Hunter Mullins earned himself a win and $10,000 in the NASCAR Heat Champions Road To Miami Finals Sunday at Homestead, in a tournament using the new-for-2018 NASCAR Heat 3.
After a weekend of preparing for the NASCAR Heat Champions Road to Miami Finals, the highlight of the weekend was the 40-lap race between the 12 finalists to see who would win bragging rights and $10,000.
After a action-packed race on the NASAR Heat 3 video game that featured six caution flags and numerous passes for the lead, Hunter Mullins made the most of his pass for the lead to capture the checkered flag.
"The adrenaline was rushing, but once I got out front, I knew it was over and could finally breathe," said Mullins. "Couldn't be any better."
The Virginia native knew once he got the lead, he had a real shot at victory. "That last restart there, everybody is trying to get everything they can get. If you see a hole, you're going to take it and that's just what happened," said Mullins.
"The #9 - he was in front of me, I got into his bumper and pushed him up the track and I got a run and that was it.
Mullins was surprised with the contact and did not expect so many cautions flags that slowed the 40-lap race.
"No, nothing like that," he admitted. "We had a practice the other night and it wasn't like that.
"But today was a great day. We got everything done that I wanted to get done and it turned out very great for me."
Mullins has been playing NASCAR video games since 2009 and unlike most of his competitors, he won Sunday's an event utilising a controller.
His favourite driver? None other than today's polesitter Denny Hamlin.
"I grew up watching him with Late Models and at Martinsville Speedway, my cousin races in it," Mullins added.
"They ran side-by-side for almost a 100 straight laps and it was awesome to watch."
Matt Lewis, vice-president of publishing for 704 Games, praised the event as a successful end to a promotion that launched in September to promote NASCAR Heat 3.
"[This has been] an unbelievable event," Lewis sad. "Starting out with our launch date back in September, we started flying fans down so each week we mirrored the playoff races that were going on in the real world.
"You'd go into the game, you could qualify, and we ran a weekly tournament.
"Monday through Friday was more about qualifications and Saturday and Sunday were the finals. And we took every winner from those weekends, all nine weeks and flew them down here."
We put them up in a nice hotel, brought them out here to the track and then we took three additional qualifiers from the race fans out here at the track, mixed them in and had a final twelve.
"Just finished it up and it was awesome for us. We had drivers coming out all weekend."