March 29th, 2020 by Chris Leone
Timmy Hill bumped polesitter William Byron out of the top spot in the closing laps, and held off the field in overtime, to score the win in Sunday’s eNASCAR iRacing Pro Invitational Series O’Reilly Auto Parts 125 from Texas Motor Speedway. Hill held off Ryan Preece in a near-photo finish at the end of the second event in the series, just one week after finishing third in the opening Dixie Vodka 150 from Homestead-Miami Speedway.
“How about that?” said Hill after the checkered flag. “That was exciting! I had to do a little boot scootin’ boogie on Willy B. It means so much. I’ve had a tremendous amount of friends and family reaching out to me. Our team doesn’t get that recognition a lot of the time, so to pull off this win is a tremendous feeling. My phone is blowing up!”
The success of last week’s event in Homestead led to a dramatically expanded entry list for this weekend’s event. More than 60 drivers from across NASCAR’s top three series and the ARCA Menards Series took part in either the main race, which was simulcast to FOX TV affiliates and FS1 for the first time, or a 30-lap transfer race earlier in the day to fill the 35-car grid.
In the transfer race, Alex Labbe led just one lap, but it was the last one, as he passed Anthony Alfredo for the victory. Polesitter Ty Majeski and Ruben Garcia Jr. scored the final two transfer spots to make it to the 35-car grid, while drivers who transferred into the big show from Homestead like Justin Allgaier and Austin Cindric were left on the outside looking in. Perhaps no driver had a more frustrating result than Ryan Truex, though: lapped traffic late in the race caused a bottleneck on the front runners, and Derek Kraus spun Truex out of a transfer spot in the resulting battles.
While most of the race stayed fairly clean, forcing drivers to play green-flag pit strategy for track position, cautions began to pile up in the closing laps of the race. With just a handful of laps to go, just after Hill bumped the previously dominant Byron out of the lead, contact between multiple cars across the finish line saw Ryan Preece slide through the grass and front-runners Byron, John Hunter Nemechek, and Parker Kligerman get tangled up.
Overtime saw Hill get a great jump on the start over Garrett Smithley, with Preece and Landon Cassill ducking to the inside to battle for second. That battle was enough for Hill to pull away and take the checkered flag, his second top-five finish in as many weeks of the series. Preece, Smithley, Cassill, and Alex Bowman completed the top five, while Dale Earnhardt Jr. recovered from clipping the wall earlier in the day to finish sixth and Byron took seventh after leading a race-high 80 laps.
To support The NASCAR Foundation’s COVID-19 response efforts, iRacing will make a $10,000 charitable donation in Hill’s name for Sunday’s victory. The NASCAR Foundation is working with the American Red Cross to help continue its lifesaving mission in North Texas due to this public health emergency. You can help by donating at NASCARFoundation.org/response.
O’Reilly Auto Parts 125 Results
Full results from the eNASCAR iRacing Pro Invitational Series O’Reilly Auto Parts 125 at Texas Motor Speedway were as follows:
|5||20||88||Alex W Bowman||Chevrolet||130||0||-0.287||29.021|
|6||2||8||Dale Earnhardt Jr||Chevrolet||130||14||-1.229||29.094|
|7||1||24||William Byron Jr||Chevrolet||130||80||-1.295||29.108|
|22||33||6||Ross Chastain||Ford||129||0||-1 L||29.124|
|23||31||47||Ricky Stenhouse Jr||Chevrolet||129||0||-1 L||29.236|
|24||17||11||Denny Hamlin||Toyota||129||3||-1 L||29.123|
|25||29||43||Bubba Wallace||Chevrolet||129||0||-1 L||29.078|
|26||32||90||Alex Labbe||Chevrolet||128||0||-2 L||29.03|
|27||26||12||Ryan Blaney||Ford||128||0||-2 L||29.044|
|28||13||31||Tyler Reddick||Chevrolet||128||0||-2 L||29.183|
|29||8||3||Austin Dillon||Chevrolet||128||0||-2 L||29.229|
|30||34||45||Ty Majeski||Chevrolet||122||1||-8 L||29.072|
|31||21||27||Ruben Garcia||Ford||122||0||-8 L||29.102|
|32||35||16||Greg Biffle||Ford||121||0||-9 L||29.165|
|33||9||96||Daniel Suarez||Toyota||110||0||-20 L||29.147|
|34||14||95||Christopher Bell||Toyota||88||0||-42 L||29.357|
|35||23||33||Anthony Alfredo||Chevrolet||39||0||-91 L||29.09|
The eNASCAR iRacing Pro Invitational Series will return next Sunday from Bristol Motor Speedway, once again airing at 1PM ET/10AM PT on FOX, FS1, and the FOX Sports app. In addition, the eNASCAR Coca-Cola iRacing Series for iRacing’s top professional sim racers will return to action at Bristol on Tuesday, March 31 at 9PM ET/6PM PT on enascar.com/live. For more information on iRacing and for special offers, visit www.iracing.com.