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Virtual Power Rankings: Timmy Hill, William Byron are 1-2

Dale Earnhardt Jr. joins "Lunch Talk Live" with Mike Tirico to explain how he's staying involved with NASCAR racing during the COVID-19 pandemic thanks to the iRacing platform.

Timmy Hill is atop this week’s virtual NASCAR Power Rankings after the first three races of the eNASCAR Pro Invitational iRacing Series.

In balloting by NBC Sports’ NASCAR writers, Hill missed being a unanimous pick for the top spot by one point. That’s also the margin that separated Hill from No. 2 William Byron.

Others of note include Garrett Smithley (4th), Dale Earnhardt Jr. (7th) and Kyle Busch (9th).

This week’s rankings will have to hold you for a little while: there’s no racing this weekend due to the Easter and Passover holidays.

This week’s rankings:

1. Timmy Hill (29 points): Three top-three finishes, including a win, has given him more notoriety than he has had at any time in his career.

2. William Byron (28 points): He built his career on a strong iRacing foundation and it’s clear he hasn’t lost his feel or touch. He’s led the most laps in the first three races, including a win at Bristol.

3. Denny Hamlin (22 points): Has one of the most realistic and expensive iRacing rigs. The defending Daytona 500 winner also won at virtual Homestead and was fourth at virtual Bristol.

4. Garrett Smithley (21 points): Has finished no lower than ninth in each of the first three virtual races.

5. Ryan Preece (17 points): Has finished no lower than eighth in the first three virtual races, including runner-up at Texas. That’s some mighty fine riding, cowboy.

6. John Hunter Nemechek (13 points): Has made it look easy at times with a runner-up and two top-10 finishes.

7. Dale Earnhardt Jr. (11 points): Junior is back, Junior is back. A longtime iRacing fan/participant, he’s off to a great start with a pair of top-10 finishes, including a runner-up at virtual Homestead.

8. Alex Bowman (7 points): Has two top-10 finishes in first three races. Also has had a number of entertaining posts on social media about his iRacing experience.

9. Kyle Busch (6 points): What’s up with Rowdy? Ranked ninth? To his credit, though, he’s picking up iRacing pretty fast and showing progress.

10. Matt DiBenedetto (5 points): Matty D. has one top five and another top-11 finish. Much like Busch, he’s showing promise.

Others also receiving votes: Parker Kligerman (3 points), Clint Bowyer (3 points).