NASCAR And iRacing Introduce eNASCAR iRacing Pro Invitational Series

(Press Release from NASCAR Integrated Marketing Communications)

NASCAR Cup Series regulars Denny Hamlin (left) and Kyle Busch (right) will compete in the newly introduced iRacing Pro Invitational Series (Photo: Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)

NASCAR Cup Series Drivers and Racing Icons to Compete in Esports Series; Exhibition Races to Provide Fans with Entertaining Content While NASCAR’s National Series Await Return

NASCAR and iRacing announced Tuesday the formation of the eNASCAR iRacing Pro Invitational Series, an exhibition esports series featuring many of the sports most talented and popular drivers.

The simulation-style showcase will include a cross-section of competitors from the NASCAR Cup Series™, NASCAR Xfinity Series™, NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series™ and a group of NASCAR dignitaries.

The multi-week series will kick off Sunday, March 22 at 1:30 p.m. ET on the virtual Homestead-Miami Speedway.

The remaining race and broadcast details will be announced at a later date. 

“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, vice president, racing development, NASCAR. “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.” 

NASCAR postponed events through May 3, prioritizing the health and safety of fans, the industry and race communities.

The eNASCAR iRacing Pro Invitational Series will provide much needed racing entertainment for sports fans on the premier motorsports racing simulation platform, often used by NASCAR drivers to prepare for race events.

The exhibition series will feature some of the best NASCAR drivers including:

  • Dale Earnhardt Jr.
  • Kyle Busch
  • Denny Hamlin
  • Clint Bowyer
  • Kyle Larson
  • Christopher Bell

NASCAR and iRacing have an unprecedented history in the esports space, currently in the 11th season of the longest-running officially sanctioned esports racing series, the eNASCAR Coca-Cola iRacing Series™. The eNASCAR Coca-Cola iRacing Series features 40 of the best sim racers in the world competing for more than $300,000, one of the richest payouts in esports racing competition. The elite series features NASCAR and professional esports teams, including those established by NASCAR Cup Series drivers William Byron, Denny Hamlin and Austin Dillon.


  1. Why do they do it? They call it a team but it usually starts with one person. A person willing to dump massive amounts of money, time and study into assembling a car and all the associated equipment needed to get it on the track. Frequently at the cost of his or her financial well being, career, family life and/ or social network. Why do it. Excitement, the challenge or as a learning experience. Pitting your skills against others all going in the same direction that at times resembles anarchy more then skill simply to see who can come out first.
    NASCAR has done a lot of things wrong for sure but eNascar iRacing isn’t one of them. More generically it’s called sim racing and it’s exploding. Nascar’s involvement is only a fraction of the total of sim racing that has so many permutations, variations, software and physical simulator platforms it’s almost impossible to keep up. With simulator, software and graphics getting better by the month.
    In the end what do you get after you invested all that money, time and energy in racing. Essentially it’s one person with three pedals, a gear shift and steering wheel matching his or her judgment and hand/eye coordination with other people in similar circumstances. Sim racing can provide much the same experience and challenge.
    This is where I think the current generation is irrevocably split from ours and why we don’t get the empty stands. It’s not that the young folks don’t like racing they actually love it. They just want to participate, not be spectators. Whether it’s Thompson’s offerings that let people take their street cars out on the track or sim racing the current generation wants to be involved.
    If you feel you have to spend money to make it worth it you can do that for sure. Take a look at this guys equipment and tell me that wouldn’t be cool to take a crack at.
    I guess a pitfall of sim racing would be the variables can never remotely approach the actual experience of racing. Even that is becoming less true as the sport becomes more sophisticated.
    This deal with the Nascar drivers is fine I suppose under the circumstances but it’s not what sim racing is about. Sim racing is more about doing it more then watching it although watching is an important component. It’s about hand/eye coordination and decision making in the bat of an eye and you get better the more you do it. Just like real racing but more inclusive and at less cost per race participant. The competition is every bit as ferocious as the real thing and with the simulators getting better it will only become more popular. More people getting a chance to pit their skills against others but not having to mortgage their homes, risk divorce or have little time for their children in the process.
    Doug Coby recently got in Dutch for saying advertisers lining up to sponsor sim drivers made him “puke”. Coca Cola is one of those sponsors of sim racing. I suspect most of us in this forum would agree with Coby. However sim racing is the future and major sponsors can’t get involved fast enough as it explodes.
    I suspect in the long run sim racing is a threat to the actual racing we here grew up. What can you do, things change. On the other hand sim racing is funneling people to the real thing so while seats will continue to be empty in increasing numbers there will always be a place for the real thing.

  2. Chris Taylor says

    how do I get involved what kind of equipment do you need?

  3. Chris,
    The series created this week by NASCAR is by invitational only for professional racers who compete regularly at the top levels of NASCAR. But anyone can get involved in iRacing. I think if you check out the iRacing website you can learn plenty more about what you need to get involved in sim racing.

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