Mullis Survives A Loudon eNASCAR Caution-Fest

Mullis Survives
Jimmy Mullis celebrates with a burnout Tuesday at the virtual New Hampshire Motor Speedway. (Justin Melillo photo)

LOUDON, N.H. –  Jimmy Mullis took his first eNASCAR Coca-Cola iRacing Series win of the year on Tuesday night amid chaos at the virtual New Hampshire Motor Speedway.

Tuesday’s race was plagued by 11 cautions over the tidy 157-lap distance, extended by six circuits from its originally-scheduled 151 laps due to an overtime finish.

The final yellow that set up eNASCAR Overtime was called for after four-wide on the exit of turn two went wrong, with Jake Nichols spinning into the pack and several cars tangling.

That was of no consequence to Mullis, however. The Richmond Raceway eSports driver wheeled his No. 46 Coca-Cola Energy Toyota Camry XSE to a four car-length gap over his nearest challenger, Williams eSports’ Matt Bussa, to seal the deal at the Magic Mile.

Mullis is no stranger to victory at Loudon, with his first Coca-Cola Series win also coming at the Magic Mile in 2018. Tuesday’s win also marks the third straight year for Mullis to put a tally in the win column, after his most recent victory came in 2019 at Pocono Raceway.

Once Mullis took command on lap 42 from polesitter and early pacesetter Graham Bowlin, he never gave it up again, leading the final 116 laps uninterrupted.

“This is incredible. This has to be the absolute best performance I’ve ever had personally in this series,” noted Mullis. “All the thanks goes to Taylor Hurst, Zack Novak, Christian Challiner and Corey Vincent. They just nailed it this week on the setup. It was on rails.

“I got nervous there at the end; it got pretty hectic with the yellows, but I was able to close it out, and I’m speechless at this point.”

Mullis now sits 14th in the standings after his New Hampshire win, with three top 10s and one pole on the 2020 campaign.

Behind Mullis and Bussa, Nick Ottinger crossed third, with Bowlin finishing fourth and past Loudon winner Michael Conti filling out the top five.

Sixth through 10th were Logan Clampitt, Ryan Luza, Ray Alfalla, Corey Vincent and Bobby Zalenski.

Six races remain before the playoffs begin in October. The eNASCAR Coca-Cola iRacing Series will do battle next on July 28 at the virtual Michigan Int’l Speedway.

The finish:

1. 46-Jimmy Mullis [2], 2. 5-Matt Bussa [4], 3. 25-Nick Ottinger [9], 4. 18-Graham A. Bowlin [1], 5. 8-Michael Conti [7], 6. 99-Logan Clampitt [8], 7. 53-Ryan Luza [34], 8. 2-Ray Alfalla [23], 9. 27-Corey Vincent [5], 10. 83-Bobby Zalenski [13], 11. 21-Garrett Lowe [12], 12.51-Malik Ray [15], 13. 55-Caine Cook [36], 14. 33-Michael Guest [39], 15. 97-John Gorlinsky [25], 16. 23-Casey Kirwan [26], 17. 3-Blake Reynolds [11], 18. 16-Chris Overland [32], 19. 42-Bob Bryant [22], 20. Brandon Kettelle [24], 21. 10-Justin Bolton [16], 22. 32-Keegan Leahy [17], 23. 1-Steve Sheehan [27], 24. 54-Alex McCollum [37], 25. 36-Chris Shearburn [14], 26. 4-Santiago Tirres [38], 27. 15-Michael Guariglia [18], 28. 41-Dylan Duval [35], 29. 24-Jake Nichols [19], 30. 75-Phillip Diaz [31], 31. 17-Kollin Keister [6], 32. 90-Zack Novak [30], 33. 66-Jarl Teien [40], 34. 9-Eric J. Smith [20], 35. 77-Ashton Crowder [21], 36. 37-Christian Challiner [3], 37. 79-Brian Schoenburg [28], 38. 88-Brad Davies [33], 39. 6-Nathan Lyon [10], 40. 47-Jeremy R. Allen [29].

Lead Changes: One among two drivers.

Lap Leader(s): Graham A. Bowlin 1-41, Jimmy Mullis 42-157.

Laps Led: Jimmy Mullis 116, Graham A. Bowlin 41.

Hard Charger: 53-Ryan Luza (+27)

Cautions: 11 for 53 laps.

Margin of Victory: .296 seconds.

Time of Race: One hour, 50 minutes, .809 seconds.

Average Speed: 90.592 mph.

Pole Winner: 18-Graham A. Bowlin, 29.582 seconds (128.754 mph)

Fastest Lap: 5-Matt Bussa, Lap 121, 29.800 seconds (127.821 mph)

Strength of Field: 6,864 average iRating.