William Byron goes back-to-back, wins virtual Richmond in late race shootout

William Byron held off a hard charging Timmy Hill to take the checkered flag at Richmond in the eNASCAR Pro Invitational iRacing Series. It would be the first time in the series that a driver would win back-to-back races.

“Just really pleased with how it turned out,” Byron said. “The pit call there with about 40 laps to go was a tough one. I didn’t really know how that was gonna to work out, but luckily we were able to have a little bit of buffer to the guys with four tires, and then the late restart, it just executed that well.”

Ryan Preece obtained the pole in his No. 37 Chevy with Landon Cassill on his outside. With no quick repairs, drivers had to be extra cautious to avoid trouble.

Preece would lead the field to the green flag, Byron would shuffle into second while outside pole sitter Cassill would drop to fourth.

The first caution would fly on Lap 26 when Chris Buescher’s No. 17 Ford Mustang would have his wheel disconnect, sending him for a spin. Kevin Harvick would be also swept up in the crash.

Preece would lead on the restart, but a yellow would fly immediately as Ross Chastain and Alex Bowman would collide off of Turn 2. Clint Bowyer would crash trying to check up as he and Bubba Wallace would make contact, sending the No. 14 into the Turn 3 wall.

Another restart would fly but Kurt Busch would find trouble as he, Joey Logano, Ryan Blaney, and Austin Dillon would crash into Turn 1, bringing out another yellow. Kurt Busch was trying to get toward the inside but would get hit by Logano’s No. 22, putting the No. 1 into the inside wall and up into the field.

Preece would still maintain the race lead, with Byron and Timmy Hill in hot pursuit.

Bowyer would lose the engine for his No. 14 car, knocking him out of the race.

As the race remained green, the gaps would get much closer. Byron would close in the gap as he would take a look to the inside on Lap 60 and pass the No. 37 with ease in Turn 3. Brad Keselowski would take over the fourth position over Dale Earnhardt Jr. on Lap 65, the No. 2 would gradually move his way upward as the Team Penske car would eventually surge to the third spot.

Pole-sitter Preece would start to drop back, as Parker Kligerman and Cassill would pass the No. 37, putting Preece in seventh. Matt DiBenedetto and Ryan Preece would make contact in Turn 1, sending the No. 37 for a spin, bringing out the caution.

Keselowski had issues getting into his stall under caution, giving him damage to his No. 2. Byron would have a good jump on the field and held a solid gap over Kligerman. Hamlin would lose positions due to being stuck on the outside, but would file back in line.

DiBenedetto would be disqualified from the session after retaliating against Preece. Preece had turned the No. 21 into Turn 1 earlier, and shortly afterward DiBenedetto would return the favor. He would be parked for the remainder of the race.

Due to the skirmish between Preece and DiBenedetto, it would jam the field up once again. Byron would stay out on the track, but a vast majority of the field would come down pit lane to take some fresh rubber.

Byron would continue to lead, with Christopher Bell and Erik Jones following behind. The top 3 had stayed out on older tires while those behind would had much fresher tires.

Kligerman and Hill had a close call as the No. 77 would put on a block down the backstretch. Hill would hit the back end of the Valvoline Toyota, sending Kligerman up the racetrack.

With 24 laps to go Garrett Smithley and Daniel Suarez would make contact, sending the No. 51 into the Turn 4 wall. No caution would fly and the field would continue racing. Jones would move up toward the second spot while Bell would drop backward as Hill would barge his way toward the third spot.

Hill’s charge to the front would continue as he would pass Jones in Turn 2 with 15 laps to go. Kligerman and Hamlin would also begin their climb as they would march towards the top 5.

Byron’s lead would maintain a second gap, but a caution with four laps to go would evaporate the gap.

Tyler Reddick and Bell would crash off of Turn 2. The wreck would continue as Bowman, Ryan Blaney, and several others would be swept up in the carnage trying to avoid the No. 31 and No. 95 cars.

A late shootout would ensue. Byron would have the proper jump but Hill would try and close in. It wouldn’t be enough as Byron would be victorious at Richmond.

Results:

  1. 24 – William Byron
  2. 66 – Timmy Hill
  3. 77 – Parker Kligerman
  4. 89 – Landon Cassill
  5. 18 – Kyle Busch
  6. 11 – Denny Hamlin
  7. 20 – Erik Jones
  8. 8 – Dale Earnhardt Jr.
  9. 43 – Bubba Wallace
  10. 2 – Brad Keselowski
  11. 9 – Chase Elliott
  12. 31 – Tyler Reddick
  13. 6 – Ross Chastain
  14. 19 – Bobby Labonte
  15. 13 – Ty Dillon
  16. 38 – John Hunter Nemechek
  17. 51 – Garrett Smithley
  18. 96 – Daniel Suarez
  19. 37 – Ryan Preece
  20. 1 – Kurt Busch
  21. 17 – Chris Buescher
  22. 88 – Alex Bowman
  23. 12 – Ryan Blaney
  24. 95 – Christopher Bell (Disconnected)
  25. 22 – Joey Logano
  26. 48 – Jimmie Johnson (Disconnected)
  27. 21 – Matt DiBenedetto (Disqualified)
  28. 3 – Austin Dillon
  29. 4 – Kevin Harvick
  30. 14 – Clint Bowyer (Disconnected)



The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of SpeedwayMedia.com.

Gavyn Do
Aspiring motorsports journalist, a simple man that loves cars going fast.

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