Alex Bowman Captures eNASCAR iRacing Talladega Victory

There are few things like the No. 88 winning at Talladega Superspeedway—even if it takes place within a digital server.

Alex Bowman survived an overtime finish and took the Hendrick Motorsports No. 88 to victory lane on Sunday afternoon in the nationally televised eNASCAR iRacing Pro Invitational race at the venerable Alabama venue.

It is the third straight digital race won by a Hendrick driver, following back-to-back William Byron victories at Bristol Motor Speedway and Richmond Raceway.

Bowman was somewhat surprised by the outcome, given the minimal practice time he puts into the platform, compared to some of his contemporaries.

“I ran the practice race this week, man,” Bowman said. “Yeah, I don’t know. I think Talladega is the one you can get away with running minimal practice, so that was good. You know, I think we didn’t run very well last week at Richmond, and that came down to a lack of practice, but I think this week I (practiced) a little bit, and it ended up being enough, so that was good.

“But yeah, it’s been a learning curve for sure, and I’ve kept myself busy in other ways, so probably haven’t put the same amount of time into it as some of the other guys have. Probably take it a little more lighthearted than some of the others do, as well, but that’s just been kind of my approach to it.”

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Ty Dillon took the white flag as the leader but spun off the nose of Corey Lajoie. That triggered a mad scramble toward the finish, with Bowman just edging out Lajoie at the line. Dillon fell to 23rd.

Lajoie was making his debut in the eNASCAR iRacing Pro Invitational. Ryan Preece, Garrett Smithley and Landon Cassill completed the top five.

The first 15 laps were uneventful before a 17-car melee was triggered when a race-leading Ricky Stenhouse spun off the nose of Ty Dillon. The crash also included Chase Elliott, Jimmie Johnson and Jeff Gordon.

Gordon was making his nationally televised iRacing debut on Sunday and was inside the top five at the time of the incident. He was involved in a second crash near the end of the race and finished 38th.

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The Big One strikes with a vengeance early at @TalladegaSuperS.

Denny Hamlin finished 39th, the victim of 7-year-old daughter Taylor’s switching off his monitor during a green flag stint, leading to a crash that eliminated the three-time Daytona 500 winner from contention.

Bowman was leading before the final multi-car crash with seven laps to go was initiated by Joey Logano and Team Penske teammates Ryan Blaney and Brad Keselowski. The incident also included Ross Chastain, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Chris Buescher and Erik Jones.

“Yeah, I guess just right place, right time, kind of the normal speedway racing deal,” Bowman said. “I felt like the bottom wasn’t the place to be, so kind of let Ty have the bottom on that restart and got up, and just tried to keep the run timed well and knew that most of the time the top was leading there at the start-finish line.

“So really just got to thank Preece for pushing me because that’s what made the difference at that point. When you’re that lead car, it’s really the guy behind you making the difference. Glad it worked out.”

Following time trials, the top 10 were supposed to have been inverted, but a technical glitch prevented the inversion, with the field starting straight up with LaJoie on the pole.

The complete results can be found below.

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