NASCAR: Coronavirus Concerns Lead to Online Racing Alternative

As of recently, many major sports leagues in the United States have gone on a temporary shutdown due to COVID-19 concerns. This has also included the likes of NASCAR racing, despite originally intending to race without fans, that changed pretty quickly throughout this week. This conclusion left NASCAR with another racing alternative, coming in the form of online racing.  

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iRacing.com

iRacing.com is an online racing simulation, in which you get a subscription and are able to race many different types of cars. This list of cars does include the natural stock cars used by NASCAR teams and even can simulate different paint schemes that the teams use. This system runs on their own servers and can host different private events with people around the world all simultaneously. This is where NASCAR has come into play. 

NASCAR iRacing Series

The NASCAR officials and owners have decided that an online racing invitational will take place over the course of the weeks missed. This invitational is purely for the entertainment of the viewers and drivers, and to keep the racing mindset in place. These races will be open to all three national series competitions, including the Monster Energy Series, Xfinity Series, and the multiple different Truck Series. This will allow for drivers of different series and different types of stock cars/trucks to compete with each other on low stakes.  

Who will compete?

Currently, there are a few racers who have announced they will participate in the “eNASCAR iRacing pro invitational series”. This list including

NASCAR
Photo Credit: PRNewsFoto/iRacing.com
Dale Earnhardt Jr.

A former NASCAR racer for the Spring/Monster Energy series. Son of the racing legend Dale Earnhardt Sr. “Jr.” has made quite the impact on the sport both on and off the track, winning a conglomerate of races in his career (26 total). He also won 2 Busch series championships and was voted the most popular NASCAR driver 15 years in a row (2003-2017). He has since retired from the sport, however, his career and fanbase will live on.   

Kyle Busch 

A current NASCAR driver, normally racing in his #18 Toyota Camry for Joe Gibbs Racing. The list goes on and on of his achievements in his career. However, I will list those that are most relevant to show his ability. 2 time NASCAR cup series champion, 2 time NASCAR regular-season champion. All-time wins leader in the Xfinity series, and rookie of the year in 2 different series. He has a large fanbase and this will draw in viewers to the online racing invitational.  

Denny Hamlin

A current NASCAR driver for the Monster Energy Series, racing in his #11 Toyota Camry for Joe Gibbs Racing. Denny has been a consistent driver, to say the least, never winning a championship yet however almost always being close to or inside the final four racers. He has won 38 NASCAR cup series races, including winning the Daytona 500 3 times in 4 years (2016, 2019, 2020).   

Clint Bowyer

Also a current NASCAR driver for the Monster Energy Series, Bowyer normally drives his #14 Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing. Bowyer has one of the longer-tenured careers, racing alongside the likes of many legendary racers. Bowyer currently has 10 Cup Series wins and a Nationwide Series championship. He has also won the NASCAR all-star race 3 times in his career. 

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Kyle Larson

Currently racing in the Monster Energy Series, Larson drives his #42 Chevrolet Camaro for Chip Ganassi Racing. One of the younger faces on the NASCAR racing scene, Kyle has collected 6 Cup Series wins, however, he has many more awards to show his talent. He has won rookie of the year in 3 different series of racing, won driver of the year in 2017, and won the all-star race last year (2019).  

Christopher Bell

Currently switching over from the Xfinity series to the Monster Energy Series, Bell will drive his #95 Toyota Camry this year for Leavine Family Racing. He has only raced so far in 4 NASCAR cup races (he started racing in the Cup Series this year), however, he has very impressive stats in others. In the Xfinity series, he has raced in 74 races. Accumulating 16 wins, 46 top 10’s, and finished 3rd in his 2019 season in the standings. He is an impressive driver, to say the least, and will be interesting to watch as the season continues.  

… and many more drivers from their respective series.

When are the races, and where can I watch them?

The first race will take place this Sunday, March 22nd, at 1:30 PM EST. It will be streamed on the website 

eNASCAR.com/live 

And all prior races broadcasts will be left there too for post-viewing.  

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