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Kickin The Tires

Bowlin picks up the pieces to win eNASCAR All-Star Race

Photo by SETH EGGERT for KICKIN' THE TIRES / iRacing

By Seth Eggert, Staff Writer

After a wild final lap, Graham Bowlin inherited the victory in the eNASCAR Coca-Cola iRacing Series All-Star Race.

As the field took the white flag at North Wilkesboro Speedway, Bowlin was in third, behind race leader Logan Clampitt and second-place Blake Reynolds. Reynolds put the bumper to Clampitt’s No. 99 Toyota Tundra twice. On the second hit, the No. 99 and No. 3 Coca-Cola Chevrolet Silverado hooked into the outside wall.

Bowlin snuck by in his virtual No. 18 Interstate Batteries Toyota Tundra on the bottom as the field piled into the wreck. Justin Bolton and Nick Ottinger took second and third unscathed. Meanwhile Corey Vincent and polesitter Jake Nichols both crossed the line with damage in fourth and fifth. Bowlin took the checkered, and $500 prize, by 0.497 seconds.

“I thought that maybe Blake was going to move him out of the way,” explained Bowlin. “I didn’t expect him to overcorrect into Clampitt, I just came through it lucky. First of all, I’m sorry to Ray (Alfalla), I hit the bumps wrong and shot up into his left rear.

“It was really fun. The setup was loose, you had to have a lot of throttle control, and save a lot of tires. I liked it. It was relatively clean, there was some aggressive driving like I did. All in all, it was really fun.”

Caine Cook, Santiago Tirres, John Gorlinsky, Michael Guest, and Michael Guariglia completed the top-10. In the chaos, Guest passed Guariglia for ninth while barrel-rolling down the frontstretch.

Tires were the story of the night as the All-Star Race was the first officially sanctioned eNASCAR event to feature tire limits. With just one extra set available, when the iRacers changed tires was key.

Christian Challiner was the first to take tires. He blazed through the field in just three laps. The JTG-Daugherty Racing driver opened up a 10-second lead and was lapping the tail-end of the field when a caution ruined his strategy.

The race was slowed four times for incidents and once for a competition caution. Roush Fenway Racing encountered the most trouble with Kollin Keister and Nathan Lyon both being wiped out in back-to-back incidents.

The Finish

1. 18-Graham Bowlin [8] ($500), 2. 10-Justin Bolton [19], 3. 25- Nick Ottinger [26], 4. 27-Corey Vincent [6], 5. 24-Jake Nichols [1], 6. 55-Caine Cook [2], 7. Santiago Tirres [11], 8. 97-John Gorlinsky [24], 9. 33-Michael Guest [17], 10. 15-Michael Guariglia [18], 11. 75-Phillip Diaz [22], 12. 2-Ray Alfalla [15], 13. 83-Bobby Zalenski [3], 14. 37-Christian Challiner [13], 15. 3-Blake Reynolds [4], 16. 99-Logan Clampitt [5], 17. 8-Michael Conti [20], 18. 5-Matt Bussa [25], 19. 46-Jimmy Mullis [9], 20. 32-Keegan Leahy [23], 21. 88-Brad Davies [14], 22. 54-Alex McCollum [10], 23. 6-Nathan Lyon [16], 24. 90-Zack Novack [12], 25. 23-Casey Kirwan [21], 26. 17-Kollin Keister [7].

Lead Changes: Six among six drivers.

Lap Leader(s): Jake Nichols 1-33, Caine Cook 34-43, Bobby Zalenski 44, Logan Clampitt 45-72, Christian Challiner 73-93, Logan Clampitt 94-119, Graham A. Bowlin 120.

Laps Led: Logan Clampitt 54, Jake Nichols 33, Christian Challiner 21, Caine Cook 10, Graham A. Bowlin 1, Bobby Zalenski 1.

Hard Charger: 25-Nick Ottinger (+23)

Cautions: Five for 24 laps.

Margin of Victory: 0.497 seconds.

Time of Race: 47 minutes, 43.769 seconds.

Average Speed: 94.281 mph.

Fastest Qualifier: Jimmy Mullis, 18.684 seconds (120.424 mph).

Fastest Lap: Jake Nichols, Lap 2, 18.979 seconds (118.552 mph).

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