Fuel strategy helped Bob Bryant rally from 26th place to first place Tuesday at a virtual Auto Club Speedway for his first career victory on the eNASCAR Coca-Cola iRacing Series.
Bryant, from Biloxi, Miss., drove his No. 77 Chevrolet to a 0.6-second win over rookie Derek Justis of Elizabethtown, Ky., in the No. 37 Chevrolet. Isaac Gann came in third place, John Gorlinsky took fourth and Matt Bussa came in fifth.
By prevailing at the virtual Fontana, Calif., track, Bryant became the fifth winner through five races on the series this season. All event winners are locked into playoff spots as long as they remain in the top 20 of the standings.
“Incredible car. Wow,” Bryant said in a post-race interview on eNASCAR.com. “They don’t give these things away. This series is unbelievably difficult. I’m honestly kind of shocked at the moment.
Regarding his fuel plan, Bryant said, “We started going forward there about 20 laps into the first run. I knew if we could go a couple extra laps more than the competition on the first run, it was gonna allow us to really open the car up the entire second run. And that’s exactly how it played out. I had an extra lap or lap and a half of fuel over everybody and didn’t have to save at all on the second run.
“Yeah, strategy worked out. We played it that way from the start of the race. It was either going to be a hero or a zero, and here we are. We’re a hero, I guess.”
Bryant reveled in finally winning on the eNASCAR Coca-Cola iRacing Series.
“The level of competition here is unlike anything else that I’ve ever done, and I’ve been doing sim racing for 20 years,” he said. “Had a lot of competition over the years, had a lot of really big races, and there is absolutely nothing that compares to this series. So to be able to win, there’s a reason why everyone is so emotional and happy when they do it because it’s so freakin’ hard to do.”
Justis said post-race, “If we would have saved a little more fuel to go an extra lap, I think we would have had it. Just didn’t save enough fuel there and Bob Bryant did. Fantastic job getting the win there.”
–Field Level Media