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|What:||Fox NASCAR iRacing|
|When:||Sunday, March 22nd at 1:30 PM EST|
|How:||FS1 (TV) | Fox Sports app|
NASCAR has suspended its schedule until May 7 because of the coronavirus pandemic.
This led to the postponement of seven rounds, starting with last week’s QuikTrip Folds of Honor 500 at Atlanta Speedway.
In order to offer race fans some entertainment during these difficult times, the organizers were quick to act.
iRacing, NASCAR’s longtime partner in esports, will host the first-ever edition of the eNASCAR iRacing Pro Invitational Series.
The sim racing invitational will run as a replacement for the postponed events over the next seven weeks.
The action begins this weekend at iRacing’s virtual version of Homestead Speedway.
The Miami track was originally scheduled to host all three national series, including the fifth round of the 2020 Cup Series season.
NASCAR still intends to run all 36 races but has yet to announce a new date for the postponed rounds.
iRacing is one racing simulator launched in 2008.
The service offers laser-scanned versions of real race tracks, including all 24 tracks on the Cup Series schedule.
iRacing currently runs a number of series officially licensed by NASCAR, including the eNASCAR Coca-Cola iRacing Series, the simulator’s top-tier in oval racing.
Some teams from the Cup Series also take part in the sim racing championship, joining other famous esports organizations.
Joe Gibbs Racing, JR Motorsports, JTG Daugherty, Roush Fenway Racing, Wood Brothers Racing, and Stewart-Haas Racing are among the entrants.
Denny Hamlin, Kyle Larson, William Byron, Austin Dillon, Kyle Larson, Parker Kligerman, Jeff Burton and former crew chief Steve Letarte also own teams in the series.
Richmond Raceway, F1 team Williams Racing as well as esports giants G2 and Renegades also take part in the Coca-Cola iRacing Series.
NASCAR has yet to announce the full 35-car grid for the first race.
However, the organizers have already teased at some of the names present in round 1.
The list features four Cup Series champions – Kyle Busch, Joey Logano, Brad Keselowski and Hall of Famer Bobby Labonte.
Dale Earnhardt Jr., Denny Hamlin, Chase Elliott, Kyle Larson, and Clint Bowyer will also take part in the series.
Bowyer will double up as an in-race analyst for the Fox Sports broadcast.
Other Cup Series regulars that have signed up for the race are Christopher Bell, Bubba Wallace, William Byron, Matt DiBenedetto, Austin Dillon, Ty Dillon, Michael McDowell, John Hunter Nemechek, Ryan Preece, Erik Jones, Ross Chastain and Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
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