By Seth Eggert, Staff Writer
Jacob Harberts captured the $250 prize in the Maconi Setup Shop Final Showdown at the virtual Atlanta Motor Speedway.
Harberts started the race in third. His virtual No. 80 Chevrolet SS sported a throwback paint scheme to Jimmie Johnson’s Lowe’s No. 48. Meanwhile Monday Night Racing Road to Glory competitor Presley Sorah dominated the race. Sorah’s race unraveled after the only round of green flag pit stops.
Harberts took the lead during the pit cycle with the undercut. Sorah attempted to chase him down, clipping a lapped car in the process. Both the lapped car and Sorah spun into the inside wall, changing the complexion of the race. The Monday Night Racing Road to Glory driver ultimately rebounded to finish fifth.
Meanwhile, Harberts never looked back after taking the lead. Multiple cautions and high tire wear allowed him to control the lead for the final third of the race. The final 40-lap run to the finish went caution free. Harberts cruised comfortably to the win as well as the prizes of a $250 check and an iRacingiFlag pit box. He won by 1.211 seconds over Troy Sabott.
“Surely after 325 laps I’m definitely very relieved because it was a long event,” Harberts explained. “I was really excited to have a good long run car throughout the race. Feel like I gave away my strategy early on saving tires as much as I was. A few other drivers seemed to pick up on it. Luckily, we were able to get some good track position at the end between those long runs that we had. We were just able to capitalize on it at the end.
“Felt like I made a good move there during green flag pit stops. Got fairly lucky with that caution flag coming out when it did. (Sorah) was reeling me back in with his fresher tires. I was sitting really comfortable holding that lead. Unfortunately, I had a slow pit stop, which let him get back in front of me. I had a better long run car than him the whole race. Needed a run to get around him for sure. His short run speed was hard for me to match.”
Among the names in the included eNASCAR Coca-Cola iRacing Series driver and Maconi Setup Shop builder Zack Novak, Podium eSports’ Terry Radford, and Monday Night Racing and Kickin’ the Tires Staff Writer Seth Eggert.
Novak received a pit road speeding penalty during the only round of green flag pit stops, taking him out of competition. Radford was swept up in the first two accidents of the race. Eggert meanwhile cruised around the track to a 15th-place finish in his virtual No. 57 Kickin’ the Tires Chevrolet SS.
The race was a sendoff for the old version of Atlanta Motor Speedway. The newer superspeedway version of Atlanta is expected to be released prior to the eNASCAR race scheduled there.
“We chose Atlanta Motor Speedway for this event before we even had a car or layout nailed down,” explained Jeff Maconi. “We were in the works on another event that is looking to make a revival soon. When that fell through, we wanted to put on an event still, even if it meant funding it entirely via Maconi Setup Shop and our awesome sponsors, like The Sim Racer Movie, Martin Sports, and iRacingiFlag.
“Since Atlanta is being repaved and will have an entirely new style of racing, feeling more like a superspeedway than an intermediate track, this event was an homage to the track’s legacy as one of the most difficult tracks to master, that left everything in the hands of the driver. Additionally, The Sim Racer Movie’s crew is based out of the Atlanta area, so it was a perfect opportunity for us to do some cross-promotion for the film!”
Maconi and the Maconi Setup Shop, along with Podium eSports, will have more events coming up in the future.
Featured Photo Credit: Photo by Seth Eggert / Kickin’ the Tires.