The Heat is On: Tyler Dohar Is JRM’s New NASCAR Heat Pro Series Xbox Driver

Ron Lemasters | 5/16/2019

eNASCAR NASCAR Heat 3 News Tyler Dohar

We conclude our look at our eNASCAR drivers with our NASCAR Heat Xbox One pilot, Tyler Dohar.

MOORESVILLE, N.C. (May 16, 2019) – Getting drafted in anything is an accomplishment, and when Tyler Dohar heard his name called in the inaugural NASCAR Heat Pro Series draft definitely made an impression.

“It was really surreal at first,” the 25-year-old Perrysburg, Ohio native revealed of his draft-night experience.

JR Motorsports driver Noah Gragson announced the selection, and even though Dohar was watching, it still felt sort of out-of-body, he said.

“I was watching and heard Noah (Gragson) say my name, I had to take a second to kind of realize what was going on,” Dohar said. “I was watching the broadcast and to get a phone call not even 30 seconds later, I was absolutely elated at how I felt. It was so awesome to get that opportunity.”

Dohar, who will pilot the No. 88 Chevrolet for JRM in the NASCAR Heat Pro Series on the Xbox One console, has been a NASCAR fan since 2005, and his mother is a fan as well. Guess who her favorite driver is?

“My mom has always been a NASCAR fan and Dale Jr. was always her favorite driver,” Dohar said. “Mine was always Rusty Wallace, because that was the first car I remember seeing when I watched on TV. Around 2005, we started making it an annual summer vacation trip to go to Mooresville and visit the race shops, even though we are in Ohio, we just took the week and went to the shops. I’ve only been to a handful of races in my life, usually the Michigan races, but I watch the races on TV every single Saturday or Sunday that they’re on.”

That love of NASCAR propelled him to the gaming world, he said.

“Right around the same time I was getting into NASCAR, I got on Xbox Live for the first time, and one of the first games I ever played online was NASCAR ‘06,” he explained. “I kind of mastered the career mode, got into the online community a little bit and raced in leagues with some buddies. At around the time NASCAR ’09 came out, we got really big and started having full 15- or 16-driver leagues doing this.

“It was what I did every day after getting out of school: hop online, race with buddies, different series once or twice a week, won a few championships. When I went off to college, I kind of took a back seat from it, but then when I graduated with my master’s degree, that’s when Heat 2 and Heat 3 came out shortly after. That’s when I started racing on the current game, and then I heard about the opportunities that were starting to develop in esports, and I thought, ‘ooh, I really want to go for this,’ because I’d always been pretty good at it. I just took a couple of hours out of the day to work on setups and whatnot, and here I am.”

As a driver, Dohar said he prefers the Xbox One because of its superior performance, and he’s a student of the game and more a tactician than a hard charger.

“I want to say I’m a huge tactician,” he said. “I compare myself, if you’re talking about a driver-crew chief combination, to a Paul Wolfe-Brad Keselowski kind of setup. They could win a race on fuel mileage or on straight-up speed, depending on the way the race unfolded. That’s exactly how I would describe myself. I see the race unfolding and try to give myself multiple options for achieving the best results. I can see how the race develops and go with the best option I have and commit to it from there.”

Setups in esports competition are everything, and Dohar has been working to advance his setup game for the NASCAR Heat Pro League.

“When I first got onto the game, when 704Games took over as the developer, I kind of stayed on presets,” Dohar said. “When I saw the parameters that needed to be done with this, I decided I needed to buck up and learn how to do custom setups.”

In the beginning of that process, he stuck with what he knew.

“I always gravitated toward gears, since my dad was an engineer, so I’ve always gravitated toward that,” he explained. “The other parts of the setups were kind of tricky so I definitely needed help and motivation with that. After a couple of weeks of trying things, I started to come into my own.”

Dohar works as a store manager for Meijer, a Midwestern-based megastore when he’s not racing or working on setups. He is a graduate of Bowling Green State University, a Mid-American Conference school, and holds a master’s degree in business. His undergrad degree is in Operatic Performance, and he’s still involved with the men’s chorus performances at BGSU as well as singing in a barbershop quartet.

The fact that the NASCAR Heat Pro League’s races will be performed live is kind of in Dohar’s wheelhouse, he said. The first time, however, is going to be a new experience.

“I’m definitely going to be nervous,” he said. “Talking to people who have done it live, there are going to be a lot of emotions. Not that I have any nerves about performing in public, because I’ve performed in concert halls in front of thousands of people.

“But the first time, that is a special moment that you never get again, so I’ll take a second to register and realize what is going on. I will be very humbled and rewarded for the experience. Try to take in all the emotions...”

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XFINITY Series Schedule

  • July 27 05:00 PM ET
    U.S. Cellular 250Iowa Speedway
  • August 3 03:00 PM ET
    Zippo 200Watkins Glen International
  • August 10 03:00 PM ET
    B&L Transport 170 at Mid-OhioMid-Ohio Sports Car Course
  • August 16 07:30 PM ET
    Food City 300Bristol Motor Speedway
  • August 24 03:00 PM ET
    CTECH Manufacturing 180Road America

XFINITY Series Standings

After ROXOR 200

New Hampshire Motor Speedway | 7/20/2019
RankDriverPointsBehind
1Tyler Reddick8120
2Christopher Bell756-56
3Cole Custer736-76
4Justin Allgaier666-146
5Austin Cindric649-163
6Noah Gragson #596-216
7Chase Briscoe #568-244
8Michael Annett567-245