THE VIRTUAL HOMESTEAD-MIAMI, Fla. – A pair of races, one for the XBOX One console drivers, and another for the PlayStation 4, opened up the 2020 eNASCAR Heat Pro League season on Wednesday night at the virtual Homestead-Miami Speedway.
Justin Brooks, driving the No. 37 for the JTG Daugherty Throttlers, captured the first win of the season from the pole position on the XBOX side, while Nick Jobes, driving the No. 25 for the Hendrick Motorsports Gaming Club, was victorious on the PlayStation side.
Both races were 50 laps each, on three times the normal tire wear and fuel consumption of a real life NASCAR Cup Series stock car. Pit strategy played a hand in both races.
In the XBOX race, Brooks started up front, but was passed by Diego Alvarado, driver of the No. 43 for Petty eSports shortly after the green.
Alvarado and Matthew Selby, the new driver of the No. 4 for Stewart-Haas eSports, pulled away from the field, opting not to save and hope for a caution at the right time, short pitting earlier than most before halfway.
A caution as many attempted to pit changed everything, forcing both Selby and Alvarado a lap down. Selby took the free pass, and the lead was handed to Brian Tedeschi, driver of the No. 22 for Team Penske eSports.
Slade Gravitt, who was the PlayStation driver for Wood Brothers Gaming last season, switched over to XBOX in 2020 for them, and took the lead with just over 15 laps to go.
Tedeschi battled back, and soon, Brooks was back into the equation with Germain Gaming’s newest driver, Daniel Buttafuoco, right behind.
The lead went three-wide at times, but it was Brooks taking the victory over Gravitt after a final chance at glory was given from a late-race restart.
Now this is how you start a Season! Started Pole, was saving gas and fell back and came thru the field when it mattered and won in the #eNASCARHeat Pro League Race! Car was on a rail. Thank you everyone at @JTGRacing and @cottonelle for your support, 1 of hopefully more to come! https://t.co/jNX1keP2Rt
— Justin Brooks (@j_brooks92) April 23, 2020
*** Moving over to the PlayStation side, Josh Harbin, driver of the No. 95 for Leavine Family Gaming, started on the pole alongside defending championship driver for Stewart-Haas eSports, Brandyn Gritton.
Gritton took the lead early in his No. 14 Ford, but after multiple strategies began to converge, a heated battle began between multiple drivers for a couple of laps.
Eventually, Brandon Hanna, the new driver of the No. 17 for Roush Fenway Gaming, took control, trading the lead with Gibbs Gaming’s new driver, Josh Parker, and JR Motorsports’ new driver, Joe Gornick.
Those three, along with RCR eSports’ Joey Stone, and Wood Brother Gaming’s new PlayStation driver, Cody Giles, were on the two-stop strategy, hoping for a caution at the right time.
The rest were hoping it stayed green to the end for a caution-free event.
The latter got their wish.
As the guys up front pitted for a second time, the lead was handed to Jobes, who was the last to pit from the one-stop strategy group. Jobes held off Petty eSports’ Mike Braas and GoFas Gaming’s Jason Mitchell for the victory.
— Nick Jobes (@NJobes25) April 23, 2020
The series points standings combines the points of both the XBOX and PlayStation driver’s results, just as it did last year.
The JTG Daugherty Throttlers are on top after week 1, as Brooks in the XBOX side’s No. 37 picked up the victory, and the PlayStation driver of the No. 47, Mathew Billingsley, took home a fourth place finish.
Next week, the series heads to Watkins Glen International, where drivers will race using NASCAR Gander RV and Outdoors Truck Series vehicles, a change from the 2019 season in which they raced Cup cars all year.
XBOX One Homestead-Miami Speedway Race 1 Results:
- 37 – Justin Brooks – JTG Daughery Throttlers
- 21 – Slade Gravitt – Wood Brothers Gaming
- 13 – Daniel Buttafuoco – Germain Gaming
- 6 – Nick Walker – Roush Fenway Gaming
- 4 – Matthew Selby – Stewart-Haas eSports
- 3 – Mitch Diamond – RCR eSports
- 51 – Matthew Heale – Gibbs Gaming
- 22 – Brian Tedeschi – Team Penske eSports
- 43 – Diego Alvarado – Petty eSports
- 42 – Luis Zaiter – Chip Ganassi Gaming
- 32 – Riley Ogle – GoFas Gaming
- 5 – Sam Morris – Hendrick Motorsports GC
- 88 – Tyler Dohar – JR Motorsports
- 95 – Jose Ruiz – Leavine Family Gaming
PLAYSTATION 4 Homestead-Miami Speedway Race 1 Results:
- 25 – Nick Jobes – Hendrick Motorsports GC
- 44 – Mike Braas – Petty eSports
- 32 – Jason Mitchell – GoFas Gaming
- 47 – Mathew Billinsley – JTG Daugherty Throttlers
- 1 – Maxwell Castro – Chip Ganassi Gaming
- 14 – Brandyn Gritton – Stewart-Haas eSports
- 2 – Corey Rothgeb – Team Penske eSports
- 13 – Kyle Arnold – Germain Gaming
- 17 – Brandon Hanna – Roush Fenway Gaming
- 7 – Joe Gornick – JR Motorsports
- 95 – Josh Harbin – Leavine Faminly Gaming
- 18 – Josh Parker – Gibbs Gaming
- 8 – Joey Stone – RCR eSports
- 16 – Cody Giles – Wood Brothers Gaming
TEAM STANDINGS AFTER RACE 1:
- JTG Daugherty Throttlers – 60 points
- Hendrick Motorsports GC – 52 points
- Petty eSports – 45 points
- Germain Gaming – 41 points
- Wood Brothers Gaming – 40 points
- GoFas Gaming – 38 points
- Stewart-Haas eSports – 37 points
- Roush Fenway Gaming – 35 points
- Team Penske eSports – 33 points
- Chip Ganassi Gaming – 33 points
- Gibbs Gaming – 29 points
- RCR eSports – 29 points
- JR Motorsports – 25 points
- Leavine Family Gaming – 23 points
Columnist / Reporter / Photographer / Webmaster for TheRacingExperts.com