(Photo: NASCAR)

Josh Parker, Daniel Buttafuoco Claim eNASCAR Heat Victories at Virtual Auto Club

The eNASCAR Heat Pro League headed out west to the virtual Auto Club Speedway Wednesday night (July 8). By the end of the wild evening, Josh Parker and Daniel Buttafuoco stood tall over the competition in the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One events.

PlayStation 4

Parker led late in the race before a caution came out with seven laps to go. Most of the field pitted under this caution except for Kyle Arnold and Josh Harbin, who led on the final restart. However, Arnold couldn’t hold the position on older tires and dropped back, while Parker retook the lead.

While he held steady, the rest of the field battled for position, including Brandyn Gritton and Nick Jobes. Gritton knocked Jobes out of second, but Jobes was able to retake the position as Gritton spun through the infield on the final lap. When the checkered flag flew, Parker claimed his first victory of the 2020 season.

Jobes, in his No. 25 Hendrick Motorsports GC car, finished second, while Richard Childress Racing eSports driver Joey Stone took third. TJ McGowan and Corey Rothgeb rounded out the top five.

Parker was in the mix for the lead all throughout the race and was able to grab the top position with 33 to go. Soon after, the first round of pit stops began, with Jobes kicking off the sequence. Parker retook first after the cycle concluded, but then the caution came out with about 19 laps to go.

Later, another yellow flag waved with 14 laps remaining after Arnold got squirrelly and hit the wall. The final caution involving Brandon Hanna came with seven laps to go. Still, Parker had the best car of the night, though he did need a bit of a push to get back to the front in the final laps.

Xbox One

On the Xbox side, Buttafuoco won his third race of the season thanks to a hard-charging move with 13 to go. He passed Justin Brooks just before the caution came out and held off those behind him at the California speedway.

That's the win for Josh Parker and Joe Gibbs Racing at virtual Auto Club! The Xbox drivers are up next! NASCARHeat.com/Live #eNASCARHeat NASCAR

Posted by NASCAR Heat on Wednesday, July 8, 2020

Hendrick Motorsports GC driver Sam Morris took second for the team, while Tyler Dohar came in third. Slade Gravitt was fourth and Jose Ruiz completed the top five.

Luis Zaiter and Brooks started on the front row but quickly dropped back as Diego Alvarado took the lead at his home track. However, after the first round of pit stops, Alvarado fell to sixth place. Then, with 23 laps to go, Eldora Speedway victor Matthew Selby hit the outside wall, skidded across the racetrack and then hit the inside wall on the backstretch. As a result, the running order changed during this caution.

Brooks took the lead with 20 laps remaining and held off Gravitt’s challenge. But cautions breed cautions; Alvarado’s bad luck continued as he slid down the track and back up the banking, hitting the outside wall.

This allowed Buttafuoco to take the lead away from Brooks just before another caution involving Nick Walker. Both Buttafuoco and Brooks raced side-by-side after the next restart, but a huge wreck occurred that took Brian Tedeschi and Selby out of contention.

Then, on the green-white-checkered finish, Buttafuoco blocked and played defense over Morris and Dohar, and successfully earned the win.

Next week the eNASCAR Heat Pro League heads to virtual Road America on Thursday, July 16. Coverage begins at 8 p.m. ET on eNASCAR.com/live.

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