Richard Petty Motorsports (RPM) have officially secured an important piece of their first-ever NASCAR eSports league on consoles: the eSports racers themselves.
On Sunday, Richard Petty Motorsports selected Diego Alvarado (diego dd 18) with the sixth overall pick in the first round of the eNASCAR Heat Pro League draft. Darrell "Bubba" Wallace Jr., driver of the No. 43 World Wide Technology Chevrolet Camaro ZL1, submitted the selection on behalf of Richard Petty Motorsports. The selection was announced at the inaugural eNASCAR Heat Pro League Draft at the ISM Raceway in Avondale, Ariz.
"As a team, we had a difficult decision to make for the eNASCAR Heat Pro League Draft, with all the high-quality talent we witnessed," Brian Moffitt, chief executive officer, Richard Petty Motorsports said. "We look forward to our drivers delivering competitive and entertaining racing when the season begins in May."
Alvarado becomes the first eSports racer to be drafted by Richard Petty Motorsports on the XBOX platform.
Richard Petty Motorsports will have two entries in the newly formed eSports league that has a total of 14 teams and 28 drivers, each owned and operated by NASCAR teams.
The winningest team in Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series (MENCS) history used the final pick - in the second-round (ninth-overall selection) - on Mike Braas (Harvick_) in the PS4 Draft.
"Our team used driver performance data, as well as results and observations from NASCAR Heat 3 Showcase races, and other additional research to identify which gamers to draft to represent the Richard Petty Motorsports legacy," Moffitt said.
In December, fans across the nation owning NASCAR Heat 3 began to qualify for the eNASCAR Heat Pro League Draft. During the 36-day qualification period thousands of eSports racers competed for 100 spots, and those racers moved on to the Showcase races, special races designated for drivers to impress teams looking to select their drivers by statistically ranking the top 50 drivers from each console.
Following the Draft, the eNASCAR Heat Pro League will feature a 16-race season beginning the week of May 18 at the Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway and culminating during the 2019 NASCAR Playoffs in October. All league races will be live streamed online at NASCAR.com, and Motorsport.com.