Alfredo Snookers Caruth For Homestead MNR Win

Anthony Alfredo celebrating a win at virtual Homestead-Miami Speedway. (Justin Melillo photo)

HOMESTEAD, Fla. – As the night wore on at virtual Homestead-Miami Speedway on Monday, two things became clear: the race had to be won through Rajah Caruth and if there’s anyone who had a say it’d be Anthony Alfredo.

By night’s end, it was, in fact, Alfredo who stole the show.

A pristine restart in triple overtime propelled Alfredo to victory in the Monday Night Racing Sim Seats 150 at virtual Homestead, foiling Caruth’s dominant performance.

Caruth, a member of NASCAR’s Drive for Diversity program at 17 years old, led 88 of the eventual 112 laps from the pole. Alfredo, meanwhile, led just five laps.

But the recent full-time addition to Front Row Motorsports’ NASCAR Cup stable capitalized when it mattered most, overtaking Caruth on the race’s final restart with two laps to go.

“It was incredible,” Alfredo said. “I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to pull that off. I had some of the best restarts of my iRacing career, if not my racing career as a whole, so definitely tried to continue to execute on those.”

The restart before didn’t go so smoothly for the 21-year-old, though. Alfredo tried to pin Caruth under the preferred groove in turns one and two, but Caruth held firm, making contact with his biggest challenger of the night and sending him up the banking.

“I tried holding him below the seam, and he wasn’t going to let me do that to him,” Alfredo said. “If you get below that seam, it’s game over. I would’ve done the same thing to him.”

That allowed Parker Kligerman to snag second, but Alfredo managed to get the spot back moments before the seventh and final caution for David Schildhouse and DJ Cummings.

Alfredo then executed when it mattered most, leaving Caruth out to dry and nothing to try but a potential Hail Mary attempt.

“I could’ve driven in there and wrecked him, but decided not to and tried to pass him straight up,” Caruth said. “Unfortunate, but I’m really glad to have this effort tonight. Just wasn’t meant to be.”

For Alfredo, a number of things have been meant to be recently. A few weeks ago, he inked a Cup Series deal for 2021. On Sunday, he won The 24 Hours of Daytona on iRacing.

On Monday, he added to that recent trend.

“To have Sim Seats on the car, in the Sim Seats 150, and get them the win is pretty awesome,” Alfredo said. “And it’s my first race in the No. 38 car. So hopefully this is a sign for good things to come this year.”

Monday’s event featured plenty of well-known names, including Nick Sanchez (third), Ryan Vargas (fourth), TJ Majors (sixth), James Davison (seventh), Garrett Smithley (10th), Joshua Bilicki (11th), Will Rodgers (12th), Kligerman (13th), Robby Lyons (15th), Bobby Labonte (24th), Ron Capps (30th), Dillon Welch (37th), Preston Pardus (38th), Jeff Green (39th), and Will Power (41st).

It also had FOX Sports’ Adam Alexander, Larry McReynolds, and Darrell Waltrip on the call.

MNR is an eSports iRacing league that pits professional drivers, crew members, and media members throughout motorsports. Various cars and track combinations are used, which creates a unique blend of racing.

Monday marked the MNR regular season finale, with the seven-race playoff is set to start Feb. 8 at virtual Richmond Raceway with NASCAR Xfinity Series cars.

Kyle Busch, Alfredo, Rodgers, Sanchez, Pardus, Capps, Nick Degroot, Matt Stallknecht, Gary Sexton, Ford Martin, Cummings, Gabe Wood, and Max Kennon make up the 13-driver playoff field.

MNR’s playoff format mirrors the current one used in the NASCAR national Series. In this case, though, three drivers will be eliminated after each of the three, two-race rounds.

The Championship 4 race will be held March 22 at virtual Atlanta Motor Speedway using NASCAR Camping World Trucks.

The results:

1. 38-Anthony Alfredo [4], 2. 99-Rajah Caruth [1], 3. 96-Nick Sanchez [9], 4. 6-Ryan Vargas [2], 5. 50-Gabe Wood [3], 6. 2-TJ Majors [11], 7. 51-James Davison [6], 8. 48-Joshua Slate [22], 12-Brandon Brown [20], 10. 52-Garrett Smithley [8], 11. 53-Joshua Bilicki [31], 12. 65-Will Rodgers [24], 13. 77-Parker Kligerman [12], 14. 21-Maxwell Kennon [27], 15. 19-Robby Lyons [13], 16. 13-Gary Sexton [21], 17. 15-Covy Moore [29], 18. 30-Jason Keffer [30], 19. 98-Noah Lewis [18], 20. 26-Jesse Vaughn [28], 21. 69-Mark Rebilas [26], 22. 41-Matthew Stallknecht [32], 23. 46-Steven Ellis [40], 24. 18-Bobby Labonte [14], 25. 78-Gary Strumpf [38], 26. 89-Nick DeGroot [10], 27. 36-Garrett Miller [34], 28. 86-Devon Henry [23], 29. 45-Seth Eggert [19], 30. 28-Ron Capps [36], 31. 27-Michael Massie [39], 32. 07-Ford Martin [25], 33. 64-Drew Welker [37], 34. 11-Steve Auffant [35], 35. 4-Brett Baldeck [41], 36. David Schildhouse [20], 37. 14-Dillon Welch [33], 38. 90-Preston Pardus [16], 39. 39-Jeff Green [5], 40. 10-DJ Cummings [15], 41. 1-Will Power [7]