Barefoot Hamlin wins in virtual Homestead Miami spectacle

While NASCAR's finest couldn't display their talents on the physical track, drivers still found a way to keep it's fan base entertained.

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Sports

March 23, 2020 - 9:40 AM

Denny Hamlin, left, passes Dale Earnhardt Jr. on the last lap to win the first ever Pro Series Invitational virtual reality race at iRacing's Homestead-Miami Speedway. Photo by PHOTO/NASCAR

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — The stands were packed, Jimmie Johnson caused several wrecks, Denny Hamlin raced barefoot and damaged cars were repaired with the push of a button — a few virtual signs that NASCAR backed quite an unreal race.

NASCAR eased off the brake in the real sports world brought to a sudden halt by the coronavirus and introduced the country to iRacing with some of the sports biggest stars. Hamlin, the three-time Daytona 500 winner, beat Dale Earnhardt Jr. off the final corner Sunday at virtual Homestead-Miami Speedway to win the bizarre spectacle.

“For the community, the racing community, the NASCAR drivers to come together and put drivers on the racetrack with such short notice, everyone is buying up simulation rigs this week and last week getting ready for the event, and for it all to come together and have a great finish, I think it was definitely a success,” Hamlin said.

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