The first round of the eNASCAR Heat Pro League Playoffs was held Wednesday night with gamers making the switch to the all-new NASCAR Heat 4 game. JTG Daugherty’s Justin Brooks (mrTRACKBAR33) opened the night with a win in the Xbox race, followed by Leavine Family Gaming’s Josh Harbin (ThAbEaR_95) claiming an action-packed PlayStation race.
Ten teams entered the night vying to advance to Round 2 of the Playoffs, and despite TRACKBAR’s victory, JTG Daugherty was unable to advance due to his teammate’s 11th-place result in the Xbox race. Germain Gaming was also bounced out of the postseason, joining Hendrick Gaming Club, RCR Esports, Petty Esports and Chip Ganassi Gaming as the teams no longer in championship contention.
Harbin started second and remained near the front in the action-packed race featuring all 14 drivers competing on NASCAR Heat 4 for the first time.
Harbin took the lead with four laps to go and held off Gibbs Gaming driver TJ McGowan (Voltage20_) for the win. He felt the key to the race was having the right set up on his car and keeping his car out front.
“Honestly maintaining the tires was the difference for me,” added Harbin. “With this new package the tires are everything When I came out of pit road and I stayed with the No. 14 (SHG_HotRod_14p) and when we pulled up to the No. 8 (Sloppy_Joe_YT 8) and it was game on after that.”
Joey Stone (Sloppy_Joe_YT 8) started from the pole and finished third for RCR Esports with SHG_HotRod_14p fourth and Corey Rothgeb (Pennzoil2) completing the top five.
In the first playoff race of the night, Brooks dominated the early part of the race and rebounded late to pick up the win. Brooks was able to hold off Roush Fenway Gaming driver Nick Walker (wowTHATSgarbage) to win the Xbox One division feature.
“The 37 Scott Comfort Plus Chevrolet was fast here at Las Vegas (Motor Speedway) and I found something early before anyone else did and didn’t make any changes up until race day,” said Brooks. I had a fast car and I was a little loose at the end and I tried to cool my right rear and Garbage got up there to me.
“We’ve had a few rough weeks and I told my teammate Rowdy I was going to go out there and do my best.”
Brian Tedeschi (ShellVPower22) was third with Matthew Heale (GoFasMatt32) and Jacob Kerr (JacobKerr13) rounding out the top five.
With Tedeschi and Rothgeb both scoring top-five finishes. Team Penske Esports was able to remain in front of the points standings by 10 points over Roush Fenway Gaming. Stewart-Haas Gaming sits one point back in third. The win by Harbin helped Leavine Family Gaming move into fourth with Gibbs Gaming sitting fifth after one playoff event. JR Motorsports, Wood Brothers Gaming and GoFasGaming round out the Top 8 in points and keep their championship hopes alive.
The eNASCAR Heat Pro League will return to action in two weeks for Round 2 of the playoffs at Kansas Speedway. Coverage begins September 25th at 7:30 pm ET on eNASCAR.com.