097-36
4Justin Haley (P)3093-40
5Brandon Jones (P)3089-44
6Ross Chastain (P)3078-55
7Noah Gragson (P)3069-64
8Ryan Sieg (P)3050-83
10Michael Annett2128-1005