CONCORD, N.C. -- With the NASCAR world paused, Hendrick Motorsports team members have taken to online racing.
Alex Bowman, William Byron, No. 24 crew chief Chad Knaus and No. 88 spotter Kevin Hamlin all participated in the Replacements 100, a virtual race created through iRacing, which was organized by Hamlin.
It was set at Atlanta Motor Speedway, where this past weekend's race was supposed to take place.
“It provides them something to do on what would normally be a normal work week," Hamlin said of putting together the event. "It’s good to get the guys in there and have them work their minds and keep them out of trouble. It keeps them active and engaged (when) they have to be inside.”
Byron finished second in the virtual race and barely was edged out by Josh Williams, who is competitor Ryan Blaney's spotter.
Knaus finished 26th, Bowman finished 30th and Hamlin finished 33rd.
According to Hamlin, the group will try to keep the simulator going for the time being since NASCAR remains suspended as a precaution to COVID-19, or coronavirus.
"What we did was something for fun, and it sort of snowballed from there," Hamlin said. "(Former Hendrick Motorsports spotter) TJ (Majors) and I have remained close … (and) we thought this would be something fun and productive for everyone to do. ... We didn’t expect fans to be so engaged on Twitter and social media, and it was humbling to hear people say how it was a distraction from everything that was going on."
With the positive feedback from the iRacing event, Hamlin said he was going to do what he could to organize races in the coming weeks.
The race at Homestead-Miami Speedway already has been postponed, which could provide the backdrop for the next iRacing simulation race.