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eNASCAR iRacing Pro Invitational Series

Erik Jones Steals First eNASCAR iRacing Pro Invitational Win in Next Gen Car at Darlington

In the real world, three of Richard Petty’s historic 200 NASCAR Cup Series wins came at Darlington Raceway behind the wheel of his famous #43 car. In the virtual one, it was Erik Jones adding another historic triumph to the Petty racing legacy at Darlington on Wednesday night.

Jones swooped around Timmy Hill and Anthony Alfredo with two laps remaining to steal the eNASCAR iRacing Pro Invitational Series victory from the Lady in Black, the ultimate nod to NASCAR’s history in the culmination of an industry-redefining day. Driving a throwback to the late John Andretti’s STP ride that gave Petty Enterprises its final win in 1999, Jones scored the first-ever win in NASCAR’s Next Gen car, which was unveiled to the world on Wednesday afternoon and released in iRacing shortly afterward.

Darlington has hosted NASCAR Throwback Weekend for nearly a decade, and Wednesday’s virtual event featured the unique juxtaposition of retro paint schemes on cars that won’t race for real until next year. One of those throwback designs belonged to Dale Earnhardt Jr., who qualified on pole and led the first third of the race before finally yielding the top spot for the first time to William Byron on Lap 48. Earnhardt Jr. managed to outrun two immediate wrecks on the opening lap, and spent most of the race in the top 10.

Byron and Hill would establish themselves as the fastest cars on track in the middle stretch of the race, before contact between Joey Logano and Austin Dillon bunched the field again with under 20 laps to go. That restart led to an immediate wreck, tearing up many of the top cars, but with Jones and Earnhardt Jr. escaping unscathed.

Hill held the lead coming into the final restart with three laps to go and pounced to an early lead, but a strong run from Anthony Alfredo’s damaged car would force Hill to defend. That opened the door for Jones to pass both on the penultimate lap and establish just enough space to keep Alfredo from challenging to take the spot. Earnhardt Jr., Tyler Reddick, and Chase Elliott would complete the top five, with Hill fading to outside of the top 10 after contact with the wall in the mad dash to the finish.

eNASCAR iRacing Pro Invitational Series results from Darlington Raceway were as follows:

Fin.St.No.NameManufacturerLapsIntervalLedBest
12243Erik JonesChevrolet120228.620
2338Anthony AlfredoFord120-0.268028.506
3188Dale Earnhardt JrChevrolet120-0.4294728.665
4118Tyler ReddickChevrolet120-0.504028.562
5379Chase ElliottChevrolet120-0.720028.575
6291Kurt  BuschChevrolet120-2.235028.741
7915James DavisonChevrolet120-2.530028.628
8142Brad KeselowskiFord120-3.247028.604
93387Jesse IwujiChevrolet120-3.312028.882
103999Daniel  SuarezChevrolet120-5.035028.621
111066Timmy HillToyota120-6.4423928.597
123547Ricky Stenhouse JrChevrolet120-8.737028.763
132653Joey GaseChevrolet120-13.399029.046
142451Garrett SmithleyChevrolet120-30.682028.597
151319Martin Truex JrToyota119-1 L028.780
16520Christopher BellToyota119-1 L028.523
172710Aric AlmirolaFord119-1 L028.880
183823Bubba WallaceToyota118-2 L028.642
192322Joey LoganoFord118-2 L028.780
20254Kevin  HarvickFord118-2 L028.790
212152Joshua BilickiFord117-3 L028.463
22320Quin HouffChevrolet115-5 L028.693
23618Kyle  BuschToyota114-6 L028.576
24714Chase BriscoeFord114-6 L028.605
25424William Byron JrChevrolet113-7 L3228.578
26125Kyle LarsonChevrolet112-8 L028.459
271577Justin HaleyChevrolet107-13 L028.714
281848Alex W BowmanChevrolet94-26 L028.534
29163Austin  DillonChevrolet94-26 L028.813
303125Bobby LabonteChevrolet84-36 L029.138
313478BJ McleodFord78-42 L028.903
32306Ryan  NewmanFord73-47 L028.602
331741Cole  CusterFord58-62 L028.606
34287Corey LaJoieChevrolet54-66 L028.815
35821Matt DiBenedettoFord52-68 L028.753
361917Chris BuescherFord32-88 L028.788
372034Michael McDowellFord31-89 L028.812
38211Denny HamlinToyota18-102 L029.425
393642Ross ChastainChevrolet0-120 L0

The eNASCAR iRacing Pro Invitational Series will continue on Wednesday, May 19 at Circuit of the Americas, with racing beginning at 7PM ET on FS1. For more information on iRacing and for special offers, visit www.iRacing.com.

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