Capping off a week that’s been filled with plenty of eNASCAR happenings, the NASCAR Heat 5 Ultimate Summer Showdown will round out the virtual play when it all kicks off at Darlington Raceway on Thursday night – the first of four events live on Traxion.GG via YouTube, Facebook and Twitch.
Registration for the first race began on 30th April, and after a week of open qualifier races, the two-console split field has been whittled down to 24 drivers apiece. Two drivers (Cody Giles and Timothy Moore) will be competing in both the Xbox and PlayStation races.
Virtual racers will be competing for a $5,000 prize as well as a BenQ monitor from the championship’s partner, while there are also smaller cash prizes for the runners up.
For the first event of the series, the races will be 55 laps each, and following the conclusion of both races, the registration for the qualifiers will open at midnight for the second event at Texas Motor Speedway.
2020-2021 WINTER HEAT SERIES RECAP
The Ultimate Summer Showdown is the second special series following the conclusion of the second season of the eNASCAR Heat Pro League. The first series, the Winter Heat Series, also saw four events for both Xbox and PlayStation drivers with a champion crowned on both consoles.
PlayStation driver Maxwell Castro and Xbox driver Justin Brooks were victorious in the Movember 50 at Dover Int’l Speedway on 22nd November.
The second event at Homestead-Miami Speedway, the Holiday 60, saw Brooks victorious on Xbox again while Cody Giles took the win for PlayStation.
The New Year’s Resolution 70 went to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Road Course where Castro collected his second PlayStation victory of the series, while the 2020 eNASCAR Heat Pro League Champion Daniel Buttafuoco took the victory for the Xbox side.
Finally, two champions were crowned at Daytona Int’l Speedway in the Valentine’s Day 80. For the Xbox crowd, Luis Zaiter capitalized on ongoing drama between Brooks and Buttafuoco to win the race and the championship. On PlayStation, not to be swept completely by eNASCAR Heat Pro League drivers in the series, Chase Williamson took a push from Jason Mitchell to hold the lead over Joey Stone on the final lap for the title.
All those drivers have re-qualified for the first race in the Ultimate Summer Showdown.
XBOX LINEUP STACKED WITH PRO DRIVERS
In the 24-driver field for the first event, nine of those drivers have participated in the eNASCAR Heat Pro League in either of the first two seasons. Headlining the field is the rivalry between Brooks and Buttafuoco, while two drivers who have wheeled the eNHPL Roush Fenway No. 6, both Casey Masser and Nick Walker, will also be in attendance.
The Winter Heat Champion, Ganassi Gaming’s Zaiter will be in the field, while Giles will be pulling double duty for Wood Brothers Gaming. JR Motorsports’ Tyler Dohar, Jose Ruiz from the former Leavine Family Gaming team, and Matthew Heale from Gibbs Gaming will also be in attendance.
Zaiter grabbed the pole position for the race and will look to defend his Winter Heat Series title. Here’s how the Xbox race will line up:
|Xbox Qualifying Results|
|1||28.375||Luis Zaiter||CGM x Rose||42 – eNHPL|
|2||28.377||Justin Brooks||mrTRACKBAR33||37 – eNHPL|
|3||28.426||Daniel Buttafuoco||LukyDog385||13 – eNHPL|
|4||28.473||Cody Giles||XXFluffyxX2||16 – eNHPL|
|5||28.495||Timothy Moore||Word Burton||77|
|9||28.607||Casey Masser||| Asylumzs |||6|
|10||28.666||Jeremy Nobles||MB1day RockyTop||17|
|13||28.713||Matthew Heale||RowdyMatt51||51 – eNHPL|
|14||28.749||Tyler Dohar||JRM Dohar88||88|
|18||28.843||Austin Green||Ace Sniper130||3|
|19||29.038||Jeff Noe||STOUT WHISKEY||66|
|21||N/A||Josh Taylor||Amour Smoke||41|
|22||N/A||Jose Ruiz||JOSE 95x||95 – eNHPL|
PLAYSTATION FIELD HAS LESS PRO INFLUENCE AND NEWER WINNER POTENTIAL
It’s only fitting that since the PlayStation field had a non-Pro League champion back during the Winter Heat Series that there would be more varied talent on the PlayStation side to start off the new series. Defending Winter Heat Champion and the youngest driver to make it this far, Chase Williamson returns to the fold for another go at a title.
For the Pro League talent, Ganassi Gaming’s Castro will be in the starting lineup alongside Josh Harbin, formerly with Leavine Family Gaming. They’ll be joined by JR Motorsports’ Joe Gornick, Petty Esports’ Mike Brass, former RCR Esports driver Joey Stone, and once again for Wood Brothers Gaming, double-duty Giles. Timothy Moore is also pulling double duty and will be driving the No. 77 in both races.
With Williamson also attempting to defend his Winter Heat title by winning the PlayStation pole position, here’s how they will start on Thursday night:
|PS4 Qualifying Results|
|5||28.511||Maxwell Castro||MaxBoost27||1 – eNHPL|
|6||28.55||Cody Giles||xX_Fluffy_Xx2||16 – eNHPL|
|7||28.575485||Mike Braas||MikeRPM44||44 – eNHPL|
|13||28.611||Josh Harbin||ThAbEaR_95||95 – eNHPL|
2021 Ultimate Summer Showdown open qualifiers schedule
Darlington Raceway: April 30, 2021 (12:01 a.m. ET) – May 6, 2021 (11:59 p.m. ET)
Texas Motor Speedway: May 21, 2021 (12:01 a.m. ET) – May 27, 2021 (11:59 p.m. ET)
Pocono Raceway: June 11, 2021 (12:01 a.m. ET) – June 17, 2021 (11:59 p.m. ET)
Atlanta Motor Speedway: July 2, 2021 (12:01 a.m. ET) – July 8, 2021 (11:59 p.m. ET)
2021 Ultimate Summer Showdown race schedule
Darlington Raceway: 20th May 1, 8 pm ET, 55 Laps (+2 Pace Laps)
Texas Motor Speedway: 10th June, 8 pm ET,60 Laps (+2 Pace Laps)
Pocono Raceway: 1st July, 8 pm ET,20 Laps (+2 Pace Laps)
Atlanta Motor Speedway: 22nd July, 8 pm ET,60 Laps (+2 Pace Laps)
Watch the live events, starting tonight, on the Traxion.GG YouTube, Facebook and Twitch channels.