William Byron wins the Virtual Bristol; Bubba Wallace’rage stops at the start of the race


CHARLOTTE, N.C. – William Byron led the most laps in the first two NASCAR virtual races and had nothing to show for his playing skills. The third time he won.

Byron easily won the iRacing event on Sunday at the virtual Bristol Motor Speedway, where NASCAR would have really raced before the coronavirus pandemic caused the sport to stop.

“Some things are different, but many things are similar and it’s a circuit I’ve always loved to visit,” said Byron. “It’s fun to have some pressure on iRacing; I usually run it for fun and improvement. “

NASCAR changed the format this week and started with qualifying for a single car to set the stage for a pair of 50-lap heat races. These heat races determined the starting order. Byron started from pole and was never challenged.

Entertainment came again from the pilots, most of whom broadcast their gaming experiences for fans to spy on the action and the arguments. Clint Bowyer was the race reporter and again delivered a hilarious performance.

“I had Bubbaed! Bowyer shouted after being moved by Bubba Wallace. “I really need a beer. “

Wallace appeared to be in “rage to quit” after the incident. “That’s why I don’t take it (shit) seriously. Peace, “said Wallace on his play stream.

After fans tore him up on Twitter, he laughed at the seriousness some people take iRacing with his response.

“I ruined so many people’s day by quitting … a video game,” he wrote. “Bahaha. A video game. Damn, life in quarantine is tough. He also admitted that he had resigned in a second position.

Blue-Emu, one of Wallace’s sponsors, was apparently not happy. “Goodbye Bubba. We are concerned with drivers, not dropouts, ”said a tweet about the topical pain reliever account. The company added a second tweet using the image of Donald Trump pronouncing his slogan “You are fired” from “The apprentice”.

Seven-time NASCAR champion Jimmie Johnson fired his spotter within 20 laps of the race after falsely saying he was away from another car, and then crashed. Erik Jones had internet problems that caused him to miss qualifying, and Daniel Suarez was stationed for the second week in a row and was joined this time by Kyle Larson after the two got tangled up on the right track.

Suarez was not happy, complaining that Larson should have been disqualified as he was last week “and about our” race incident “, he pushed me on the apron … if it was real life, my amigo would get hers, but he would be hit, “he tweeted.

Hendrick Motorsports became the first team to actively involve its sponsors in virtual racing by hosting a live conference with Elliott and Alex Bowman with guests who were typically pre-race visited with drivers in a hospitality suite on Track.

Teams and drivers are doing everything in their power to advance the sport, as all incoming revenues have frozen. Landon Cassill signed a sponsor for his iRacing and had the Blue-Emu logos prominently behind him while he was running. He also showed fans his borrowed platform to help the simulation company sell the installation.

IRacing has been a savior for the motorsport industry – IndyCar launched a series a week after NASCAR, and Saturday’s second race aired on NBC Sports – and the first two NASCAR television events have both established esports records. More than a million people watched last week when Fox made the race available to affiliates and also broadcast it nationwide on its cable channel.

For Timmy Hill, winner of last week’s virtual race, the series gave him sudden exposure. Joyce Julius & Associates, who measures and analyzes all forms of media, said Hill received just two television reports when the race was suspended four races in the season. The company found that it had 46 mentions in its race to victory and noted that “the Pro Invitational Series puts the spotlight on drivers who generally do not get it.

NASCAR during the broadcast broadcast a public service announcement featuring several high-level drivers thanking front-line health workers. The sanctioning body donated face shields made on the five 3D printers at its research center, and several other industry participants produced personal protective equipment or made donations of some sort.

Rita Wilson, who, along with husband Tom Hanks, recovered from the new coronavirus, sang the national anthem from her home in California. The summons was made by Darrell Waltrip, 12-time winner of Bristol, and Rob Gronkowski and Mojo Rawley instructed drivers to start their (virtual) engines from WrestleMania.

The race was plagued by early precautions and the drivers get two resets to repair their damaged cars. Due to all the crashes, iRacing officials halfway through all the restarts in one file to clean up the action. He met with mixed reviews, as Parker Kligerman noted on his stream, “It changes everything. NASCAR from 2007, we’re back, “but Hill was less satisfied. Mired in traffic, he said, “It doesn’t do anything. We have a lot of work to do. “


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