College students nationwide will have the chance to compete at Daytona International Speedway - virtually that is. National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing, LLC (NASCAR®) and NACE Starleague, the largest collegiate esports league in North America, announced today the launch of the eNASCAR College iRacing Series, bringing competitive sim racing to more than 500 colleges and universities nationwide.
The new series will be presented by NASCAR Official Partners Coca-Cola, Logitech, Playseat and Southern Computer Warehouse.
“Gaming and Esports are an important component of NASCAR, allowing us to reach new fans who are often engaging with the sport for the first time,” said Nick Rend, Managing Director of Gaming and Esports, NASCAR. “Our various eNASCAR initiatives have seen exponential growth. We felt this was the right time to extend our reach to a younger audience and launch the eNASCAR College iRacing Series to show students the opportunities that sim racing and our sport hold for them.”
More than 10,000 students will have the option to compete in the eNASCAR College iRacing Series through NACE Starleague, which was established in 2021 as a strategic partnership between the National Association of Collegiate Esports (NACE) and CSL Esports, a Playfly Sports Company.
“It is paramount for CSL Esports and Playfly Sports to continue growing and expanding within NACE Starleague,” said Rob Johnson, CEO, CSL Esports. “Integrating sim racing as part of the league not only provides greater opportunity for students with varied gaming interests, but furthers our long-term mission of linking education, in this case engineering-focused knowledge, with Esports competition.”
The 2022 season opens on Thursday, February 24 with the Playfly Sports 30 race at Daytona International Speedway. Qualifying takes place now through Monday, February 21. The top 40 students who post the fastest qualifying times will advance to the race with the eNASCAR Scholarship Fund awarding the highest finishers a combined $50,000 in scholarships throughout the calendar year.
Students will compete with NASCAR Camping World Truck Series vehicles emblazoned with their school branding. Competition will be led via iRacing.com, the official simulation partner of NASCAR, which provides one of the top online racing simulation portals and features officially-sanctioned, laser-scanned replicas of race tracks around the world.
2022 eNASCAR College iRacing Series Schedule*
· Daytona International Speedway
Qualifying: February 7 - 21
Race (60 Laps): February 24 at 8 p.m. ET
· Charlotte Motor Speedway
Qualifying: March 7 - 21
Race (80 Laps): March 24 at 8 p.m. ET
· Watkins Glen International
Qualifying: April 10 - 24
Race (30 Laps): April 27 at 8 p.m. ET
· Four-race schedule to be released at a later date
*Tentative and subject to change