Get to know the eNASCAR Heat Pro League Ganassi drivers

Esports | April 30th, 2019

Ahead of the season-opening race to be held during Memorial Day weekend, features drivers from each team that were drafted earlier this year.

The drivers, one each selected to participate in the PlayStation and Xbox divisions for all 14 participating NASCAR teams, will compete in the 16-race season.

The next team to be feature is the Chip Ganassi Racing race team and their two first draft picks Josh Parker and Gregory Matazarro.

For more information on eNASCAR Heat Pro League please visit eNASCAR Heat Pro League.

eNASCAR Heat Pro League Driver Bios

Josh Parker

Age: 28

Hometown: Cranston, RI

Team: Chip Ganassi Racing

Console: (Xbox or PlayStation) PS4

How much has gaming expanded or added to your interest in NASCAR?

It hasn’t really expanded or added to my interest as I loved the sport my whole life but it helps me get a different perspective when watching the race on a Sunday. Gaming these days is very realistic when it comes to strategy, so being put in crucial situations as if it were real life really just helps you understand what exactly is going on during a Monster Energy Cup race.

Why do you prefer using PlayStation 4?

No real big preference. I think if MLB The Show was made for XBOX I could’ve been racing on that console.

What made you decide to try out for the eNASCAR Heat Pro League?

I’ve been a professional Sim Racer in the past before having to put it down for a few years. When this opportunity came around that itch I had to race and be competitive again just came right back.

A 16-race season is a long one. How do you plan to approach the races and get yourself in position to make the playoffs and eventually win the first eNASCAR Heat Pro League Championship?

I plan on just being there at the end. There’s really no need to go out there and lead every lap of every race because I know these races are going to come down to strategy.  As long as I can string together good solid finishes, we will be ok.

Any other interesting facts you’d like to share about yourself?

I’ve been a professional Sim Racer since 2006. I started sim racing on my computer with NASCAR racing 2003 season. Back then, Dale Jr was Sim racing as well and I was able to hook up with his “group” and we all raced together in leagues until iRacing was formed. iRacing took professional sim racing to the next level by starting the “Drivers World Championship Series”, now known as the “Peak Antifreeze Series”. I won the inaugural PRO series in 2009 which is what qualified me into the Peak series. I raced at iRacing’s top level series for 3 years all for Dale Jr. and carried the Suave for Men colors. The time and effort it took to be at that level was just too much to balance with real life that I was forced to fade away from professional sim racing. Thanks to 704Games, I’m able to get back into the driver’s seat and take on the world’s best once again.

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Gregory Matarazzo

Age: 24

Hometown: Bridgewater, NJ

Team: Chip Ganassi Racing

Console: (Xbox or PlayStation): Xbox

How much has gaming expanded or added to your interest in NASCAR?

The gaming side of things definitely helped expand my interest in NASCAR and made me a lifelong fan. I remember first seeing NASCAR randomly on my television as a kid sometime in 2002 and saw the driver name Greg Biffle pop up on screen so I continued watching because he had the same name as me. Next thing I remember is eventually buying NASCAR Thunder 2003 and NASCAR: Dirt to Daytona which got me way more familiar with all the drivers, schemes, and the sport overall. I fell in love with the feeling of winning through pit/race strategies and trying to build up my driver through the career modes to get better equipment. Maybe that’s where the entrepreneur mindset in me was originally transpired – haha. But also that’s what had me ready for the 2003 Daytona 500 as that was the first race I remember sitting down to watch the full race rooting for Kurt Busch, who ended up finishing second and gained a fan in me.

Why do you prefer using Xbox?

I don’t really have a preference as I grew up on Playstation 2 then Playstation 3 only to switch to Xbox last year so that I could play Fortnite with my roommate prior to them allowing cross platform play. I’ve enjoyed both consoles.

What made you decide to try out for the eNASCAR Heat Pro League?

As a lifelong NASCAR and racing fan, it has always been my dream to be a race car driver but the opportunity just wasn’t fully there in terms of resources, circumstances, etc. I then figured if I ever became successful enough then I would just try to become an owner of some sort and at least own a team someday, anything that could get me involved with my favorite sport. So when they announced the eNASCAR Heat Pro League it was another chance to get involved with the sport, plus I was already playing NASCAR Heat 3 all the time so it was just a matter of signing up and participating in the qualifying rounds. I saw the bigger picture instantly, considering how big esports has become and is still becoming as well as what I believe I can bring to the sport. This is going to be huge for the future and I’m very thankful to be a part of this movement, something I never imagined back in the day while playing those original NASCAR video games.

A 16-race season is a long one. How do you plan to approach the races and get yourself in position to make the playoffs and eventually win the first eNASCAR Heat Pro League Championship?

Currently we’ve been doing exhibition races to get a feel for things and really get to see how competitive things are going to be. We’ve got a very fast group of guys that I think it’s going to be very tough to beat and win so we’ve been putting in the hours of testing and practice almost every day to build our setups so that we can get some wins this year. I plan on running as many laps as possible to keep getting better and have our setups ready to go at least two weeks prior to a race so we are fully comfortable and prepared come race time.

Any other interesting facts you’d like to share about yourself?

Yes, so I am a bit of a culture shock to the sport and as a fan. Firstly, I’ve been a city type of guy as I’ve lived in New York City for five years and now in LA for two years which both have a very minimal NASCAR presence. Right before I moved to NYC for college in 2012, I have launched my own clothing brand called Burassi, which is a streetwear brand that represents the New York hustle, and I am still operating it to this day. Since launching, I have accumulated sales from all 50 states and over 40 different countries all through promoting the brand on social media. This helped me land the opportunity to intern for Daymond John from Shark Tank, which was a surreal experience getting to work in his office 66 floors up in the iconic Empire State Building and opened some doors for me.

Also one of my roommates while living in NYC is a popular music producer, most notably being one of the producers on the hit song ‘Mo Bamba’ and one of my roommates from last year here in LA is a youtuber with over 1 million subscribers, both of which have helped me continue networking and push my brand. I have been an entrepreneur grinding on the internet creating connections and opportunities for quite some time. When I was 15 years old and looking for a way to make something out of myself I thought of being a manager for an artist after seeing how successful Soulja Boy had become through Youtube with his music and hit song Crank That.

I realized social media was becoming a whole new marketing tool that anybody could hop on and use, it was just a matter of mindset. And so I found a rapper online who was around the same age as me and posting videos of his music and we agreed to work together. I managed to get him almost 40,000 subscribers and millions of views on youtube within two years. Though we ended up going separate ways, he is now signed to The Weeknd and goes by the solo name Drew Howard but is also in a rap duo called 88glam.

I still have unreleased song files on a hard drive from when we were working with another artist who at the time went by the name Jahron B, but is now known by the name Partynextdoor and is signed to Drake. After managing Drew and before I went on to launch Burassi, I had found a way to make some money online by posting article links on twitter that I’d get paid every time someone clicked on the link.

At one point I was making almost $300 a week at 16 years old. I then used some of that money to help fund the original designs for Burassi, which were created by an online friend who is now a member and the graphic designer of the popular group Brockhampton. And now I’m on the same NASCAR team as the driver that I grew up watching (Kurt Busch) and even used to race with his number #97 during my time racing go-karts as a kid. Life is pretty crazy how things play out I’d say.