US stock car racing series Nascar has reached an agreement with domestic broadcast partner Fox Sports to air its new esports competition, the eNascar iRacing Pro Invitational Series.
The competitive gaming series is an attempt to give fans alternative viewing, and enable them to stay engaged with Nascar, while its season is on hold until at least May 3 due to the Covid-19 pandemic. It will feature drivers from the Cup, Xfinity and Truck Series, as well as Nascar legends.
It has been created in partnership with online racing simulation company iRacing and features many of the sport’s most talented and popular drivers. Among the confirmed participants are Dale Earnhardt Jr., Kyle Busch, Denny Hamlin, Clint Bowyer, Kyle Larson, and Christopher Bell.
The multi-week series will kick off on March 22, with a virtual race at Homestead-Miami Speedway. It will be broadcast on cable network FS1 and the Fox Sports app. Fox’s Nascar broadcasters Jeff Gordon, Mike Joy and Larry McReynolds will call the action to give the event added authenticity.
“This is a unique opportunity to offer competitive and entertaining racing to our viewers as we all work through these challenging times together,” said Fox Sports executive producer Brad Zager. “We value our relationships across the Nascar community and appreciate all of the effort that it took in bringing this project to life.”
Nascar executives are delighted with this opportunity to stay active in a meaningful way during the ongoing health crisis.
Nascar’s senior vice president and chief digital officer Tim Clark said: “I would say this sport and this industry is phenomenal in a number of ways, but the willingness of all the stakeholders to jump on board has been a great testament to that. From tracks, to sponsors, to drivers to teams, everyone has reached out and raised their hand to find a way to participate. The drivers jumped on board and really mobilized themselves without much asking.”