Friday, June 9, 2023

Anthony Alfredo Takes Electric Win, While Crashing, in Monday Night Racing Sunrise 500

Anthony Alfredo wins Monday Night Racing 2022 Sunrise 500 at Daytona
This was the insane finish, which saw Anthony Alfredo grab the win in the Monday Night Racing Season 5 season opener at virtual Daytona.

Holy cow. What in the world did we just watch?!?!

In a breathtaking finish, it was real-world NASCAR Xfinity Series competitor Anthony Alfredo who struck pay dirt in the Interstate Batteries Monday Night Racing Season 5 season-opening Sunrise 500 at virtual Daytona International Speedway.

On the final lap of the race, Alfredo had pushed fellow real-world NASCAR Competitor Parker Kligerman to the lead of the race, but coming off of turn 4, Alfredo made his move to the inside for the race win.

As Kligerman attempted to block, Alfredo held his ground, which sent Kligerman spinning across Alfredo’s front bumper. The two made more contact, which sent Alfredo back up across the track, where he made hard contact at the finish line with George Balfanz Jr.

The slam at the line between Alfredo and Balfanz led to Alfredo edging out the win over Belfanz by just 0.014 sec.

INCREDIBLE! And as wild as it was to watch, it was equally as wild for Alfredo who lived it.

“Honestly, it was insane,” Alfredo explained to the Podium eSports broadcast team. “I’ve lost a lot of speedway Next Gen races from either being the leader — because you’re a sitting duck — or being maybe a couple of spots further back and making a run too early.”

On the final run of the race, Alfredo played things perfectly to give himself a shot to win.

“I had really good connection with Parker,” Alfredo said. “I was able to push him really well, so, I felt I was in a good spot there. And I knew I didn’t want to expose my right side to anybody. I just tried to keep the engine cool so that I could lock onto him on the last lap, and get away from everyone — keep them behind us — and be able to put myself in a position to make a move at the end.”

This was Alfredo’s first race with his new sponsor, ProSeller8, and he is now locked into the Monday Night Racing Season 5 Playoffs.

For Balfanz, he was just trying to keep the momentum for the high line going over the final few laps of the race.

“Coming to 10 to go, five to go, my commitment to the outside was to keep it rolling,” Balfanz explained. “Try to stay as close to Alfredo as I could, because you try to maximize our runs on the outside and minimize the runs on the inside. Because if they were able to clear us, somebody was going to come up and we would have to check up.”

Balfanz says his car began overheating with just a few laps left, so he did the best he could to put himself in a spot to potentially snag the win.

“Three laps to go, I was getting hot, so I had to back off a little bit. On the last lap, I got it cooled down and got a good run,” Balfanz said. “Then I saw, coming out of turn 4 on my screen, Alfredo hit the wall, and that’s why I turned down on corner exit. I think it’s one of those, hindsight is 20/20, but if I stayed up to the top, I think I would have had enough momentum…”

Behind race-winner Alfredo and the runner-up finisher Balfanz were Brad Perez, Kligerman and Matt Stallknecht finished with a solid fifth-place effort.

Steve Auffant, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Ryan Vargas, Rajah Caruth and Matt Bussa rounded out the top-10 finishers in the race.

Monday’s race was wreck-filled and the finish seemed to be fitting of what transpired leading up to the ultimate dash for the finish, but overall the race was an exciting one.

Season 4 champion and series runner-up Adam Cabot and David Schildhouse suffered miserable finishes on Monday night.

Schildhouse lost the lead draft in the closing laps and limped home to 23rd in the DoorDash/ Chevrolet Camaro. Cabot came home a disappointing 23rd.

The second race of the Summer 2022 schedule for the Interstate Batteries Monday Night Racing Series will take place on May 9th. The Series will run the Mazda MX-5’s and they will compete at Martinsville Speedway in that event.

If you missed Monday night’s race, you can watch the race in it’s entirety, here:

Here is the complete finishing order for the 2022 Sunrise 500:

  1. 23-Anthony Alfredo
  2. 94-George Balfanz Jr.
  3. 60-Brad Perez
  4. 75-Parker Kligerman
  5. 41-Matt Stallknecht
  6. 11-Steve Auffant
  7. 8-Dale Earnhardt Jr.
  8. 6-Ryan Vargas
  9. 13-Rajah Caruth
  10. 34-Matt Bussa
  11. 2-Robby Lyons
  12. 1-Gary Sexton
  13. 14-Dillon Welch
  14. 75-Landon Huffman
  15. 46-Steven Ellis
  16. 86-Collin Fern
  17. 84-Kase Kallenbach
  18. 42-Preston Pardus
  19. 10-DJ Cummings
  20. 99-Mark Rebilas
  21. 07-Ford Martin
  22. 12-Brandon Brown
  23. 20-David Schildhouse
  24. 4-Brett Baldeck
  25. 24-Nick Olsen
  26. 29-James Bickford
  27. 53-Justin Melillo
  28. 63-Boris Cook
  29. 28-Ron Capps
  30. 21-Max Kennon
  31. 55-Will Rodgers
  32. 17-Adam Cabot
  33. 7-Malik Ray
  34. 58-Charli Brown
  35. 50-Gabe Wood
  36. 5-Bailey Turner
  37. 6-TJ Majors
  38. 98-Presley Sorah
  39. 97-Shane Van Gisbergen
  40. 43-Leighton Sibille
  41. 88-Mike Clay
  42. 46-Dekotah Curtis
  43. 47-Conor Daly
  44. 31-Bernard Pollard Jr. (DoorDash Last Place Finisher)
  45. 33-Ruben Garcia (DNQ)
Toby Christie
Toby Christie
Toby is the Founder, and Editor-in-Chief of Toby is also the co-host of The Final Lap Weekly Podcast. Additionally, he is a NMPA (National Motorsports Press Association) award-winning writer, and has followed the sport as a fan since 1993.

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