NASCAR: First iRacing disqualification blamed on dog

NASCAR’s first disqualification of the eNASCAR iRacing Pro Invitational Series happened at virtual Texas Motor Speedway and has been blamed on a dog.

The second race of the eNASCAR iRacing Pro Invitational Series, which started last weekend in response to the coronavirus pandemic shutting down live NASCAR racing action for the foreseeable future, took place at virtual Texas Motor Speedway on Sunday.

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It was Timmy Hill who took the checkered flag to win the 125-lap race around the virtual four-turn, 1.5-mile (2.414-kilometer) oval in Fort Worth, Texas after coming up shy the previous week with a third place finish at virtual Homestead-Miami Speedway.

This race featured a number of late caution flag periods, including one that involved Daniel Suarez trying to get revenge on Ty Dillon — and failing. As Suarez’s #96 Toyota and Dillon’s #13 Chevrolet made their way down the back straightaway, Suarez moved to his inside and then veered right in an attempt to retaliate against Dillon for an earlier incident.

He failed, which led to his #96 Toyota slamming into the outside wall before coming back down the track and hitting the inside wall. This destroyed his car, and it also led to iRacing officials parking him for the remainder of the event.

Suarez, who did not compete in the previous week’s race at Homestead-Miami Speedway, jokingly blamed his dog Emma for “jumping on the wheel” and trying to wreck Dillon, who he admitted hadn’t intentionally done anything wrong to lead to this retaliation attempt.

Here is what Suarez had to say after the race in a video.

“Hey amigos, we are done with the first iRacing race. Actually, the first race I have done. It was a lot of fun. Actually, we did way better than I was expecting. We qualified in the top-10. We raced in the top-10, top-5. It was good. We pitted for four tires and I thought we were going to finish in the top 5. Then, Ty Dillon wrecked me. He had old tires. So, it wasn’t intentional. And then, Emma jumped on the wheel and Emma tried to wreck Ty.”

Due to the disqualification, Suarez was scored in 33rd out of 35 drivers after qualifying in ninth place. The two who were classified behind him were Christopher Bell and Anthony Alfredo, both of whom disconnected from the race.

The next race on the eNASCAR iRacing Pro Invitational Series is scheduled to take place at virtual Bristol Motor Speedway this Sunday, April 5. It is set to be simulcast live on the Fox broadcast network, Fox Sports 1 and the Fox Sports app beginning at 1:00 p.m. ET.

This series is set to continue each weekend when there would have been a NASCAR Cup Series race. The races are set to take place at the virtual editions of the venues which would have hosted Cup Series races. As of now, the real 2020 season is scheduled to resume on Saturday, May 9 at Martinsville Speedway, leaving four more eNASCAR iRacing Pro Invitational Series races, but this is subject to change.