Another week, another Pro Invitational win for William Byron. This win at Dover is Byron’s third in the past four weeks, throwing out the sixth-place finish at virtual Talladega. A pass on the inside with eight laps to go gave Byron the lead. Christopher Bell would manage to move himself up to the second position, and with just one lap left to go Bell was pressing hard. He was able to get to within a quarter of a second on Byron, before the No. 24 car captured another hard fought eNASCAR victory.
This Saturday’s event at Virtual North Wilkesboro Speedway will be the last race in this Pro Invitational, before moving on from the simulation tarmac. NASCAR will return to racing two weeks from now, the bleachers will, of course, remain empty, but it’s certainly a nice first step. Darlington will kick off the next of four NASCAR races, which will be split down the line between Darlington and Charlotte.
Looking towards this week’s race at virtual North Wilkesboro, the last time a real NASCAR race was run here was in 1996. Dale Earnhardt_Jr will be sporting a new paint scheme from his new TV show Lost Speedways. There will also be a few notable driver changes for this Saturday’s race. The biggest is the absence of Byron, who will be taking this week off to be with family. As well Martin Truex Jr will finally be making his Pro Invitational debut race, and Jon Wood will be taking over the No. 21 Ford.
So without further ado, let’s delve into the driver options for North Wilkesboro. The race will be shown at 8 p.m. ET Saturday on eNASCAR.com/live and the NASCAR YouTube Channel.
High Salary Drivers
Timmy Hill ($ 12,500 DK $ 15,000 FD) – Dale
This past weekend at the Monster Mile, Hill would indeed have a nice little rebound from his 11th place finish at virtual Talladega. He would lead 32 laps, which was second-most among drivers behind only Byron. Hill would finish third; his fifth top-three finish in six races. When you consider that Hill’s had two potential victories in this Pro Invitational quashed by eventual winner Byron. The absence of his iRacing arch-rival this weekend should leave the No. 66 chomping at the bit to finish out the series in style.
Ryan Preece ($ 10,000 DK $ 12,000 FD) – Dale
The second highest-priced driver on FanDuel for this iRace event. If you’re looking for someone that can carve up these tricky short flat tracks, Preece might just be your driver. Preece had a great run going at virtual Richmond starting on the pole and having led 59 laps. That was until a late race incident with Matt Dibenedetto killed what could have been a fantastic point day. It was, in fact, a week prior to Richmond, that he would capture a top-six result at the paper clip. I have no problem giving Preece another chance this weekend.
Garrett Smithley ($9,700 DK and $11,000 FD) – Brandon
Smithley is still one of the best iRacers in the field. With Byron not in the race this weekend that makes him one of the favorites to win the race at +700. Smithley consistently runs in the top ten and there’s no reason for that to change this week. His worst finish is 17th and outside of that every other race he has finished in the top ten. He has scored more than 40 fantasy points in four out of six eRaces. Look for Smithley to finish the Pro Invitational series on a high note with a good strong finish.
Brennan Poole ($5,500 DK and $7,200 FD) – Brandon
Poole has quietly put together some solid finishes in the Pro Invitational Series. He has finished in seventh and 11th the last two weeks. Those were the only events he competed in but the strong runs are promising. Poole scored an average of 45 fantasy points in those two races. That is about as good of a value driver you can find. Poole will look to put together another strong run in the final Pro Invitational race.
J.J. Yeley ($5,400 DK and $3,500 FD) – Brandon
Yeley is a great cheap option again this week. He’s one of the bottom five drivers in terms of salary but his finishes are not bottom five. Similarly to Poole, he has only competed in the last two races. However, he has put together some solid top 20 finishes in those two races. Yeley finished 19th and 15th in those two races. With those finishes, he scored 32 and 34 fantasy points. Yeley will look to finish in the top 20 for the third week in a row and will be one of the better value drivers on this slate.
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