Byron wins first Cup race at virtual Bristol in eNASCAR

By Anthony Caruso III | Publisher

William Byron has yet to win in the NASCAR Cup Series. Yet, he does have a win in the eNASCAR iRacing Pro Invitational Series on Sunday at the virtual Food City Showdown at Bristol Motor Speedway at the virtual Bristol, Tennessee.

He won the third race in the Pro Invitational Series that has been on FS1 the past three weeks due to the coronavirus pandemic. Due to many stay-at-home orders and sports on hold, this is the only way drivers can get their fix for the time being before the actual thing returns to tracks around the country.

Virtual NASCAR Cup Series driver William Byron picked up the win at the virtual Food City Showdown
Virtual William Byron picked up the win at the virtual Food City Showdown (Photo by iRacing)

“I had to work through track position and wanted to keep ourselves in the Top 5,” Byron said after the race. “Luckily, we were able to do that. Thank you to Axalta to allowing us to run this black and blue cool scheme — it has some awesome looking blue on it. I’m really happy to win this.”

The Charlotte, North Carolina native dominated the event after being the pole sitter. The Hendrick Motorsports driver led 116 of the 150-laps at “The Last Great Colosseum.”

Also, with this win, the NASCAR Foundation will be making a donation to the Bristol, Tennessee area to fight against COVID-19.

Virtual William Byron does a virtual burnout after winning the Food City Showdown
Virtual William Byron does a virtual burnout after winning the Food City Showdown (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

John Hunter Nemechek finished in second, while Timmy Hill — who won the second race in this series at the virtual Texas Motor Speedway last weekend — finished third.

Chris Buescher led 30 laps and Landon Cassill also led four laps.

“It’s tough,” Byron said about Sunday’s iRacing event. “There’s a lot that’s different but there’s also a lot that is similar. One of the venues that I enjoy coming to in the Cup car — and the cars that I’ve ran in — I’ve worked a lot during the off-season at this venue. It’s fun to have a little bit of pretty on a race on iRacing, as I normally do it for fun and to get better, but to be able to run it in front a good group of guys — and a lot of different names — is really cool.”

For one driver in this virtual game, it has cost him and his team, Richard Petty Motorsports, a sponsorship. After disconnecting on lap 11, Bubba Wallace was kicked to the curb by Blue Emu for his temper tantrum after getting frustrated at the game.

Yet, he was not the only driver, who disconnected from the virtual game. Daniel Suárez, Ricky Stenhouse Jr, Chase Elliott, and Erik Jones disconnected from the race.

Also, Kyle Larson was the only driver, who was disqualified.

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