Tedeschi/Harbin join eNHPL title-decider through Daytona wildcard
Two spots remained unclaimed in the eNASCAR Heat Pro League championship finale heading into Wednesday's wildcard event at the Daytona International Speedway.
Justin Brooks may already be locked in, but he dominated the early portion of this race as he eyed the $4,000 prize for winning.
The first caution flag flew with 27 laps to go. Luis Zaiter was able to move into the lead on the ensuing restart and controlled the race until 14 laps to go.
Slade Gravitt was then able to snatch away the lead with a great run on the outside, bringing Brooks with him.
The leaders dove down pit road for green-flag pit stops with seven laps remaining. A late caution set up a two-lap shootout with Matthew Heale leading Diego Alvarado.
A wreck in the back set up yet another GWC with Brooks able to grab the lead just before the yellow flew.
Brooks was able to fend off Gravitt for the win, but it was Brian Tedeschi in third who secured that final spot in the championship race for Team Penske Esports. He and Jordan McGraw appeared to make contact coming to the line as they battled for that coveted transfer spot.
XBOX RACE RESULTS:
Finish Start Driver Team
1 1 Justin Brooks JTG Daugherty Throttlers
2 8 Slade Gravitt Wood Brothers Gaming
3 12 Brian Tedeschi Team Penske eSports
4 2 Daniel Buttafuoco Germain Gaming
5 14 Casey Masser Roush Fenway Gaming
6 6 Jose Ruiz Leavine Family Gaming
7 13 Matthew Heale Gibbs Gaming
8 3 Sam Morris Hendrick Motorsports GC
9 10 Jordan McGraw RCR eSports
10 4 Matthew Selby Stewart-Haas eSports
11 5 Tyler Dohar JR Motorsports
12 7 Luis Zaiter Chip Ganassi Gaming
13 9 Riley Ogle GoFas Gaming
14 11 Diego Alvarado Petty eSports
The PS4 race was clean and green for the first half with Kyle Arnold comfortably in command. However, his race went sideways during a pit stop sequence with 24 laps to go. He sped on pit road, falling to the rear of the field.
Josh Harbin was now leading the way with Mike Braas pushing. However, a caution set up a 13 to go restart where Nick Jobes was able to slide into the top spot, but only briefly as Harbin and Braas worked back by four laps later.
A massive crash just shy of the white flag turned the race into a two-lap sprint, although another quick crash would re-rack the field. Harbin was able to fend off the field by pulling up the outside line on the final lap and blocking low before Brandyn Gritton could get to his inside, winning the race and securing the Leavine Family Gaming player a place in the title-decider.
Gritton was second and Cody Giles, who got alongside Harbin through Turns 3 and 4, was forced to settle for third and the thought of what could have been.
PS4 RACE RESULTS:
Finish Start Driver Team
1 4 Josh Harbin Leavine Family Gaming
2 6 Brandyn Gritton Stewart-Haas eSports
3 12 Cody Giles Wood Brothers Gaming
4 9 Josh Parker Gibbs Gaming
5 8 Mike Braas Petty eSports
6 3 Corey Rothgeb Team Penske eSports
7 1 Kyle Arnold Germain Gaming
8 7 Jason Mitchell GoFas Gaming
9 13 Maxwell Castro Chip Ganassi Gaming
10 14 Nick Jobes Hendrick Motorsports GC
11 2 Joey Stone RCR eSports
12 5 Joe Gornick JR Motorsports
13 11 Brandon Hanna Roush Fenway Gaming
14 10 TJ McGowan JTG Daugherty Throttlers
Championship field set
The eight-driver field is set for the championship race with all eight teams represented and four drivers from the Xbox One and PS4 leagues ready to do battle in August.
The contenders are:
Justin Brooks - JTG Daugherty Throttlers (Xbox)
Maxwell Castro - Chip Ganassi Gaming (PS4)
Daniel Buttafuoco - Germain Gaming (Xbox)
Brandyn Gritton - Stewart-Haas Esports (PS4)
Slade Gravitt - Wood Brothers Gaming (Xbox)
Josh Parker - Gibbs Gaming (PS4)
Brian Tedeschi - Team Penske Esports (Xbox)
Josh Harbin - Leavine Family Gaming (PS4)
New content heading to NASCAR HEAT 5® on July 30th
ASUS and Fanatec power eNASCAR Heat Pro League finals