Sunday afternoon, the racing industry came together in an attempt to make up for the postponed Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500. Dale Earnhardt Jr. joined several NASCAR drivers and crew members, as well as a retired NFL star, for The Replacements 100 simulation race. This video game race provided entertainment for fans on Sunday afternoon, and it served as a special moment for Earnhardt.
According to a photo posted on Amy Earnhardt's Instagram Stories over the weekend, having the ability to race with William Byron, Alex Bowman, Kyle Long, and several crew members was her husband's "wildest dreams coming true." Her photo showed Earnhardt sitting in front of a three-monitor setup while driving his virtual racecar.
The Replacements 100 featured a stacked field of competitors. The two-time Daytona 500 Champion in Earnhardt was one of the big names, and he was joined by William Byron, Bubba Wallace, Alex Bowman, Justin Allgaier, and Justin Haley among other NASCAR drivers. The field also included country musician Tim Dugger, Twitch streamer Steven Steffen, and seven-time Cup Champion crew chief Chad Knaus.
There was an expectation that Byron or Earnhardt would take care of business on Sunday given their considerable experience in the Cup Series, but a different figure secured the victory. Josh Williams (Ryan Blaney's spotter) was the ultimate victor. He edged out Byron and Steffen. Earnhardt finished eighth overall.
One reason for the finish outside of the top-five is that Earnhardt was knocked into the wall early in the race. The camera was focused on him midway through lap 17 of 100 when another competitor spun out of control. Earnhardt had nowhere to go and hit the vehicle, spinning into the wall. The replay video didn't clearly show the driver number, but it appeared to belong to Noah Gragson based on the Black Rifle Coffee sponsorship on the rear fender.
While the drivers and viewers alike enjoyed the simulation race on Sunday afternoon, there was one awkward moment. A screenshot surfaced on Twitter that showed two stock cars racing side-by-side. One was driven by Bowman and the other by Earnhardt. The issue is that both cars had the number 88 on the side. This was the number that the veteran in Earnhardt used throughout the back half of his career, but it has since become synonymous with Bowman.
Earnhardt may not have secured the victory on Sunday afternoon, but his wife reports that he was happy about taking part in The Replacements 100. In fact, this simulation race was a dream come true.
Photo Credit: Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images