Chase Briscoe holds off William Byron to win NBC Short Track Challenge

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Chase Briscoe held off a hard late charge by William Byron to win NBC’s eSports Short Track iRacing Challenge at a virtual Martinsville Speedway on Thursday.

in true Martinsville tradition, Briscoe received a miniature grandfather clock for holding off the other nine drivers entered.

Briscoe was given a “Peacock provisional” to enter the race, failing to qualify during Tuesday’s two heat races at a virtual Lucas Oil Raceway.

But Briscoe took advantage when pole-sitter Byron, who dominated the race for the first 40-plus laps, along with the driver closest to him, Parker Kligerman, were assessed pass-through penalties for being “too good at iRacing” and sent to the back of the field.

When the race restarted, Briscoe roared to the front on Lap 51, with Christopher Bell in hot pursuit, but never yielded the lead the rest of the way.

“That was a kind a gift with the invert deal with William,” Briscoe said. “It was fun. I was trying to save the right rear tires and acted like I had an egg under the gas pedal and I couldn’t break it and obviously it helped.

“We’ll take it any way we can get it, for sure, but William was definitely the class of the field.”

Here’s the final finishing order: Briscoe, Byron, Christopher Bell, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Kligerman, Kyle Busch, Landon Cassill, Ryan Preece, Denny Hamlin and Kyle Larson.

Byron roared back from the back of the field to fourth place with 30 laps to go and took second with 17 laps left. It appeared like he would catch Briscoe, but fell short.

“I think I had a virtual loose wheel,” Byron laughed. “Chase did a good job keeping it out front. I was just hoping he’d have some big slide so I could capitalize, but every time he would slide, I’d rush the gas and slide too. He did a good job holding me off.”

Byron was kind of a ringer in the race because unlike several of his competitors, he’s been iRacing for nearly a decade with 292 wins in public events (and countless others in private events).


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