By Seth Eggert, Staff Writer
The second annual eRacr Blue Emu Firecracker 200 saw Jacob Fisher avoid the late-race mayhem to capture victory lane.
Fisher was one of just five drivers that did not pit under the final caution with six laps to go at the virtual Daytona International Speedway. His virtual No. 84 Spacestation Gaming Ford Thunderbird lined up second, behind eNASCAR Coca-Cola iRacing Series driver Ryan Doucette. On the restart, the Spacestation Racing driver took the lead from Doucette’s virtual No. 79 NOW Sports Ford Thunderbird.
Off turn four, Leighton Sibille’s virtual No. 4 Forever Lawn Chevrolet Monte Carlo broke loose. Sibille collected eNASCAR driver Jake Matheson and a couple other drivers. That separated Fisher from the pack, presenting them with an opportunity to swing around him. Coming to the white flag, Logan Helton and Blake Near took that opportunity to take the lead from the Spacestation Racing driver.
After the white flag, contact sent Doucette into the outside wall. Near also picked up damage after contact with Fisher. While the pack split apart, the race for the win came down to Helton and Fisher. Contact entering turn three sent the No. 64 Chevrolet towards the outside wall. Helton kept his car out of the wall, but lost ground to Fisher and Trevor Perry.
The gap was too great for Perry to overcome. Fisher took the checkered flag with 0.164 seconds to spare over Perry. Helton, David Brown, and Conor Horn completed the top-five. Corbin MacAulay, Alek Martinez, Justin Lisonbee, Ty Marasco, and Near rounded out the top-10.
“I just white-knuckled (the car through the corners),” Fisher admitted. “There were a couple times where I was on the top [line] where it got real free. But elbows up and out the windows.
“I want to thank everybody at Spacestation Racing and Deadzone Racing for all that. Everyone that worked on this car. It was an absolute bullet. I hate that I wasn’t in the big show (Firecracker 400), but I feel like this is the best I could do to satisfy myself until next year. I can’t wait to see all of the other Spacestation Gaming drivers in the 400 Wednesday.”
The prelude to the eRacr Blue Emu Firecracker 400 had a $2,500 purse. Fisher earned $500 for his win, despite climbing from the rear of the field. A crash in day one of qualifying led race promoters Landon Cassill and Parker Kligerman to send the Spacestation Racing driver to a backup car and the rear of the field.
“It’s going to be nice putting that into savings,” Fisher explained. “Currently my partner and I are looking at selling the house that we live in and trying to find a plot of land to build our own house on. $500 is not a large amount of money when you talk about a purchase like that, but it helps.”
Matheson led the most laps of the race. Despite having the dominant car, both leading and pushing, he was in the wrong place and the wrong time. Matheson took the checkered flag in 18th. Doucette limped back to the line in 20th despite his own closing lap incident.
eNASCAR driver Garrett Manes was the third driver from the Coca-Cola Series in the field. Although the Sadler eSports driver tagged the wall early, he quietly ran inside the top-20 for much of the race. Just past the halfway mark of the race, Aaron Russell clipped the apron and lost control. The lapped car collected Manes’ virtual No. 2 Offer Pad machine and Garrett Smithley’s virtual No. 53 Radius Chevrolet Monte Carlo. Manes was credited with a 37th-place finish.
Although Sibille was in one of the incidents in the closing laps, he ran the fastest lap of the race. With 22 laps to go, the JD Motorsports PR representative ran a 42.682 second, 210.862 MPH lap.
The first half of the 200-mile iRacing event saw just two cautions. Five cautions waved in the second half as the race neared its’ completion. None of the competitors finished the event without incident points. Ninth-place finisher Marasco had the fewest incident points, two.
The eRacr Blue Emu Firecracker 400 is Wednesday at 8:00 p.m. ET. Coverage is streamed at twitch.tv/eracr_gg.
1 84-Jacob Fisher  ($500), 2. 13-Trevor Perry , 3. 64-Logan Helton , 4. 83-David Brown , 5. 67-Conor Horn , 6. 17-Corbin MacAulay , 7. 05-Alek Martinez , 8. 31-Justin Lisonbee , 9. 22-Ty Marasco , 10. 14-Blake Near , 11. 3-Brian Hicks , 12. 50-Cristian Sanford , 13. 30-Davy Davis , 14. 63-Bryson Hixenbaugh , 15. 72-Christopher Morse , 16. 45-Conrad Samson Jr. , 17. 28-Jesse Atchison , 18. 52-Jake Matheson , 19. 93-Nathan Rabideau , 20. 79-Ryan Doucette , 21. 20-Justin Botelho , 22. 49-Garrett Konrath , 23. 53-Garrett Smithley , 24. 12-Ross Tatum , 25. 99-Eric J. Smith , 26. 68-Dominick Howe , 27. 19-Kyle Hendrix , 28. 03-Dylan Thomas , 29. 40-James Seeright , 30. 4-Leighton Sibille , 31. 39-Thomas Miller , 32. 46-Cole Fralick , 33. 58-Michael Frisch , 34. 92-Aaron Russell , 35. 56-Justin Fuller , 36. 95-Jordan Herrley , 37. 2-Garrett Manes , 38. 1K-Jared Ickes , 39. 57-Carl Burk , 40. 16-Tim Sozio .
Lead Changes: 22 among 11 drivers.
Lap Leader(s): Eric J Smith 1, Kyle Hendrix 2-4, Eric J Smith 5-6, Bryson Hixenbaugh 7, Jake Matheson 8, Bryson Hixenbaugh 9-10, Jake Matheson 11-13, Bryson Hixenbaugh 14, Jake Matheson 15-26, Blake Near 27-30, Jake Matheson 31-34, Blake Near 35, Garrett Smithley 36, Jake Matheson 37, Jordan Herrley 38-39, Eric J Smith 40, Jake Matheson 41-46, Cole Fralick 47-48, Jake Matheson 49-68, Ryan Doucette 69-76, Jacob Fisher 77-78, Logan Helton 79, Jacob Fisher 80.
Laps Led: Jake Matheson 46, Ryan Doucette 8, Blake Near 6, Bryson Hixenbaugh 4, Eric J. Smith 4, Jacob Fisher 3, Kyle Hendrix 3, Cole Fralick 2, Jordan Herrley 2, Logan Helton 1, Garrett Smithley 1.
Hard Charger(s): 13-Trevor Perry (+31).
Caution Flags: Seven for 21 laps.
Margin of Victory: 0.164 seconds.
Time of Race: One hour, 20 minutes, 1.637 seconds.
Average Speed: 149.949 MPH.
Pole Winner: 84-Jacob Fisher, 43.045 seconds (209.084 MPH).
Fastest Lap: 4-Leighton Sibille, Lap 58, 42.682 seconds (210.862 MPH).
Featured Photo Credit: Photo by Seth Eggert / Kickin’ the Tires