With Byron’s second straight iRacing win, when will NASCAR get its first virtual upset?

Four weeks into the eNASCAR iRacing Pro Invitational Series, and no one has been able to pull off an upset.
We’re talking a real upset, not a driver with limited name recognition or on-an-actual-racetrack major accomplishment. We’re talking an iRacing upset, someone who was an underdog going into all this virtual racing because, well, let’s face it, these drivers didn’t make a name for themselves through virtual racing.
The drivers who have won these virtual races – Denny Hamlin, Timmy Hill and now back-to-back winner William Byron after his triumph Sunday at the virtual Richmond – are good on the simulated racing platform.

TWO IN A ROW! RETWEET TO CONGRATULATE @WILLIAMBYRON ON HIS #PROINVITATIONALSERIES WIN AT VIRTUAL RICHMOND. pic.twitter.com/TuSEiFOv7z
— FOX: NASCAR (@NASCARONFOX) April 19, 2020

But who will finally break through and show that he has learned the quickest?
Look, nothing against Byron or the other iRacing gurus. It just would be cool to see someone else win.
“Kyle Busch is the obvious choice,” Byron said. “In the practice race that I did, he ran third, and he ran fifth today. His talent and ability to understand the cars is coming through.”
Several drivers, including Busch, showed potential Sunday. The highest finisher among those with limited iRacing experience was Busch in fifth, following Byron, Hill, Parker Kligerman and Landon Cassill.
“What I saw this week was everyone was really equal on a short run in terms of speed, even the guys with a little bit less experience,” Byron said. “The more experience is just running the longer runs and knowing how the tires wear and stuff like that.”
Don’t ever try to get between @LarryMac28 and his strategy reports, y’all.
Everything about this interaction is great. @ClintBowyer | @JeffGordonWeb | @KevinHarvick | @mikejoy500 pic.twitter.com/hnfMVAveis
— FOX: NASCAR (@NASCARONFOX) April 19, 2020

Among those in the top 10 who also don’t have significant iRacing experience were Erik Jones, who finished seventh and only had three starts in iRacing. Brad Keselowski, in his 34th iRacing event, finished 10th.
“Keselowski was really impressive recently,” Byron said. “It’s just little details here and there that make a difference. Everyone is really close now.”
Busch, also in just his fourth start, started 27th in the 30-car field. Qualifying in this format is two laps, and Busch needs more time to figure out how to click off an immediate fast lap.
“We don’t have very good qualifying efforts, but once we get going and into the race, you can methodically, slowly pick your way off and get yourself more up to the front and run with some of them top guys,” Busch said.
“It certainly would be nice to figure out qualifying, start up front and see if we have shot to race in the top-3 all day and race for a win.”
Keselowski indicated how much practice helped:
They say practice makes perfect. Definitely helped this week! pic.twitter.com/bxFOtBWoGh
— Brad Keselowski (@keselowski) April 19, 2020

“I’m real excited about the progress,” Keselowski said.
With the series following the NASCAR schedule, that makes Talladega the race for next week. So that could get interesting to see whether the drafting is similar and will be an equalizer.
Or it might just be that the experience of iRacing, just like it is on the track, will help at that type of track.
“You’re going to see a lot of aggression and things of that nature,” Byron said.

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