RPW Column By: BRITTANY NUTILE /RPW – The second NASCAR iRacing Pro Invitational Series event at Texas Motor Speedway was another thrilling, exciting race just like the first race.
It seems like this race was easier because everyone had time to practice and get adjusted to the simulation aspect.
The Fox Sports broadcast with Mike Joy and Jeff Gordon as primary commentators along with the crew chief’s perspective from Larry McReynolds and driver Clint Bowyer, who tells everyone his side while driving in the race, was a great formula for fans to enjoy and learn about the iRacing simulation.
Before the main event race started, a qualifier race where 34 drivers from the Xfinity, Gander RV & Outdoor Truck Series, and other respective NASCAR series was run.
The 31 Cup Series drivers participating were already locked into the race so, it means that the qualifier only took four out of the 34 drivers from the qualifier. It made that race a lot more exciting with the younger, eager drivers that wanted a chance to compete with the big guns of the sport. The top four that advanced to the main race from a very wild 30 lap preliminary event were: Alex Labbe, Anthony Alfredo, Ty Majeski, and Ruben Garcia.
The race started off where William Byron started on the pole for the race along with a host of drivers around him. Connecticut had two drivers representing the state in the top 10 with Parker Kligerman in 4th and Ryan Preece starting 7th.
Preece quickly got up to the top 4 in the first couple of laps and had a good race finishing in the second spot behind the winner of the race, Timmy Hill. There weren’t too many cautions and there was a longer green flag run in the middle of the race.
Then, it got crazy with 10 to go due to a caution. That was followed by another caution with three laps to go meaning there was a green, white, checkered finish.
Timmy Hill quickly mastered the speedway and had a solid race all day long. He started in 10th place and made his way to the front and stayed there throughout the race. He made a pass at the leader, William Byron, and that’s when Timmy got to the lead and stayed there until the checkered flag.
It wasn’t easy to stay in the lead though. Ryan Preece who made an incredible save when caution happened, slid through the infield grass and powered through the entirety of the grass then slid back up onto the track. Preece made a brilliant sliding save to stay in third. Preece started on the bottom for the restart and managed to pass Garrett Smithley for second. Preece almost got to Timmy Hill but, just couldn’t get there in time for the checkered flag.
Top 10 finishers of the race:
1. Timmy Hill
2. Ryan Preece
3. Garrett Smithley
4. Landon Cassill
5. Alex Bowman
6. Dale Earnhardt Jr.
7. William Byron
8. John Hunter Nemechek
9. Kyle Larson
10. Kurt Busch