Lapcevich Victorious in an Attrition-Filled All-American eSports 400

By Seth Eggert, Staff Writer

NASCAR Pinty’s Series driver Treyten Lapcevich capped off a weekend of competition on iRacing with a win in the All-American eSports 400 at the virtual Fairgrounds Speedway Nashville.

Lapcevich started the 300-lap race mid-pack in 18th. 28 cautions aided his bid to move up through the field in his virtual No. 32 Reaper Speedlab Super Late Model. Lapcevich didn’t take the lead until 12 laps to go in the scheduled distance. A difference in tire life gave the 17-year-old the advantage over late-race leader Ryan Matthews. 

A late-race caution forced Lapcevich to have to fight off charges from ARCA Menards Series East driver Parker Retzlaff, Matthews and Total Advantage Motorsports’ founder Landon Huffman. Lapcevich kept the fresh tires of Retzlaff at bay in a green, white, checkered finish. He crossed the line 0.103 seconds ahead of his Bobby Dale Earnhardt Legacy eSports teammate.

Lapcevich’s win marked a rebound from last year’s inaugural running of the All-American eSports 400. In 2020 he was just shy of taking the victory. It also marked an in-race rebound as Lapcevich was penalized on a restart around the halfway mark. Like the real-life All-American 400, the winner receives a guitar as a trophy.

“It feels great, definitely redemption after being so close there last year,” explained Lapcevich. “The whole Podium crew put on a heck of an event. It was great for strategy to come into play like that. Ultimately made the right calls to put ourselves in the right position. Definitely not the fastest car. 

“At halfway I got the black flag on a restart there. Thought my race was done. I was really happy that I saved the right-side tires for the end. Had to make sure we didn’t slide the tires off the corner to be able to go as long as we wanted to on those right-sides.”

Matthews finished third with Huffman fourth and former eNASCAR Coca-Cola iRacing Series driver Alex McCollum rounding out the top-five. McCollum was the polesitter and led the most laps of the race, 118.

Steele Lankford, Thomas Axsom, Luke Baldwin, Peyton Hamlett, and Mark Keeteman completed the top-10. Keeteman was the hard charger of the race, climbing from 28th to 10th.

Only 17 of the 35 starters were running at the finish of the 2021 running of the All-American eSports 400. The ‘big one’ took place on lap 51. Seven cars piled into a wreck on the backstretch shortly after a restart.

As part of the All-American eSports 400 weekend on Podium eSports, several support races took place. Former eNASCAR Coca-Cola iRacing Series driver Alex McCollum won the Legends Cars race. Retzlaff won the ‘Stadium Stock’ race, a race that featured the 1987 NASCAR stock cars, and the Pro Late Model race. 

NASCAR Camping World Truck Series driver Derek Kraus won the Street Stock race.

Other notables in the race were, Midwest Sim Racing Association’s Logan Helton, and Monday Night Racing Road to Glory driver Presley Sorah.

Two international drivers took part in the All-American eSports 400, Lapcevich, the race’s winner from Canada, and Guillaume Hesnault of France. Hesnault finished 20th, 15 laps down after getting swept up in an incident.