Chase Briscoe took advantage of the situation he found himself in at virtual Martinsville Speedway to claim the NBC eSports Short Track iRacing Challenge championship.
Briscoe, a full-time Xfinity Series driver for Stewart-Haas Racing, took over the lead under a lap 40 caution when NASCAR Cup Series driver William Byron and Parker Kligerman decided to make things interesting by going to the rear of the field. Up to that point, Byron had dominated the event from the pole with Kligerman close behind.
The race restarted with 39 laps to go. Once Briscoe took control, he managed to keep his tires underneath him and gap the field. Byron drove back to the second position, but the closest he got to Briscoe was half a second behind he started sliding around the half-mile over the final few laps and lost ground on his rival.
“That was kind of a gift with the invert deal with William, but it was fun,” said Briscoe, who made the championship race through a Peacock Provisional. “There at the end, I felt like tire wear came into play, and I just kept trying to save the right rear at the end and try to act like there was an egg under the gas pedal, and I couldn’t break it, and it obviously helped.”
Ten drivers competed in the 90-lap race.
Christopher Bell finished third. The Cup Series rookie rebounded after getting out of shape on lap 1, going from second to ninth place. Dale Earnhardt Jr. finished fourth, and Kligerman made it back to the fifth position.
Kyle Busch finished sixth with Landon Cassill seventh. Ryan Preece wound up eighth after being put back on the lead lap when the caution came out. Preece had lost six laps at one point during the event because of technical difficulties.
Denny Hamlin and Kyle Larson finished ninth and 10th respectively.