RPW Column By: DYLAN FRIEBEL / RPW – ERL Racing league took front and center on iRacing for their All-Star event on Wednesday Night at the Virtual Iowa Speedway. It featured names such as one of the League’s founders and RCR Xfinity Series Driver Anthony Alfredo, Christian Eckes, Harrison Burton and even some iRacing eNASCAR Coca Cola Series drivers in the form of 2019 Champion Zack Novak and Multi-time Champion Ray Alfalla to just name a few.
The event started off with a 21 lap green flag run but once a caution came out everyone came down for tires as the Iowa Speedway is big on tire wear. It was a battle between ERL League Regular Graham Bowlin and Coca Cola Series driver Ray Alfalla. However as they say “Cautions breed cautions” and that is what happened as the middle portion of the race had the yellow silk waving and it was being waved plentifully.
Around halfway it smoothed out a bit but as the race winded down, the aggression picked up, which breeds more cautions and caused multiple attempts at a green white checkered finish. The drivers could not keep it together as they went past their allotted number of tries and Graham Bowlin went on to dominate and win, his second on the series this year.
“It was a long back half of the race.” Graham said post race. “I wish it went more green but I will take a win when I can get it. Having ray on your back is not the best thing for restarts, he almost got me on one of them when he got to my bumper.”
Top 10 Finishers: 1) Graham Bowlin. 2) Ray Alfalla. 3) Blake Reynolds. 4) Zack Novak. 5) Josh Berry. 6) Braxton Deweese. 7) Nick Ottinger. 8) Christian Eckes. 9) Max McLaughlin. 10) Tyler Ankrum
In that top ten, someone very familiar to us in the Northeast in ‘Mad’ Max McLaughin who brought home his car a respectable 9th while having a steady race.
“It was fun battling with some of the best sim racers in the business.” McLaughlin said. “Those guys are really good at what they do and just don’t make mistakes. You can learn a lot from them and I am happy we finished 9th.”
iRacing continues to provide something unique in the sports world during this trying time. While other sports have video games such as FIIFA for Soccer, NBA 2k for NBA and MLB The show, none are as realistic as what iRacing offers to the motorsports world. iRacing continues to be thrust in the spotlight during this time as many NASCAR Teams social media pages have gone to tweeting about big events happening on the platform. Even NASCAR’s own twitter is getting in on the action.
If we all have a little something to smile about and some familiar faces, it’s all worth it, while also showcasing how skilled the eSports drivers are for NASCAR and other disciplines across the eSports and iRacing landscape.