Conti Rallies, LaPradd Unlucky in eNASCAR Coca-Cola iRacing Series Rumble at Dover

Ron Lemasters | 4/27/2022

Briar LaPradd eNASCAR iRacing Ledford Billiard Supply Maconi Michael Conti News WR1 Sim Chassis

Conti was a victim of an untimely caution while leading, and LaPradd was caught in a late-race melee on the backstretch that ended his day.

Track Specs: 1-mile oval / 123 laps

Conti's finish: 17th

LaPradd's finish: 35th 

Team Standings: 8th (-68)  

MOORESVILLE, N.C. (April 27, 2022) -- On a crash-filled day at the virtual Dover Motor Speedway, JR Motorsports eSports drivers Michael Conti and Briar LaPradd had their share of misfortune. Conti was a victim of an untimely caution while leading, and LaPradd was caught in a late-race melee on the backstretch that ended his day. Conti recovered to a 17th-place finish, while LaPradd had to settle for 35th. Despite the result, JRM remains eighth in the team standings after six races. (Watch the full race.)

Conti, who started ninth in his No. 8 WR1 Sim Chassis Chevrolet, advanced to seventh early in the going despite saving tires in the initial stages. The caution waved and triggered a round of pit stops, during which Conti opted for two tires instead of the four that most of the rest of the field bolted on.

Back under green, Conti cycled to the lead after a couple of caution flags and stayed there for 53 laps until the fuel gauge told him he would be short for the finish. Heading to pit road under green with 30 laps remaining, Conti gambled that he would come out ahead if the race went caution-free the rest of the way, losing a lap to the leaders in the process.

It didn't. The yellow waved a few laps later and Conti was stuck a lap down. Fortunately, he was in the free-pass position and rejoined the lead serial in 33rd place. Over the remaining laps, the New Jersey native rallied his WR1-sponsored Camaro to a 17th-place finish.

Starting from a season-best 14th place at the beginning of the planned 120-lap race, LaPradd bided his time and kept station in the top 10-15 places, battling in the mid-pack. The key to staying solidly in contention seemed to be avoiding the action on the backstretch, which saw its fair share of incidents.

With 13 laps to go, the Tennessee native was in the top 15 when another crash happened off Turn 2. Dodging cars successfully, LaPradd nearly had the accident missed until Collin Bowden's machine hit another car and bounced off it, ramming directly into the No. 88 Ledford Billiard Supply Chevrolet. The resulting damage was too much for LaPradd to continue the remaining laps and he was relegated to 35th position in the final order.

LaPradd's unlucky ending cost him six spots in driver points to 25th, 109 off the lead. Conti lost two positions to 10th among drivers, 55 behind the leader. Conti, with two victories already this season, is solidly in the Playoffs after six events.

In the team standings, JR Motorsports maintained eighth position, 68 behind the leader.

The eNASCAR Coca-Cola iRacing Series will race again on May 10 at the virtual Kansas Speedway. Conti and LaPradd will race on-site from the Charlotte Phoenix eSports Arena next week along with Graham Bowlin and Kollin Keister.

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

"We had a fast WR1 Chevy tonight, but unfortunately, the result isn't indicative of that. With the races being so short and caution-riddled, you're always left trying to predict the future when planning out stops at the front end. We guessed there'd be a lot of cautions in the middle of the race, but then it went green for almost 70 laps. Strategy definitely bit us tonight, but that'll happen sometimes. Our speed was great yet again, so I'm pleased with that. Looking forward, I'm excited to race from the Charlotte Phoenix Esports Arena in two weeks! Hopefully, we bring the same speed to Kansas, and with a little luck, I'm sure we'll be in the running at the end of it."

Briar LaPradd, driver No. 88 Ledford Billiard Supply/Maconi Setup Shop JR Motorsports Chevrolet team

"Our Ledford Billiard Supply Chevrolet was off to a speedy start in Dover, with our best qualifying effort of the season in 14th. We stayed there for most of the race, battling the same drivers, and it just felt like I was stuck there. It looked like our teammate had things figured out and went forward. The race had a lot of trouble on the backstretch, and we managed to avoid all of it until the end. Cars were going left and right and we had it missed until the 69 (Bowden) hit a spinning car and then us coming down the track. Our Ledford Billiard Supply Chevrolet was destroyed. It was an unfortunate ending for us, but we're looking forward to Kansas in two weeks."

Articles

image

XFINITY Series Schedule

  • May 21 01:30 PM ET
    SRS Distribution 250Texas Motor Speedway
  • May 28 01:00 PM ET
    Alsco Uniforms 300 at CharlotteCharlotte Motor Speedway
  • June 4 04:30 PM ET
    NXS Race at PortlandPortland International Raceway
  • June 25 03:30 PM ET
    Tennessee Lottery 250Nashville Superspeedway
  • July 2 02:30 PM ET
    Henry 180 Road America

XFINITY Series Standings

After Mahindra ROXOR 200

Darlington Raceway | 5/7/2022
RankDriverPointsBehind
1AJ Allmendinger4640
2Noah Gragson439-25
3Ty Gibbs423-41
4Justin Allgaier372-92
5Josh Berry371-93
6Brandon Jones347-117
7Sam Mayer333-131