Motor Sports Picks: NASCAR iRacing Invitational at Talladega

Man, I thought we had some solid picks last week with Denny Hamlin and Alex Bowman but those two guys only managed to finish 6th and 22nd, respectively.

It was a 2-man show all day with Ryan Preece leading 59 laps and the winner for a second week in a row, William Byron, leading 94.

It appears that the iRacing minimizes some of the variables we see week-to-week in the Monster Energy Cup Series. Those variables naturally lead to, yup, you guessed it, variability. Variability is bad, mmkay.

With our newfound predictability comes lower betting odds. I suppose that’s alright, though. I’m pretty sure about you but I love to win.

That’s two in a row for the favorite Byron and two straight runner-up performances from Timmy Hill as well.

Timmy… Timmy was second down on the betting board behind Byron each of the past two weeks.

At Talladega this week, he will share the second spot down the board with the previously mentioned Denny Hamlin and Dale Earnhardt Jr. Yes, he’s out of retirement.

Here’s a quick video from a month ago when Dale Jr was passed by Hamlin as the Virginian made his way to victory lane in Miami.

Hey, even Jeff Gordon is back! No, not in the booth. I’m taking in the saddle…or the seat, if you will. The big video game chair made famous by early 90s arcade games.

I think he has been focusing on his commentary duties and is just bored right now. If he spends hours a day iRacing at home, I would be very surprised. Good luck beating these young guys at video games.

Speaking of those youthful drivers, I am going with one or two at the top of the betting board until they prove me wrong.

There is one sleeper I have, though, that I think you will love. More on him in a few.

BetOnline.AG has the betting odds for us this week.

Let’s look at those and make our predictions for a possible winner for this week’s NASCAR iRacing Invitational “at” Talladega.

William Byron: +375

He was barely (+200) last week coming off of 1 win. Now he has two in a row and they nearly double in value? I’ll take it.

He now has 2 victories on the NASCAR iRacing circuit. Just because he finished 21st in his last outing at Talladega doesn’t mean he will come up short in the video game version.

At first, I was using track history to make my predictions. While it is a highly valuable measurement in an actual physical race, I don’t find this marker to be helpful when picking the winner of an iRace.

William is also our leader in total laps led. Give him a few bucks for a potential three-peat on Sunday.

Timmy Hill: +800

This guy. I was like: Who in the Hill is Timmy? He has burst onto the NASCAR scene and for those following iRacing, is now a household name.

Hill, the Port Tobacco, Maryland native, is the only driver on the new iRacing circuit to finish inside the top 3 in all 4 races.

That is very impressive and impossible to ignore at 8 to 1 odds.

Kyle Busch: +1200

Watch out… This guy is the most competitive driver in the country, in my opinion.

We have all heard the stories of Michael Jordan taking 5 bucks off of a security guard in a game of ping pong or coming to blows with his teammates in practice.

While I will never credit any athlete as having a comparable level of competitiveness to MJ, nobody wants it more on that track than Kyle Busch.

Many are annoyed by it as there always seems to be a reason why he lost but that is just his overactive ego not accepting the loss.

It sounds entirely unhealthy spiritually and I suppose it is. He puts food on the table, though, and his family is set for life. There’s that.

He is making his way up the leaderboards and even snuck into the top five at the finish of last week’s iRacing event at Richmond.

Dale Earnhardt Jr: +800

Dale Jr, Kyle Busch, Jeff Gordon, Timmy Hill… We have all the greats competing against one another this week at the iRacing Invitational from Talladega.

The 6-time Talladega winner, Jr, has participated in a few iRacing events so far and he has always appeared to be a kid at heart and looks like the type to play some video games.

Dale Jr is only 3 points outside of 4th place in the NASCAR iRacing standings. He was 8th last week at Richmond.

I think the old man has some Talladega tricks up his sleeve for Sunday, though.

The Picks
William Byron
Timmy Hill
Kyle Busch
Dale Earnhardt Jr

In Conclusion

Let’s go racin’, boys!

I would much rather see this on a real track, yes, but the video game is fun too. The graphics on iRacing are outstanding.

This Sunday’s race will feature a couple of 40-somethings of NASCAR racing years past. You might have heard of them. Dale Jr and Jeff Gordon! How cool is that?!

Tune in to NASCAR’s Youtube channel or if you can’t find it on your tele but it should be shown on FOX.

Get your bets in now, team, and enjoy watching your favorite drivers struggle with a video game!

Mike Pruitt / Author

Mike has been covering sports professionally since 2017 but on the amateur scene for 25 years since when he was 12. Before the internet changed the world, he would keep detailed statistical box scores of NFL and NBA contests, write recaps, and voluntarily commentate games and fights alone in his room. Mike's military experience, Bachelors Degree, and employment thereafter were always rooted in engineering, science, and teaching. Now he enjoys being able to express himself through writing about football, golf, and car racing among other sports but most of all fighting as his life has been rooted in mixed martial arts including competing and teaching for the past 15 years.