Shearburn Is Finally An eNASCAR iRacing Winner

Shearburn Is Finally
Chris Shearburn took his first eNASCAR Coca-Cola iRacing Series win Monday night at virtual Homestead-Miami Speedway. (Justin Melillo photo)

HOMESTEAD, Fla. – Chris Shearburn’s 71st try to win an eNASCAR Coca-Cola iRacing Series event was the sweetest one of all, as the Letarte eSports veteran kicked down the door to victory lane at last.

Shearburn outlasted a 37-car field in triple overtime Monday night to win the season finale at the virtual Homestead-Miami Speedway, utilizing fresher tires to pass title contender Bobby Zalenski when the green flag waved for the penultimate time and never looking back.

The pilot of the No. 36 took control of the race just before the caution waved in double overtime and then pulled away after the final restart, winning by .339 seconds over Chris Overland.

“This has been a long time coming,” said Shearburn. “I feel like I’ve let a lot of wins slip away in the past, especially this year; luck just hasn’t been on my side. But for once, I finally caught a break in traffic on the first restart, which allowed me to get the win at all, I think. This feels great. It’s amazing.

“Ironically, I think this makes me the oldest winner in the series; I think (Dale Earnhardt) Jr. had that mark at 37 years old, and I just turned 39 yesterday, so it’s pretty cool,” Shearburn added. “It’s cool to be able to still compete. I’m probably not as good as I used to be, but I can still go pretty decent.”

While Shearburn was celebrating the victory, Nick Ottinger finished fourth to claim his first series championship and the $100,000 prize that came along with it.

Behind Shearburn and Overland, Eric J. Smith was third, just ahead of Ottinger. Caine Cook filled out the top five in the race, while Zalenski came across the line seventh and ended the year second in points.

Conti and Luza, the other two title contenders, finished 10th and 31st, respectively.

The results:

1. 36-Chris Shearburn [7], 2. 16-Chris Overland [37], 3. 9-Eric J. Smith [16], 4. 25-Nick Ottinger [9] (Champion, $100,000), 5. 55-Caine Cook [26], 6. 37-Christian Challiner [15], 7. 83-Bobby Zalenski [3], 8. 33-Michael Guest [27], 9. 23-Casey Kirwan [23], 10. 8-Michael Conti [4], 11. 46-Jimmy Mullis [20], 12. 32-Keegan Leahy [1], 13. 21-Garrett Lowe [24], 14. 3-Blake Reynolds [29], 15. 2-Ray Alfalla [2], 16. 77-Bob Bryant [11], 17. 79-Brian Schoenburg [33], 18. 27-Corey Vincent [12], 19. 88-Brad Davies [17], 20. 90-Zack Novak [21], 21. 18-Graham Bowlin [13], 22. 54-Alex McCollum [35], 23. 6-Nathan Lyon [14], 24. 75-Philip Diaz [31], 25. 5-Matt Bussa [10], 26. 97-John Gorlinsky [8], 27. 24-Jake Nichols [19], 28. 41-Dylan Duval [6], 29. 10-Justin Bolton [18], 30. 47-Steve Sheehan [34], 31. 53-Ryan Luza [5], 32. 17-Kollin Keister [22], 33. 51-Malik Ray [30], 34. 14-Brandon Kettelle [32], 35. 66-Jarl Teien [28], 36. 4-Santiago Tirres [36], 37. 15-Michael Guariglia [25].

Lead Changes: 14 among seven drivers.

Lap Leader(s): Keegan Leahy Grid, Bobby Zalenski 1, Ryan Luza 2-5, Bobby Zalenski 6-20, Ryan Luza 21-49, Michael Conti 50-63, Michael Guest 64-69, Ryan Luza 70-90, Bobby Zalenski 91-93, Eric J. Smith 94-96, Ryan Luza 97-100, Bobby Zalenski 101-105, Zack Novak 106-118, Bobby Zalenski 119-140, Chris Shearburn 141-147.

Laps Led: Ryan Luza 58, Bobby Zalenski 46, Michael Conti 14, Zack Novak 13, Chris Shearburn 7, Michael Guest 6, Eric J. Smith 3.

Hard Charger: 16-Chris Overland (+35).

Caution Flags: 6 for 24 laps.

Margin of Victory: 0.339 seconds.

Time of Race: One hour, 38 minutes, 23.629 seconds.

Average Speed: 134.460 mph

Pole Winner: 32-Keegan Leahy, 30.061 seconds (179.635 mph).

Fastest Lap: 36-Chris Shearburn, Lap 147, 30.806 seconds (175.291 mph).

Strength of Field: 6,733 average iRating.