William Byron and Kyle Busch both advanced to Thursday’s championship race of the NBC eSports Short Track iRacing Challenge at a virtual Rockingham on Monday night.

Byron won both 35-lap races around the track that hosted Cup races from 1965-2004. Busch earned a Peacock Provisional from NASCAR on NBC analyst Steve Letarte to Thursday’s championship race at Martinsville Speedway (7 p.m. ET on NBCSN).

Monday’s two races were contested by six drivers: Byron, Busch, Parker Kligerman, Bubba Wallace, Austin Dillon and Tyler Reddick.

Byron already earned his way into the championship race by winning the first heat, but he used a bump-and-run move in Turn 3 on the last lap to get by Kligerman and win the second heat.

“I had to do my Intimidator impression,” Byron said on the NBCSN broadcast.

THE BUMP-AND-RUN!@WilliamByron bumps @PKligerman for the Race 2 WIN at Rockingham! @iRacing // #RacingWeekNBCSN pic.twitter.com/A4eFBcA3Sy

— NASCAR on NBC (@NASCARonNBC) April 6, 2020

That was a good time https://t.co/i1ONZ5Plvc

— William Byron (@WilliamByron) April 7, 2020

In the opening heat, Byron started from the pole and led all 35 laps. Reddick and Dillon, Richard Childress Racing teammates, made contact while racing for fourth on Lap 6. Dillon slid but regained control. They also would made contact in the second heat when Dillon bounced off the wall and hit Reddick’s car.

.@AustinDillon3 😩@iRacing // #RacingWeekNBCSN pic.twitter.com/dnSM3bB4dQ

— NASCAR on NBC (@NASCARonNBC) April 6, 2020

Monday’s race also featured audio from drivers talking to each other during the races. At one point in the second heat, Busch began doing play by play of the racing action in front and then was asked what was the angriest he had been in an actual race. Without missing a beat, Wallace said: “Watkins Glen” to laughter.

DRiVER to DRiVER chat!@KyleBusch talking to the leaders @PKligerman and @WilliamByron. pic.twitter.com/loOzG0Nqig

— NASCAR on NBC (@NASCARonNBC) April 6, 2020



The NBC eSports Short Track iRacing Challenge continues at 7 p.m. ET Tuesday on NBCSN. Justin Allgaier, Christopher Bell, Chase Briscoe, Harrison Burton, Denny Hamlin and Kyle Larson will race at a virtual Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis.

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