704Games, NASCAR and Race Team Alliance held the first eNASCAR Heat Pro League Draft Sunday with 28 esport drivers selected by NASCAR teams at ISM Raceway.
A total of 13 NASCAR race teams from the RTA and JR Motorsports were on-hand to draft 28 drivers for the new esports league whose races will debut in May.
The eNASCAR Heat Pro League, a collaboration between 704Games, RTA, and NASCAR, is played on NASCAR Heat 3, the newest iteration of the NASCAR video game franchise.
On Sunday, each race team selected two esport drivers, one on Xbox One and another on the PlayStation®4 computer entertainment system.
Chip Ganassi Racing (CGR) began the draft with the first selection on Xbox One. CGR driver Kurt Busch, driver of the No. 1 Monster Energy Chevrolet Camaro, was on hand to announce their first pick of Greg Matarazzo.
“I’ve been a gamer and NASCAR fan my entire life,” Matarazzo said. “I’ve played every single game and I used to race go-karts growing up. Those two things fuel my passion for NASCAR. I never would have thought I would be a pack, let alone the first pick of the draft. This is my dream - what I’ve always wanted to happen.”
Because of the reverse draft order, Wood Brothers Racing had the first pick of the PlayStation®4 participants and selected 16-year-old Slade Gravitt of Cumming, Ga.
“I’ve been a NASCAR fan since I was four years old and started playing NASCAR games four years ago,” Gravitt said. “Getting the online experience with NASCAR games has been awesome.”
The eNASCAR Heat Pro League Draft, which was live-streamed on eNASCAR.com, Twitch, and Motorsport.com featured a variety of NASCAR stars including NASCAR President Steve Phelps, NASCAR Hall of Famer Richard Petty and current drivers Chase Elliott, William Byron, Bubba Wallace, Austin Dillon and Ryan Preece.
Once the season begins in May, these esport drivers will compete across a 16-race season. The full draft results can be seen below.
Official Xbox One Draft Results:
- Chip Ganassi Racing – Greg Matarazzo
- Leavine Family Racing – Nick Vroman
- JR Motorsports – Tyler Dohar
- Team Penske – Brian Tedeschi
- Roush Fenway Racing – Nick Walker
- Richard Petty Motorsports – Diego Alvarado
- Stewart-Haas Racing – Josh Shoemaker
- Hendrick Motorsports – Sam Morris
- Joe Gibbs Racing – Daniel Buttafuoco
- JTG Daugherty Racing – Justin Brooks
- GoFas Racing – Matt Heale
- Richard Childress Racing – Jordan McGraw
- Germain Racing – Jacob Kerr
- Wood Brothers Racing – Casey Gomme
Official PlayStation 4 Draft Results:
- Wood Brothers Racing – Slade Gravitt
- Germain Racing – William Arnold
- Richard Childress Racing – Joey Stone
- GoFas Racing – Hunter Mullins
- JTG Daugherty Racing – Zach Onson
- Joe Gibbs Racing – TJ McGowan
- Hendrick Motorsports – Nick Jobes
- Stewart-Haas Racing – Brandyn Gritton
- Richard Petty Motorsports – Mike Braas
- Roush Fenway Racing – Cody Giles
- Team Penske – Corey Rothgeb
- JR Motorsports – Jason Keffer
- Leavine Family Racing – Josh Harbin
- Chip Ganassi Racing – Josh Parker
LIVE: eNASCAR Heat Pro League draft from ISM Raceway
The green flag has dropped on NASCAR's first esports venture