With the American Cup Series racing season halted, NASCAR and Fox Sport will broadcast an eSports competition on television. Due to health measures following the coronavirus epidemic, Fox Sport and NASCAR had no choice but to turn to the virtual environment and video games. On March 22, some of the NASCAR Cup Series drivers will return to the screen for an eSports competition using the iRacing simulation software.
Since last weekend and the Atlanta Motor Speedway, the NASCAR Cup Series has delayed (not to say canceled) all of its stock car racing. For many fans in the United States, it is a huge void that has been left, and that is not about to be back on the screens. All the meetings until the one on May 9 at Martinsville Speedway will not take place, that is to say already 7 events, whereas this 72th NASCAR Cup Series edition has 36 races.
From real to virtual
Whether in the professional or personal world, the current containment situation is putting the sails on the rise with online teleworking tools, or sports applications at home. Unfortunately, when it comes to physical events, the alternatives to avoid outright cancellations are almost non-existent. In motorsport, the NASCAR competition could however initiate a new trend towards the field of eSports and video games.
The National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR), which organizes the sports competition of the same name, has thought of a new way of offering content for fans. As of March 22, the eNASCAR iRacing Pro Invitational will take over. Drivers like Dale Earnhardt Jr (reigning Cup Series champion), or Kyle Busch, Denny Hamlin, Clint Bowyer, Kyle Larson and Christopher Bell will find themselves in a competition on eRacing, driving virtual… racing cars.
Each player will race from home, and fans will be able to follow the course on Fox Sports 1 TV, or through the Fox Sports app. The competition will be more entertaining than serious, both for the players and the viewers. It should also give a boost to the eNASCAR Coca-Cola iRacing, which is for real a real online competition, with real professional players, in the races broadcast on Twitch, Facebook and Youtube every other Tuesday. The next race of the competition will take place on March 31, on the asphalt – virtual – of Bristol Motor Speedway.