This week the Signature E-Sports Cup Series ran the JJ Watt Foundation Texas 300. Which put on display the skills of the drivers in the SESC. Let’s break down the key events of the JJ Watt Foundation Texas 300 brought to you by Bulldog Sports Cards and Collectibles.
Starting on the Pole was Mario Merenda driver of the #99 Lights Out eSports Ford Mustang. It took no time for him to jump off into the lead, securing the position by the exit of turn two. He would continue to run out front of the pack for awhile being challenged time to time by Hank Castin driver of the #36 Dark Horse Racing Chevrolet Camaro and Bryan Wertz driver of the #82 Ford Mustang.
The First Caution of the night would be thrown on lap 20 when Matt Jorgensen driver of the #80 Dikkin Flikka Racing Ford Mustang would get loose in the apex of turns one and two causing him to turn on the exit of two into the inside safer barrier. This would put an end to the race for a small number of cars who came together trying to avoid the spinning Jorgensen. This caution would allow the #36 of Hank Castin to take the lead.
Only a short ten laps later the second caution would be thrown when Joe Sanchez driver of the #55 Ford Mustang would come into the start of turn three on the high side three wide, in a lapse of judgment he would come down the track into Shayne Wyatt driver of the #1 Lights Out eSports Toyota Camry, this would also collect a handful of cars; ending their nights earlier than hoped for.
The battle for the lead following the restart on lap 36 would see a new leader take position out in front of the field, this would be Lawson Peel driver of the #25 Chevrolet Camaro. His lead would not last long however when he was passed on the inside exiting the trioval by the #36 of Hank Castin on lap 42.
After hard racing for the lead ensued the third caution of the night would come out on lap 48 after Josh Klinger driver of the #18 checked up in turn four after making contact with the back of #20 Ryan Wilson. Both Klinger and Wilson were able to keep the cars straight it would be short-lived for Klinger. While he was checking up the #3 of Eric Shaffer would get underneath the 18 and get his car loose sending Klinger down the track into an onrushing car. This incident would only end the day of Klinger but would involve a shortlist of drivers as well.
The race would stay green for a 30 lap run until the fourth caution was brought out when the #69 of Daryl Paget would touch the wall just past the start-finish line this would propel him down the track and into the #22 of Clint Leatherwood causing a large impact on the inside safer barrier.
The fifth caution of the night would come out on lap 83 when the #96 of Chris Roberge hit the outside wall in the middle of the trioval this propelled him down the track into the #56 of Michael Newbraugh sending the pair through the infield and down pit road where Newbraugh would exit and collect multiple cars as he came back up the track still trying to regain control.
Although the race had been broken into sections by the many cautions that had been brought out the battle for the lead was unwavering. The lead still belonged to the #36 of Hank Castin who was battling for every inch of the lead he was holding. This battle would be between the #36 of Hank Castin and the #41 of Matt Lovett, the pair would duel from lap 87 up to lap 146.
The race had stayed under green flag racing for a considerable amount of time until the sixth caution was brought out on lap 170. As became a common theme with the JJ Watt Foundation Texas 300 driver of the #4 Tony Kivett came down the track at the same time the #97 of Ken Macarthur moved up the track. Trying to avoid contact Tony went just a little too much up the track and into the outside safer barrier, which shot him down the track into the back right corner of the #66 of Colin Ziemer. This turned Ziemer back up the track into the outside wall where he was along for the ride as multiple cars were collected in the late-race caution.
As if the cautions had not been abundant, the seventh caution came out with 25 laps to go. The front of the pack would exit turn four three-wide but that would not last very long. It all came to a crashing halt when the #82 of Bryan Wertz got lose on the outside causing him to hit the dreaded outer wall just enough to get sent down the track with help from the onrushing #99 of Mario Merenda. This wreck happened only two cars away from the leaders #34 Wayne Lowe and #36 Hank Castin, both skimmed by untouched, however the same could not be said for the plethora of cars that had just been destroyed.
Not but five laps later the eighth and final caution would be thrown before turn one of the restart. This was caused when the #3 of Eric Shaffer tried to get a nose outside of the #39 of Zach Comella, which caused both drivers to turn up the track and collect the #66 of Colin Ziemer in the process.
The final restart would begin with 15 laps to go. The #36 of Hank Castin would jump to an early lead but had to make sure he was diligent about working hard to block both the high and low side which both came with tremendous runs for the #36. But in the end there was not enough anyone could do, hank would come out of turn four to take the checkered flag.
The top five finished as follows:
1st Hank Castin 2nd Lawson Peel 3rd Wayne Lowe 4th Chris Roberge 5th Ryan Wilson
The JJ Watt Foundation Texas 300 was an action-packed and eventful race, full of cautions and hard green flag racing. The race at Texas really proved that the talent running through the drivers in the Signature E-Sports Cup is unmatched.
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