The first eNASCAR iRacing Pro invitational Series event, held on Sunday, was-like Formula 1's move to video game competition-a chance for both drivers and fans to get some kind of racing fix in these weird and challenging times.
Entitled FOX NASCARiRACING, the races will be simulcast on the FOX broadcast network (where available and subject to change), FOX Sports 1, and the FOX Sports app. In first place was three-time Daytona 500 victor Denny Hamlin, and almost one million people watched it on Fox, so now a whole season of it, called FOX NASCAR iRACING, is going to take place.
FOX SportsiRacing was the most-watched telecast on FS1 since the pandemic-induced sports shutdown began on March 12 and Sunday's most-watched sports telecast on cable television, as well as ranks as the highest-rated esports TV program in history.
NASCAR Hall of Fame member Jeff Gordon, who called up Sunday's virtual race alongside Mike Joy and Larry McReynolds of Fox Sports, was equally optimistic about the prospects for televised iRacing.
Last week, FS1 televised the opening race from virtual Homestead-Miami Speedway, which included a thrilling last-lap duel between race victor Denny Hamlin and the sport's perennial most popular driver, Dale Earnhardt Jr. "We have learned so much in a relatively short period of time and we are excited to expand coverage of this brand new NASCAR esports series to an even wider audience". NASCAR and IndyCar have postponed their weekend schedules at Atlanta Motor Speedway and St. Petersburg, Florida, due to concerns over the COVID-19 pandemic.
Earlier this week, a group of NASCAR racers old and new made a decision to race each other online in a bid to cure their own boredom, but also as a nice way to keep fans entertained.
NASCAR informed its staff Tuesday that pay cuts will be imposed across the company until the series returns to racing. "It brought a little bit of normalcy back to the weekend and I can't wait to call the action Sunday at Texas". Formula 1 announced last week that it would host an esports series, the F1 Esports Virtual Grand Prix series, with a number of current F1 drivers alongside a number of other stars. The first-ever virtual round of the Nürburgring Endurance Series kicked off on March 21.
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