Conti Wins, Davies 10th in eNASCAR Coca-Cola iRacing Opener at Daytona

Ron Lemasters | 2/9/2021

Brad Davies eNASCAR iRacing Michael Conti News

Conti parked his WR1 Sim Chassis No. 8 in Victory Lane following a big crash on the last lap to lock himself into the playoffs later this year.

Track Specs: 2.5-mile oval / 100 laps

Conti’s finish: 1st        

Davies’ finish: 10th

MOORESVILLE, N.C. (Feb. 9, 2021) – On Monday night at the virtual Daytona International Speedway, Michael Conti broke back into the win column out of the box, using the low groove in his No. 8 WR1 Sim Chassis Chevrolet Camaro to miss getting caught up in a multi-car crash on the final lap to win the season-opening race on the 2.5-mile tri-oval. Teammate Brad Davies was around the lead all night in his No. 88 AXE Camaro and maneuvered through the same accident to earn a 10th-place finish in the 100-lap event. (Watch the full race.)

A bad gust of wind during qualifying put Conti 38th in the field, and in addition, a computer glitch restricted Conti’s vision out the front of his car. While working his way forward, Conti’s vision cleared enough to allow him to dodge a wreck at the 35-lap mark and he picked up 10 spots because of it.

Just as the first round of pit stops began, Conti had his No. 8 WR1 Chevrolet in the top 10, and following service he assumed the lead at one point before dropping back to the edge of the top 10. That set up his final pit stop, with 25 laps remaining in the 100-lap race. After a quick stop, Conti came back out in the lead and held the bottom groove as the pack snarled around him.

The pack was still swarming entering Turn 4, when Logan Clampitt’s car got turned sideways, triggering a huge crash and sending Clampitt flipping down the track. Conti kept his foot in it and cruised under the checkered flag for the victory.

Under new rules for 2021, Conti’s victory clinched a spot in the playoffs, with 13 races remaining before they start.

Davies had a solid run in qualifying, starting the race on the inside of row six in 11th place. Davies immediately entrenched himself on the low line, figuring that the bottom of the track would be the best place to avoid the inevitable Big One.

As the lap counter hit 30, Davies was proved correct, as a couple of cars touched on the high side and scattered the field. The race stayed green, but it cost the Florida driver time in the scramble. Just before the first pit stop, Davies was able to draft back up toward the front of the field. Once he pitted, Davies planned to ride until the final stop.

That strategy worked to perfection, as he took the lead off Turn 2 a lap before he was scheduled to come to pit road. A blazing-fast pit stop followed, and while fast stops are good, it put him way out in front with no drafting help. The pack soon gobbled him up and he fell back to 15th. The rest of the field was waiting for the final run to the flag and piled in three-wide, 10 rows deep.

The last-lap wreck saved Davies, as he was able to pick his way through the carnage to land in the top 10 at the finish.

Trailing Conti at the finish were Michael Guest, rookie Jake Matheson, Corey Vincent and rookie Isaac Gann.

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

“Never in my life would I have imagined that we’d win here....at Daytona! Admittedly, I’ve struggled at (restrictor) plate tracks in recently history, and I knew that going into tonight. My mindset from the beginning was simple--be aggressive and make moves. We did just that all night. We made the most of our pit stops, Adam (Benefiel crew chief) called a fantastic race from the box, and we put ourselves in a prime position to capitalize and win. With this out of the way, our focus is now on extracting every ounce of performance from our WR1 Sim Chassis Chevrolet over the next 13 races. We are playoff-bound, but our work does not stop here!”

Brad Davies, driver No. 88 AXE JR Motorsports Chevrolet team

“First I want to give a huge thanks for AXE for coming on board with us this year. It’s pretty exciting to have them and our paint scheme for the No. 88 Chevy Camaro ZL1 is pretty hot too. Also, a huge shout-out to our teammate Michael Conti, who was able to bring home the checkered flag tonight. Fantastic start to the 2021 eNASCAR Coca-Cola iRacing Series for JR Motorsports already with a win and two top-10 finishes in the first race. Couldn’t be happier with our performance tonight but now that Daytona is behind us we’ll be looking forward to carrying this momentum into Homestead in two weeks.”

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XFINITY Series Schedule

  • March 6 04:30 PM ET
    Alsco Uniforms 300Las Vegas Motor Speedway
  • March 13 05:30 PM ET
    Call 811 Before You Dig 200Phoenix Raceway
  • March 20 05:00 PM ET
    EchoPark 250Atlanta Motor Speedway
  • April 9 08:00 PM ET
    Martinsville Speedway
  • April 24 04:00 PM ET
    Talladega Superspeedway

XFINITY Series Standings

After Contender Boats 250

Homestead-Miami Speedway | 2/27/2021
RankDriverPointsBehind
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