Strategy Call Nets Steven Wilson Richmond eNASCAR Win

By Seth Eggert, Associate Editor

A mid-race caution combined with a two-tire call from Steven Wilson’s M80 eSports team earned the defending eNASCAR Coca-Cola iRacing Series champion his first win of the 2024 season.

Pit stop strategy earned steven wilson his first win of the 2024 enascar coca-cola iracing series season.
Steven Wilson. (Photo by Justin Melillo)

Prior to the caution, pole winner Michael Cosey Jr. had led from the drop of the green flag. The Front Row Motorsports driver opted to take four tires on his virtual No. 38 Ford Mustang Dark Horse. That left him restarting eighth after seven drivers, including eventual race winner Wilson only took two tires.

The early green flag runs faded away as the racing at the laser-scanned version of ‘The Action Track’ soon turned into a cautions-breed-cautions affair. On the restart, Cosey managed to climb up to fourth before the next caution. Repeated cautions kept the second-year driver’s tire advantage at bay.

With the leader having the advantage of controlling the restarts, Wilson easily managed all three attempts at eNASCAR overtime. While the back half of the field came apart on the final lap, iRacing’s system doesn’t allow for cautions once the white flag has waved. Wilson cruised to victory, the first the M80 team, by several car lengths with Tucker Minter, Zack Novak, Casey Kirwan, and Kaden Honeycutt completing the top-five.

“It was huge to execute in qualifying with short [heat] races and no cautions in the heat,” Wilson explained. “It was really hard to make a pass. We had that one good [green flag] run [early] in the feature. Coming out with the lead was the most important part after pit stops.

“Really happy for the M80 guys, have to thank them for coming onboard and adding me to their team, everyone at NASCAR, iRacing Coca-Cola, and everyone on the backend for their setup work. I’m just really proud to have a win, a couple years ago I was really down on myself about how bad I was at short tracks. Just been trying to grind and learn, and I’ve been better the last couple of years.”

Vicente Salas, who recently made his NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series debut finished sixth. Jimmy Mullis, Garrett Manes, Cosey, and Nick Ottinger rounded out the top-10 finishers.

Pit stop strategy earned steven wilson his first win of the 2024 enascar coca-cola iracing series season.
Steven Wilson. (Photo by Justin Melillo)

The first ever heat race format shook up the running order throughout the scheduled 70-lap race at Richmond. While Wilson and Cosey dominated their respective heats, accidents for Donovan Strauss, Bobby Zalenski and others forced them to have to climb up the running order in the short race. Those accidents in the caution-free hears put them at a disadvantage with Strauss, 20th, being the best finisher of those wrecked in the heats.

Richmond also marked the completion of the first-ever eNASCAR Segment. 2022 champion Casey Kirwan took home the segment win, earning $3,000 and five eNASCAR Playoff Points. With the next eNASCAR race scheduled for Brands Hatch Circuit, it continues the trend of the esports division of NASCAR building its’ own independent identity.

“It’s great to go do stuff like [heat racing, segment racing], and I feel like the road courses especially are the ‘go and try something fun’ [mentality],” Kirwan observed. “I had a lot of fun with Monza last year, had a shot to win the race if I didn’t spin out early. Hopefully I can have that same pace at Brands Hatch. I don’t recall ever driving it outside of (maybe) one time. It’s going to be a learning curve just for me to learn the track. (eNASCAR having its own identity) is definitely really cool.”

The 250th race in eNASCAR history, which will take place at Brands Hatch, is scheduled for Tuesday, April 9 at 8:00 p.m. ET. All eNASCAR races are streamed live at as well as iRacing’s Twitch, YouTube, and other social media channels.

The Finish

1. 10-Steven Wilson [2], 2. 97-Tucker Minter [9], 3. 5-Zack Novak [4], 4. 77-Casey Kirwan [8], 5. 8-Kaden Honeycutt [19], 6. 11-Vicente Salas [5], 7. 29-Jimmy Mullis [6], 8. 12-Garrett Manes [29], 9. 38-Michael Cosey Jr. [1], 10. 25-Nick Ottinger [3], 11. 89-Garrett Lowe [11], 12. 62-Matt Bussa [15], 13. 88-Briar LaPradd [13], 14. 90-Jordy Lopez [10], 15. 41-Dylan Duval [12], 16. 7-Malik Ray [14], 17. 54-Daniel Faulkingham [21], 18. 3-Jonathon Dulaney [28], 19. 6-Timothy Holmes [18], 20. 51-Donovan Strauss [35], 21. 45-Michael Guest [25], 22. 34-Darik Bourdeau [30], 23. 33-Taylor Hurst [23], 24. 18-Bobby Zalenski [40], 25. 36-Quami Scott [36], 26. 55-Ryan Doucette [24], 27. 23-Keegan Leahy [32], 28. 40-Dylan Ault [22], 29. 48-Graham Bowlin [17], 30. 53-Parker White [20], 31. 69-Ray Alfalla [38], 32. 42-Tyler Garey [37], 33. 22-Femi Olatunbosun [39], 34. 66-Kollin Keister [7], 35. 99-Matthew Zwack [27], 36. 20-Wyatt Tinsley [26], 37. 27-Cody Byus [33], 38. 80-Ryan Luza [31], 39. 14-Seth DeMerchant [34], 40. 17-Collin Bowden [16].

Lead Changes: One among two different drivers.

Lap Leader(s): Michael Cosey Jr. 1-38, Steven Wilson 39-83.

Laps Led: Steven Wilson 45, Michael Cosey Jr. 38.

Hard Charger: 12-Garrett Manes (+21), FGR Accel eRacing.

Pole Position: 38-Michael Cosey Jr., Front Row Motorsports, 21.815 seconds (123.768 mph); First career pole and first of season.

Rookie of the Race: 3-Jonathon Dulaney, 18th, Team Dillon eSports.

Caution Flags: Eight for 36 laps.

Winning Team: M80 eSports.

Margin of Victory: 0.376 seconds.

Time of Race: 47 minutes, 19.609 seconds.

Average Speed: 78.306 mph.

Fastest Lap: 10-Steven Wilson, M80 eSports, Lap 83, 22.243 seconds (121.387 mph).

*Race Scheduled for 70 Laps, Extended Due to Overtime.

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