NO. 24 AXALTA CHEVROLET CAMARO ZL1 1LE
Date: March 22, 2020
eNASCAR iRacing Pro Invitational Series Race #1: virtual Homestead-Miami Speedway
Track Specs: 1.5-mile oval / 100 laps
RECAPPING THE RACE:
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 race 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.
QUOTING 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.”