Tinsley Eager To Keep Improving In eNASCAR

Tinsley

Wyatt Tinsley is hoping to regain his momentum in the eNASCAR Coca-Cola iRacing Series. (Crowe Sim Shots photo)

HAMPTON, Va. – Despite a breakthrough win to open the eNASCAR Coca-Cola iRacing Series season, 18-year-old Wyatt Tinsley still feels like he has a lot of room to improve.

Tinsley, who drives for QuikTrip Pioneers Gaming – the eSports arm of the Kansas City Pioneers – in NASCAR’s only officially-sanctioned online championship, started off his sophomore season with a bang by earning his maiden victory in February’s season opener at the virtual Daytona (Fla.) Int’l Speedway.

Since then, however, it’s been a bit more of a “reality check” for the teenager as he’s navigated the first segment of the regular season.

Finishes of 21st at Las Vegas (Nev.) Motor Speedway, 11th at Atlanta (Ga.) Motor Speedway, and 36th after crashing out at his home track of Richmond (Va.) Raceway have brought Tinsley’s early-season momentum back down to earth and offered renewed motivation heading into segment two.

A positive for the young sim driver is that three of his four qualifying efforts have been inside the top five, showing that there’s speed to be had even if the results haven’t necessarily translated on paper.

“I feel like my performance through the first few races has been good, but the finishes don’t show the capability that we’ve had,” Tinsley told Motorsports Hotspot. “Richmond was a struggle, for sure. Our Norse Force Racing (Tinsley’s back-end team) setup was really good in the long run, but I never got a chance to show that because qualifying behaved differently than we expected it to. I was not prepared for that, I’ll admit, and got wrecked as a result.

“We’re not where we wanted to be at this point, but there’s still a lot of time to climb back up [the standings].”

Through four races, Tinsley ranks 14th in points, 42 back of regular season leader Casey Kirwan. In order to use his Daytona win for playoff eligibility, he must remain inside the top 20 in points after race 14 at Pennsylvania’s Pocono Raceway.

Some drivers might say that having a win in their pocket allows them to race differently and pursue playoff points through the remainder of the regular season, but Tinsley knows that his proximity to the cutoff line means that he has to “race smart” in the weeks to come.

“Yes and no,” said Tinsley when asked if he’s going to change his approach at all. “You can’t be too aggressive, but one of my main goals is that I want to do better and prove that I have the skills to compete [week in and week out] in the series.

“We’ve got that first win out of the way, but now it’s about building consistency and trying to run up front every race.”

The series is headed to the virtual Brands Hatch Circuit on Tuesday, April 9 for its 250th race overall, with coverage streamed through eNASCAR.com/live starting at 7:30 p.m. ET.

It’s the start of a five-race swing that includes a road course (Brands Hatch), a one-mile oval (Dover Motor Speedway), a drafting track (Talladega Superspeedway), and two intermediate ovals (Charlotte Motor Speedway and Darlington Raceway).

While Tinsley hopes he can find success across the board, he does have certain target races in this segment that he’s hoping to capitalize on, knowing that a second win would lock him into the playoffs as long as he finishes inside the top-20 threshold.

“I am more looking at the mile-and-a-half [at Charlotte] and Talladega, because those are my strongest tracks I feel like, but I still have to practice and put in the work,” he said. “I feel better than I did at this point last year, because I have won obviously, but I still feel pace wise that I’m just a bit off where I want to be and have to continue to push forward.

“I know that if I put in max effort to better myself and my mental game that we’ll be successful at this level, and that’s a process that we’ll keep working on going into the summer.”

Newsletter Banner

The ultimate entertainment platform for race fans and collectors to collect, buy, sell, and trade digital MP4 collectible racing cards. RFD is designed to give all racers in all series a chance to promote their brand and connect with fans in the digital world

ENROLL NOW!

For Race Face Digital merchandise please visit our online store!

Don't forget to follow Race Face Digital on social media.

About Jacob Seelman

Jacob Seelman is Motorsports Hotspot’s News Editor and Race Face Digital’s Director of Content, as well as a veteran of more than a decade in the racing industry as a professional, though he’s spent his entire life in the garage and pit area.