The eNASCAR iRacing Pro Invitational Series returns Wednesday night with Cup drivers racing on a virtual Bristol Motor Speedway dirt track.
Wednesday night’s event is the first of 10 such races involving Cup drivers competing on virtual tracks. The first five events will air on FS1. NBC Sports will air the final five races in the second half of the year.
Here is the schedule for the first five events:
March 24 – Bristol Dirt (8-9:30 p.m. ET on FS1)
April 21 – Talladega (7-8:30 p.m. ET on FS1)
May 5 – Darlington (8-9:30 p.m. ET on FS1)
May 19 – Circuit of the Americas (7-8:30 p.m. ET on FS1)
June 2 – Chicago street course (8-9:30 p.m. ET on FS1)
The field for the Bristol Dirt race will include Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Clint Bowyer. Each of the 36 chartered teams gets a spot and up to four additional drivers can be added. Ryan Preece takes the spot for Kevin Harvick.
Timmy Hill, who won one of the series events last year, was not among those invited to compete, leading social media to call for him to be added to the event. Austin Cindric was scheduled to drive in place of Brad Keselowski, but Cindric suggested that Hill take over the ride for the event. Team Penske expressed its support for the move. Hill accepted the offer.
Compete in every cup event the last 2 seasons and the only cup driver that was left out… stings a bit. https://t.co/EGMI4NuNey
— Timmy Hill (@TimmyHillRacer) March 23, 2021
Big shoes to fill subbing for BK. Tight squeeze into his virtual seat. Knees are in the virtual digital dash, and I didn't even have time to pack virtual tear-offs…
— Austin Cindric (@AustinCindric) March 24, 2021
— Brad Keselowski (@keselowski) March 24, 2021
— Team Penske (@Team_Penske) March 24, 2021
Alright I’m in! I appreciate everyone’s support over the last 24 hours. All my fans out there put up the good fight! Looking forward to slinging some virtual mud tonight. Thanks MBM & Team Penske for allowing me to do this. https://t.co/Lii9i7qTFj
— Timmy Hill (@TimmyHillRacer) March 24, 2021
NASCAR announced Wednesday that a street course in Chicago will serve as the site for the Pro Invitational Series race June 2.
“On behalf of the City of Chicago, I am thrilled to work with NASCAR and iRacing to showcase our great city to NASCAR fans who will be watching this cutting-edge event from around the country,” said Chicago Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot in a statement. “Through this exciting and innovative exhibition, fans will be able to see and experience Chicago’s iconic downtown in a way that has never been done before. I am excited to partner with NASCAR and iRacing to produce this event and look forward to providing a new, uniquely Chicago experience to those near and far.”