Holiday 60 in Miami – Race Report


The second event of the inaugural Winter Heat Series on NASCAR Heat 5 saw competitors hit the virtual 1.5-mile Homestead-Miami Speedway for the Holiday 60 on Sunday, Dec. 20, 2020.  

The event saw a total of six drivers advance to the Winter Heat Series Championship Finale in February, while eNASCAR Heat Pro League veterans Justin Brooks and Cody Giles earned the victory on Xbox and PlayStation, respectively, and took home $1,500 in prize money.  

Wearing their holiday-themed best, the 48 Winter Heat Series competitors had 60 laps to do battle around the multi-groove track that puts on some of the fiercest action on NASCAR Heat 5.  

Xbox: Brooks Goes Back-to-Back, Open Qualifiers Shine 

On the Xbox platform, JTG Daugherty Throttlers driver Justin Brooks started on pole in his No. 37 Cottonelle Chevrolet with fellow eNHPL driver, Chip Ganassi Gaming’s Luis Zaiter, starting to his outside in the No. 42 Credit One Chevrolet.  

While Brooks took the early lead, JR Motorsports driver Tyler Dohar pressured for the top spot and took command of the race on Lap 3. As Brooks slipped back, the field stacked up and brought out the first caution just four laps into the event. 

eNHPL regulars Casey Masser, Matthew Heale and Jordan McGraw were among those involved in the first caution on the day. 

Pit stops and varying strategies shuffled the leaderboard for the restart with 49 laps to go. Stewart-Haas eSports driver Matthew Selby put his No. 4 Haas Automation Ford out front with a group of hungry drivers from the open qualifiers behind him.  

Brad Herman, Jeff Noe and Elijah White earned positions in the 24-car field by advancing through the open qualifiers, but they clearly put the pressure on the eNHPL regulars.  

Herman was able to get around Selby for the top spot but could not hold off Noe in the No. 66 Toyota, who took the lead with 47 laps to go.  

Behind the leaders, the field got together on the exit of Turn 4 to bring out the second caution of the event.  

The order remained the same for the restart, with Noe, Herman and White leading the way with 42 laps to go. Dressed in a full Santa Claus outfit to celebrate the Holiday 60 theme, Noe took command of the race as drivers from the open qualifiers made up four of the top-five cars with 35 laps to go.  

Noe gave up the lead with 23 laps to go as green flag pit stops got underway for the entire field.  

With pit stops cycled through and less than 20 laps remaining, Noe resumed the race lead, but Brooks was back up to fourth and charging hard.  

White took the lead from Noe with 16 laps to go but a big slide off Turn 4 the following lap dropped him to fifth and gave Brooks the lead for the first time since the beginning of the race.   

Josh Taylor, another driver from the open qualifiers, pressured Brooks for the top spot and worked hard to keep Petty eSports driver Diego Alvarado, White, Tim Moore and Wood Brothers Gaming driver Slade Gravitt behind him.  

Alvarado was forced to pit road in the closing laps after trying a different strategy, meaning the battle was on for the final transfer positions. Showing his experience as a tenured eNHPL driver, Gravitt was able to get by Moore and White on the final lap to move into third. 

Earning his second consecutive Winter Heat Series victory, Brooks took home the $1,500 top prize. Taylor, Gravitt, White and Moore rounded out the top five.  

Since Brooks locked into the Winter Heat Series finale via the Movember 50, the three drivers that locked themselves into the Valentine’s 80 were Taylor, Gravitt and White.   

PS4: Giles and Stone Battle for Big Win in Caution-Filled Event 

eNHPL veterans Kyle Arnold and Mike Brass led the field to the green flag, but it did not take long before the first caution of the event came out just three laps in. Cautions would be a theme throughout the PS4 event, as the race was slowed six times by the yellow flag.  

The ensuing restart saw even more carnage as Arnold’s No. 13 GEICO Chevrolet caught the wall of Turn 4 and caused a massive pile-up behind him, allowing Roush Fenway Gaming’s Brandon Hanna to take the lead. Another incident occurred on the following restart, leading to three caution flags in the first 12 laps of the race.  

Petty eSports driver Mike Braas, RCR eSports driver Joey Stone, Wood Brothers Gaming’s Cody Giles and open driver Dylan Peninger did battle at the front of the field until another incident slowed the race with 26 laps to go.  

The restart that followed saw a familiar face enter the fray as Chip Ganassi Gaming driver Maxwell Castro moved into the third position and began to pressure the leaders.  

After five laps of green flag racing, Matt Smith got loose off Turn 4 and caused a major incident on the backstretch that collected several cars toward the rear of the field.  

With less than 20 laps to go, Giles and Stone rekindled their battle for the lead, while Chase Williamson – winner of the NASCAR Heat $10K event – moved into third ahead of Peninger and eNHPL veteran Josh Harbin.  

Harbin’s charge would be short-lived, however. With just six laps to go he would be involved in the sixth and final incident of the event, eliminating him from contention for the victory and setting up a Green-White-Checkered shootout for the win.  

Despite a hard charge by Stone on the final lap, Giles was able to hang on to score the win by just 0.043 seconds. The victory earned Giles $1,500 in prize money, as well as locking him into the Winter Heat Series finale in February.  

Stone, Arnold, Isaac Smallwood and Braas rounded out the top-five finishing positions, with Stone and Arnold joining Giles in locking themselves into the Valentine’s 80 at virtual Daytona.  

 Full Race Results:  

Xbox Race Results 
PositionName Car Number Gamertag Laps Led 
Justin Brooks 37 – Justin Brooks mrTRACKBAR33 19 
Josh Taylor 41 – Cole Custer Amour Smoke  
Slade Gravitt 21 – Slade Gravitt SladeG84 
Elijah White 12 – Ryan Blaney TheAviator1024 
Timothy Moore 77 – Ross Chastain Word Burton  
Brad Herman 62 – Brendan Gaughan xFlNESSED 
Tyler Dohar 88 – Tyler Dohar JRM Dohar88 
James Holtzer 00 – Quin Houff BIGJAWNxPA  
Luis Zaiter 42 – Luis Zaiter CGM x Rose  
10 Matthew Selby 4 – Matthew Selby SHRe Slick 4 
11 Jordan Bane 51 – Joey Gase baner9588  
12 DJ Stagner 32 – Corey LaJoie Ncarracing64  
13 Daniel Buttafuoco 13 – Daniel Buttafuoco LuckyDog385  
14 Casey Masser 6 – Casey Masser l Asylumzs l  
15 Matthew Heale 51 – Matthew Heale RowdyMatt51  
16 Brian Tedeschi 22 – Brian Tedeschi ShellVPower22  
17 Jordan McGraw 3 – Jordan McGraw TheJMacAttack34  
18 Justin Everett 20 – Erik Jones Leafsjustin24  
19 Jeff Noe 66 – Timmy Hill STOUT WHISKEY 25 
20 Diego Alvarado 43 – Diego Alvarado DiegoxAlv  
21 Justin Anasogak 7 – Josh Bilick NNR Rowdy  
22 Nick Walker 11 – Denny Hamlin wowTHATSgarbage  
23 Cody Kelley 16 – Justin Haley Rocket5x  
24 Casey Kelley 49 – Chad Finchum TheBandit505  
PS4 Race Results 
PositionName Car Number Gamertag Laps Led 
Cody Giles 16 – Cody Giles xX_Fluffy_Xx2 31 
Joey Stone 8 – Joey Stone Sloppy_Joe_YT 
Kyle Arnold 13 – Kyle Arnold Red4424 
Isaac Smallwood 38 – John H. Nemechek ColaMotorsports  
Mike Braas 44 – Mike Braas MikeRPM44 13 
Chase Williamson 78 – BJ McLeod Itsyourbrochase6  
Maxwell Castro 1 – Maxwell Castro MaxBoost27  
Matt Smith 36 – David Ragan FlashNine  
Jordan Dworaczyk 00 – Quin Houff JCR_JWOWisBACK  
10 Chris Perkey 21 – Matt DiBenedetto ThatManPerkey  
11 Josh Parker 18 – Josh Parker TheBolt_Parker18  
12 Corey Rothgeb 2 – Corey Rothgeb Wurth_2  
13 TJ McGowan 47 – TJ McGowan Bags475  
14 Avery Jarrett 16 – Justin Haley ajstormX2  
15 George Taylor 41 – Cole Custer racehead8  
16 Joe Gornick 7 – Joe Gornick JRM_Gornick7  
17 Brandon Hanna 17 – Brandon Hanna cheezuh 
18 Thomas Cohick 12 – Ryan Blaney JCR_Clashin04  
19 Jason Mitchell 32 – Jason Mitchell GoFasJason_32  
20 Dylan Peninger 96 – Daniel Suarez xXBigD_StroyerXx  
21 Josh Harbin 95 – Josh Harbin ThAbEaR_95  
22 Brandyn Gritton 14 – Brandyn Gritton SHRe_HotRod_14  
23 Scott Brown 77 – Ross Chastain scottyb8833_FRR  
24 Joe West 19 – Martin Truex Jr jaw2131  
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