Alfredo serves up the competition at the Monster Mile

Photo by SETH EGGERT for KICKIN' THE TIRES / iRacing

By Seth Eggert, Staff Writer

Pit strategy and tire management were key for Anthony Alfredo en route to his eNASCAR Saturday Night Thunder victory at the virtual Dover International Speedway.

The Richard Childress Racing driver pitted with about 45 laps to go. Alfredo nailed his pit entry and exit and leapt ahead of his competition. Once the pit stops cycled out, he found his virtual No. 33 Wally Yocum Tribute/Pit Stops for Hope Chevrolet Camaro SS in second. He was just over a second behind race leader Alex Labbe with 25 laps to go.

Labbe, who pitted about 10 laps sooner than Alfredo, was maintaining pace. However, his pace was a tick slower than his fellow Chevy Racing driver. Alfredo caught Labbe with 15 laps to go. The duo traded the lead back and forth until the driver nicknamed ‘Fast Pasta’ prevailed.

Alfredo cruised until the final corner. He broke loose before gathering it back up to take the checkered flag with 1.026 seconds to spare over Labbe.

“It sounds awesome, if you look on my stream right now, I’m sweating so bad I’m about to break open some Dude Wipes to wipe the sweat off my face,” an excited Alfredo explained. “I’m sweating as much as I do in a 140-degree racecar. That was unreal. I’ve had Jimmy Mullis and Zack Novak from the Coke Series helping me out. I’ve learned more about iRacing from them.

“It’s so cool that NASCAR and iRacing have put these events on for us drivers to have fun and even learn some things for when we go back racing. And more importantly, to keep our fans entertained. eSports is so important to me, to see these events is cool and to win one is definitely huge. It felt like real life to me, the meaning of it, how hard it was.”

Raphael Lessard, Chase Briscoe, and Landon Huffman rounded out the top-five. Brett Moffitt, Ruben Garcia Jr., Ryan Truex, Kaz Grala, and Donny Lia completed the top-10.

After an invert following the heat race qualifiers, Lia started on the pole. It appeared that he would run away with the race as he opened a two second gap over the competition. However, during green flag pit stops, Lia sped exiting pit road and had to serve a penalty.

Three massive accidents wiped out several iRacing veterans. In the first accident, Tyler Ankrum and Derek Kraus got together. The chain reaction sent Tommy Joe Martins barrel rolling down the backstretch. An incident on the restart collected Noah Gragson and Todd Gilliland.

Finally, Christian Eckes broke loose after contact from Garcia. Eckes overcorrected and spun into the path of Ty Majeski. In the chaos, Bayley Currey, Josh Berry, Chase Briscoe, Stephen Leicht and others were swept up in the incident. With zero fast repairs available, the ‘big one’ ended the night for several favorites.

The Finish

1. 33-Anthony Alfredo [9], 2. 90-Alex Labbe [4], 3. 4-Raphael Lessard [5], 4. 4-Chase Cabre [6], 5. 75-Landon Huffman [3], 6. 23-Brett Moffitt [26], 7. 27-Ruben Garcia Jr. [17], 8. 40-Ryan Truex [23], 9. 29-Kaz Grala [7], 10. 07-Donny Lia [1], 11. 8-Jeb Burton [21], 12. 21-Sam Mayer [25], 13. 55-Will Rodgers [22], 14. 98-Chase Briscoe [14], 15. 25-Stephen Leicht [2], 16. 44-Tommy Joe Martins [18], 17. 19-Derek Kraus [16], 18. 74-Bayley Currey [24], 19. 45-Ty Majeski [8], 20. 81-Christian Eckes [11], 21. 9-Noah Gragson [15], 22. 88-Josh Berry [10], 23. 3-Drew Herring [13], 24. 38-Todd Gilliland [12], 25. 26-Tyler Ankrum [20], 26. 51-Ryan Vargas [19].

Lead Changes: Eight among six drivers.

Lap Leader(s): Donny Lia 1-78, Anthony Alfredo 79-82, Raphael Lessard 83-84, Chase Cabre 85-86, Kaz Grala 87-100, Alex Labbe 101-113, Anthony Alfredo 114-117, Alex Labbe 118, Anthony Alfredo 119-125.

Laps Led: Donny Lia 78, Anthony Alfredo 15, Kaz Grala 14, Alex Labbe 14, Chase Cabre 2, Raphael Lessard 2.

Hard Charger: 26-Brett Moffitt (+20)

Cautions: Three for 11 laps.

Margin of Victory: 1.026 seconds.

Time of Race: 59 minutes, 47.783 seconds.

Average Speed: 118.803 mph.

Fastest Qualifier: 88-Josh Berry 22.869 seconds (157.418 mph).

Fastest Lap: 21-Sam Mayer, Lap 40, 22.993 (156.596 mph).

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  1. Pingback: What You Need To Know Today: Defunct track given new life in iRacing · Kickin' The Tires

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