Conti, Davies Back for More eNASCAR Coca-Cola iRacing in 2021

Ron Lemasters | 1/27/2021

Brad Davies eNASCAR iRacing Michael Conti News

JRM announced its 2021 driver lineup for the eNASCAR Coca-Cola iRacing Series and it's a pair of familiar faces in Michael Conti and Brad Davies.

MOORESVILLE, N.C. (Jan. 27, 2021) – After coming close to earning the 2020 eNASCAR Coca-Cola iRacing championship in the final race, Michael Conti is back with JR Motorsports for another shot at the championship, the team announced today. So is Brad Davies, one of the longest-tenured series veterans, which gives JRM a ton of experience to go along with the speed both showed a season ago.

The pair returns for a third consecutive year as JRM teammates, looking to build on a 2020 season which included finishing second overall in the series team standings, as Conti was third and Davies 12th in the final points.

Conti and his No. 8 Chevrolet Camaro came within a couple of laps of winning the $100,000 winner’s check in the season finale at the virtual Homestead-Miami Speedway. The New Jersey native eventually ended the season with one win, seven top-five and 11 top-10 finishes.  

For Davies, his No. 88 Chevrolet featured a lot of speed without a whole lot of luck to go with it, as his run toward a playoff spot was balked by consecutive crashes not of his making in the home stretch. Still, Davies managed to bring home two top-five and five top-10 finishes.

The importance of iRacing in JRM’s DNA cannot be overemphasized. Team owner Dale Earnhardt Jr. is an avid iRacing proponent, having gotten in on the ground floor as the platform began to grow. The competition is a driving factor, as is the additional marketing reach it offers.

The fact that he’s now part of the ownership team for the company is an even stronger indication of how seriously everyone at JRM takes the eNASCAR Coca-Cola iRacing Series. As an icon on the (actual) track, his involvement does a lot to drive interest on the virtual side, Davies said.

“Dale is a huge influence on everybody in the sport,” he said. “He was the Most Popular Driver for 15 years, and everyone knows who he is even if you don’t follow NASCAR. Now that he’s part-owner of iRacing, that’s an avenue for us to leverage on updates and make it as realistic as it can be.”

To have Conti come so close to the championship and Davies have a steady season on the way to 12th place overall in the points gives an added impetus for 2021, Conti said.

“After almost winning it last year, it proves to me that we were still capable of making it happen,” Conti said. “Up until Texas, the second-to-last race of the year last season, I hadn’t won a race in over two years. I never really completely doubted myself. I knew I still had it in me to seal the deal, but the longer you go without one, those doubts creep in and you wonder when the next one is going to come.

“Being able to do it in such a high-pressure situation, having to win to get to Homestead, that proved to me I was still capable of doing it, that we had the cars to do it and the teammates to help us get there,” Conti said. “We had everything there and we just had to put it together when we did. Not coming away with the championship was not the result that we wanted, but the fact that we were so consistent all year, consistently up front and leading laps, we had the most poles of anyone on the season...it gives me a lot of confidence. It tells me that if we can build off what we did in 2020 we can have just as good if not a better 2021.”

Davies said his goal was to be consistent, score as many points as possible and retain his standing in the series. “I felt like 2020 was pretty successful,” he said. “My goal was to stay in the top 20 for 2021 and stay in the series. We accomplished that, and I’m definitely proud and happy to represent JR Motorsports in the top 20 this year.”

The relationship between Davies and Conti has been a good one, as it has lasted nearly a decade at this point.

“Brad and I have had a relationship for about eight or nine years, dating back to my first season in the Coke Series,” Conti said. “We formed an alliance between our teams and began working on setups together in late 2012, but even before then I had known Brad from the iRacing community. He was a top iRacer back even then and he still is now, and he was coming off a second-place finish that season. He was at the top of his game, and I was a rookie and looked up to him.

“When JRM got officially involved, Brad and I got teamed up, and I’m pretty sure we’re the only driver team lineup that has not changed over the three seasons since a lot of the real NASCAR teams got involved. That goes to show the dynamic between us is really good, we work together well, the performance on track is great...Brad was one or two good runs away from a playoff spot. He definitely had the speed, just needed some luck. Really happy that we are teamed up together and can go for another championship this year.”

Davies said working with the younger Conti combines their experience and promotes a good working relationship.

“Michael and I are a good team duo, and we worked well together in 2020 and I anticipate we’ll do it again this year,” the Florida native said. “The combination...he’s young but very professional. He’s been in the series for about 10 years now and I’ve been in it a few years more than that. He has a lot of experience and so do I. Experience goes a long way in this series and that makes it easier to work with someone who knows what he’s doing rather than someone who is just coming in. He’s also got a lot of experience in social media, which helps JRM as a whole.”

As for the development of the iRacing platform, Davies said the constant upgrades and technology have been exciting for him as a driver.

“The development of the vehicle dynamics has improved, and the aerodynamic mappings have greatly improved and so has the tire model,” he said. “All those things together have been the biggest plus in terms of the driving experience. You’re looking for that realistic driving experience, and the technology combined with the laser mapping has really improved the end product for all users.”

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After Contender Boats 250

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1Austin Cindric1470
2Myatt Snider118-29
3Daniel Hemric117-30
4Jeb Burton106-41
5Brandon Jones93-54
6Justin Haley90-57
7Harrison Burton89-58
17Michael Annett49-98
22Josh Berry #41-106
26Justin Allgaier37-110
27Noah Gragson35-112