NASCAR, iRacing Form eNASCAR iRacing Pro Invitational
The exhibition esports series will launch on Sunday, March 22
NASCAR and iRacing have formed the eNASCAR iRacing Pro Invitational Series, an exhibition esports series featuring many of the sport’s most talented and popular drivers. The simulation-style showcase will include a cross-section of competitors from the NASCAR Cup Series, NASCAR Xfinity Series, NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series, and a group of NASCAR dignitaries. The multi-week series will kick off Sunday, March 22 at 1:30 p.m. ET on the virtual Homestead-Miami Speedway. The remaining race and broadcast details will be announced at a later date.
“Until we have cars back on track, the entire NASCAR community has aligned to provide our passionate fans with a unique, fun, and competitive experience on race day,” says Ben Kennedy, VP, racing development, NASCAR. “Our long-time partners at iRacing offer an incredible product, and we are excited to see how many of our best drivers will stack up in the virtual domain of competitive racing.”
NASCAR has postponed events through May 3, prioritizing the health and safety of fans, the industry, and race communities. The eNASCAR iRacing Pro Invitational Series will provide much needed racing entertainment for sports fans on the premier motorsports racing-simulation platform, often used by NASCAR drivers to prepare for race events.
The exhibition series will feature some of the best NASCAR drivers: Dale Earnhardt Jr., Kyle Busch, Denny Hamlin, Clint Bowyer, Kyle Larson, and Christopher Bell.
NASCAR President Steve Phelps addressed the possibility of the event’s appearing on TV during a media teleconference on March 17.
“There are discussions we’re having with Fox about what things we can do, discussions we would have with NBC, things that we can put through our own channels that satisfy our fans,” he said. “Our fans are obviously thirsty for this content. We want to provide it to them smartly and have interesting content as opposed to just repurposing some of the content that has already been done.”
NASCAR and iRacing have an unprecedented history in the esports space, currently in the 11th season of the longest-running officially sanctioned esports racing series, the eNASCAR Coca-Cola iRacing Series. In that series, 40 of the best sim racers in the world compete for more than $300,000, one of the richest payouts in esports racing competition. The elite series features NASCAR and professional esports teams, including those established by NASCAR Cup Series drivers William Byron, Denny Hamlin, and Austin Dillon.