THE VIRTUAL WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. – In a tale of two completely opposite races, rookie eNASCAR Heat Pro League driver for Ganassi Gaming, Maxwell Castro, and second year driver, this season with Germain Gaming, Daniel Buttafuoco, each claimed the virtual checkers in their respective races at the virtual Watkins Glen International on Wednesday night.
Castro, on the PLAYSTATION 4 side, went toe-to-toe with Buttafuoco’s teammate, Kyle Arnold, on the final lap, and after a lot of contact off of the final corner, Castro barely held on, holding off Joey Stone (RCR eSports) and Cody Giles (Wood Brothers Gaming) for the victory. Arnold fell down to finish in the fourth position.
They crash out of the final turn!!
— NASCAR (@NASCAR) April 30, 2020
On the XBOX One platform, Buttafuoco started on pole, and led every lap except the ones where he had to pit, and won in dominant fashion over Luis Zaiter (Chip Ganassi Gaming) and last week’s winner on the XBOX side, Justin Brooks (JTG Daugherty Throttlers).
A new concept in the 2020 eNASCAR Heat Pro League is the change in vehicles between races. The NASCAR HEAT 4 video game offers racing in four different vehicle types, including NASCAR Cup Series cars, NASCAR Xfinity Series cars, and NASCAR Gander RV and Outdoors Truck Series trucks.
The races in the 2020 season will alternate between those three vehicles, and for the second race of the season, both races were utilizing the trucks at Watkins Glen International.
You can see exactly what it meant for @LuckyDog_38 to win at The Glen!
— NASCAR Heat (@NASCARHeat) April 30, 2020
The first race this week was the PLAYSTATION race, opposite of how it went last week at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Brandyn Gritton put his Stewart-Haas eSports Ford on the pole, and sped off to an early lead.
On lap 6, Gritton had an issue out of the first corner, and lost a ton of time and positions. This gave the lead to a handful of drivers, including Kyle Arnold for Germain Gaming, Maxwell Castro for Chip Ganassi Gaming, and last week’s PLAYSTATION winner, Nick Jobes for Hendrick Motorsports Gaming Club.
Eventually, Jobes fell off from the lead, and Joey Stone, in his RCR eSports Chevy, took his place among the lead pack.
Pit stops began, and Castro and Arnold pitted a lap sooner than Stone. Stone maintained the lead after the pits, but had a tense moment with Castro on his out lap.
The three stayed within striking distance of one another, but the final pit stop is what set the tone for the first caution-free race of the night.
Coming to eight laps to go, Arnold and Castro pitted for the final time. It took another two laps for Stone to pit, and when he returned to the track, he was more than two second behind the others racing for the lead.
Arnold had the advantage coming to the white flag, but Castro dove it in on the final trip into Turn 1, and took over the top spot. Arnold stayed close by, ready to make a move back to the front.
Into the final corner, contact was made between the two. Arnold stayed high, while Castro got loose down low. Castro drove up the track saving his truck and stuffed Arnold into the wall, and Stone rushed to take advantage of the calamity up front.
Castro barely held on, and in his second career start in the eNASCAR Heat Pro League, took the checkered flag for the first time.
Huge win for @gearwrench @CGRgaming!!! Cant thank my team and sponsors enough for the opportunity! That @TeamChevy Silverado RST was incredible! ⚙🔧 #ForgeAhead @NASCARHeat @GanassiChip #eNASCARHeat #eNHPL #GanassiGaming #eSports #Gearwrench pic.twitter.com/3FuOxn4MNi
— Maxwell Castro (@MaxwellCastro16) April 30, 2020
Moving to the XBOX One race, Daniel Buttafuoco, who entered the season sweeping the preseason races, and finished third last week in the opening race at Homestead-Miami Speedway, started the race in first place.
Last season, Buttafuoco drove for Gibbs Gaming, but this season, he was drafted by Germain Gaming to drive alongside another veteran of the series, Kyle Arnold.
As reported by the commentating crew of Hannah Newhouse, Adam Mackey, and Russell Cox, Nicholas Walker, driver for Roush Fenway Gaming, was forced to start tail end for missing the drivers meeting.
As Buttafuoco drove off into the distance, Walker became the star of the show, moving from last to the top half of the field before the first pit stop.
Walker fought vigorously with Slade Gravitt from Wood Brothers Gaming for the fourth position. Walker held off Gravitt, and the pair rounded out the Top 5 at the end of the show.
Up front, Chip Ganassi Gaming’s XBOX driver, another rookie by the name of Luis Zaiter, just couldn’t reel in Buttafuoco, while the two had driven away from the winner last week, JTG Daugherty Throttler’s Justin Brooks.
The race stayed caution-free.
Tyler Dohar, driving once again for JR Motorsports, opted for a one-stop pit strategy, but during his stop, he sped on pit road and earned a penalty.
Instead of possibly stealing one on Wednesday night, Dohar wound up as the last truck on the lead lap, in 11th place.
Buttafuoco won the XBOX race handedly by over a three second gap when it was all said and done.
WE JUST WON OUR FIRST PRO LEAGUE RACE!!!
Thank you all for the massive support!!!
— Daniel Buttafuoco (@LuckyDog_38) April 30, 2020
Looking at the Team Standings after two races, Chip Ganassi Gaming and Germain Gaming rise to the top of the charts around last week’s leaders, JTG Daugherty Throttlers.
Wood Brothers Gaming and Hendrick Motorsports Gaming Club round out the Top 5.
Next week, the league will hop into NASCAR Xfinity Series cars around the Dover International Speedway.
Be sure to catch it at 8:00 pm ET on eNASCAR.com.
PLAYSTATION 4 Watkins Glen International Race 2 Results:
- 1 – Maxwell Castro – Chip Ganassi Gaming
- 8 – Joey Stone – RCR eSports
- 16 – Cody Giles – Wood Brothers Gaming
- 13 – Kyle Arnold – Germain Gaming
- 25 – Nick Jobes – Hendrick Motorsports GC
- 32 – Jason Mitchell – GoFas Gaming
- 14 – Brandyn Gritton – Stewart-Haas eSports
- 2 – Corey Rothgeb – Team Penske eSports
- 95 – Josh Harbin – Leavine Faminly Gaming
- 47 – TJ McGowan* – JTG Daugherty Throttlers
- 44 – Mike Braas – Petty eSports
- 17 – Brandon Hanna – Roush Fenway Gaming
- 18 – Josh Parker – Gibbs Gaming
- 7 – Joe Gornick – JR Motorsports
*TJ McGowan replaces Mathew Billinsley at JTG Daugherty Throttlers after one race after Billinsley decided to take himself out of the league, citing personal and health reasons.
XBOX One Watkins Glen International Race 2 Results:
- 13 – Daniel Buttafuoco – Germain Gaming
- 42 – Luis Zaiter – Chip Ganassi Gaming
- 37 – Justin Brooks – JTG Daughery Throttlers
- 6 – Nicholas Walker – Roush Fenway Gaming
- 21 – Slade Gravitt – Wood Brothers Gaming
- 4 – Matthew Selby – Stewart-Haas eSports
- 51 – Matthew Heale – Gibbs Gaming
- 22 – Brian Tedeschi – Team Penske eSports
- 3 – Mitch Diamond – RCR eSports
- 43 – Diego Alvarado – Petty eSports
- 88 – Tyler Dohar – JR Motorsports
- 95 – Jose Ruiz – Leavine Family Gaming
- 32 – Riley Ogle – GoFas Gaming
- 5 – Sam Morris – Hendrick Motorsports GC
TEAM STANDINGS AFTER RACE 2:
- Chip Ganassi Gaming – 103 points
- Germain Gaming – 101 points
- JTG Daugherty Throttlers – 99 points
- Wood Brothers Gaming – 84 points
- Hendrick Motorsports GC – 81 points
- RCR eSports – 74 points
- Stewart-Haas eSports – 72 points
- Petty eSports – 72 points
- Roush Fenway Gaming – 67 points
- GoFas Gaming – 67 points
- Team Penske eSports – 65 points
- Gibbs Gaming – 57 points
- Leavine Family Gaming – 50 points
- JR Motorsports – 48 points
Columnist / Reporter / Photographer / Webmaster for TheRacingExperts.com