Alex Bowman qualified 12th for the 100-lap event at Homestead-Miami Speedway on Sunday afternoon. The first virtual caution was shown on Lap 2 for an incident behind the No. 88 LLumar Chevrolet and Bowman elected to remain on track. The field took the green flag on Lap 8 and Bowman restarted 12th. Just two laps after taking the green, the LLumar driver was able to make the pass on the No. 14 of Clint Bowyer to enter the 11th position.
On Lap 12, the 26-year-old driver was able to make the pass for the 10th running position by working the inside lane. The caution flag was shown on Lap 14 and Bowman was scored in 10th. The LLumar machine visited pit road under the yellow for four tires and fuel and restarted 10th on Lap 19. Bowman got tagged by the No. 48 Ally machine on Lap 21 in the left rear of the LLumar Chevrolet and was forced to head to pit road for repairs. Bowman used his first reset under this yellow.
The Tucson, Arizona, native restarted 18th when the field went back to green flag racing on Lap 26. Less than two laps later, the caution was shown once again and Ives relayed to Bowman to remain on track. Bowman restarted sixth on Lap 32 and one lap later was scored inside the top five. Through a series of cautions, Bowman remained inside the top 10 and on Lap 50 he was in fifth. The caution came out on Lap 59 and the LLumar machine came to pit road for four tires and fuel.
After a pit stop mishap, Bowman was set to restart eighth on Lap 66. Knowing that he was needing to make some moves, Bowman began running the high line and was in fourth on Lap 68. Just one lap later the caution was shown and Bowman was involved. The No. 88 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE visited pit road for a reset and was set to restart 21st with 26 laps remaining. Three laps after the field took the green, the caution flag was shown once again at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
The LLumar driver elected to hit pit road for four fresh tires and fuel under the yellow and restarted 18th with 18 laps to go in the 100-lap event. In just nine laps, Bowman advanced 11 spots to run in the seventh position. With three laps to go, Bowman was scored in the sixth spot and would maintain that position through the end of Sunday’s event.
Alex Bowman: “I think we had an OK day. I feel like my virtual pit crew let me down there toward the end, but we were able to learn from that and rebound. I just burnt off the tires making those passes on the right side. The cars were so tight. The overall set up was just extremely tight. I probably cranked too much wheel into the car, but I had a lot of rear brake to help it turn. Very cool to get LLumar a top 10 today on the virtual Miami track and looking forward to racing again soon!”
For the first installment of the eNASCAR iRacing Pro Invitational Series, William Byron and 34 other NASCAR drivers took their talents to the virtual Homestead-Motor Speedway for Sunday afternoon’s race. Qualifying second for the 100-lap event, Byron showed speed early on in his No. 24 Axalta Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE, but a couple of late on-track incidents took him out of contention before the end of the race, leaving him with a 34th-place finish.
After securing a second-place starting position, Byron wasted no time taking over the top spot on the first lap of competition when the field took the green flag. Through two early cautions Byron remained in control of the field but elected to come down pit road under yellow on Lap 15 for four fresh tires and fuel. Lining up second on the ensuing restart after varying pit strategy, Byron once again battled for the lead, but another caution slowed his momentum. When the field went back racing, the driver of the No. 24 was in a tight battle for the second position with the No. 6 when the two made contact, bringing the yellow flag back out on Lap 29 and forcing Byron to pit road for damage repair, using one of his two damage resets.
Restarting 17th after the damage repair, Byron made his way up to 13th before the caution flag was displayed again. With pit strategy once again playing a factor, Byron elected not to come to pit road under the caution, giving him the lead for the restart on Lap 44. The 22-year-old iRacer continued to maintain the lead until Lap 52 when the handling of his No. 24 Axalta 24 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE swung to the tight side on six lap older tires than the rest of the field. The caution would once again come out, this time on Lap 59 as Byron had fallen to the fourth position. Under the yellow, Byron came to pit road for four fresh tires and fuel, lining him up fifth for restart. While battling with Hendrick Motorsports teammate Alex Bowman for the fourth position, the two were involved in an on-track incident forcing Byron to use his final damage repair reset. Looking to make a charge back to the front of the field, Byron unfortunately was collected in another on-track incident, sustaining enough damage to end his race early, leaving him with a 34th-place finish.
William Byron: “Bummer of a race for us. We had a couple incidents there. I got blocked the first time and that cost me a reset. I got blocked a second time and that cost me another reset. We were out of resets at that point. I was running in the back at that point and got collected in the last wreck. I guessed wrong on where Clint (Bowyer) was going to end up as he was rolling down the track. It’s a bummer though. We had the speed and led a few laps. I just didn’t anticipate how it was going to unfold. On to the next one.”