CHARLOTTE, NC – William Byron has shown that he is the sharpest player in NASCARIRacing Series with its third victory in four events.
Byron passed Timmy Hill with seven laps left in the virtual Dover International Speedway, Where NASCAR was scheduled to actually race on Sunday, to win again on the iRacing platform. The Hendrick Motorsports driver has consistently been the best of NASCAR professionals in simulated racing.
Alex Bowman won last week at the virtual Talladega Superspeedway, so Hendrick's drivers won four consecutive iRacing events.
"I liked the iRacing series, but I'm definitely ready to get in my car for real," said Byron. "Competing with anything, whether it's a box car or anything with an engine, will give you confidence if you're winning."
He said that in all his years using iRacing, he has never been to such competitive events since NASCAR launched the esports series by invitation after the stock car series was suspended on March 13.
Denny Hamlin took pole in qualifying, but NASCAR successfully applied an invert – a failure last week prevented the top 10 from turning before the race started – so Ross Chastain cycled to the first point.
Hamlin had his race ruined last week when his daughter accidentally turned off the simulator's screen with a remote control she was holding while he competed. He made a point of hiding all remotes before Sunday's race, but after an incident with John Hunter Nemechek, he appeared to have been deliberately destroyed by Nemechek later in retaliation.
He brought a late warning and a restart with nine laps remaining and Hill leading Byron on the green flag.
Byron did not have to use the bump-and-run – the move Hill used in Byron to win the virtual race at the Texas Motor Speedway – and passed him easily inside, with seven laps remaining.
Hill finished in second and was sometimes shown running with his cat behind the wheel.
"William did a great job with this invitation from iRacing," said Hill. “I just wanted to have another victory. I had tremendous support from everyone in the running community for this; it was a blast and it really brought us together. We really had a lot of fun competing in all these races, but I can't wait to go back and see everyone's faces. "
NASCAR will complete its iRacing series next Saturday in the North Wilkesboro Speedway desert in North Carolina, a track contested by the national series in 1996. Weeded and clearly neglected, Dale Earnhardt Jr. led a group of volunteers in cleaning last year of the track, can be mapped for use in iRacing.
Although the simulated version of North Wilkesboro is not yet available to the public on the iRacing platform, it will be the virtual host for NASCARAnd final. We're back to the real thing for the stock car series, which plans to resume spectatorless competition starting May 17 at the Darlington Raceway in South Carolina.
Copyright © 2020 The Washington Times, LLC.