Logan Seavey upsets the NASCAR regulars in Saturday Night Thunder

PHOTO BY SETH EGGERT for KICKIN' THE TIRES / iRacing

By Seth Eggert, Staff Writer

2018 USAC National Midget Champion Logan Seavey stole the show in the eNASCAR Saturday Night Thunder Series.

Seavey had to rebound from an accident early in the Saturday Night Thunder 150 at the virtual Bristol Motor Speedway. Mired deep in the pack, he conserved his tires. Caution after caution allowed the USAC regular to push forward at the end.

The 22-year-old chased down NASCAR regulars and iRacing veterans Alex Labbe, Chase Cabre, and Ty Majeski in the closing laps. His No. 19 NOS Energy Drink machine made quick work of Labbe, and then Majeski after the Truck Series driver suffered suspension damage.

With 13 laps to go, Seavey easily passed Cabre, who was on worn tires. The USAC driver cruised to victory, 1.379 seconds over the Rev Racing driver when the checkered flag waved. Labbe, Anthony Alfredo, and Kyle Weatherman rounded out the top-five.

“It was a long, long race, but we all knew that was coming,” admitted Seavey. “I think we were all prepared for a lot of cautions there. I put myself in a good spot. We were in third on fresh tires, thought we were going to come out with the lead and ended up crashing.

“Thought that was going to be the end of our day, but we were able to switch strategies around, rode around in the back most of the day just to save tires. The last 50 or 60 laps, I knew we weren’t coming in, so I just saved until the last 20 or 30. I knew I had enough to run down Chase and Ty there. So, I went hard when I knew I needed to push. I can’t thank Chase Briscoe, Chris Wheeler, and Chase Raudman enough for helping me.”

The first eNASCAR Saturday Night Thunder race featured drivers from the NASCAR Xfinity Series, Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series, Pinty’s Series, Peak Mexico Series, and ARCA Menards Series. The diverse collection of drivers resulted in some competing against one another for the first time.

Seavey admitted he had competed against most of the field before:

“I didn’t even know I was going to run this race until two days ago. Austin Craven of Team Dillon got me connected with people at iRacing and I was able to get into this race. I’ve started a couple of NASCAR races and I’ve raced against most of the field. To run with Ty and Chase and others who are pretty good on this sim was pretty cool.”

The race was plagued with cautions. The theory of cautions breeding cautions held true as some green flag runs were as short as a single lap or less. Each caution collected a veteran of iRacing.

Immediately after pole sitter Blake Koch pitted, he was swept up in a massive accident. Koch had waited until the fourth caution to pit. The decision came back to haunt him as he had nowhere to go as Seavey, Derek Kraus, Labbe, and others crashed in front of him. While Seavey rebounded from the incident, Koch was mired in the back for the remainder of the race.

Majeski, Justin Allgaier, Koch, Joey Gase, and Jeb Burton rounded out the top-10 finishers.

The Finish

1. Logan Seavey [4], 2. Chase Cabre [7], 3. Alex Labbe [5], 4. Anthony Alfredo [3], 5. Kyle Weatherman [2], 6. Ty Majeski [12], 7. Justin Allgaier [9], 8. Blake Koch [1], 9. Joey Gase [19], 10. Jeb Burton [21], 11. Justin Haley [18], 12. Stewart Friesen [22], 13. Landon Huffman [14], 14. Myatt Snider [23], 15. Jesse Iwuji [11], 16. Will Rodgers [6], 17. Kaz Grala [10], 18. Brandon Brown [17], 19. Chandler Smith [24], 20. Josh Bilicki [8], 21. Ryan Truex [15], 22. Derek Kraus [13], 23. Ruben Garcia Jr. [16], 24. Harrison Burton [20].

Lead Changes: Three among four drivers.

Lap Leader(s): Blake Koch 1-67, Alex Labbe 68-86, Chase Cabre 87-137, Logan Seavey 138-150

Laps Led: Blake Koch 67, Chase Cabre 51, Alex Labbe 19, Logan Seavey 13.

Hard Charger: Jeb Burton (+11)

Cautions: 9 for 45 laps.

Margin of Victory: 1.379 seconds.

Average Speed: 79.620 mph

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