Bobby Zalenski is a big name in the eNASCAR scene, but his passion stems from his biggest supporter.
“This darn thing is lagging again,” says the man furiously in front of his screen. “Why now?” Disappointed, he tries to reload the YouTube stream. The title reads ‘2020 eNASCAR Coca-Cola iRacing Series | Charlotte Roval.’
“Unbelievable, they get hundreds of thousands of dollars and can’t provide a chance for me to watch my son punch his ticket for the championship.” The man mumbles as the bright red logo of YouTube flashes on the screen. Again the connection fails. He can’t help but wonder how Bobby is doing. Of course, this track is one of Bobby’s specialties. Racing on road courses can be demanding, but Bobby seems to have figured it out. He’s so proud.
As the loading screen keeps updating, the man remembers how he taught Bobby math with small NASCAR die-casts. They added the numbers and found the car with the correct sum.
“I jokingly say: ‘that’s the reason I am so good with doing math during the race. I do that all in my head,” Bobby Zalenski personally said.
The picture is slowly coming back. That reminds the man of the earlier days when Bobby used to race in these smaller series with close to no production value behind their streams. The picture used to look like that a lot. “Come on. Can you go?!”. Ever since he saw Bobby get his setup and start on iRacing, he has been his biggest fan. There is not a race he would miss. For him, his son is what he used to watch on TV. He’s so damn proud.
Finally, a sign of life from the eNASCAR stream. The man hears the caster say: “And Zalenski pulls away comfortably with ten laps past.” That fills him with joy. Seeing Bobby achieving his fourth playoff run in a row was great. If he got in his second final, it would be even sweeter. A possible championship would be incredible. The chance will be there. The man knows it, after Bobby crosses the line in first. Therefore, Bobby earned himself a place in the grand finale at Homestead. The man couldn’t be more proud of his son.
Bobby Zalenski and his father are very close. Bobby himself said:
“He is my biggest supporter. He watches every race and has been watching since the get-go. He has been a big part of this.”
One could only imagine the emotions of both, should Bobby complete the championship run this year. This would be the fruit of a lot of work and dedication. Something Bobby is known for.
A driver on double duty
If you ask anyone from the eNASCAR scene: ‘Who wins X road course race?’, the usual response is ‘Including, or excluding Bobby Zalenski?’. That is not without reason. The young Californian is close to unstoppable on these tracks. From his eight career victories, six came by way of road course races.
As a short explanation: A road course race is a usual racetrack like Spa or Brands Hatch. NASCAR examples of these would be Circuit of the Americas or Daytona Road Course. Rovals fall under the same category. These are tracks where at least part of the oval is preserved when driving the track. An example of that would be the aforementioned Charlotte Roval.
Bobby Zalenski’s domination of these races can be traced back to his beginnings in gaming. At this time, Bobby “hit the light,” as he calls it.
“A group of friends and me would play the F1 2013. Still with a controller. games online on occasion back in the day. One day, a friend of mine chose another guy over me to drive in a team. I’m not going to lie; that fired me up. So I went and did some time trials. After that, I went and won every race I wasn’t winning before. It suddenly became fun to try hard, and I just continued doing that on iRacing as well.”
But Bobby is not keen on being called a favorite in any capacity.
“I’m not blind. I know I have a target on my back. It’s kind of annoying. Most people are like, ‘Oh, you’re going to win and all this stuff’. They don’t see how much effort I gotta put in. They just see my record and think it comes naturally to me.”
Even though that holds true, it is undeniable that Bobby Zalenski is a special breed of NASCAR driver. Currently, the only one that also races in the other premier iRacing series: the 2020 Porsche TAG Heuer Esports Supercup. As for where his priorities are, Bobby is very clear: “I just don’t have the time to practice as much for the Porsche series. The eNASCAR series is my main focus, and it will continue to be like that.”
One thing is for sure, no matter what Bobby’s future looks like. There will be wins, celebrations, and a proud father involved. Bobby Zalenski will compete for all the marbles next week when he enters the eNASCAR Coca-Cola iRacing Series final at Homestead. Something you should absolutely not miss!
Follow Bobby Zalenski on Twitter: @bobbyzalenski!
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