CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Denny Hamlin closed NASCAR’s iRacing Collection with a victory at a simulation of throwback North Wilkesboro Speedway.
The Daytona 500 winner was instrumental in organizing his fellow Cup drivers for the invitational sequence that began after the sequence was suspended. Hamlin, who races barefoot on a top-of-the-line simulator, received the opening iRacing occasion on March 22.
He additionally gained nationwide consideration three races in the past at digital Talladega Superspeedway when his daughter, Taylor, tried to ask him a query in the course of the race and by chance turned off the display screen on his simulator with a distant management she was holding.
To win at North Wilkesboro on Saturday, Hamlin on 4 recent tires chased down chief Ross Chastain and nudged him out of the best way. Chastain retaliated by hitting Hamlin’s automobile after the checkered flag.
“Two guys going for a similar spot,” mentioned Hamlin, who mentioned Chastain tried to dam his transfer.
Hamlin closed the iRacing Collection with two wins in seven races. William Byron led the sequence with three victories however didn’t compete Saturday.
NASCAR is scheduled to renew racing subsequent Sunday at Darlington Raceway in South Carolina, the place the sequence will compete with out spectators.
“Cannot wait to get again. Cannot wait to see you guys in the actual world beginning subsequent week,” Hamlin mentioned.
NASCAR closed out its digital sequence at North Wilkesboro Speedway, an unique venue on NASCAR’s schedule in 1949 that was deserted after the 1996 season as NASCAR started to broaden outdoors its southern footprint.
Jeff Gordon received the final race on the 0.625-mile quick observe that featured a singular uphill backstretch and downhill frontstretch. After years sitting idle, the observe has been badly broken by climate and neglect and overgrown with weeds.
Dale Earnhardt Jr., an early iRacing fanatic, just lately led a clean-up effort of the long-lasting speedway in order that iRacing may laser scan it and add it to the tracks on the digital platform. It isn’t but on iRacing for public use however was made accessible for NASCAR’s remaining race of its invitational esports enterprise. The observe has been simulated because it was in 1987 and shall be accessible for the general public to race in June.
NASCAR shortly pivoted from actual racing when its season was suspended March 13 in the course of the coronavirus pandemic to the digital platform. Its broadcasts set a number of esports viewing information for broadcast associate Fox, however the novelty wore off after Bubba Wallace was fired by a sponsor for rage-quitting a race after which Kyle Larson used a racial slur whereas on the platform Easter Sunday. He was fired by Chip Ganassi Racing for the incident.