Hamlin Wins Inaugural eNASCAR Pro Invitational Race with Last-Lap PassMarch 23, 2020
Denny Hamlin took the FedEx Express Toyota to a virtual Victory Lane for the first time Sunday, winning the inaugural eNASCAR Pro Invitational event at a simulated Homestead-Miami Speedway. The driver won the 100-lap race on the iRacing video platform with a last-lap pass around Dale Earnhardt Jr. as sports-hungry fans watched the exhibition event unfold live on FS1.
The racing community organized the simulator-driven event to help entertain fans while in-person racing is on hiatus. A barefoot Hamlin, who logged hours of practice time for the work-from-home event, started the race ninth from the seat of his simulator. He led 14 laps during the middle of the race and used a fresh set of virtual tires to surge back to the front in the closing laps.
Hamlin passed Earnhardt Jr. coming off Turn 4 of the 1.5-mile virtual oval to take the checkered flag.
“This was a great event for our whole racing community to put on for our fans, bringing everybody together to have some much-needed fun,” Hamlin said. “It felt great to get the win for FedEx, who has almost half a million team members around the world who are very busy ‘delivering for good’ right now, getting critical shipments to people and businesses.”
NASCAR expects to announce additional eNASCAR events for the coming weeks, with real-life NASCAR Cup Series racing tentatively scheduled to return on May 9 at Martinsville Speedway.