Relive the iRacing Pro Invitational Series at Bristol

We learned today that, even in virtual reality, Bristol Motor Speedway is one of the most difficult tracks in NASCAR.

Known as “The World’s Fastest Half-Mile,” BMS includes high banks and tight turns, so it was no surprise the race featured 11 cautions, but that only made 2017 NASCAR Xfinity Series champion William Byron‘s victory even sweeter.

This seasoned iRacer had no problem tackling the challenge – it sounds like he didn’t even break a sweat:

“It’s tough. It’s one of the race tracks I’ve always enjoyed coming to in the cup car and really all the cars I’ve ran there. Obviously working on this track in the offseason on iRacing it was helpful. It’s fun to have a little bit of pressure in a race on iRacing because I normally just do it try and learn and get better, but to be able to run it infront of a good group of guys and a lot of different names is really cool.”

NASCAR FOX Sports Insider Bob Pockrass had jokes following the race – very applicable ones though.

“We expected a lot of cautions, expected that to happen when you have several drivers not very experienced in iRacing at Bristol. Not surprised that some drivers quit or some drivers got parked or they used their resets up quickly. Also not surprised William Byron won, he’s an experienced iRacer.”

For most drivers, it was a far cry from a cake walk. NASCAR Cup Series driver and our very own “in-race” analyst Clint Bowyer seemed to hit road block after road block today:

“This is Bristol man! You never leave Bristol – there is only one guy that leaves Bristol happy, that’s the winner. Everybody else is mad, hates each other for a few days and then gets over it. Right now during the quarantine this might last for a month, who knows?”

We’re starting the catch phrase, “I got Bubba-ed.” However, after review, it looks like Bubba first got Bowyer-ed?

Maybe it was subconscious payback from Bowyer after last week? You be the judge.

“I got Bubba-ed. This is worst than real life. These guys forget this is 150 lap race. Come on, Bubba!”

It’s one thing if it gets a little heated between drivers on the track, but a whole other issue if you’re not getting along with your own team – especially your crew chief. Former NASCAR crew chief and racing analyst Larry McReynolds volunteered to help out Bowyer this week, but maybe Larry bit off more than he can chew.

“I need you to stay out. I’m a little bit busy right now. Look, I know tires are free, but I think we’ve already put eight sets in 50 laps on you. Just stay out.”

Bowyer wasn’t our only in race analyst having a tough time today. NASCAR Cup Series driver and two-time Daytona 500 winner Jimmie Johnson dealt with cautions and heavy damage from start to finish.

“Just trying to stay clean … I mean, we’re all trying to deal. It’s just difficult to do so in the game.”

Yeah, he was having a tough time alright, and it sounds like he wasn’t the only one unhappy with his crew team.

Damage was the name of the game. NASCAR Cup Series driver Kyle Larson was already driving a beat up car, but Daniel Suarez certainly didn’t help matters. It seems these two decided settling scores was more important than winning titles.

“Oh, I think this is payback for something that must have happened earlier in this race … it’s not over yet. It’s like you ruined my day let me ruin your day.”

Honestly this is probably how every driver, except our champion, was feeling … and still is feeling.

“My frustrations set in – man I need beer really badly right now.”

No one and nothing was safe today. Some drivers decided to come onto the track even when the caution was out, including two-time Daytona 500 winner Dale Earnhardt Jr. and 2004 NASCAR Nextel Cup Series champion Kurt Busch.

Watch out – cones! Oops.

Despite all the trials and tribulations, our drivers were still having a great time.

Even the cone destroyer himself:

NASCAR Cup Series driver Ryan Blaney was his own worst enemy, but still finished with a smile.

We’re not sure we believe him … but NASCAR Cup Series Alex Bowman claims he enjoyed himself.

Hopefully his dog did this week, too!

Fingers crossed drivers will have a little better luck next week.

We’ll see you then!