Stewart-Haas eSports: Talladega Invitational Race Report

Sunday, Apr 26 305

Details:

 

• Race:  GEICO 70 (Round 5)

• Series:  eNASCAR iRacing Pro Invitational Series

• Date:  Sunday, April 26

• Location:  Virtual Talladega Superspeedway (2.66-mile oval)

• Distance:  70 laps (186.2 miles)

• Winner:  Alex Bowman of Hendrick Motorsports

• Note:  Race extended four laps past its scheduled 70-lap distance due to a green-white-checkered finish.

 

Stewart-Haas eSports Results:       

 

Kevin Harvick: Started 24th, Finished 12th (Running, completed 74 of 74 laps)

• Aric Almirola: Started 21st, Finished 18th (Running, completed 74 of 74 laps)

• Cole Custer: Started 23rd, Finished 26th (Running, completed 74 of 74 laps)

• Clint Bowyer: Started 17th, Finished 33rd (Running, completed 74 of 74 laps) 

 

Kevin Harvick, driver of the No. 4 Busch Beer Flannel Ford Mustang:

 

“We had a great race today at Talladega. We finished, and that’s really my only iRacing goal at this particular point. It was a good finish for our Busch Beer Flannel Ford Mustang. I’ve got to thank Mike Conti and his whole team for spotting and strategy and all the things that go into this craziness. I probably made a couple of bad moves there at the end, but I didn’t spin out coming to pit road under green, I ran with the leaders in that pack for a while, and just gut shuffled back there to 12th at the end. For me, it was a good day of iRacing.”

 

Aric Almirola, driver of the No. 10 Smithfield Ford Mustang:             

 

“It was fun at the beginning when I was actually racing with them. But once you get a little bit of damage – and I chose not to take the ‘quick’ reset – which repairs your car, and a lot of the other guys who were in that first wreck repaired their car, and then the race went green for a long time and I went a couple laps down. Then I wrecked under caution trying to take my ‘wave around’… I believe it’s actually easier in real life. There’s just so much going on. You’re trying to listen to people communicate with you, you’re trying to figure out what buttons to hit and what to do, the cars sort of buffer around and they just drive a little bit differently, especially the way they draft and move around. It was still fun. It was a great way to put on a show for our fans. That’s still the No. 1 thing. It gives them something to cheer for. Hopefully, we’ll get back to real racing real soon but, for the time being, this is the next best thing. Our Smithfield Ford Mustang came home in one piece after many ‘fantasy’ fixes.”

 

Clint Bowyer, driver of the No. 14 Barstool Sports Ford Mustang:            

 

“We had the ol’ Barstool Ford running well today and I was up front and even in the lead when all went bad with the engine. We somehow got back on the lead lap and were trying to get a top-10 finish there on the final lap, but that didn’t work out so well. Man what a deal. Talladega and Daytona – these restrictor-plate tracks are the only tracks that get your heart rate going like that, especially on a green-white-checkered. You pull your belts down and get them as tight as possible. You know all hell is going to break loose and it certainly did here in iRacing today.”

 

Cole Custer, driver of the No. 41 Autodesk Fusion 360/Haas Automation Ford Mustang:            

 

“Not the best day for us in the Autodesk Fusion 360/Haas Automation Ford at Talladega. We wrecked early and then got ourselves fixed up and got back on the lead lap. Unfortunately, Talladega iRacing was very similar to Talladega real racing. We got caught up in another accident at the very end. Definitely not how I wanted to end my first iRacing Pro Invitational Series race, but we’ll move on to next week.”

 

Notes:         

 

This was Harvick’s second appearance in the eNASCAR iRacing Pro Invitational Series. He scored his best finish, bettering his previous best result of 29th, earned in his debut April 19 at virtual Richmond Raceway.

 

• This was Bowyer’s fifth appearance in the eNASCAR iRacing Pro Invitational Series and his first time leading a lap. Bowyer’s best finish is 11th, earned twice (March 29 at virtual Texas Motor Speedway and April 5 at virtual Bristol Motor Speedway).

 

• This was the first appearance in the eNASCAR iRacing Pro Invitational Series for both Almirola and Custer.

 

• The eNASCAR iRacing Pro Invitational Series is an exhibition esports series featuring a collection of past and present racecar drivers from the NASCAR Cup Series.

 

• The eNASCAR iRacing Pro Invitational Series is a multi-week series emulating the original 2020 NASCAR Cup Series schedule.

 

• With the sports world on a necessary hiatus to combat the spread of the coronavirus, the eNASCAR iRacing Pro Invitational Series exists in place of actual NASCAR events.

 

Next Up & Where to Watch:

 

The next event on the eNASCAR iRacing Pro Invitational Series schedule is Sunday, May 3 at the virtual Dover International Speedway. The race starts at 1 p.m. EDT with live coverage via…

• FOX network

• FS1 (DIRECTV Channel 219 and Dish Channel 150)

• FOX Sports app

• FOX Sports Racing for fans in Canada

• Twitch.tv/StewartHaaseSports

 

 

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Speedway Digest Staff

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