Casey Kirwan won his first race this season and reached the postseason in the eNASCAR Coca-Cola iRacing Series after bumping aside Zack Novak to win by inches in overtime Tuesday at a virtual Pocono Raceway in Long Pond, Pa.
Kirwan, in the No. 95 Chevrolet, raced side by side with Novak, in the No. 5 Chevrolet, out of the last turn as they finished a crash- and caution-filled event. Their cars bumped back and forth as they raced for the checkered flag, and Kirwan knocked Novak aside at the finish line to win by .006 second.
Keegan Leahy finished third in the No. 45 Toyota, Donovan Strauss was fourth in the No. 20 Toyota and Darik Bourdeau placed fifth in the No. 42 Chevy.
Kirwan jumped from ninth to fourth on the playoff grid, behind Steven Wilson, Nick Ottinger and Michael Conti.
“I probably lost like 30 years off my life after that race,” said Kirwan of Matthews, N.C. “I feel like I had the race won about 16 different times and just got screwed over 16 different times.
“I’ve been in the running for wins at least five times this year and been screwed over. I was not letting it happen again tonight.”
As for the physical finish, he said, “I don’t want to ever really race like that. … (Novak) has every right to be mad. … He definitely owes me one whenever push comes to shove.
“We definitely got the elbows out.”
But Kirwan offered no apologies for getting the playoff-clinching win, saying, “It’s been a good year and we’re gonna go race for a championship now.”
Novak, of Clinton, Conn., disagreed with Kirwan’s strategy.
“I wouldn’t have done it that way, but you’ve got to do what you’ve got to do,” Novak said.
Nowak still has not won a race, but he sits in the 10th and final spot with two races remaining.
“To be in the position to win that race, I’m so, so happy of my entire team and really proud of myself,” he said. “I went from 16th to the lead on two tires. So, definitely stuff to be happy about.”
The next race is scheduled for Aug. 16 at a virtual Watkins Glen International.
–Field Level Media