Fuel Mileage Costs Conti, Davies in eNASCAR Coca-Cola iRacing Run at Auto Club

Ron Lemasters | 3/31/2021

Axe Brad Davies eNASCAR Fontana iRacing Michael Conti News WR1 Sim Chassis

Both Conti and Davies had fast JRM Chevrolets on Tuesday night in the iRacing event, but pit strategy kept them from running up front as the race went on.

Track Specs: 2-mile oval / 100 laps
Conti’s finish: 16th
Davies’ finish: 28th  
Team Standings: 5th (-20)

MOORESVILLE, N.C. (March 31, 2021) – Both Michael Conti and Brad Davies had fast JR Motorsports Chevrolets on Tuesday night in the eNASCAR Coca-Cola iRacing Series event on the virtual Auto Club Speedway, but both drivers were at the mercy of decisions made in the run-up to the fifth event on the series calendar. (Watch the full race.)

Conti put his No. 8 WR1 Sim Chassis Chevrolet seventh on the grid, and Davies had his No. 88 AXE Chevrolet right behind him in ninth for the initial start. Conti moved forward quickly, getting to second place in the first 15 laps and battling with polesitter Keegan Leahy. When the latter made his first pit stop at lap 20, it put the New Jersey driver on the point.

Racing ahead of Nick Ottinger, Bobby Zalenski and Mitchell DeJong, Conti would lead until hitting pit road himself at lap 33. Unfortunately, both Conti and Davies had added downforce to their setups for better handling at the cost of fuel mileage.

The 100-lap race went by with no cautions, and cars that were more trimmed out in their setups were able to go several laps longer before coming to pit road. Faced with making an extra stop, both drivers concentrated on making up time to the cars who could go longer on fuel.

Despite leading seven more laps, Conti ran out of time and finished 16th, but advanced to fourth in series points. The young driver had already punched his ticket to the postseason with a victory earlier this season.

Davies, anticipating long green-flag runs, faced the same problem his teammate did. The fuel window was 45-48 laps, which meant he also had to make two stops to complete the full distance. The cars who had trimmed out were able to extend that pit window and left Davies with a strategic disadvantage. More than half the field was on the one-stop strategy and despite a solid run with no trouble, he wound up 28th at the finish.

Bob Bryant, who began his eNASCAR career racing in Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s league, won the race, with Derek Justis second and Isaac Gann in third. John Gorlinsky and Matt Bussa rounded out the top five.

The eNASCAR Coca-Cola iRacing Series will compete again on April 13 at the virtual Richmond Raceway. The two-car JRM team remains in the top five in team points after five races, just 20 points out of the lead.

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

“While finishing 16th isn’t what everyone on our No. 8 WR1 team hoped for, there are a lot of positives to take away from our performance. We qualified inside the top 10 for the first time this season and had one of the fastest cars in the race as well. Since switching to a new WR1 sim rig and VRS Direct Force Pro wheel, I’ve struggled to get comfortable. Outright pace and comfortability while racing in traffic has been tough to find. But last night, we returned to form and ran with the best of them. I’m really looking forward to getting to Richmond in two weeks. It’s one of my best tracks and it definitely owes me a victory after coming close so many times!”

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

“Pretty disappointing race for us this week, but not because of our performance. Our No. 88 AXE Chevrolet handled pretty well all night long. It wasn’t perfect but we made some adjustments on pit road and got it running pretty good at the end. The problem was we just had to make one too many pit stops. Our higher downforce package tonight really didn’t allow us to one-stop the race. All we needed was a caution flag to change that but we just never saw it. Sometimes you make the right call and sometimes you don’t. Tonight we missed it but we still learned a lot. We’ll be looking to rebound in a couple of weeks at Richmond. It will be the first short-track race of the year for us so I know the fans won’t want to miss it!”

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XFINITY Series Schedule

  • April 24 04:00 PM ET
    Ag-Pro 300Talladega Superspeedway
  • May 8 01:00 PM ET
    Steakhouse Elite 200Darlington Raceway
  • May 15 01:30 PM ET
    Dover International Speedway
  • May 22 04:00 PM ET
    Pit Boss 250Circuit of the Americas
  • May 29 01:00 PM ET
    Alsco Uniforms 300 at CharlotteCharlotte Motor Speedway

XFINITY Series Standings

After Cook Out 250

Martinsville Speedway | 4/9/2021
RankDriverPointsBehind
1Austin Cindric3170
2Daniel Hemric275-42
3Harrison Burton242-75
4Justin Haley230-87
5Jeb Burton221-96
6AJ Allmendinger218-99
7Myatt Snider206-111
8Justin Allgaier199-118
11Noah Gragson168-149
12Michael Annett168-149