South Carolina’s Justin Brooks To Race For JTG Daugherty Racing In eNASCAR Heat Pro Leagueby Hunter Thomas March 15, 2019 0 comments
JTG Daugherty Racing has selected 26-year-old McColl, South Carolina native, Justin Brooks to drive the No. 37 Chevrolet in the eNASCAR Heat Pro League.
The eNASCAR Heat Pro League is NASCAR’s first-ever esports league on gaming consoles, XBOX One and PlayStation 4. The game featured for the league is NASCAR Heat 3, which was released by Charlotte, North Carolina’s 704Games in September of 2018.
Justin will be just one of 14 drivers competing in the XBOX edition of the inaugural 16-race season that gets underway this spring. NASCAR teams associated with the competition include Race Team Alliance organizations. Justin will be driving for JTG Daugherty Racing throughout the season.
“I’ve always loved racing in general,” Brooks said. “And the fact that racing against real people all around the world and beating top names just gave me more motivation to continue it. From NR2003, to iRacing and NASCAR Heat 3, I’ve spent a lot of time learning the tracks and lines and learning how a setup acts to make you faster. It takes a lot of concentration and patience for sure.”
So, how did Justin get this incredible opportunity to represent a real NASCAR team in the esports world? He went through a vetting process that had gamers from around the country race in qualifying rounds. For more than a month, Justin had to prove his self in Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series, NASCAR Xfinity Series and NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series events online. Following the qualifying rounds, Justin was ranked No. 2 on XBOX.
The next step in the process included a live draft in Gatorade Victory Lane on March 10 at ISM Raceway, just prior to the running of the TicketGuardian 500. During the draft, NASCAR teams picked the drivers they wanted to represent the organization online. Justin was selected by JTG Daugherty Racing as the 10th driver overall in the XBOX edition of the draft.
“Words can’t describe it,” Brooks said when he found out that he had been drafted by JTG Daugherty Racing. “I had goosebumps hearing it. I spoke to a few teams before that and just to be considered for this is an absolute honor and privilege. Not everyone can say they received calls from NASCAR drivers.”
Justin will be piloting the No. 37 Chevrolet that Chris Buescher drives in real-life. The two have already made contact with each other and are planning to strategize together as Justin looks to win the inaugural XBOX championship.
“We’re really excited to have Justin as part of our eNASCAR Heat Pro League XBOX team,” Buescher said. “Justin has already been very active on social media, and he was our number one pick for the XBOX league. Being the tenth pick, we were really lucky that he was still available. The eNASCAR Heat Pro League is such a unique avenue for these gamers to be involved in our world of racing, and vice versa. I’m really looking forward to seeing how he races and providing any help I can throughout the season, maybe learning a thing or two that we can take to the real racetrack.”
JTG Daugherty Racing is no stranger to South Carolina’s Pee Dee region. Aside from racing at Darlington Raceway on Labor Day weekend, the team features two Darlington native crew chiefs in its real-life operation. Trent Owens calls the shots on the pit box for Buescher, while Tristan Smith serves as the crew chief for Ryan Preece. Justin is now the third Pee Dee native addition to the team.
“Coolest thing ever,” Brooks said about adding one more South Carolinian to the team. “Carolina boys just representing the whole team itself!”
Justin would like nothing more than to be crowned the first-ever eNASCAR Heat Pro League champion on XBOX. Growing up playing video games, Justin has trained his entire life to become the best gamer that he could be, and now it’s his time to shine on a national stage.
Brooks said, “I’m going for this championship, and with the help of JTG Daugherty Racing, we’re going to give it 150% effort and try to bring more recognition to the state of South Carolina with having the first-ever eNASCAR Heat Pro Series Champion born and raised from here!”
The 16 eNASCAR Heat Pro League races that Justin is going to compete in will be streamed live on NASCAR.com and Motorsport.com.
Photo Credit: Hunter Thomas/TheFourthTurn.com