CHARLOTE NC– Wednesday evening Stewart-Haas Gaming was crowned as the inaugural eNASCAR Heat Pro League champions. All teams were present at the NASCAR Plaza in Studio 43 in Charlotte, North Carolina for the inaugural title event. The finale was ran at ISM Raceway as an 70-lap event for both groups.
While the event was brand new for the NASCAR Heat Series, it brought they aroura of a true championship event on Wednesday evening. While all of the drivers were excited for the event, many from the NASCAR industry also made their way out to see the live event.
“I saw this for the first time yesterday I was blown away,” said Tim Clark, senior vice president and chief digital officer at NASCAR.
“I think all the work that has gone into it to get different groups march in the same direction has been really cool to see. I’m really excited for the players to have this opportunity tonight for a setup as cool as this, so I think we were optimistic, but I’m still blown away by this.”
Starting a new series to any type of capacity can be quite a challenge for both the competitor and the series itself. However, 704 Studios President Colin Smith had a brand-new challenge starting of fresh.
“We really didn’t know what to expect getting into this at the beginning of the year and we are successful now because of all the different groups that make it a success,” Smith said. “You’ve got NASCAR, the teams and 704 Games, there’s a lot of work put in by a lot of people to build up what is essentially a lot of the same fundamentals of an actual league,”
“We’re really impressed and we’re really happy with where we are in year one and looking forward to even more in year two.”
Following the buildup to the main events, the inaugural season was quite the contest as it all came down to a tiebreaker between Stewart-Haas Gaming and Levaine Family Racing would be the deciding factor in the championship.
The night was kicked off by the PlayStation 4 group taking on the first 70-lap race at ISM Raceway. The opening race was exactly what Stewart Haas Gaming was looking for as Brandyn Gritton (SHG_HotRod_14p) dominated the competition by leading 58 laps and taking the win.
The night closed out with the Xbox group going for the championship and to many peoples surprise it was all down to fuel mileage. It all came down to a frantic finish at the line with Petty eSports driver “diego dd18” running out of fuel and Nick Vroman (HDMotorsports95) taking the checkered flag!
Despite the win for Vroman, the tiebreaker came down to laps led and because of Gritton’s performance in the previous race, Stewart Haas edged Leavine Racing for the championship.
“I don’t think it’s settled in yet I’m still on a high right now, I think it will later but at the moment it’s unbelievable,” said Gritton