With a chance to wrap up the 2023 iRacing World of Outlaws ButtKicker Late Model Series championship a week early, 2022’s champion, Evan Seay, was on course to do just that on Monday night at Lincoln Speedway. Logan Rumsey had other plans, snatching the lead in the second half of the Feature race and scoring the win over Tanner Tomasi as Seay failed to finish, a victim of a late race incident, resulting in a 19th place finish.
Rumsey scored maximum points in winning his Heat and the Feature, and now sits 42 points behind Seay with one race at the Charlotte Dirt Track to decide the season. Also in the mix is Kendal Tucker, a two-time winner on the season, only 46 points out of the lead following his fourth place Lincoln Speedway efforts.
Early on, it looked to be Seay’s night as he put down the quick time to lead the first Heat to the green, ahead of James Edens, Tucker and Rumsey in the Top 4 spots. Those four would all go on to win their respective Heat races, placing them in the first four starting positions for the 50-lap Feature later in the evening. The first two of the Heat races were more controlled, with the Top 4 starters in each all advancing through. Heat 3 featured a big moment for weekly contender JD Brown, who was safely in a spot to transfer before contact with both Mike Augustine allowed Loic Bernier to slide by into a transfer position, sending Brown to a Last Chance Race. Lincoln’s fourth and final Heat also saw a shakeup as Jesse Wall fell out of a transfer spot and 2019 Series Champion Blake Matjoulis rose from fifth to second to transfer through. Brown was able to transfer through in the first LCQ behind Dylan Wilson as a pair of Chases, Barbara and Hardy, took the final two transfers in the final LCQ.
The main event began with a quick caution as the field settled into the Lincoln dirt. On the restart, Seay established the lead as both Tucker and Rumsey moved into podium positions. On Lap 23, Rumsey pulled a slider to take the second spot away from Tucker. A few laps later, with 19 laps to go, Rumsey slid himself into the lead ahead of Seay, keeping his championship hopes alive. As Rumsey began to pull away, looking for his second win on the season, Seay began to falter, passed a few laps later by Edens before disaster struck with 13 laps to go.
With Tomasi taking the third position away, the two got caught together, slowing both Late Models down entering Turn 1. Behind in fifth was Tucker, and it seemed that he couldn’t avoid a slight bit of contact with his trajectory. Tucker’s right front caught Seay’s left rear and sent the defending champion sailing into the outside wall, making heavy contact. As Seay bounced back down the track, it collected Matjoulis, who was running in sixth, still with his own outside shot at racing for the title. Matjoulis also slid in a similar fashion, nosing the wall, and both former champions were out of contention just like that.
With the championship battle reignited, Rumsey’s final challenge on the night involved holding off a hungry Tanner Tomasi who finds himself in a different battle as the season comes to a close—the battle for the relegation line, a seat in the series for 2024 which goes to the Top 15 in the standings at season’s end. Tomasi entered 16th, having missed a few races this season due to real-world racing commitments, but a win could put him back above that line entering the finale next week at Charlotte.
Tomasi looked to have more pace in the closing laps, as noted by Rumsey, who was tasked with holding him off. Tomasi took a couple of looks low, but just couldn’t get the drive off of stay alongside or clear. Rumsey went on to take the win and now sits 42 points back of Seay with one race to go. Both Rumsey and Tucker will need Seay to be off his game next week to have a chance, but that’s just not something we’ve seen too often from the defending series champion. Seay will clinch the title in scoring 37 points through the night, ultimately a 13th place Feature finish or better.
iRacing World of Outlaws ButtKicker Late Model Series Round 9 results at Lincoln were as follows:
|7||7||5||Nathan R Waddell||50||-3.061||0||15.985||59|
|15||16||31||Robbie Buchanan Jr||50||-5.995||0||16.054||38|
iRacing World of Outlaws ButtKicker Late Model Series points through Round 9 are as follows:
- Evan Seay, 633
- Logan Rumsey, 591
- Kendal Tucker, 587
- Blake Matjoulis, 525
- Chase Barbara, 470
- Dylan Wilson, 468
- James Edens, 444
- JD Brown, 413
- Dylan Yeager, 386
- Kaden Honeycutt, 357
Next week, the 2023 iRacing World of Outlaws ButtKicker Late Model Series concludes with a championship battle at The Dirt Track at Charlotte. Residing on property just outside of the big Charlotte Motor Speedway oval, the 4/10-mile dirt track in Concord, NC is home to World of Outlaws World Finals in November. The iRacing division champion not only pockets $10,000, but will also be invited to the real-world event to be honored during pre-race festivities with their check and the championship trophy. To see who takes it all, tune in for the title fight live on Monday, Sept. 18, on DIRTVision and twitch.tv/iracing, at 9 p.m. (ET).
For more information on the iRacing World of Outlaws ButtKicker Late Model Series, visit www.iracing.com/woolm. For more information on the World of Outlaws, visit www.worldofoutlaws.com. For more information on iRacing and for special offers, visit www.iracing.com.