Team Penske eSports eNASCAR Heat Pro League Race Report
Tracks: Virtual Michigan International Speedway
Virtual Phoenix Raceway
Virtual Bristol Motor Speedway
Race: Round 14/Championship Finale – NASCAR Cup Series
Date: August 19, 2020
No. 22 Shell-Pennzoil Ford Mustang – Brian Tedeschi (ShellVPower22)
Michigan Start: 26th
Michigan Finish: 26th
Laps Completed: 34/35
Phoenix Start: 18th
Phoenix Finish: 9th
Laps Completed: 45/45
Bristol Start: 22nd
Bristol Finish: 12th
Laps Completed: 80/80
- The championship finale for the 2020 season of the eNASCAR Heat Pro League featured a dynamic, three-race format at the virtual recreations of Michigan International Speedway, Phoenix Raceway and Bristol Motor Speedway. Brian Tedeschi (ShellVPower22) and seven other drivers began the night with a shot at the championship with the two lowest-finishing drivers in each of the first two races being eliminated, leaving four to race for the trophy and a $30,000 payout.
- For the first time in the two-year history of the league both the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 divisions shared the same virtual racing surface using the PC edition of NASCAR Heat 5.
- Tedeschi clinched his opportunity to race for the championship thanks to a strong showing in the wild-card race in Round 13 at virtual Daytona International Speedway.
- After starting from the rear of the field at Michigan, Tedeschi fought the handling of his Ford Mustang for much of the evening and his 26th-place finish prevented him from moving to the next round to compete for the championship.
- Unfortunately for Tedeschi, the second race of the night at Phoenix did not start well for the Purdue University graduate. He improved the handling of the Shell-Pennzoil Ford Mustang throughout the 45-lap race – utilizing two mid-race cautions to his advantage – to rebound for a ninth-place finish.
Qualifying put Tedeschi at a disadvantage from the start at the half-mile Bristol bullring. He started the 80-lap event from the 22nd position. In a race that featured multiple cautions, Tedeschi was able to keep his Ford Mustang fairly clean and finished 12th the final race of the season.
“Obviously I’m disappointed with the way the championship series unfolded for the No. 22 Shell-Pennzoil Ford Mustang. I was really hoping to win another championship for Team Penske because it is such a pleasure to drive for them in the eNASCAR Heat Pro League, along with representing Shell-Pennzoil. We just missed it tonight but I’m proud that we were able to put ourselves in position to win the title by making it to the finale.”
No. 2 Wurth Ford Mustang – Corey Rothgeb (Wurth_2)
Michigan Start: 16th
Michigan Finish: 3rd
Laps Completed: 35/35
Phoenix Start: 5th
Phoenix Finish: 4th
Laps Completed: 45/45
Bristol Start: 19th
Bristol Finish: 10th
Laps Completed: 80/80
- Corey Rothgeb (Wurth_2), despite winning earlier in the year at virtual Talladega Superspeedway, was not among the eight drivers competing for the 2020 eNASCAR Heat Pro League championship.
- But Rothgeb was still determined to finish the season on a high note. After restarting from the top spot following a caution with eight laps to go, the Wurth Ford Mustang driver nearly pulled off an upset win before settling for a third-place finish at Michigan.
- The speed in the No. 2 Wurth Ford Mustang carried over to the race at Phoenix as Rothgeb parlayed an aggressive mindset and a fifth-place starting position into a fourth-place finish, his second top-five finish of the night.
- Rothgeb started 19th in the final race of the night at Bristol with work to do to make it three top-five finishes on the night at the virtual “Last Great Colosseum.” After putting forth a valiant effort in a race that was marred by several caution periods, Rothgeb ended his evening with a respectable 10th-place finish.
- Team Penske eSports finished the year in the sixth position in the team standings.
"I’m really proud of the effort tonight in the three-race finale. I wish I could have been a part of the championship race but to end the season like that gives me a lot of confidence for next year. I can’t thank Wurth for coming onboard on the No. 2 Ford Mustang this season. It was great to represent them this year. It’s going to be a long offseason but that gives me plenty of time to get ready for 2021.”