Bergeron Starts WoO iRacing Title Defense In Style

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Bergeron Starts WoO iRacing
Alex Bergeron en route to victory at the virtual Volusia Speedway Park. (Team ABR eSports photo)

BARBERVILLE, Fla. – Alex Bergeron kicked off his iRacing World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car World Championship title defense Monday night with a dominant flag-to-flag victory at the virtual Volusia Speedway Park.

Bergeron’s performance was perfect from start to finish, as he completed a clean sweep of the night by topping qualifying, winning his heat and then leading all 35 laps in the feature.

The clean sweep by the 19-year-old Canadian marked his 10th career iRacing World of Outlaws sprint car win, most among all drivers entering the tour’s third year of action.

As for total domination, Bergeron embodied that in the main event at the simulated version of the Florida half-mile. He went unchallenged and won by a whopping 8.586 seconds.

It was a welcomed return to form for Bergeron after he lost out in the preseason feature one week earlier.

“I was just trying to run the bottom very smoothly; I barely touched the fence,” Bergeron noted. “I just tried to be perfect every lap tonight, and felt like I didn’t make a mistake, which is so rare in this series.

“I didn’t run a good line in qualifying last week (during the preseason race) and wasn’t really ready then, but in the race last week I think we showed what we could do when we went from 13th to fifth,” he added. “Tonight we put it all together and it was just a perfect night.”

Blake Cannon and Cameron Merriman both started on the podium and finished there, but neither one had any vestige of a challenge to offer Bergeron all night long.

The duo waged war for the runner-up spot for the opening two laps before Cannon took control on the third revolution and never looked back en route to his second-place finish.

“I wouldn’t say that I’m too worried (about Bergeron’s domination). I didn’t really have any expectations coming into tonight,” said Cannon, one of nine drivers for Swindell SpeedLab eSports. “We had a decent run going in the practice race that got my confidence up, but I wouldn’t have guessed that I would have run the best out of the stable this week.

“We just have to get better. People want to talk about Bergeron, and I’m not a huge Bergeron fan,” he added. “He just put it on us tonight. We’ll take this week by week, take tonight’s butt-kicking like a man and move on to next week at Lernerville.”

Adam Elby and David Heileman filled out the top five, just ahead of hard charger Alex Smolders and Austen Semmelmann.

Defending eNASCAR Coca-Cola iRacing Series champion Zack Novak, making his debut with iRacing’s Outlaws, notched an eighth-place run in his first start as a winged warrior.

Cole Cabre and Anthony Jobe made up the balance of the top 10 finishers.

The iRacing World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car World Championship season continues March 30 at the virtual Lernerville Speedway, which makes its debut on the series calendar this year.

RESULTS: iRacing World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car World Championship; Volusia Speedway Park; March 23, 2020

Qualifying (best of two laps): 1. 12-Alex Bergeron, 13.651; 2. 17-Cameron Merriman, 13.679; 3. Shaun Timmerman, 13.686; 4. 4-James Tiernan, 13.701; 5. 15-Zack Novak, 13.722; 6. 81-Dillon Semmelmann, 13.726; 7. 44-Blake Cannon, 13.742; 8. 18-Austen Semmelmann, 13.743; 9. 71-Cole Cabre, 13.754; 10. James Edens, 13.755; 11. 11-Cole Neuhalfen, 13.757; 12. 35-Nick Cooper, 13.758; 13. 41-Colton Hardy, 13.759; 14. 3-Lewis Hewett, 13.762; 15. 2-Dylan Houser, 13.774; 16. 99-Logan Clampitt, 13.778; 17. 9-Joel Berkley, 13.786; 18. 25-Tyler Ducharme, 13.789; 19. 421-Britton Roxberry, 13.797; 20. 00-Kendal Tucker, 13.798; 21. 55-Rusty Kruger, 13.803; 22. 85-Tyler Schell, 13.804; 23. 74-Adam Elby, 13.842; 24. 39-Chase Cabre, 13.849; 25. 49-David Heileman, 13.850; 26. 5-Braden Eyler, 13.851; 27. 211-Alex Smolders, 13.854; 28. 92-Mike Keegan, 13.864; 29. 79-Billy Rowlee, 13.880; 30. 10-Schyler Brown, 13.882; 31. 91-Anthony Jobe, 13.894; 32. 80-Vinnie Sansone, 13.920; 33. 23-Justin Thomas, 13.935; 34. John Battista, NT; 35. 51-Matt McKinney, NT.

Heat #1 (10 laps, top four to A-Main): 1. Alex Bergeron [1], 2. Zack Novak [2], 3. Cole Cabre [3], 4. David Heileman [7] / 5. Colton Hardy [4], 6. Joel Berkley [5], 7. Rusty Kruger [6], 8. Justin Thomas [9]. 9. Billy Rowlee [8].

Heat #2 (10 laps, top four to A-Main): 1. Cameron Merriman [1], 2. Dillon Semmelmann [2], 3. James Edens [3], 4. Braden Eyler [7] / 5. Tyler Ducharme [5], 6. Lewis Hewett [4], 7. Schyler Brown [8], 8. Tyler Schell [6], 9. John Battista (DNS).

Heat #3 (10 laps, top four to A-Main): 1. Blake Cannon [2], 2. Adam Elby [6], 3. Matt McKinney [7], 4. Anthony Jobe [8] / 5. Dylan Houser [4], 6. Alex Smolders [5], 7. Britton Roxberry [3], 8. Cole Neuhalfen [1], 9. Shaun Timmerman (DNS).

Heat #4 (10 laps, top four to A-Main): 1. Austen Semmelmann [2], 2. Kendal Tucker [5], 3. James Tiernan [1], 4. Chase Cabre [6] / 5. Mike Keegan [7], 6. Logan Clampitt [4], 7. Vinnie Sansone [8], 8. Nick Cooper [3].

Last Chance Showdown #1 (12 laps, top two to A-Main): 1. Alex Smolders [4], 2. Colton Hardy [1] / 3. Joel Berkley [3], 4. Dylan Houser [2], 5. Justin Thomas [7], 6. Billy Rowlee [9], 7. Cole Neuhalfen [8], 8. Rusty Kruger [5], 9. Britton Roxberry [6].

Last Chance Showdown #2 (12 laps, top two to A-Main): 1. Tyler Ducharme [1], 2. Logan Clampitt [4] / 3. Nick Cooper [8], 4. Tyler Schell [7], 5. Vinnie Sansone [6], 6. Mike Keegan [2], 7. Lewis Hewett [3], 8. Schyler Brown [5], 9. John Battista (DNS), 10. Shaun Timmerman (DNS).

NOS Energy Drink A-Feature (35 laps): 1. Alex Bergeron [1], 2. Blake Cannon [3], 3. Cameron Merriman [2], 4. Adam Elby [7], 5. David Heileman [13], 6. Alex Smolders [17], 7. Austen Semmelmann [4], 8. Zack Novak [5], 9. Cole Cabre [9], 10. Anthony Jobe [15], 11. Matt McKinney [11], 12. Tyler Ducharme [18], 13. Logan Clampitt [20], 14. Kendal Tucker [8], 15. Dillon Semmelmann [6], 16. Braden Eyler [14], 17. Colton Hardy [19], 18. Chase Cabre [16], 19. James Edens [10], 20. James Tiernan [12].

Lap Leader(s): Alex Bergeron 1-35.

Hard Charger: #211-Alex Smolders [+11]

Time of Feature: Nine minutes, 12.125 seconds

Strength of Field: 5,834 average iRating