March 29 (UPI) — Timmy Hill used a bump-and-run to grab the lead from William Byron with three laps remaining and win the second event in the eNASCAR iRacing Pro Invitational Series on Sunday at the virtual Texas Motor Speedway.
With the real-life season temporarily halted due to the coronavirus pandemic, NASCAR continued its new normal with another virtual race. NASCAR’s 36-race season was suspended only four events into the year.
Hill held off fellow NASCAR Cup Series drivers Ryan Preece and Garrett Smithley to earn the victory in Sunday’s O’Reilly Auto Parts 125.
“I couldn’t be more excited,” Hill told reporters after the race. “Very exciting times for us because we just don’t get the recognition on a normal basis. To be on an even playing field is excellent. To be on this platform, the Cup platform, is exciting. The amount of folks that reached out to me has just been tremendous.
“The last lap was just one I will definitely remember for a while.”
Hill is considered one of the top competitors in iRacing, a subscription-based gaming platform. Drivers who compete in iRacing use a computer connected to the Internet, a monitor, steering wheel, driver’s seat and pedals to compete against others in virtual races.
Hill’s victory at the virtual Texas Motor Speedway was his 674th career iRacing win. Preece finished in second and Smithley in third. Landon Cassill (fourth) and Alex Bowman (fifth) rounded out the top five.
Byron, who drives the No. 24 Chevrolet for Hendrick Motorsports, led 80 laps but fell to seventh after losing the lead to Hill late in the race. Dale Earnhardt Jr. finished sixth.
Like last week’s inaugural event, the eNASCAR iRacing Pro Invitational Series was aired on FOX Sports and featured its team of Mike Joy and Hall of Famer Jeff Gordon to call the race. Three-time Daytona 500 winner Denny Hamlin won the first race at a virtual Homestead-Miami Speedway.