Hamlin put the bumper to Chastain for the win at North Wilkesboro Speedway; Chastain then crashed Hamlin after the race
On Saturday, NASCAR visited the digital version of North Wilkesboro Speedway. It was the debut of the old NASCAR short track on the digital racing sim platform.
Watch the Denny Hamlin vs Ross Chastain video below.
It was also the finale of the online racing series. The final eNASCAR Pro Invitational Series event, featuring real-world racing stars. Next week, the drivers are set to return to the real thing at Darlington Raceway.
For the previous for weeks, the racing wasn’t real, I guess. But, it’s as real as it can possibly get from the comfort of driver’s living rooms. And the rage on the digital road can be very real.
In the First 10 laps of 160 at North Wilkesboro, Hamlin was inside of John Hunter Nemechek. These two drivers tangled multiple times last week at Dover International Speedway.
Last week, it ended with Nemechek stuffing Hamlin in the fence while he was running in the top-5. A week later, Nemechek was around as Hamlin gave him no breaks.
From there, Hamlin’s race continued. He drove the #11 to the front of the field.
Denny Hamlin vs Ross Chastain
With 9 laps to go, he was running down Ross Chastain for the race lead. Chastain elected to stay out on a previous caution. Track position placed him in the lead. But, with four, slightly newer tires, Hamlin was coming to the front.
Hamlin had a run off turn two. He looked to the inside, Chastain pulled inside down the backstretch to block.
As they approached turn three, Hamlin leaned on the rear bumper of Chastain. The car jumped sideways and Chastain was forced out of the gas as he chased it up the hill.
Chastain was collected with more contact as the field swarmed. Landon Cassill got into him as many drivers shared a beating on the bumper of Chastain.
Meanwhile, Hamlin drove off to the race win in the first ever iRacing event on the brand new North Wilkesboro Speedway.
After the race, Chastain located the rear bumper of Hamlin. He drove into him and turned him around. But, the race was already over, Hamlin picked up his 2nd win in the eNASCAR Pro Invitational Series.
Denny Hamlin on the bump to Ross Chastain
Woody Cain: What happened with Ross Chastain?
“It’s just short track racing,” Denny Hamlin stated in his NASCAR Media availability.
“Really, it was just two guys going for the same spot. He saw I had a run coming.”
“The thing with iRacing, the leader has such a tremendous advantage on restarts.”
“We’re hearing in our heads from iRacing officials, every time there’s a spin or a wreck. We don’t know whether they’re going to throw a caution or not.”
“So, inside 10 laps to go, I get to him. I’m thinking, ‘I gotta make short work of him, like really quick.’ “
“Cause, if a caution comes, I don’t want to restart 2nd. The leader has such an advantage, it will take 5 laps, at least, to get around him. We would have less than that to go, by the time we went green.”
“I knew I had to get around him quick. So, I got a good run on him. He saw that I was going to be inside. Obviously, he did his best to try and block there.”
“As you could see, when I got into the back of him, I immediately checked up to try to let him catch it. Luckily, he did. Then, I think he got turned in the next corner. I’m not sure what happened there.”
“I never would have thought his tires held up as good as they did. It was fun. Really, if you talk about a bump-n-run, it was a textbook way of doing it. You get the guy up out of the groove but you don’t wreck ’em.”
Hamlin won the first eNASCAR event at Homestead-Miami Speedway. He’s now followed that up by winning the series finale at North Wilkesboro Speedway.