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Joshua Williams dominates ‘The Replacements 100’

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Photo courtesy of Franscisco Scaramuzza and iRacing.com

THE VIRTUAL HAMPTON, Georgia – On a day that was supposed to see 500 miles at Atlanta Motor Speedway, postponed earlier in the weekend by the COVID-19 pandemic sweeping the globe, the NASCAR world gathered around their internet-enabled devices on a different-kind-of-feeling Sunday afternoon to watch some virtual racing instead.

Live on Twitch.tv, on the Podium eSports twitch channel, 37 members of the iRacing community, including real world drivers and crew members, took to their computers, pulled out their electronic steering wheels, and started their virtual engines for 100 laps at the virtual speedway.

Joshua Williams, the spotter in real life for Team Penske’s No. 12 Ford, driven by Ryan Blaney, took his virtual No. 12 Ford to the front early and often, and went on to win The Replacements 100.

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Photo courtesy of Franscisco Scaramuzza and iRacing.com

“It was tough,” Williams told James Pike and Podium eSports in the virtual victory lane on Sunday. “I was more setup-prepared to run the long run, so I was trying to take care of my stuff a little bit. We never really got long runs in the first half of the race, so you just had to defend pretty hard the first few laps until everybody got single file.

“I was worried with having to pit, and the restart stuff, if you lose the lead, it’s going to be pretty hard to pass again, so just tried to defend the lead, and once we got 10 or 15 laps on our tires, I was pretty comfortable with it.”

Williams held off William Byron, Steven Steffen, TJ Majors, and Parker Kligerman, the remainder of the Top 5, as well as the rest of the field for the victory on Sunday afternoon.

Dale Earnhardt, Jr., Alex Bowman, Bubba Wallace, and a handful of others joined in on the fun, and showed the NASCAR world, currently lamenting the fact of not having a real race today, what NASCAR eSports and eNASCAR is all about.

TJ Majors, spotter for Joey Logano, and Kevin Hamlin, spotter for Alex Bowman, together with Podium eSports and iRacing, were able to gather the field of drivers together in short time following the postponement of what was supposed to be Sunday’s QuikTrip Folds of Honor 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

William Byron started on the pole, but Joshua Williams immediately went to the front of the field out of Turn 4 to lead the first lap.

In fact, Williams went on from there to lead every single lap of the race. Regardless, it was no easy victory, with the likes of Byron and Parker Kligerman putting the pressure on, and also, the field still put on a show for the fans.

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Photo courtesy of Franscisco Scaramuzza and iRacing.com

Cautions bred cautions early on, with many big name NASCAR personalities such as Justin Allgaier, Ben Rhodes, and Chad Knaus finding trouble early and often.

Dale Earnhardt, Jr. took a hard virtual lick early, but utilized his ‘fast repair’ correctly, and made his way back through the field to eventually finish in eighth.

Once the field settled down, the race started to get down to business in the second half. The final restart came on lap 52, and went green to the conclusion.

 

Kligerman was part of the second to last caution, as he suffered from ‘equipment malfunction’ while running in second. He worked his way back through the field and wound up finishing fifth.

As the field wound down the laps, it was evident that Williams wasn’t to be beat, as he continued to pull away from Byron.

Leading all 100 laps, Williams was victorious amongst the mix of professional and amateur racers.

There were six cautions for 24 laps during the event. Next week, the real life NASCAR Cup Series event at Homestead-Miami Speedway event has also been postponed.

Stay tuned for more NASCAR eSports coverage at The Racing Experts.

Race Results:

  1. 12 – Joshua Williams
  2. 24 – William Byron Jr
  3. 1 – Steven Steffen
  4. 22 – TJ Majors
  5. 77 – Parker Kligerman
  6. 19 – Tyler Overstreet
  7. 51 – Garrett Smithley
  8. 88 – Dale Earnhardt Jr
  9. 23 – Bubba Wallace
  10. 59 – Coleman Pressley
  11. 98 – Chase Briscoe
  12. 63 – Bryan Boris Cook
  13. 11 – Justin Haley
  14. 25 – John Theodore
  15. 27 – Kevin Iannarelli
  16. 34 – KC Heschel
  17. 26 – Kyle Long3
  18. 8 – Anthony Pelican
  19. 69 – Tyler Truex
  20. 13 – Gary Sexton
  21. 21 – Anthony Alfredo
  22. 31 – Tim Duggar
  23. 14 – John Guidone
  24. 20 – Harrison Burton
  25. 93 – Myatt Snider
  26. 189 – Chad Knaus
  27. 99 – Ben Rhodes
  28. 87 – Matt Noyce
  29. 7 – Justin Allgaier
  30. 2 – Alex W Bowman
  31. 17 – Taylor Gray
  32. 6 – Jonathan Davis6
  33. 33 – Kevin Hamlin
  34. 30 – Tyler Ankrum
  35. 46 – Aly Osman
  36. 28 – Noah Gragson
  37. 85 – Judd Danielson
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Justin Melillo View All

Columnist / Reporter / Photographer / Webmaster for TheRacingExperts.com

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