Hill edges Preece for Texas win in eSports Pro Invitational

Image via eNASCAR

Hill edges Preece for Texas win in eSports Pro Invitational

Esports

Hill edges Preece for Texas win in eSports Pro Invitational

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Timmy Hill held off Ryan Preece at the virtual Texas Motor Speedway to claim the win in the second eNASCAR iRacing Pro Invitational Series event.

Hill, driving the No.66 Toyota, started the 125-lap race 10th and was a challenger all afternoon. Taking the lead with a bump-and-run on William Byron with four laps to go in Turn 1, Hill led to the finish, which included an overtime attempt.

An avid iRacing competitor, the victory is the 674th for Hill on the program. Last weekend, he finished third at the virtual Homestead-Miami Speedway.

“Hey, how about that?” said Hill in his Fox Sports 1 winner interview. “That was exciting. I can’t believe it. It was such a fun race there. I had to do a little boot-scootin’ boogie here in Texas with (Byron), but glad to pull the victory off for Roof Claim, MBM Motorsports, everybody back home.”

Preece rebounded with his second-place finish after being involved in the caution that set up overtime. Parker Kligerman got loose coming off Turn 4 in a tight battle with John Hunter Nemechek, which sent Preece, who was on the inside of Kligerman, through the grass down the frontstretch. Fortunately for Preece, he kept his foot in it and got the No. 37 Chevrolet back under control as it came back up onto the track in Turn 1.

Hill lead nine laps Sunday afternoon, Preece led eight. Finishing third was Garrett Smithley, followed by Landon Cassill in fourth. Alex Bowman rounded out the top five.

Dale Earnhardt Jr. finished sixth after leading 14 laps. Byron ended up seventh after he was shuffled out of the lead by Hill. Byron started from the pole and led a race-high 80 laps.

Completing the top 10 was Nemechek (who led 10 laps) in eighth, Kyle Larson ninth and Kurt Busch in 10th. Kligerman slipped to 12th after his late incident.

“It means so much,” said Hill of the win and attention the virtual races have brought. “I’ve got a tremendous amount of fans and friends, family, who have all reached out to me and really congratulated me for the recognition we’ve been getting. Our team, myself, and our sponsors, a lot of time we don’t get that recognition, so to finally kind of capitalize on that and pull off a win here in iRacing, I’m glad that iRacing and Fox and NASCAR are really letting us do this because it’s a tremendous feeling.

“The amount of messages I’ve already gotten; my phone is blowing up. I see we’re trending on Twitter, and it’s just a really nice feeling. I’ve been in the sport for 10 years, this is my 10th season in NASCAR, so this is a win. It’s really neat to get this and hopefully we can pull some wins off when we go back racing in the real world.”

There were 16 lead changes at virtual Texas with five caution flags.

Seven-time champion Jimmie Johnson had a much better go this time around, finishing 19th. Last weekend’s winner Denny Hamlin led just one lap and finished 24th.

Daniel Suarez was virtually parked for attempting to wreck Ty Dillon inside the final 10 laps. Suarez also had an accident that brought the caution out with 16 laps to go.

Others who had trouble during the event was Kyle Busch, Erik Jones, Chris Buescher, Ryan Blaney, Clint Bowyer, Greg Biffle, and Matt DiBenedetto.

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