The engines may be quiet at the largest track on the NASCAR circuit, but the engines will be roaring in the racing simulators as the drivers prepare for a run at virtual Talladega in the eNASCAR iRacing Pro Invitational Series.
“It’s Dega, Baby!” and Jeff Gordon has left his spot as a FOX Sports commentator to hop in a rig to try his hand at iRacing and renew the rivalry with fellow retired driver Dale Earnhardt Jr.
With Jeff Gordon as an in-race commentator; along with Clint Bowyer, Michael Waltrip joins Mike Joy in the FOX Sports studio for today’s race.
Ryan Newman joins the FOX Sports crew and announces that he is again healthy and ready to race when the engines get fired once again.
Last week at virtual Richmond, William Byron became the first two time winner; but this week he will have to come from the back of the field with the top three Richmond finishers being “inverted”.
Normally the drivers are not allowed to go below the double yellow line, but not this week!, there are no restrictions for going below the yellow line.
Qualifying for the race was a two lap single car event with Corey LaJoie sitting on the pole.
A 200 lap race for 500 miles at Talladega, virtual Talladega is only 70 laps in length for 186 miles. The drivers will get one reset to repair a wrecked car.
This week the founder of the award winning band Alabama, Randy Owen performed the National Anthem.
Johnny Ray died in January, but the big American flag continues to run laps around Talladega at virtual Talladega…and in the real Talladega thanks to Johnny’s son.
Corey LaJoie brings the field down for the green flag start of the race with LaJoie getting out in front for the lead.
When Jeff Gordon retired, William Byron took over the driving duties of the number 24 car. This week both drivers are sporting the number 24 on their cars.
Lap five, Erik Jones gets into the grass but the track stays green.
Lap seven, Ty Dillon is the leader.
Daniel Suarez gets around Austin Dillon to take the lead.
Ty Dillon has retaken the lead.
Lap 10, the Dillon brothers lead the way with little brother Ty out in front.
Lap 15, Brad Keselowski has taken the lead. Clint Bowyer has moved into the top 10 for the first time in five races at number three.
The caution flag comes out lap 16 for “the big one”. Ricky Stenhouse was battling for the lead when he wrecked. Jeff Gordon’s car flipped several times and even got caught up in the fence. Corey LaJoie and Ty Dillon were also involved in the crash.
Brennan Poole is the leader with Brad Keselowski alongside on the front row.
Brennan Poole is the leader and brings the field down for the green flag restart on lap 21, but it is Brad Keselowski that gets out in front for the lead. After starting from the back of the field, William Byron has moved into the top 10 in ninth place.
Lap 25, the top five are Brad Keselowski, Brennan Poole, William Byron, Alex Bowman, and Clint Bowyer.
Going from last to first, William Byron battle Brad Keselowski for the lead.
After some near wrecking and drivers getting off the track, William Byron takes the lead with Alex Bowman in second and Clint Bowyer in third on lap 29. Brad Keselowski has dropped to 12th place.
Lap 30, Jimmie Johnson spins out and makes a run through the grass but the track stays green.
Halfway, William Byron leads the way with team mate Alex Bowman in second.
With 33 laps to go, there are 33 cars on the lead lap with all 39 cars still on the track.
Unlike the real world, the drivers don’t have crew chiefs to tell them when to come down pit road.
Parker Kligerman has taken the lead from William Byron.
Clint Bowyer has taken the lead. Clint Bowyer’s car blows up after bump drafting Alex Bowman too long.
John Hunter Nemechek is the new leader with William Byron in second and Dale Earnhardt Jr in third with 25 laps remaining in the race
Leaders are beginning to pit with 21 laps remaining in the race. Chris Buescher is the new leader.
Getting a new reset, Clint Bowyer is back in the rce but laps down.
Parker Kligerman has found the answer to working with other drivers on when to pit…he calls them on his mobile phone to coordinate when to pit.
With 18 laps to go, Dale Earnhardt Jr is the new leader.
More drivers come down pit road for green flag pit stops.
Brad Keselowski takes the lead.
John Hunter Nemechek is the leader with 16 laps remaining in the race.
The caution flag comes out with 14 laps to go when Jeff Gordon gets into the wall after contact with Chase Elliott. Brennan Poole and Landon Cassill were also involved. Gordon reports that he is out of resets.
Denny Hamlin overshot his pit box and when he tried to backup, it took him out – backing up is a no-no.
John Hunter Nemechek brings the field down for the green flag restart with William Byron alongside on the front row with nine laps remaining in the race.
John Hunter Nemechek is in the lead with Brad Keselowski bump drafting him.
Ty Dillon takes the lead with eight to go as the drivers get three and four wide across the track.
Eight to go, Garrett Smithley takes the lead.
Seven to go, Alex Bowman is the new leader as drivers continue to swap spots.
Joey Gse takes the lead.
Ryan Preece is the new leader.
Six to go, Garrett Smithley retakes the lead.
With only four laps remaining in the race are 36 cars on the lead lap with 26 of them in the lead pack, three and four wide across the track.
the caution flag comes out with only three laps remaining in the race after Joey Logano starts another big one involving Ryan Blaney flying across the track.
The race will go into overtime.
Alex Bowman is the leader and will bring the field down for the first of three possible overtime finishes. Bowman reports that he is low on fuel but will not make a stop.
Alex Bowman brings the field down for the green/white/checker start and edges out for the initial lead; but it is Ty Dillon who takes the lead.
Alex Bowman and Ty Dillon are nose to nose for the lead.
Alex Bowman takes the white flag…and the lead.
Cars wreck back in the field but the track stays green.
Ty Dillon makes a run through the grass.
Alex Bowman wins the race and adds his name to the list is Pro Invitational Series winners.
Update on Denny Hamlin…it wasn’t trying to back up that took him out of the race, it was his daughter playing with the remote.