Conti, Davies Strong Early in eNASCAR Coca-Cola iRacing from Pocono Raceway

Heath White | 6/23/2021

Axe Brad Davies eNASCAR iRacing Michael Conti News WR1 Sim Chassis

Both Conti and Davies led laps early in the race before some pit road issues shuffled them back further in the pack.

Track Specs: 2.5-mile triangle / 90 laps
Davies' finish: 27th  
Conti's finish: 32nd  
Team Standings: 11th (-137)

MOORESVILLE, N.C. (June 23, 2021) – What began as a promising race for JR Motorsports teammates Brad Davies and Michael Conti, ended with frustration and disappointment in Tuesday night’s eNASCAR Coca Cola iRacing Series bill from virtual Pocono Raceway. Davies finished 27th after a pit-road speeding penalty took him out of contention. Conti took the checkered flag in 32nd, a result of getting caught in two multi-car crashes.

Following a three-week hiatus, which equated to extra time to work on setups, the series returned to the 2.5-mile triangle, and it was clear team JRM came to play. Davies started on the outside pole in the No. 88 AXE Chevrolet and Conti followed in third with the No. 8 WR1 Sim Chassis entry – season best efforts for both drivers.

Davies took the lead from Nick Ottinger early on, finding in his No. 88 machine a race pace that was quick enough to maintain and led for nine laps through the initial fuel run. But when Davies came to pit road for a scheduled green-flag stop, he was stymied by a speeding penalty that dropped him a lap down. The Florida native would spend the remainder of the event fighting to get back on the lead lap, which he ultimately did with about 25 laps remaining. The success was short lived, however, as Davies was caught up in a late-race crash a few laps later. Despite the letdown, the No. 88 AXE team managed a 27th-place finish.

Conti, who led 10 laps on the day, had a stout WR1 Sim Chassis Chevrolet that backed up his third-place starting spot. With the importance of the draft around the tricky triangle, Conti fell in line behind Ottinger and Davies in the early going, patiently embracing the prominent single-file racing. Conti found the lead for 10 circuits prior to the first round of pit stops, opting to pit a few laps later in the hope that fresh tires would prevail once the field was back up to speed. Conti cycled back to 28th after his stop, but drove to the front with ease before the second round of stops began.

Conti’s race came to a grinding halt when Keegan Leahy wrecked off the bumper of Ashton Crowder with 17 laps to go into Turn 1, collecting the No. 8 machine in the process. Even with damage, Conti was eyeing a top-25 effort but a second incident in the closing laps resulted in a 32nd-place finish.

The two-car JRM team sits 11th in the team standings, 137 points off the lead, after 10 races.

Bobby Zalenski won the race, enduring a slew of overtime restarts. Ray Alfalla, Mitchell Dejong, Crowder and Bob Bryant rounded out the top-five finishers.

The eNASCAR Coca-Cola iRacing Series will compete again next week on June 29 at the virtual Road America.

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

“This is just how our season has gone all year long. We get caught in some unfortunate set of circumstance, dig our way out of it only to have our chances of a decent finish taken away again by foolish driving. Frustrating is an understatement at this point. It’s almost comical how many times this has happened to us this season.

“On the bright side, we can say with a lot of confidence that we have found much better pace with the No. 88 AXE Chevy relative to the competition. We had certainly been missing something in qualifying since the beginning of the year, but with todays’ performance we feel like we’ve gained back what we had been missing with our speedway package. Next week we are at Road America which is one of my all-time favorite road courses so I’ll be excited to get back out there and try to make up some ground in the points.”

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

“We had the qualifying effort, the race pace, the strategy, and the aggression needed to be in contention tonight with our WR1 team. Unfortunately, circumstances outside of our control ruined what looked to be a very promising race. I’m proud of the effort that was put into the Pocono car and I’m hopeful moving forward due to the speed we showed. But, wow, does it hurt to have such a strong car and leave with nothing to show for it. 10 seasons in and almost 200 races, I’d like to say I’m surprised by the driving I witnessed at the end of the race, but I’m not. We have a quick turnaround before Road America next week, but I’m looking forward to it. We deserve better and will achieve better.”

 

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After Ambetter Get Vaccinated 200

New Hampshire Motor Speedway | 7/17/2021
RankDriverPointsBehind
1Austin Cindric7970
2AJ Allmendinger715-82
3Daniel Hemric684-113
4Justin Allgaier653-144
5Harrison Burton615-182
6Jeb Burton589-208
7Justin Haley577-220
8Noah Gragson544-253
11Michael Annett450-347