For the second time in three races, victory lane in the 2023 iRacing World of Outlaws ButtKicker Late Model Series was occupied by Kendal Tucker, this time at Eldora. From the fourth starting spot, Tucker was able to leap frog the front row of JD Brown and Loic Bernier, as well as the current points leader and defending series champion Evan Seay who started alongside in third, to score the victory. This is Tucker’s second win of the 2023 season and the third of his career, the points from the win moving him back up into second in the standings with only two races to go on the schedule.
32 of the top dirt oval racing drivers showed up and showed out on Monday night at Eldora Speedway. California Club’s JD Brown scored the quick time of the night, placing him on the pole position for the first Heat race. Bernier was second, while Jesse Wall and Drew Hopkins rounded out the Top 4 to lead their respective Heat races to the green. The four championship contenders to this point were mired in the middle of the field on their qualifying pace, with Logan Rumsey scoring eighth, Seay took 11th, leading his teammates Tucker in 12th and last week’s winner Blake Matjoulis in 13th.
The first Heat race featured Matjoulis starting in fourth, behind Brown, Dylan Wilson and Brett Caudill. Brown went on to lead every lap and score the Heat win over Wilson. Matjoulis managed to wrangle third away as Chase Barbara rounded out the transfer positions. Loic Bernier, who in the first seven races had not managed to qualify for a Feature, led the field to the green in the second Heat alongside Mike Augustine. Bernier went on to also lead every lap and win and brought Augustine, Dylan Yeager and Dylonn Fox along to the show as well.
In the third Heat, Wall led the field to the green alongside Kaden Honeycutt, but on the sixth lap, Seay was knocking on the door for the top spot. As Seay began to pull away, Wall would have connection issues, allowing for Tanner Tomasi, Barrett Bishop and Honeycutt to finish behind Seay and take the respective transfer spots. The fourth and final Heat saw Hopkins lead the field to the green, but from the third spot, Tucker managed to bypass the front row before the end of the second lap. As Hopkins fell out of the conversation for the transfer following contact with Ethan Toedter, Chase Hardy and Nathan Waddell moved into those spots behind Tucker and Rumsey.
Dezmond Busby was solid in the first of the two Last Chance Races, pulling out to more than a full second over the rest of the field early. The battle of the final C-Main transfer spot fell to Caudill and James Edens in the closing laps with Damian Kiefer in tow. Edens managed to pull a successful slidejob off of the final corner of the final lap to make the main event. In the final Last Chance Race of the night, Travis StClair was in the best position to advance, on the pole alongside Talan Willis. The two battled mightily with Robbie Buchanan Jr for the two transfer spots. Willis went on to win it and transfer with Buchanan Jr as StClair would fall out of contention with damages in the final laps.
As they qualified, Brown and Bernier led the field to the green flag in the 50-lap Feature with fellow Heat race winners Seay and Tucker in the row behind. It didn’t take long for the first of five cautions to fly at Eldora, the leading case happening on Lap 3. The race resumed a lap later on the scorecard, with caution laps not counting, as Brown continued to lead Seay and Tucker. By Lap 8, Matjoulis had managed to work his way up into the fourth position, the same lap that Tucker was able to get around Seay for the second spot.
On Lap 10, there was a new leader—Tucker managed to get the advantage over Brown and pull away. For the next two consecutive laps, Brown would lose a spot to a Matjoulis-Seay Speed Shop entry with Seay and Matjoulis also following through. Brown continued to fight back, holding the third spot into the second caution period at Lap 15 over Matjoulis, but he would lose out on the ensuing restart, eventually fighting against Rumsey for the fourth spot before falling back to fifth and out of the conversation.
Up front, it was Tucker – Seay – Matjoulis with Rumsey in fourth trying to spoil the party. The caution flew for the third time on Lap 38, still in the range for double file restarts to take place. This would set up for one last clean shot by Seay to get around Tucker, but a fourth caution at Lap 42 forced the field into single file restart mode. Seay continued to lay the pressure on through the final two restarts in single file, the final one coming on the white flag lap after a Lap 49 caution. Tucker held the preferred groove throughout and was able to take victory once more.
After Eldora, only two races remain in the 2023 season. Seay’s advantage in the standings over Tucker is 82 points, a gap that, if maintained through the penultimate race of the season at Lincoln Speedway, could result in an early celebration for Seay as he looks to wrap up his second consecutive title. Rumsey switches back into third spot, five points behind Tucker. Matjoulis is the last still in contention, 109 points behind Seay for the lead, but only 22 points behind Rumsey for third.
iRacing World of Outlaws ButtKicker Late Model Series Round 8 results at Eldora were as follows:
|8||16||5||Nathan R Waddell||50||-1.843||0||15.227||54|
|10||20||31||Robbie Buchanan Jr||50||-1.969||0||15.343||45|
iRacing World of Outlaws ButtKicker Late Model Series points through Round 8 are as follows:
- Evan Seay, 600
- Kendal Tucker, 518
- Logan Rumsey, 513
- Blake Matjoulis, 491
- Dylan Wilson, 423
- Chase Barbara, 423
- James Edens, 372
- Kaden Honeycutt, 354
- JD Brown, 351
- Barrett Bishop, 335
In two weeks, the iRacing World of Outlaws ButtKicker Late Model Series returns for the second-to-last race of the year at Lincoln Speedway. This will be the first time the series takes to the 3/8 mile clay oval in Abbottstown, Pennsylvania. The series will take one week off next Monday in observance of Labor Day. Tune in for the show live on Monday, September 11, starting at 9 p.m. (ET) on DIRTVision and at twitch.tv/iracing.
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.