eNASCAR Heat Pro League returns for Season Two
Esports | April 22nd, 2020
Gamers representing real-life NASCAR teams will compete for their share of the $210,000 prize pool as the second eNASCAR Heat Pro League season gets underway on Wednesday night.
In partnership with Motorsport Games, the series will feature 14 eNASCAR teams competing on the officially licensed NASCAR Heat 4 video game.
Each time will be comprised of one Xbox One gamer and one PlayStation 4 player, who were selected by the teams in the draft process or retained from the first season. A series of pre-season races offered a chance for the qualified drivers to prove their value to the watching teams.
With the postponement of the NASCAR season due to the coronavirus pandemic, the draft process was brought forward by a few weeks to ensure the virtual season could get underway in April rather than in May, as originally planned.
The regular season will be split into three four-race segments. The opening race of the first segment will take place this Wednesday at the virtual Homestead-Miami Speedway in NASCAR Cup Series cars.
The venue played host to the $10,000 NASCAR Heat All-Star last month, which witnessed high-drama as two drivers who started in 17th and 15th places won the two races.
All-Star Xbox race winner Nicholas Walker will line-up for Roush Fenway Racing’s Esports division in the regular season alongside Brandon Hanna, who won the first pre-season PS4 race.
They will face tough competition such as defending series champions Stewart-Haas Esports and its 2020 drivers, new recruit Matthew Selby and the returning Brandyn Gritton.
Rookie Selby had been on course to win the final pre-season PS4 race in NASCAR Truck Series machinery before he made contact with a lapped truck and dropped to fifth.
His team-mate Gritton, who topped the league in 2019, has also suffered his fair share of bad luck at the circuit.
“I’ve always been fast at Homestead and I love the multi-groove racing,” 24-year-old Gritton said. “Unfortunately, luck hasn’t been on our side there. We dominated our last race there but got beat on fuel strategy.
“That has us feeling pretty confident that the speed will be there in our Smithfield Ford Mustang.”
Selby’s misfortunate in the final pre-season race handed the win to Cody Giles, who has partnered with Wood Brothers Racing – responsible for running Matt DiBenedetto in the real-life series this year.
Another strong favourite among the PS4 players is Josh Harbin, who almost took Leavine Family Gaming to the inaugural title last year.
The Xbox pre-season races were dominated by Germain Gaming’s Daniel Buttafuoco who took a clean sweep of three race wins. Buttafuoco also has strong form at the Homestead-Miami track having completed the podium in the All-Start event.
Buttafuoco was picked in the draft by Germain to race alongside the returning Xbox racer Kyle Arnold.
Chip Ganassi Gaming was one of three teams to opt for an entirely new line-up after a disappointing 2019 season. They picked Xbox competitor Luis Zaiter and PS4 racer Maxwell Castro.
Drivers will compete across Cup, Truck and Xfinity vehicles across the 12-race regular season. This will be followed by a special wildcard race at Daytona and a final championship race.
The first round at Homestead-Miami will begin at 8pm Eastern Time on Wednesday night (1am on Thursday BST). All of the action will be streamed on Motorsport.tv.
2020 eNASCAR Heat Pro League line-up:
Team, Xbox player, PS4 player
Chip Ganassi Gaming – Luis Zaiter, Maxwell Castro
Petty eSports – Diego Alvarado, Mike Braas
Hendrick Motorsports GC – Sam Morris, Nick Jobes
RCR eSports – Mitch Diamond, Joey Stone
Germain Gaming – Daniel Buttafuoco, Kyle Arnold
JTG Daugherty Throttlers – Justin Brooks, Mathew Billingsley
Wood Brothers Gaming – Slade Gravitt, Cody Giles
GoFas Gaming – Riley Ogle, Jason Mitchell
Gibbs Gaming – Matthew Heale, Josh Parker
Roush Fenway Gaming – Nick Walker, Brandon Hanna
JR Motorsports – Tyler Dohar, Joe Gornick
Team Penske eSports – Brad Tedeschi, Corey Rothgeb
Leavine Family Gaming – Jose Ruiz, Josh Harbin
Stewart-Haas eSports – Matthew Selby, Brandyn Gritton
For more on the exciting world of Esports, check out Motorsport Games