The eNASCAR Heat Pro League drivers went to virtual Sin City Wednesday night (July 22). In the end, Wood Brothers Gaming’s Cody Giles and JTG Daugherty Throttlers’ Justin Brooks gambled their ways to the front and captured the victories at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Josh Parker and Slade Gravitt also locked themselves into the championship in this final segment.
Before the night got started, some points penalties were announced against five drivers, including Kyle Arnold, Brandyn Gritton and Matthew Selby. They were docked five or 10 points for rough driving or intentionally bringing out the caution.
On the PlayStation side, Giles was in contention all throughout the race and survived the wrecks and battles to take his second victory of the season.
”It’s incredible,” Giles said after the race. “We try to gain as much as we can every week. Going into this week we were hoping that something would give. We knew that Road America was not what it was for us as a team, but we came into Vegas, very good car, very strategic, and the race came into our hands. On that last restart I probably had to fight and claw my way through but we finally got it.
“Daytona is next week, Daytona’s going to be a good race. I think it’s a good shot for us to get there. We definitely have the momentum now for next week.”
Mike Braas finished runner-up and Nick Jobes came back from a spin to take third. Joey Stone, who was involved in several incidents, claimed fourth, and Maxwell Castro rounded out the top five.
Team Penske eSports driver Corey Rothgeb began on the pole but fell back to fourth within 11 laps. Stone held the top spot when the first round of pit stops began, but afterward, Giles took the lead from Stone.
Then, at about the halfway mark a big wreck ensued involving Stone, Kyle Arnold and Josh Harbin.
Joey Stone's been running at the front all night but an incident in the second half of the race brings out the caution and sends some front runners to the back.
— NASCAR Heat (@NASCARHeat) July 23, 2020
After the restart everyone jostled for positions, and last week’s winner Parker moved underneath Giles to take the lead. However, Brandyn Gritton used the draft to get alongside Parker and took the first position.
Soon after, Stone got heavy damage after hitting the wall and spinning down the banking, bringing out the caution. Jason Mitchell tried a little strategy play and took the lead over Parker with 11 laps remaining.
Everyone battled as hard as they could, even going three and four-wide, using every part of the track except the grass. Parker then found himself up front once again, this time on Mitchell’s inside. Unfortunately, Mitchell went wide in a turn, bounced off the wall and into traffic.
Parker was up front on the final restart with two laps to go, but Gritton shuffled Parker outside the groove, allowing Giles to move up into the top spot where he held on the rest of the way.
— Justin Melillo (@justinmelillo) July 23, 2020
The Xbox One Race was a bit more tame (though one driver, Nick Walker, raced in a hot dog suit).
As usual, Brooks and Daniel Buttafuoco were the class of the field, separating themselves from the rest of the pack. Though there was one caution early on for a big wreck, the field settled down and pit strategies came into play.
Eventually the field was broken up into groups, with Brooks and Buttafuoco at the helm. Zaiter also had a fast car and, on the second round of pit stops, found his way up front after pitting earlier than everyone else. The lead was short-lived, however, as Buttafuoco and Brooks quickly got around him with 13 laps remaining.
Brooks later took first away from Buttafuoco with six laps to go, while Zaiter on older tires fell back to fifth. It was a very close battle for the lead, but when the checkered flag waved Brooks took his sixth victory of the year.
Buttafuoco was second and Slade Gravitt held strong in third. Diego Alvarado had a solid race, finishing in fourth, and Zaiter held on for a top five.
Though Gravitt didn’t find victory lane in this third segment, he still was able to finish high in the standings to claim his spot in the championship race. He did win at New Hampshire Motor Speedway earlier this season, however.
— Justin Melillo (@justinmelillo) July 23, 2020
It all comes down to the wildcard race at Daytona International Speedway next Wednesday, July 29 at 8 p.m. ET. Drivers will switch to the new NASCAR Heat 5 for this event.
About the author
Joy joined Frontstretch in 2019 as a NASCAR DraftKings writer, expanding to news and iRacing coverage in 2020. She's currently an assistant editor while continuing to write daily fantasy and news articles. A California native, Joy was raised as a motorsports fan and started watching NASCAR extensively in 2001. She earned her B.A. degree in Liberal Studies at California State University Bakersfield in 2010.
A daily email update (Monday through Friday) providing racing news, commentary, features, and information from Frontstretch.com
We hate spam. Your email address will not be sold or shared with anyone else.