NASCAR and simulation racing platform iRacing have joined forces to launch the eNASCAR iRacing Pro Invitational Series.
The series will see drivers from the NASCAR Cup Series, Xfinity Series, and the NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series competing in a multi-week series starting on March 22nd.
NASCAR has postponed events until May 3rd amid the coronavirus pandemic, enabling the Pro Invitational Series to take place on iRacing, a sim-racing platform that is regularly used by NASCAR drivers for practice and preparation.
Ben Kennedy, Vice President of Racing Development at NASCAR, discussed the need for the series in a release: “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. 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.”
eNASCAR iRacing Pro Invitational Series will feature notable names from the Cup Series including Dale Earnhardt Jr, Kyle Busch, Denny Hamlin, Clint Bowyer, Kyle Larson, and Christopher Bell.
Recently, Coca-Cola became the entitlement sponsor for the eNASCAR Coca-Cola iRacing Series, the longest-running sim-racing championship. Featuring teams owned by NASCAR drivers, 40 racers will compete for a share of $300,000 (£251,760)
Esports Insider says: With numerous motorsport series postponed, sim-racing has already seen a significant boost in viewership thanks to several drivers turning their hand to virtual racing. With NASCAR introducing an official iRacing series, this could be the start for others to create esports initiatives involving some of its biggest competitors.