I hope everyone is doing well! Although most sports have closed up their locker rooms and athletes around the country have hung up their cleats/skates, the motorsports world is still buzzing.
NASCAR, Indycar, IMSA, and Formula 1 have all put their racing seasons on pause. NASCAR postponed all races until May 3 as of right now, IndyCar and IMSA until June, and Formula 1 is TBA.
So after a week off, NASCAR decided that they weren’t going to have their racing fun get stomped on by the virus.
During the off week, multiple drivers participated in different iRacing events.
For those who don’t know, iRacing is a racing simulator. It is one of the most realistic simulators and most popular platforms in the world for virtual racing.
Sim rigs range from a simple desktop setup to a full car setup that has three screens or a screen that wraps around the driver completely. Both setups come with a steering wheel, shifter, and pedals.
The simulator is designed to be as realistic as possible for drivers to use and be able to train on. It also allows spectators to subscribe to the service and be able to race the same cars seen on a real track.
NASCAR and iRacing teamed up to bring the first-ever eNASCAR Pro Invitational race. The race took place on the date that NASCAR was supposed to race at Homestead-Miami Speedway, so fittingly the race took place at virtual Homestead-Miami.
The race was televised on FOX Sports 1, and was a huge hit! The graphics look so real and the race broadcast was treated as if it was real NASCAR.
So NASCAR basically worked from home. It was awesome.
The event was so popular, that NASCAR, iRacing, & FOX Sports agreed to do it again this weekend at virtual Texas Motor Speedway, and they plan to continue this as long as we’re all “locked down.”
Due to the event’s popularity, the NTT IndyCar Series decided to have its own race, and they raced at virtual Watkins Glen on Saturday night.
Although they didn’t broadcast it on IndyCar’s television partner, NBC Sports, it was still well viewed on their YouTube channel and IndyCar plans to do at least 5 more races.
Although there isn’t an end in sight to this pandemic, we hope that the sports world can restart soon. I personally appreciate NASCAR, IndyCar and Formula 1, who raced via Xbox/PS4, for giving fans something to watch.
iRacing is basically racing in the same cars without the risk. A driver tweeted on race day that he always wanted to go racing in his underwear, and I am assuming he did.
I look forward to the next race whether it be NASCAR or IndyCar! I encourage everyone to check it out if they are able to. It’s certainly entertaining!
Stay safe and healthy everyone!