Alex McCollum was in contention to win the fixed setup Virtual Snowball Derby two weeks ago before his race was derailed. The eNASCAR Coca-Cola iRacing Series competitor finished the job on Sunday with the open setup, taking the win over a stout field of sim racing competitors.
Even with older tires than the rest of the field, McCollum held off a pair of Ryan’s in Ryan Matthews and Ryan Kuhn in a green-white-checkered to score the win at the virtual Five Flags Speedway. He took the lead from Kuhn for the final time with 32 to go and held on to the end with over 130-lap old tires.
“This car was a rocket all day. I honestly can’t believe it, I’ve been trying to win a couple of these Snowball Derbies on iRacing and I’m so stoked to finally get one,” McCollum said on the Speed51.TV broadcast. “I just can’t believe it.
“It means a lot. Everybody was looking forward to this race when it came out. We went to work and this car was a rocket, it pretty much drove itself. That’s how good it was.”
McCollum had the fastest car on the virtual track once again, without the bad luck that came in the fixed setup race two weeks ago. The only thing he could ask for at the end was the lack of a caution.
“I think internet issues costed me that race. I went out and fixed my internet so I wouldn’t have any more problems with future races. Overall, this was a good race. I wish it went green though because it would’ve been pretty good.”
Ryan Matthews helped push McCollum to the lead on lap 278, and soon followed him into second. Overall, he couldn’t keep up with McCollum on the late restarts.
“He was fast all race and I just felt like if we could get a good restart and stay with him coming to the line, I would have had a little bit better shot than what I did there,” said Matthews. “He just got a huge jump on me.”
Matthews experienced a similar situation as McCollum with tire wear, albeit earlier in the race. He was also on old tires when he took the lead on track at around the 100 to go mark.
“We had a good car in the beginning, but still not all the way there. We went on a different pit strategy early in the race. When I got to the lead there around lap 200 we were on the oldest tires on the track with the best car. It’s weird how the tires work on iRacing.”
“It hurt me to see Alex drive away like that but it was a good race, I’m glad we finished second.”
Kuhn, ARCA Menards Series East driver Parker Retzlaff and defending Virtual Snowball Derby winner Devon Morgan rounded out the top-five.
Click here to watch a replay of the Speed51 eSports Virtual Snowball Derby.
-Story by: Koty Geyer, Speed51 National Correspondent – Twitter: @kgeyer3