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Sweet Home Virtual Alabama

Alex Bowman - photo by Larry Robinson - BSN

August 26, 2020 – Virtual Talladega

Alex Bowman held on in overtime to score a eNASCAR iRacing Pro Invitational Series victory in the GEICO 70 at virtual Talladega Superspeedway.

Bowman broke through in the fifth race of the simulation series, created last month in an effort to fill the sports-viewing void with real-world racing on hold because of the COVID-19 pandemic. He held off all challengers in overtime, avoided a collision that stymied Ty Dillon and netted his first victory in the series.

Pole-starter Corey LaJoie grabbed second place with Ryan Preece a close third. Garrett Smithley wound up fourth and Landon Cassill completed the top five.

Jeff Gordon made his eNASCAR iRacing Pro Invitational Series debut, finishing 38th in the 39-car field after involvement in a pair of crashes. The first incident, on Lap 16, catapulted his throwback No. 24 Chevrolet into the catch fencing, forcing him to use a repair reset to continue. The four-time champion in NASCAR’s premier series also added commentary to the broadcast through his usual role as a FOX Sports analyst, offering plenty of back-and-forth with guest analyst Clint Bowyer, who slowed with engine failure while running second in the middle stages and later recovered for 33rd place.

William Byron led during the middle portions of the event, but his two-race win streak ended with a sixth-place effort. Byron had won the previous two events in the invitational series, prevailing April 5 at virtual Bristol Motor Speedway and adding another victory last weekend at virtual Richmond Raceway.

LaJoie started first after winning the Busch Pole Award in pre-race qualifying. A planned inversion of the top 10 starters was scrapped, but Byron, Timmy Hill and Parker Kligerman — last week’s top three finishers — were placed at the rear of the field for the initial green flag.


12288Alex BowmanChevrolet8Running
2132Corey LaJoieFord7Running
33137Ryan PreeceChevrolet1Running
41151Garrett SmithleyChevrolet3Running
5289Landon CassillChevrolet0Running
63224William ByronChevrolet9Running
7715Brennan PooleChevrolet4Running
81918Kyle BuschToyota0Running
9131Kurt BuschChevrolet0Running
101096Daniel SuarezToyota0Running
113366Timmy HillToyota0Running
12244Kevin HarvickFord0Running
133495Christopher BellToyota0Running
141547Ricky Stenhouse Jr.Chevrolet0Running
152052JJ YeleyFord0Running
163577Parker KligermanToyota5Running
173912Ryan BlaneyFord0Running
182110Aric AlmirolaFord0Running
19122Brad KeselowskiFord11Running
202853Joey GaseChevrolet0Running
211849Chad FinchumToyota0Running
223831Tyler ReddickChevrolet0Running
23613Ty DillonChevrolet8Running
2453Austin DillonChevrolet0Running
25838John H. NemechekFord11Running
262341Cole CusterFord0Running
271417Chris BuescherFord3Running
28379Chase ElliottChevrolet0Running
2936Ross ChastainFord0Running
3048Dale Earnhardt Jr.Chevrolet2Running
312719Bobby LabonteToyota0Running
322548Jimmie JohnsonChevrolet0Running
331714Clint BowyerFord1Running
341634Michael McDowellFord0Running
35921Matt DiBenedettoFord0Running
363022Joey LoganoFord0Disconnected
372620Erik JonesToyota0Disconnected
3829024Jeff GordonChevrolet0Running
393611Denny HamlinToyota1Disconnected

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