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William Byron earns first Pro Invitational Series victory

William Byron earned victory in Sunday’s Food City Showdown for the eNASCAR iRacing Pro invitational Series at virtual Bristol Motor Speedway.

After leading the first 73 laps, the No. 24 Axalta Chevrolet driver took the lead back from Chris Buescher with 42 laps remaining and never looked back. Buescher obtained the lead after using pit strategy to find the front.

“It was a lot of fun,” Byron told FOX Sports following the race. “We had to work through some track position and really keep ourselves up toward the top five.

“This one of the race tracks I always enjoy coming to in the Cup car,” he added. “… It’s fun to have a little bit of pressure on a race in iRacing.”

Byron3 Pro Invitational Bristol Enascar 2020
William Byron led 116 laps on the day.

John Hunter Nemechek finished second, the same place he started, while last Sunday’s Texas Motor Speedway winner Timmy Hill finished third. Homestead-Miami Speedway winner Denny Hamlin earned a fourth-place result, while Matt DiBenedetto rounded out the top five.

The event was filled with multiple cautions, including a storm of early yellow flags involving Ryan Preece, Kyle Busch, Ryan Blaney, Clint Bowyer, Jimmie Johnson and Bubba Wallace.

Chase Elliott’s day ended prior to Lap 50 when his No. 9 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet turned over in Turn 3 after heavy contact with Ty Dillon’s No. 13 GEICO Chevrolet.

The most eventful caution of the day occurred when Kyle Larson and Daniel Suarez got together coming out of Turn 4 at the halfway point of the race. After the caution flew, Larson intentionally wrecked Suarez in Turn 1. For the second week in a row, Suarez was removed from the race by iRacing officials due to the nature of the incident. Larson was also removed from the race.

Byron earned the Busch Pole Award after winning the first of two heats prior to Sunday’s 150-lap race at the .533-mile concrete oval, starting alongside John Hunter Nemechek on the front row who was the winner of the second heat. NASCAR Cup Series drivers qualified to set the lineup for the pair of heat events, with the first heat setting the inside lane, while the second heat set the outside lane.

Byron joins Denny Hamlin (Homestead-Miami Speedway) and Timmy Hill (Texas Motor Speedway) as the third different winner in the three Pro Invitational Series races held so far.

Full Race Results

Bristol Main Event Results Pro Invitational Series Enascar 2020