NASCAR Hitting The Virtual Road

In lieu of actual races, NASCAR announces that racing will continue with an esports twist.

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Daytona Beach, FL - Since people can't go to the races, NASCAR decides to bring the races to the people.

This time, beyond regular track coverage.

Earlier this month, NASCAR announced that they are postponing races through May 3rd, citing concerns of fan safety with the ongoing Covid-19 outbreak. This means that the races at Atlanta – which were supposed to run last weekend – Homestead-Miami, Texas and beyond are currently up in the air.

But, if you're a racing fan and you were looking forward to some kind of motorsport this year, you might be interested in NASCAR's latest announcement: the racing will continue but in a different form.

If you take a look at the photo associated with this post, you'll probably notice that the cars aren't actually real. They are a part of NASCAR's newest project, done in collaboration with the online subscription-based racing simulator provider, iRacing.

That project is the eNASCAR iRacing Pro Invitational Series, an exhibition sports series featuring many drivers and competitors from the actual NASCAR series itself.

The showcase will include competitors from the NASCAR Cup Series (NCS), NASCAR Xfinity Series (NXS), NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoor Truck Series and a group of NASCAR dignitaries.

“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,” said Ben Kennedy, NASCAR’s vice president of racing development in a prepared release. “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.”

The series kicks off this Sunday (March 22nd) on Homestead-Miami Speedway's virtual counterpart. Other races are supposedly planned, but NASCAR said they will announce further details at a later date.

NASCAR also reported that the series will feature some of its best drivers. So far, they're anticipating the participation of Dale Earnhardt Jr., Kyle Busch, Denny Hamlin, Clint Bowyer, Kyle Larson and Christopher Bell.

This is also not NASCAR's first dive into the esports world. NASCAR and iRacing are currently in their 11th season of the eNASCAR Coca-Cola iRacing Series. That series features 40 sim racers from all around the world who are competing for more than $300,000.

The elite series features NASCAR and professional esports teams including those established by drivers William Byron, Austin Dillon and Hamlin.

If you're interested, FOX Sports will carry the inaugural race this Sunday on FS1, beginning at 1:30 p.m., EST.

JOIN THE CONVERSATION: Vote on our Facebook poll and tell us if you'd watch a virtual NASCAR race series.

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