NASCAR announced Tuesday night the formation of the eNASCAR iRacing Pro Invitational Series, an exhibition series featuring NASCAR drivers.
The multi-week series begins at 1:30 p.m. ET Sunday on the virtual Homestead-Miami Speedway. Remaining race and broadcast details will be announced at a later date.
NASCAR has postponed all races through the May 3 Cup race at Dover International Speedway because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The exhibition series will feature: Dale Earnhardt Jr., Kyle Busch, Denny Hamlin, Clint Bowyer, Kyle Larson and Christopher Bell. The series will have drivers from the Cup, Xfinity and Truck Series.
“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, in a statement. “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.”
The announcement was made before Tuesday night’s eNASCAR Coca-Cola iRacing Series race at the virtual Homestead-Miami Speedway. That series features 40 of the top sim racers competing for more than $300,000. Ryan Luza, driving for Williams eSports, scored his second career Homestead win. Logan Clampitt, driving for Burton/Kligerman eSprots, finished second. Third was Keegan Leahy for Denny Hamlin Racing. Garrett Lowe, driving for Wood Brothers was fourth. Chris Shearburn finished fifth, driving for Letarte eSports. The next race is March 31 on the virtual Bristol Motor Speedway.
Nick Ottinger won the eNASCAR PEAK Antifreeze iRacing Series All-Star race held Thursday on NASCAR America.
He claimed the win on a virtual Iowa Speedway after a last-lap pass and side-by-side finish with Ryan Luza, the 2017 series champion.
Ottinger, a 24-year-old from Claremont, North Carolina, competes in the No. 47 car for JTG Daugherty Racing.
The race, which was the first iRacing event broadcast on national television, included NASCAR on NBC analyst Parker Kilgerman and teams owned by real NASCAR organizations, tracks and drivers, including Austin Dillon and Clint Bowyer.
Ottinger and Luza swapped the lead multiple times over the last three laps after Luza led most of the 70-lap race.
“I just had to bide my time for a straight exit and really research which line to run to get a better run on him,” Ottinger told NASCAR America after the race. “He set up the door for a crossover so I just had to keep my foot to the floor.”
Ottinger, who is currently eighth in the PEAK Antifreeze iRacing Series, has won more than 350 iRacing races including 13 at the pro level.
Following this week’s event, iRacing will return to NASCAR America on NBCSN on the last Thursday of every month for a four-race series. More information on the three future iRacing events on NBCSN will be revealed in the coming weeks. Need more video? Check out our YouTube page here.