Fuel strategy steers Matt Bussa to eNASCAR win at Charlotte

Matt Bussa earned wins in consecutive seasons on the eNASCAR Coca-Cola iRacing Series for the first time, winning at a virtual Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway on Tuesday.

Bussa’s most recent win had occurred last August at a virtual Michigan International Speedway.

The winner’s fuel barely held on while other drivers fell back in the final lap as they ran out of gas. Bussa could only park the winning No. 75 Ford at the start-finish line following the victory.

“It feels amazing,” the Darien, Ill., resident said. “Last year, I probably had five races in the bag, I thought, based on fuel mileage if a caution didn’t come out. And of course, in all of those races, a yellow (flag) came out.

“But this one, I had it in the back of my head, ‘It’s just going to be a yellow.’ … But thankfully it went green, and here we are in Victory Lane at Charlotte. I never would have thought that. It’s probably my worst track on the schedule.”

Zack Novak of Clinton, Conn., drove the No. 5 Chevrolet to a second-place finish, 0.371 seconds behind Bussa.

“I knew Bussa was on the same (fuel) strategy as us,” Novak said. “I kind of just tried to play defense that whole run and keep him behind me. But then I think I went a little bit too hard at some points in that run, trying to do that. That kind of made it where I had enough fuel … but I didn’t have quite enough to set me free, so I had to slightly save a lot of that run. …

“I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a little disappointed and maybe a little emotional. It’s the closest I’ve been in 2 1/2 years. It sucks, but … I can’t too disappointed about (second place).”

Michael Guest finished third in the No. 9 Ford, and Jimmy Mullis came in fourth in the No. 46 Chevrolet. Ray Alfalla rounded out the top five in the No. 51 Toyota.

The eNASCAR Coca-Cola iRacing Series continues on May 31 at a virtual World Wide Technologies Raceway (Madison, Ill.).

–Field Level Media

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