The eNASCAR Heat Pro League trucks dueled it out in the dirt at the virtual Eldora Speedway Wednesday night (July 1). Stewart-Haas eSports swept both races as Matthew Selby won the Xbox One event, while Brandyn Gritton captured his second victory in a row in the PlayStation 4 race.
Selby took the lead on lap one and never looked back, holding off Justin Brooks late in the race to before server issues forced the race to be cut short.
“I’m crazy right now, my father died and I made promise to him on his casket that I would win a feature at Eldora,” Selby said after the race, wearing his father’s driver uniform. “It ain’t the real car, but Eldora sure does mean a lot to me. He never got a feature win at Eldora; it’s special to me. Coming on the dirt, it’s the way I wanted it. If I could’ve picked any other way, this was the way I wanted it.”
Brooks earned second place while Tyler Dohar finished third. Germain Gaming’s Daniel Buttafuoco was fourth and Slade Gravitt rounded out the top five.
Selby shoved Brooks right after the green flag waved and made his way to the lead. He held off Buttafuoco for much of the opening period of the race until Buttafuoco made a mistake and turned sideways on the track, right in Brooks’ path. This caused a shuffling in the running order after the restart on lap 38. Still, Brooks and Buttafuoco both had fast enough cars to get back in the competition. A second caution came out for another unknown incident, and after the restart Selby and Gravitt held the top two spots.
Brooks steadily made his way closer to Gravitt’s rear bumper and eventually passed him after Gravitt went wide with about 20 laps to go. Dohar and Buttafuoco also passed Gravitt for third and fourth place.
Just as Brooks was about to get close to Selby, the Xbox server suffered latency issues, and the race was halted for a few minutes before officials announced its end with 10 laps remaining.
After the first or second caution, Diego Alvarado was booted from the server and ended in last place.
Got disconnected from the server. If anyone has any good luck rituals please send them my way. I can not believe this season #eNASCARHeat
— Diego Alvarado (@DiegoxAlv) July 2, 2020
The PS4 race was much more tame (as far as cautions/latency issues go), with Gritton leading from lap one on to the end.
While there was no cautions, there were still some battles throughout the field; even Corey Rothgeb, Jason Mitchell and Joe Gornick fought for ninth through 11th positions. Back at the front, Gritton flat out dominated the race and lapped four cars by the race’s end. Arnold was hot on the trail but just ran out of time and lappers, and had to settle for second.
“I knew I had a good truck going in,” Gritton said, “but in practice Red [Arnold] had me covered a little bit coming out of (turn) four, every practice we had. I knew… that he was going to be the truck that I had to beat, but we got a good restart. That’s what won us the race… we got that clean track position and got checked out a little ways. From there I knew we were equal enough to where… I could stay ahead of him. Thank God there were no cautions and we were able to set sail and get ourselves another victory.”
Cody Giles finished third, Josh Harbin was fourth and Josh Parker rounded out the top five.
The eNASCAR Heat Pro League heads to the virtual Auto Club Speedway next Wednesday, July 8. Coverage begins at 8 p.m. ET on nascarheat.com/live.