Conti Top-Fives, Pole Winner LaPradd 20th in Nashville Coca-Cola iRacing Battle

Ron Lemasters | 6/22/2022

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

Conti came from deep in the field to finish fifth and Briar LaPradd won his first eNASCAR Coca-Cola iRacing Series pole on Tuesday night.

Track Specs: 1.33-mile oval / 104 laps

Conti's finish: 5th 

LaPradd's finish: 20th 

Team Standings: 11th (-86)  

MOORESVILLE, N.C. (June 22, 2022) -- Michael Conti came from deep in the field to finish fifth and Briar LaPradd won his first eNASCAR Coca-Cola iRacing Series pole on Tuesday night at the virtual Nashville Superspeedway, capping a solid night for the JR Motorsports contingent on the 1.33-mile oval. (Watch the full race.)

With a new round of updates from iRacing, Conti struggled to find long-run speed, which cost him in qualifying as the No. 8 WR1 Sim Chassis Chevrolet slotted in 25th for the start. Over the first green-flag run, Conti was able to advance 10 positions to 15th. When the caution waved with 40 laps remaining, Conti had a chance to regroup. On the restart, however, the New Jersey driver was nearly turned going into Turn 1 and fell back to 21st.

Soon thereafter, the same thing happened to JRM teammate Briar LaPradd, and Conti caught part of it on the backstretch, doing damage to the right side of his Camaro in the process.

On the final pit stop of the race, Conti took two tires in an effort to gain track position, running from 12th up to fifth by the time the checkered flag waved.

LaPradd, who is a native of the Volunteer State, drove his No. 88 Maconi Setup Shop Chevrolet to the top spot in qualifying, becoming the 42nd driver to win a pole in the premier iRacing series. When the green flag waved, the first-year driver became the first rookie to lead a lap this season, pacing the field for the first 18 laps before a lack of rear grip caught up with him.

Falling back into the teens, LaPradd encountered trouble around lap 80 when a stack-up on the outside line caused Graham Bowlin to dodge to the inside, directly into LaPradd's bright yellow Maconi Setup Shop Chevrolet. The resulting damage sent the young driver farther back into the field, and didn't help his teammate either, as Conti was collected in the aftermath.

With around 15 laps remaining, LaPradd was 33rd. Over the remaining distance, he climbed 13 positions to finish 20th. The result helped the No. 88 driver improve to 24th in series points, 129 markers adrift of the leader and within easy range of the top 20.

The top-five finish for Conti pushed the former series champion up two spots to 10th in driver points, 60 off the leader. The New Jersey driver is already locked into the playoffs with two victories.

In the team standings, JR Motorsports climbed one spot to 11th position, 86 behind the leaders.

The eNASCAR Coca-Cola iRacing Series will race again on July 5 at the virtual Road America course.

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

"The latest round of updates that iRacing released for the Cup car really threw our No. 8 WR1 Sim Chassis team for a loop. We were out to lunch in the practice races Monday night and had little hope of getting anywhere near the top 10 tonight. To our delight, our hours of thrashing throughout the day paid off and we actually had a really competitive car. So, a massive thanks to everyone who transformed this car overnight. We had to fight through a lot tonight, so I'm ecstatic to come out of here with a top-five finish. Honestly, it's about 25 spots better than I thought we'd finish! We'll take this momentum into Road America, where we'll try (key word is definitely try) to keep up with Bobby (Zalenski) and Mitchell (DeJong) throughout the night!"

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

"It was good to get back to the Coca-Cola iRacing Series after a fairly long summer break. Our Maconi Setup Shop Chevrolet had great pace, enough that we were able to earn our first career pole. That put us in position to be the first rookie to lead laps all season, which is fantastic. We led the first 18 laps, but fell back after losing rear grip. Running in the pack, we took contact from the 48 car and got into a wreck. After that, it was about salvaging what we could, and we finished 20th. With as much pace as we had, the finish was disappointing, but we're back to being in the running for Rookie of the Year. That's pretty do-able."

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XFINITY Series Schedule

  • July 9 05:00 PM ET
    Alsco Uniforms 250Atlanta Motor Speedway
  • July 16 02:30 PM ET
    NXS Race at New HampshireNew Hampshire Motor Speedway
  • July 23 05:00 PM ET
    NXS Race at PoconoPocono Raceway
  • July 30 03:30 PM ET
    Pennzoil 150Indianapolis Motor Speedway Road Course
  • August 6 03:30 PM ET
    NXS Race at MichiganMichigan International Speedway

XFINITY Series Standings

After Henry 180

Road America | 7/2/2022
RankDriverPointsBehind
1AJ Allmendinger6340
2Ty Gibbs625-9
3Justin Allgaier600-34
4Noah Gragson595-39
5Josh Berry560-74
6Brandon Jones495-139
7Sam Mayer487-147