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Steven Wilson came in second place in the eNASCAR Coca-Cola iRacing Series playoff finale on Tuesday, cruising to the series championship during an in-person showdown at the NASCAR Hall of Fame in Charlotte.
The victory at a virtual Homestead-Miami Speedway brings with it a $100,000 prize and the Dale Earnhardt Jr. Cup.
Wilson, one of the Championship 4 who competed in the finale last year, earned his first eNASCAR series title and the first eNASCAR championship for Stewart-Haas Racing. It was the fifth year in a row that a first-time champion was crowned in the 14-year-old series.
Donovan Strauss, from Marietta, Ga., drove the No. 51 Chevrolet to his first eNASCAR race win, topping Wilson's No. 10 Ford by 0.346 second. Parker White came in third in the No. 11 Toyota, Graham Bowlin placed fourth in the No. 48 Toyota and Jordy Lopez captured fifth place in the No. 3 Chevrolet.
Wilson, an Iowa City resident, said, "I can't believe I'm in this situation. ... We qualified top six as a team and we knew right then we were good. Knowing that the closest (competitor among the Championship 4) was in 15th was obviously a big help. And hoping the race goes green, hoping we don't get crashes, and we were just really good."
Speaking about having his family in person at last year's finale, when he came up short, Wilson said, "You've got to have lows to have highs. They are unbelievable. I love them so much. They came all the way here from Iowa, drove here just to see me race on the stage, which is unbelievable."
Asked about plans for his $100,000 windfall, Wilson said, "I'm in college still. I'll probably go party this weekend. That'll be goal No. 1. We'll see what happens down the road."
NASCAR driver William Byron presented the trophy to Wilson.
"Steven's really fast," Byron said. "He did a great job, flawless race and qualifying well, so it was good to watch."
The other Championship competitors who couldn't catch Wilson were Tucker Minter, Nick Ottinger and Garrett Lowe.
--Field Level Media