Illinois Racer Continues WoO Sim Success at Lernerville

SARVER, PA — On a wild Monday night at virtual Lernerville Speedway, Mike McKinney became the first repeat winner of a World of Outlaws Morton Buildings Late Model Series iRacing Invitational when he took advantage of a late-race incident and surged to the checkered flag ahead of Ashton Winger and Ethan Toedter.


While McKinney, of Plainfield, IL, was winning for the second time in three races, he’s been in the mix at nearly every event. But it was Winger, a full-time rookie-of-the-year contender on the World of Outlaws Morton Buildings Late Model tour, who had the most impressive run of the night as showcased on DIRTVision presented by Drydene.


Winger earlier finished third at The Dirt Track at Charlotte, but on Monday he had his work cut out for him, having to transfer from the VP Racing Fuels Last Chance Showdown into the Feature, where he then earned the Penske Racing Shocks Hard Charger award after motoring from 21st to second in a stunning result.


Winger’s wild night started in Drydene Heat 1, where he gassed it up on the outside pole, but drove off track in the opening laps, leaving him with a fifth-place result and a spot in the Last Chance Showdown, staring at long odds. Rarely in the virtual competitions has a driver come from so far back to nearly win the Feature, but Winger’s 19-place improvement was the biggest jump this year — real or simulated.


“I felt like I was pretty fast there, but I kinda did something dumb in that Heat race and drove off the racetrack,” Winger said in the Morton Buildings post-race interview.


At the drop of the green for the Feature, things looked much different out front. Kaeden Cornell jumped out to the early lead and showed the way through the first 10 laps before last Wednesday night’s FOX Sports 1 television winner Corey Gordon in the Drydene #0M car made a great move to Cornell’s outside on a restart to take command.


Chasing the leaders, McKinney and Cornell came together going down the backstretch into Turn 3 and spilled over the edge of Lernerville’s banking, sending both drivers back a few spots. McKinney recovered nicely and made it back to third before the next caution.


Gordon paraded the field around through several restarts over the next 20 laps while holding off multiple challenges by last Monday night’s DIRTVision winner Logan Seavey and McKinney. McKinney showed his strength on the low side after a restart on Lap 26, throwing a big slide job on Seavey into Turn 1 to take the spot. But a pivotal lap 31 restart with Gordon and McKinney on the front row quickly changed the scene out front.


As the field prepared to gas it up coming out of Turn 4, Gordon and Seavey came together, leaving Gordon on his roof by the end of the melee. After a caution for the race officials resetting the lineup, Gordon took the green at the tail end of the field on the restart with nine to go while Seavey restarted fifth.


Meanwhile, Winger had already made his charge from 21st up to ninth before the restart, using the restarts to his advantage, and dove to the very bottom of the track at the onset of the Lap-31 jam-up to jump all the way up to third.


At the final drop of the green, Winger went straight for the high side and battled it out side-by-side with Big-Block Modified driver Anthony Perrego, who got spun around with less than five laps remaining, leaving Winger with the second spot in the end. McKinney took charge at the point and smoothly led the field all the way back to the checkers on Lap 50 to collect the $1,000 victory.


“We had a really good car there I feel, with the drama or not,” McKinney said in the Morton Buildings post-race interview. “That restart there, I’m not really sure what happened, just some people playing some mind games there, I guess, with the starts.


“At the end of the day, though, we’re here for fun and have a good show. But we’re all racecar drivers and it doesn’t matter if we’re playing ping-pong, we’re super competitive and going to try and get every edge we can get on each other.”


Despite the stack-up on the Lap-31 restart and the unfortunate result for then-leader Gordon, McKinney said he may have had something for Gordon in the final laps had the melee not occurred.


“Right before that yellow, we weren’t running bad,” McKinney said. “I was able to enter in a little bit higher than [Gordon] and get a better run, I felt. So, it would have been interesting to see how it would have played out. I feel bad for him and everybody involved, it’s just a part of iRacing sometimes.”


As for Winger’s incredible drive from the rear, he even surprised himself on his big six-spot jump restart.


“Realistically, I only got to like ninth, and then everybody stacked up on that restart and then somehow I ended up in third,” Winger said. “I was pretty fast all night, but I really shouldn’t have ever been back there, other than the fact I drove off the racetrack like a dummy.


“I wish we were racing for real. This stuff is fun and it’s a cool deal for everybody watching at home, but I’m looking forward to going back to real racing.”


Crossing in third was a newcomer to the Invitational, Kentuckian Ethan Toedter. For his first race in a World of Outlaws iRacing Invitational, he was very happy with the solid podium finish. FS1 television winner Trent Ivey came home fourth after what he said was a tricky race to navigate through.


“It was a rough night,” Ivey said. “Lernerville’s a little tricky and we’re all still kinda getting used to this thing. I had a little bump-up on the restart, about 10 [laps] in, and had to go to the back, but slowly made our way back to the front.”


World of Outlaws Morton Buildings Late Model iRacing Invitational Results; April 13, 2020; Virtual Lernerville Speedway


Morton Buildings Feature (50 laps) — 1. 96-Mike McKinney [5][$1,000]; 2. 12-Ashton Winger [21]; 3. 29-Ethan Toedter [10]; 4. 88-Trent Ivey [6]; 5. 2-Nick Hoffman [20]; 6. 39-Kevin Swindell [17]; 7. 5-Chase Briscoe [4]; 8. 1-Logan Seavey [3]; 9. 95-Robbie Kendall [9]; 10. 14-Tyler Clem [19]; 11. 79-Kyle Hardy [8]; 12. 18-Anthony Perrego [11]; 13. 50-Kaeden Cornell [1]; 14. 991-David Seibers [13]; 15. 121-Michael Hensley [23]; 16. 32-Bobby Pierce [14]; 17. 11-Gordy Gundaker [24]; 18. 8-Timothy Culp [18]; 19. 35-Mike Mahaney [16]; 20. 0-Corey Gordon [2]; 21. 99-Matty Watkins [12]; 22. 15-Matt Shannon [22]; 23. 6-Nick Stroupe [7]; 24. 83-Zack Mitchell [15]. Lap leaders: Kaeden Cornell 1-9; Corey Gordon 10-30; Mike McKinney 31-35, 37-50; Ashton Winger 36. Penske Racing Shocks Hard Charger: Ashton Winger +19.

Racing Electronics Qualifying — 1. 50-Kaeden Cornell [14.608]; 2. 0-Corey Gordon [14.641]; 3. 1-Logan Seavey [14.652]; 4. 11-Tyler Reddick [14.655]; 5. 96-Mike McKinney [14.665]; 6. 88-Trent Ivey [14.665]; 7. 12-Ashton Winger [14.694]; 8. 55-Chris Hile [14.709]; 9. 95-Robbie Kendall [14.712]; 10. 5-Chase Briscoe [14.72]; 11. 39-Kevin Swindell [14.731]; 12. 99-Matty Watkins [14.733]; 13. 6-Nick Stroupe [14.734]; 14. 79-Kyle Hardy [14.762]; 15. 83-Zack Mitchell [14.767]; 16. 29-Ethan Toedter [14.771]; 17. 18-Anthony Perrego [14.781]; 18. 54-Larry Barber Jr2 [14.797]; 19. 991-David Seibers [14.803]; 20. 2-Carson Macedo [14.81]; 21. 49-Jake Timm [14.87]; 22. 35-Mike Mahaney [14.872]; 23. 10-Matt Dooley [14.877]; 24. 15-Matt Shannon [14.881]; 25. 111-Demetrios Drellos [14.889]; 26. 20-Ricky Thornton [14.901]; 27. 87-Ross Bailes [14.919]; 28. 11-Gordy Gundaker [14.926]; 29. 121-Michael Hensley [14.93]; 30. 8-Timothy Culp [14.943]; 31. 1-Devin Gilpin [14.965]; 32. 47-Eric Riggins [14.979]; 33. 28-Sam Mars [14.981]; 34. 7-Justin Allgaier [14.998]; 35. 1-John Volpe [15.001]; 36. 12-Jeff Curl [15.017]; 37. 14-Tyler Clem [15.034]; 38. 32-Bobby Pierce [15.068]; 39. 10-Garrett Alberson [15.084]; 40. 3-Austin  Dillon [15.139]; 41. 89-Mike Spatola [15.182]; 42. 71-Cruz Pedregon [15.202]; 43. 14-Britan Godsey [15.222]; 44. 0-Scott Bloomquist [15.266]; 45. 22-Chris Ferguson [15.3]; 46. 99-Larry Wight [15.335]; 47. 30-Adam Logan [15.349]; 48. 29-Spencer Diercks [17.973]; 49. 132-Trevor Herr [19.794]; 50. 2-Nick Hoffman [24.137]; 51. 6-Parker Martin [NT]; 52. 96-Tanner English [NT]; 53. 66-Matt Cosner [NT]; 54. 9-Devin Moran [NT].

Drydene Heat #1 (10 laps) — Top 3 Transfer — 1. 50-Kaeden Cornell [1]; 2. 6-Nick Stroupe [3]; 3. 991-David Seibers [4]; 4. 14-Tyler Clem [7]; 5. 12-Ashton Winger [2]; 6. 14-Britan Godsey [8]; 7. 111-Demetrios Drellos [5]; 8. 132-Trevor Herr [9]; 9. 1-Devin Gilpin [6].

EZ-GO Heat #2 (10 laps) — Top 3 Transfer — 1. 0-Corey Gordon [1]; 2. 79-Kyle Hardy [3]; 3. 32-Bobby Pierce [7]; 4. 2-Nick Hoffman [9]; 5. 0-Scott Bloomquist [8]; 6. 55-Chris Hile [2]; 7. 2-Carson Macedo [4]; 8. 20-Ricky Thornton [5]; 9. 47-Eric Riggins [6].

Comp Cams Heat #3 (10 laps) — Top 3 Transfer — 1. 1-Logan Seavey [1]; 2. 95-Robbie Kendall [2]; 3. 83-Zack Mitchell [3]; 4. 28-Sam Mars [6]; 5. 87-Ross Bailes [5]; 6. 10-Garrett Alberson [7]; 7. 6-Parker Martin [9]; 8. 49-Jake Timm [4]; 9. 22-Chris Ferguson [8].

Hoosier Racing Tire Heat #4 (10 laps) — Top 3 Transfer — 1. 5-Chase Briscoe [2]; 2. 29-Ethan Toedter [3]; 3. 35-Mike Mahaney [4]; 4. 11-Gordy Gundaker [5]; 5. 96-Tanner English [9]; 6. 3-Austin Dillon [7]; 7. 99-Larry Wight [8]; 8. 7-Justin Allgaier [6]; 9. 11-Tyler Reddick [1].

ARP Fasteners Heat #5 (10 laps) — Top 3 Transfer — 1. 96-Mike McKinney [1]; 2. 18-Anthony Perrego [3]; 3. 39-Kevin Swindell [2]; 4. 121-Michael Hensley [5]; 5. 66-Matt Cosner [9]; 6. 10-Matt Dooley [4]; 7. 89-Mike Spatola [7]; 8. 1-John Volpe [6]; 9. 30-Adam Logan [8].

Cometic Gaskets Heat #6 (10 laps) — Top 3 Transfer — 1. 88-Trent Ivey [1]; 2. 99-Matty Watkins [2]; 3. 8-Timothy Culp [5]; 4. 12-Jeff Curl [6]; 5. 71-Cruz Pedregon [7]; 6. 15-Matt Shannon [4]; 7. 54-Larry Barber Jr [3]; 8. 29-Spencer Diercks [8]; 9. 9-Devin Moran [9].

VP Racing Fuels Last Chance Showdown #1 (14 laps) — Top 3 Transfer — 1. 14-Tyler Clem [1]; 2. 12-Ashton Winger [4]; 3. 121-Michael Hensley [3]; 4. 87-Ross Bailes [5]; 5. 10-Garrett Alberson [8]; 6. 14-Britan Godsey [7]; 7. 6-Parker Martin [11]; 8. 22-Chris Ferguson [17]; 9. 111-Demetrios Drellos [10]; 10. 49-Jake Timm [14]; 11. 1-John Volpe [15]; 12. 132-Trevor Herr [13]; 13. 89-Mike Spatola [12]; 14. 66-Matt Cosner [6]; 15. 10-Matt Dooley [9]; 16. 28-Sam Mars [2]; 17. 30-Adam Logan [18]; 18. 1-Devin Gilpin [16].

Wrisco Industries Last Chance Showdown #2 (14 laps) — Top 3 Transfer — 1. 2-Nick Hoffman [1]; 2. 15-Matt Shannon [9]; 3. 11-Gordy Gundaker [2]; 4. 55-Chris Hile [7]; 5. 3-Austin Dillon [8]; 6. 99-Larry Wight [11]; 7. 71-Cruz Pedregon [6]; 8. 96-Tanner English [5]; 9. 47-Eric Riggins [16]; 10. 0-Scott Bloomquist [4]; 11. 54-Larry Barber Jr2 [12]; 12. 7-Justin Allgaier [14]; 13. 12-Jeff Curl [3]; 14. 29-Spencer Diercks [15]; 15. 2-Carson Macedo [10]; 16. 20-Ricky Thornton [13]; 17. 11-Tyler Reddick [17]; 18. 9-Devin Moran [18]


The World of Outlaws Morton Buildings® Late Model Series is brought to fans across the country by many important sponsors and partners, including: Drydene (Official Motor Oil), E-Z-GO Golf Carts (Official Golf Cart) Hoosier Racing Tire (Official Tire), iRacing (Official Online Racing Game), Morton Buildings (Official Building), Arizona Sport Shirts (Official Apparel Company), SIS Insurance (Official Insurance Provider) VP Racing Fuels (Official Racing Fuel); in addition to contingency sponsors, including: ARP Automotive Racing Products, Cometic Gasket, COMP Cams, DART, Penske Racing Shocks, Quarter Master, and Wrisco (Exclusive Racing Aluminum); along with manufacturer sponsors, including: Capital Race Cars, FireAde, Integra Shocks, Intercomp, Racing Electronics, Rocket Chassis and TNT Rescue.

Founded in 1978, the World of Outlaws®, based in Concord, NC, is the premier national touring series for dirt track racing in North America, featuring the most powerful cars on dirt, the World of Outlaws NOS® Energy Drink Sprint Car Series and the World of Outlaws Morton Buildings® Late Model Series. Annually, the two series race nearly 140 times at tracks across the United States and Canada. CBS Sports Network is the official broadcast partner of the World of Outlaws. DIRTVision® also broadcasts World of Outlaws events over the Internet to fans around the world. Learn more about the World of Outlaws.


-World of Outlaws Press Release

-Photo Credit: JZ iRacing Photography

Illinois Racer Continues WoO Sim Success at Lernerville