Joe Gibbs Racing’s Denny Hamlin surged in the closing laps to defeat Dale Earnhardt Jr. in Sunday’s eNASCAR iRacing Pro Invitational Series Dixie Vodka 150 from Homestead-Miami Speedway. Broadcast live on FS1, the first event to showcase real-world NASCAR drivers on iRacing saw 35 of the world’s best drivers take on 100 challenging laps of the popular Florida oval, and featured a thrilling finish worthy of the build-up.

“First thing I did, I got out of the rig and I came up and watched the last six laps to kind of see what was going on,” Hamlin admitted after the race. “I can’t see everything when I’m sitting in the car, but certainly I was intrigued to see the last six laps and see what it looked like on TV. I thought it looked great. My first reaction 10 seconds in to watching it was like, I asked the people around me, I was like, ‘Do you believe this is not real.’ Like it looks so real. That part was really cool.”

Sunday’s field included a mix of iRacing veterans like William Byron, Timmy Hill, and Parker Kligerman, as well as newcomers like Kurt Busch and seven-time NASCAR Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson. Racing from the FOX Sports studios in Charlotte was Clint Bowyer, who joined Mike Joy, Jeff Gordon, and Larry McReynolds as Sunday’s in-race reporter.

The action started with a heat race for NASCAR Xfinity and Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series drivers, with 11 racers looking to earn six transfer spots to join the 29 NASCAR Cup Series drivers that earned automatic berths. Ty Majeski, who boasts an iRating of more than 10,000 on multiple accounts on the service, scored the victory, while Garrett Smithley earned the pole in the subsequent qualifying session. He wouldn’t lead the first lap, though, as Byron jumped out to an early lead, holding the point for a race-high 28 laps.

While a number of early cautions slowed down the race, and many top drivers were forced to use resets to get back in the thick of the battle, the iRacing veterans established themselves as front-runners in the closing stages of the race. Smithley and Hill found themselves first and second with under 20 to go, but Earnhardt Jr. methodically reeled them in, with Hamlin not far behind.

Earnhardt Jr. made what looked like it would be the pass with just a few laps remaining, but Hamlin—who, like Earnhardt Jr., owns a team in the eNASCAR Coca-Cola iRacing Series for professional sim racers—got an excellent run on the final lap to set up a photo finish. Earnhardt Jr. tried to maintain the spot, but had to take evasive action to avoid contact, and was eventually beaten to the line by .152 seconds. Hill, Chase Briscoe, and Smithley completed the top five.

Dixie Vodka 150 Results

Full results from Sunday’s eNASCAR iRacing Pro Invitational Series Dixie Vodka 150 from Homestead-Miami Speedway were as follows:

Fin.

St.

No.

Driver

Manufacturer

Laps

Led

Interval

Best

1 9 11 Denny Hamlin Toyota 100 14 0 31.697
2 5 8 Dale Earnhardt Jr Chevrolet 100 14 -0.152 31.714
3 7 66 Timmy Hill Toyota 100 13 -0.186 31.668
4 6 98 Chase Briscoe Ford 100 7 -0.189 31.754
5 1 51 Garrett Smithley Chevrolet 100 24 -0.366 31.661
6 12 88 Alex W Bowman Chevrolet 100 0 -0.717 31.739
7 18 43 Bubba Wallace Chevrolet 100 0 -0.859 31.737
8 13 37 Ryan Preece Chevrolet 100 0 -1.185 31.696
9 3 45 Ty Majeski Chevrolet 100 0 -1.389 31.692
10 25 20 Erik Jones Toyota 100 0 -1.837 31.871
11 16 21 Matt DiBenedetto Ford 100 0 -2.624 31.701
12 10 89 Landon Cassill Chevrolet 100 0 -3.323 31.815
13 8 77 Parker Kligerman Toyota 100 0 -3.491 31.733
14 4 6 Ross Chastain Ford 100 0 -3.706 31.754
15 19 22 Joey Logano Ford 100 0 -4.55 31.792
16 11 14 Clint Bowyer Ford 100 0 -4.733 31.843
17 23 40 Ryan Truex Chevrolet 100 0 -6.356 31.798
18 29 19 Bobby Labonte Toyota 100 0 -6.403 31.723
19 28 13 Ty Dillon Chevrolet 100 0 -7.407 31.938
20 26 7 Justin Allgaier Chevrolet 100 0 -7.828 31.728
21 33 47 Ricky Stenhouse Jr Chevrolet 100 0 -7.898 31.959
22 15 12 Austin Cindric Ford 100 0 -9.17 31.946
23 32 34 Michael McDowell Ford 100 0 -16.005 31.87
24 20 9 Chase Elliott Chevrolet 100 0 -16.743 31.713
25 30 2 Brad Keselowski Ford 100 0 -16.816 31.978
26 27 95 Christopher Bell Toyota 100 0 -25.96 31.806
27 24 3 Austin Dillon Chevrolet 100 0 -31.396 31.752
28 21 17 Chris Buescher Ford 99 0 -1 L 31.823
29 34 18 Kyle Busch Toyota 94 0 -6 L 31.699
30 22 38 John Nemechek Chevrolet 93 0 -7 L 31.858
31 35 48 Jimmie Johnson Chevrolet 93 0 -7 L 31.881
32 17 33 Anthony Alfredo Chevrolet 86 0 -14 L 31.748
33 14 42 Kyle Larson Chevrolet 86 0 -14 L 31.781
34 2 24 William Byron Jr Chevrolet 79 28 -21 L 31.715
35 31 1 Kurt Busch Chevrolet 46 0 -54 L 31.843

 

Announcements about the next eNASCAR iRacing Pro Invitational Series events will be made in the coming days. For more information on iRacing and for special offers, visit www.iracing.com.

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2 Comments

Where can I watch “eNASCAR iRacing Pro Invitational Series Dixie Vodka 150” ?

Rick Hyde
March 23rd, 2020 at 5:03 pm

Great race keep it coming. This is a time for esports to shine and entertain. My one suggestion is use the technology available for the announcers to talk with the drivers and also make it available for the audience to listen to the drivers and spotters during the race. Similar to real world races and broadcasting. This couldget the audience more exposed to the drivers and teams, thanks.

eric blumenkrantz
March 24th, 2020 at 2:37 pm

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