In real life, Talladega Superspeedway has always been a venue for chaotic NASCAR Cup Series action, so it comes with no surprise that the virtual counterpart is the same. Once the dust settled, Alex Bowman was a first-time winner in the eNASCAR iRacing Pro Invitational Series.
Corey LaJoie started on the pole for the GEICO 70, but perhaps the biggest name in the field was Jeff Gordon. The four-time Cup champion and NASCAR Hall of Famer was making his iRacing début in a car modeled after his #24 Pepsi vehicle run during his 2004 Talladega win.
Gordon’s day quickly went awry when he was sent airbourne and into the catch fence on lap 16, triggering a multi-car wreck. For Gordon, it was technically the second time he flipped in a Cup car, the first occurring in the 2012 Shootout (now Busch Clash) at Daytona International Speedway. Unlike the Daytona wreck, Gordon was able to continue here as he used his one available reset.
More wrecks occurred throughout the race with the likes of Denny Hamlin, Cole Custer, Timmy Hill, Brad Keselowski, Brennan Poole, and Jimmie Johnson all being sent for rides. Clint Bowyer, who has entertained fans with his antics throughout the Pro Invitational season, eventually found himself in the lead for a grand total of two seconds before his engine failed.
In a tangling of 2000s stars and Hall of Famers, Gordon and Bobby Labonte wrecked together on pit road. Other race casualties included Hamlin suddenly getting parked, Aric Almirola hitting the wall and collecting Bowyer, a sideways Joey Logano, and a flipping Ryan Blaney.
Hamlin pinned his disqualification on his daughter entering his room with a remote and turning off his screen.
The race eventually went into overtime, where Bowman received a push from Ryan Preece to the win.
Bowman tweeted after his win, “I’m legitimately confused how this happened”.