Conti Taken Out in Late Crash; Davies 26th in eNASCAR Coca-Cola iRacing Playoff Round at Bristol

Ron Lemasters | 9/15/2021

Axe Brad Davies Bristol Motor Speedway iRacing Michael Conti News WR1 Sim Chassis

Conti's mission to reach the Championship 4 in the eNASCAR Coca-Cola iRacing Playoffs took a massive hit on Tuesday night in a late-race crash.

Track Specs: .533-mile oval / 250 laps 
Conti's finish: 38th    
Davies' finish: 26th    
Team Standings: 9th (-190 
 
MOORESVILLE, N.C. (Sept. 15, 2021) -- Michael Conti's mission to reach the Championship 4 in the eNASCAR Coca-Cola iRacing Playoffs took a massive hit on Tuesday night at the virtual Bristol Motor Speedway in a late-race crash, putting the New Jersey native in danger of missing a chance to race again for the series title. JR Motorsports teammate Brad Davies finished 26th on the night after getting bogged down in traffic in the late going. (Watch the full race.) 

With one race remaining until the Championship 4 is set, JRM's team of Conti and Davies remained ninth in the team standings, 190 points off the lead. 

Conti and his No. 8 WR1 Sim Chassis Chevrolet Camaro, having run in or near the top five all night long, were in contention for a top-five finish late in the going until disaster struck. Two laps into a restart with just eight circuits remaining, Conti was eighth on the inside when Steven Wilson drifted up the track and into Bobby Zalenski. The resulting contact sent Wilson's car down the banking at the entrance to Turn 1 and into Conti's Camaro. The impact put Conti hard into the inside wall as several cars crashed into his spinning machine. 

The damage was severe, and Conti finished 38th, which dropped him to sixth in the driver points with only the Sept. 28 event at the virtual Talladega Superspeedway remaining to determine the Championship 4. At the time of the crash, Conti was a solid fifth and in position to make the final four on points. As it stands after the race, Conti is 21 points out of fourth place. 

Davies, driving the No. 88 AXE Chevrolet Camaro, had trouble right off the bat in qualifying, brushing the wall and having his time disallowed. That meant he would start at the back of the pack in 37th. Stuck with a ton of traffic ahead of him, the Florida native put his head down and began to move forward, but the slower cars around him made that difficult, as did the fact that the bottom groove was slower than the top. 

With good long-run pace built into the setup, Davies found enough room to stay on the lead lap despite pressure from the lead pack, zipping away from them as the track cleared ahead. On his first stop for tires and fuel, Davies and crew chief Derek Wood made an adjustment that seemed to pay off, as Davies drove to the top 20 in short order. As the tires wore out, so did Davies' pace, and he stalled out in 25th. 

The caution waved with 20 laps remaining, which gave Davies a chance for fresh tires and a couple of adjustments. Coming off pit road in 26th, Davies was unable to improve his position over the remaining laps and the AXE Chevrolet was credited with a 26th-place finish. 

With two races remaining in the season, Davies sits 26th in driver points, 62 markers below the cutoff for automatic inclusion in next year's eNASCAR Coca-Cola iRacing Series.  

Keegan Leahy led all 250 laps around Bristol's tight concrete oval to earn the win and a spot in the Championship 4. He was followed by Logan Clampitt, Ryan Luza, Mitchell de Jong and Ray Alfalla. 

The third round of the eNASCAR Coca-Cola iRacing Series Playoffs—which will set the Championship 4--is slated for Sept. 28 at the virtual Talladega Superspeedway.  

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

"Disappointed would be an understatement following the ending of tonight's race. We prepped for this race like no other and have nothing to show for it. Luck is a big part of racing and unfortunately tonight, luck was against us. All we can do is move on from tonight and look forward to Talladega. We won at Daytona earlier this year, so we know we're capable - we just have to execute. We are in a must-win situation in terms of the playoffs. Two more races to go for our WR1 Sim Chassis team, and believe me, we're not done fighting."

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

"It wasn't the race I thought we were going to have tonight. I was pretty confident in our long-run pace coming into tonight, and we actually got the long runs that we wanted but the car just wasn't there like I thought it would be. It's frustrating because our No. 88 AXE Chevy was handling well most of the night and our teammate was quick but it just seemed like we were lacking overall grip somehow. With two races left, we have Talladega coming up next and although it's not one of my favorite tracks, it is one where certainly anything can happen."

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  • October 30 06:00 PM ET
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XFINITY Series Standings

After Kansas Lottery 300

Kansas Speedway | 10/23/2021
RankDriverPointsBehind
1Austin Cindric (P)31390
2AJ Allmendinger (P)31390
3Justin Allgaier (P)3101-38
4Daniel Hemric (P)3099-40
5Justin Haley (P)3092-47
6Noah Gragson (P)3075-64
7Brandon Jones (P)3059-80
15Michael Annett603-2536
27Sam Mayer #281-2858