As the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic puts motorsports events around the world on hold, racing divisions have scrambled to bring drivers and fans a replacement of sorts: online racing.
The World of Outlaws Morton Buildings Late Model Series recently launched the iRacing Invitational for a series of special events. Rocket1 Racing tapped open wheel standout, Logan Seavey to pilot the virtual Rocket1 Racing entry.
Seavey has made the most of the opportunity, charging to a fifth-place finish in the Series opener last week, and on Monday night claiming a thrilling victory at (virtual) Knoxville Raceway.
Seavey took advantage of some contact between leaders Mike McKinney and Kaeden Cornell coming to the white flag to steal the lead, which he carried all the way back around in a dramatic side-by-side finish for his first win with the Late Models.
“It seemed like the longer the run went, the more I could keep up with them,” Seavey said in the Morton Buildings post-race interview. “But I knew to go by both of them, I’d have to get by when they were racing. Every time they got sliding each other, I was trying to dip to the bottom and capitalize on a mistake. Finally, they made one and I cut to the middle at the last minute and I could see them both behind me after that.”
Following a convincing heat race win, Seavey locked into the second starting spot for the 40-lap main event. Tightly the field stayed through the midway point of the race, several drivers in the top-five swapping spots through multiple caution flags on the way to the final 15 laps.
From lap 35 through 38, a total of six successful slide jobs were traded back-and-forth by leader, Mike McKinney and second running, Kaeden Cornell. Corner-after-corner they battled as Seavey wisely let them duke it out ahead of him as he stalked his prey on the topside right behind the two leaders, just waiting to pounce. As the three prepared to take the white flag, McKinney tried one last slide job on Cornell heading into Turn 3 and miscalculated, coming up into Cornell and making contact as Seavey slid by on the bottom as they crossed the flag stand. Down the backstretch the three raced, Cornell still on Seavey’s rear bumper as he threw his #1 virtual Rocket hard into Turn 3 and hit the inside berm. Cornell showed a big wheel to Seavey, who almost scraped the wall coming out of Turn 4 and pulled almost even with Seavey at the line as they banged wheels coming to the checkers.
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