Speedway Digest Staff
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The Indianapolis 500 Presented by Gainbridge has been rescheduled for Sunday, Aug. 23 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, officials from INDYCAR and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway (IMS) announced today. The 104th edition of "The Greatest Spectacle in Racing" will air live on NBC, with the official green flag time to be announced at a later date.
The GMR Grand Prix will transition to Saturday, July 4 on the IMS road course as part of a historic double-header featuring the NTT INDYCAR SERIES and NASCAR. This first-of-its-kind racing event also will be televised by NBC on Independence Day.
The Indianapolis 500 was originally scheduled for Sunday, May 24, in its traditional spot on the calendar during Memorial Day weekend. The GMR Grand Prix was scheduled to be run on Saturday, May 9.
"The Month of May at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway is my favorite time of year, and like our fans, I am disappointed that we have had to reschedule the Indianapolis 500," Roger Penske said. "However, the health and safety of our event participants and spectators is our top priority, and we believe that postponing the event is the responsible decision with the conditions and restrictions we are facing. We will continue to focus on ways we can enhance the customer experience in the months ahead, and I'm confident we will welcome fans with a transformed facility and a global spectacle when we run the world's greatest race."
"Memorial Day weekend has always provided Indianapolis 500 fans an opportunity to honor the men and women who have fought and sacrificed for our nation's freedom," Penske Entertainment Corp. President and CEO Mark Miles said. "This August, we'll also have a unique and powerful opportunity to honor the contributions and heroism of the doctors, nurses, first responders and National Guard members serving on the front lines of the fight against COVID-19. We're grateful for the patience of our fans as we've navigated this situation, and we extend our thanks to NBC for its terrific partnership and diligent work to maximize broadcast coverage with this new schedule."
On-track action in August will begin at IMS with practice sessions on Wednesday and Thursday, Aug. 12-13, followed by Fast Friday on Aug. 14 and Indianapolis 500 Qualifications on Saturday and Sunday Aug. 15-16. Each day of qualifications will be televised on NBC, providing more network coverage of qualifications for fans than in 2019. A full broadcast schedule will be released soon.
The following week's schedule will begin with hot pit-stop practice sessions on Thursday, Aug. 20 and include Indy Lights practice and qualifying. The Indy Lights Freedom 100 race, a significantly expanded Indy 500 Pit Stop Challenge and final Indianapolis 500 practice will take place on Friday, Aug. 21 as part of Miller Lite Carb Day, followed by the public drivers' meeting and full-field autograph session on Saturday, Aug. 22 as part of Legends Day presented by Firestone.
As a result of the schedule changes at IMS, the INDYCAR races scheduled for Aug. 16 and Aug. 22 have been rescheduled. The Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio is now scheduled for Aug. 9, and the Bommarito Automotive Group 500 at World Wide Technology Raceway at Gateway is now scheduled for Aug. 30. An updated 2020 NTT INDYCAR SERIES calendar is available at this link and can also be found at the bottom of this release.
GMR Grand Prix Makes Historic Move
The GMR Grand Prix will take the green flag Saturday, July 4, before the first NASCAR Xfinity Series race on the IMS road course - the Pennzoil 150 at the Brickyard. The unique holiday racing lineup will mark the first time that the NTT INDYCAR SERIES will compete at the same track on the same weekend as both the NASCAR Cup Series and NASCAR Xfinity Series.
Immediately following the live telecast of the GMR Grand Prix on July 4, NBC will air the first NASCAR race on the IMS road course with the Xfinity Series cars in action at the Pennzoil 150 at the Brickyard.
"For very good reason, this historic pairing will be circled on the calendar of every motorsports fan," Indianapolis Motor Speedway President J. Douglas Boles said. "We appreciate our friends at NASCAR for their flexibility and support in this matter and will work with them on a memorable, exciting weekend of racing action."
Tickets already purchased for the Indianapolis 500, GMR Grand Prix and associated on-track days such as Miller Lite Carb Day and Crown Royal Armed Forces Qualifying Weekend will be valid on the rescheduled dates. Individuals already in possession of those tickets should use them for entry. To learn more about the adjusted on-track schedule, review customer FAQ's and submit questions, fans can visit www.ims.com/COVID19.
Important Indy 500 Race Weekend Concert Update
All concerts scheduled for the original Race Weekend in May have been canceled. This includes REO Speedwagon and Styx on Friday, May 22, Luke Bryan on Saturday, May 23 and Martin Garrix on Sunday, May 24.
This decision was made to provide the maximum flexibility possible to complete the Indianapolis 500 by Sunday, Aug. 23 and provide room for any contingency plans necessary. IMS appreciates the understanding of fans and regrets that the COVID-19 situation has caused the cancellation of these events.
Fans who made concert-specific purchases will be able to access a credit for any IMS event, including the Indy 500, or choose to receive a refund. IMS concert customers will receive further communication on how to exercise their ticketing options.
Enhanced Health and Safety Measures at IMS
IMS and INDYCAR officials will continue to work closely with local, state and federal health representatives to ensure a safe and healthy experience for spectators. Enhanced measures that will be in place once activity resumes at IMS include:
•Increasing housekeeping staff at the track to elevate frequency of cleaning and disinfecting high-touch surfaces
•Using cleaning products that meet current EPA and CDC guidelines for registered disinfectants to be used against COVID-19
•Educating all employees on CDC prevention guidance, including proper handwashing technique and requesting that all vendors communicate strict hygiene protocol to staff
•Increasing public hand-sanitizing stations in high-traffic areas, containing sanitizer that meets or exceeds the CDC standard for alcohol content
•Reducing required hand-to-hand interactions between customers and staff at concession areas and other key IMS locations
Updated 2020 NTT INDYCAR SERIES Schedule
Saturday, May 30
Streets of Detroit Race 1
Sunday, May 31
Streets of Detroit Race 2
Saturday, June 6
Texas Motor Speedway
Sunday, June 21
Saturday, June 27
Saturday, July 4
Indianapolis Motor Speedway Road Course
Sunday, July 12
Streets of Toronto
Saturday, July 18
Sunday, Aug. 9
Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course
Sunday, Aug. 23
Indianapolis 500 Mile Race
Sunday, Aug. 30
World Wide Technology Raceway at Gateway
Sunday, Sept. 13
Portland International Raceway
Sunday, Sept. 20
WeatherTech Raceway at Laguna Seca
TBD Expected Finale
Streets of St. Petersburg
NTT IndyCar Series PR
A full field of NTT INDYCAR SERIES drivers, including reigning series champion Josef Newgarden and 2019 Indianapolis 500 winner Simon Pagenaud, is set to compete virtually in the inaugural INDYCAR iRacing Challenge on Saturday beginning at 4 p.m. ET.
The entry list represents 15 different teams or organizations currently competing in the NTT INDYCAR SERIES and a field of drivers that has amassed 140 NTT INDYCAR SERIES victories and nine series championships. Newgarden, a two-time series titlist, will be joined in the field by fellow series champions Will Power and Pagenaud of Team Penske along with Sebastien Bourdais and Tony Kanaan of AJ Foyt Racing.
Other notables include Alexander Rossi and James Hinchcliffe of Andretti Autosport, Graham Rahal of Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing, Colton Herta of Andretti Harding Steinbrenner Racing, Felix Rosenqvist of Chip Ganassi Racing and Santino Ferrucci of Dale Coyne Racing with Vasser-Sullivan.
Click here: Entry List
The entry list is currently at 25 drivers with any special guests to be announced Friday morning in addition to the venue selected through fan voting. The finalists in the bracket competition are Watkins Glen International and Michigan International Speedway, with the final day of voting being today and available through the @INDYCAR Instagram and Twitter handles or online at indycar.com/iracing.
The event, which will last approximately 90 minutes, will be streamed through INDYCAR.com for fans to enjoy the virtual action. The event also will be available on INDYCAR's YouTube and Facebook as well as iRacing's Twitch.
To enhance the fan experience, INDYCAR will conduct a 15-minute, pre-race virtual autograph session with several of the participants beginning at 3:15 p.m. The drivers participating this week will be announced @INDYCAR at 10 a.m. Saturday. There also will be a live interview with the race winner by post-race host Katie Hargitt on INDYCAR's Instagram immediately following the conclusion of the race.
The starting lineup will be set through a 10-minute qualifying session prior to the event. In the interest of fairness, iRacing will give all participants the same car setups. Teams will have the ability to design each driver's car livery to match their desired paint scheme, making them easily recognizable to the viewers.
Saturday's event is the first in a six-event series to be held weekly on Saturdays through May 2. The opening virtual race event will be followed by Barber Motorsports Park (April 4), "Driver's Choice" track (April 11), "Random Draw" track (April 18), Circuit of The Americas (April 25) and a non-INDYCAR "Dream" track (May 2).
The INDYCAR iRacing Challenge will not crown an overall champion but will add a special element where INDYCAR will make a donation to one of its partner charities.
NTT IndyCar Series PR
Ryan Blaney found himself like many race fans last weekend as he watched the NASCAR debut of iRacing from the grandstands. And while he enjoyed the view, he’s used to being part of the action.
So when Fox Sports hits the airwaves on Sunday from the virtual Texas Motor Speedway, Blaney will be behind the wheel of his familiar No. 12 Ford Mustang.
“I’ve never been a big iRacing person for multiple reasons, but it just looked like it was a lot of fun,” said Blaney. “The thing that pushed me into making it want to happen was seeing how the fans enjoyed it. Social media was blowing up and people really enjoyed just watching some form of racing again, which is nice. I saw their support and their push for me to try to get in, so I was happy we were able to make it happen.”
Blaney has internet connectivity issues from his home, one of the few drawbacks he finds living in the North Carolina wilderness, so he’s joined forces with his spotter, Josh Williams. A noted iRacer himself, Williams is opening his house and loaning his rig so Blaney can compete.
“I practiced on Monday and Josh has kind of been helping me out,” said Blaney, whose only real simulator experience has come at the Ford Performance Technical Center in Concord, NC. “I’m not the biggest tech savvy person out there, especially when it comes to that stuff, but it was neat watching everybody on there again. There were a lot of Cup guys and XFINITY guys and some Truck guys doing it, but it’s something I’m pretty green at, so we’ll see how it goes.”
Last Sunday’s race at Homestead featured nine cautions as a mix of experience led to some major wrecks, but, thanks to their handy reset button, everybody was able to finish. Blaney is hoping he doesn’t need that this weekend, but he’s glad it’s there, just in case.
And despite his relative lack of iRacing laps, Blaney says his goal for Sunday is the same as if he were going to be buckling into his real stock car.
“You want to win the race. Competitors are competitors no matter what they’re playing,” he said. “You want to win, so that’s why I’m practicing on Josh’s rig a little bit during this week to try and get a feel for it. You don’t want to go in there not knowing anything and make yourself look silly.
“You want to have a shot at it, so you want to try to win the race, but it’s also about having fun and hoping you don’t wreck anybody,” continued Blaney. “The stakes aren’t as high, but, at the end of the day, I believe it’s a good time for everyone.”
Fans can watch Sunday’s race live at 1:00 ET on Fox, FS1 and the Fox Sports app.
Ford Performance PR
- O'Reilly Auto Parts 125 eNASCAR iRacing Pro Invitational Series race
- Sunday, March 29 at 12:00 p.m. CT
- FOX (United States); FS1; FOX Sports Racing (Canada); FOX Sports app
Following fast in the wheeltracks of the ground-breaking All-Star Esports Battle, Torque Esports Corp's (TSXV: GAME) (OTCQB: MLLLF) The-Race.com/youtube is creating a real treat for motorsport fans by launching the Legends Trophy.
The Legends Trophy will pit drivers aged 40 and over against one another in identical cars as a prelude to this Saturday's third round of the All-Star Esports Battle.
The format will be simple, with qualifying deciding the starting order for the esports race conducted on the rFactor 2 racing platform.
IndyCar champions, Le Mans 24 Hours winners and grand prix racers fill the list, with two-time Formula One World Champion Emerson Fittipaldi and three-time Indy 500 winners Helio Castroneves and Dario Franchitti among the first to join the event.
Other confirmed drivers include F1, IndyCar, NASCAR and IMSA race winner Juan Pablo Montoya; F1 race winner Johnny Herbert; Le Mans winner David Brabham; multiple Le Mans class winner and IMSA champion, Jan Magnussen; IndyCar champion Paul Tracy; Indy 500 winners and series champions Gil de Ferran and Tony Kanaan; IndyCar race winners Bryan Herta, Adrian Fernandez and Oriol Servia plus ex-F1, IndyCar and sportscar ace, Max Papis.
"Simulators are extremely important because technically, they are so close to driving the real thing," said Fittipaldi
"You learn the track before you even arrive – where to brake, where to turn, even before arriving at any track in the world. And the feedback for the driver, the reaction, the reflex, the coordination, it's a mental test and mental development for a young driver. I wish, in my time, we had simulators. My life would have been much easier!"
Fittipaldi is looking forward to doing battle against some of his old rivals.,
"I've raced against guys like Gil, Paul, Bryan and Adrian back in the day and it will be great to do battle again. This will be a lot of fun."
Three-time Indy 500 winner Dario Franchitti is keen to re-establish old rivalries
"I'm really looking forward to this event and a chance to race with my old mates and competitors once again, hopefully with some really lairy cars and on a great track," Franchitti said.
"I got introduced to the sim world via Darren Turner and his Base Simulator business and I am loving getting to grips with some mega cars of yesteryear.
"The Legends grid that The Race has put together looks tremendous with some great buddies and old adversaries. It will be interesting to see which of the old men have reading glasses and which have bi-focals!"
The current line-up has an incredible 455 F1 starts, 24 F1 wins, 2,378 IndyCar starts, 177 IndyCar wins plus eight overall or class victories at the 24 Hours of Le Mans between them.
The first All-Star Esport Battle was arranged in less than 72 hours following the cancellation of the Australian GP. It attracted a live audience of over half a million viewers.
It placed some of the world's top racing drivers against the best of the sim racing world. There was a $10k prize pool and the sim racers all received an appearance fee in order to boost their community during a hugely transitional time for the sport.
The second encounter drew an even larger number of real-world star racers. World's Fastest Gamer winner Rudy van Buren triumphed, but DTM ace Daniel Juncadella and Indycar sensation Felix Rosenqvist upheld the honour of the 'worldies'.
The next installment takes place at 4:00 pm (GMT) on Saturday March 28. The two-hour, 40-minute broadcast will include both the Legends Trophy and the All-Star Battle – streamed live on The Race's YouTube channel.
Confirmed drivers for this week's All-Star Battle include ex-F1 racers Juan Pablo Montoya, Marcus Ericsson and Esteban Gutiérrez; Formula E stars António Félix da Costa, Nyck de Vries, Stoffel Vandoorne and Maximilian Günther; IndyCar racers Felix Rosenqvist, Alexander Rossi, James Davison and Colton Herta; DTM stars Philipp Eng, Daniel Juncadella and Bruno Spengler plus sportscar drivers Tom Dillmann, Charlie Eastwood, Maxime Martin, Jonny Adam and Nicki Thiim.
World's Fastest Gamer winners James Baldwin and last week's The Race All-Star Esports Battle winner Rudy van Buren lead another batch of talented online esports racers taking on regular on-track racing rivals.
Torque Esports PR
Twenty-two professional drivers from a wide variety of racing series have entered World Wide Technology Raceway’s inaugural iRacing event. The Bommarito Automotive Group 500 will be held on Sunday, March 29, at 8 p.m. Eastern, and will be broadcast on Speed51.com. The race will carry a throwback theme for car entries.
The iRacing drivers will compete from home – on computer sim racing rigs (sim = simulator) – on a digital replica of WWTR’s 1.25-mile oval, which is home to the annual NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Series 200 and NTT IndyCar Series Bommarito Automotive Group 500. Race fans from all over the globe may tune in to Speed51.com to witness the action.
A sim racing rig consists of a computer, monitor, steering wheel and pedals. Some pro drivers invest thousands of dollars into their sim rigs but one of the most successful racers cobbled his together with parts from eBay and Walmart.
For those not familiar with iRacing and the Elite Racing League (@EliteRacing_), last Sunday's NASCAR iRacing event, televised on FS1, earned a 0.53 rating (903,000 viewers) and was the most viewed esports event in U.S. TV history, beating a Mortal Kombat event on the CW in 2016. (Sources: Adam Stern/Sports Business Daily and eSports consultant Manny Anekal)
CONFIRMED ENTRIES, GROUPED BY SERIES
NTT IndyCar Series
- Alexander Rossi – American driver from California who made five starts in Formula 1, then came home to record seven wins in NTT IndyCar Series competition.
- Santino Ferrucci – racing again in the U.S. after serving as a Formula 1 development driver in Europe.
- Dalton Kellett – from Toronto; drives for four-time Indianapolis 500 winner A.J. Foyt.
- James Davison – the native of Melbourne, Australia has competed in seven INDYCAR races and four NASCAR Xfinity Series events.
NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series
- Ron Capps – 2016 Funny Car world champion.
- Shawn Langdon – 2013 Top Fuel Dragster world champion.
NASCAR Xfinity Series
- Andy Seuss – also a two-time NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour champion.
- Garrett Smithley – turned a lot of heads by finishing up front in Sunday’s NASCAR iRacing event on FS1.
- Ryan Vargas – Made his Xfinity Series debut in 2019 at Iowa Speedway.
- Josh Bilicki – Returns to the Xfinity Series in 2020 on a limited schedule with team owner BJ McLeod.
NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series
- Spencer Boyd – Born in St. Louis in 1995, Boyd won his first Truck race at Talladega in 2019.
- Jordan Anderson – Although he’s not from the St. Louis-Metro East Region, Jordan has become a local favorite and is sponsored by the Bommarito Automotive Group.
- Tyler Ankrum – A veteran of USAC Quarter Midgets and the USAC Ignite Midget Series before winning the 2018 NASCAR K&N Pro Series East championship in his rookie season.
- Austin Wayne Self – the Texan is a veteran of four seasons in the NASCAR Truck Series.
ARCA Menards Series
- Ty Gibbs – the grandson of coach Joe Gibbs won twice in 2019.
- Thad Moffitt – the 19-year-old is a veteran of 17 series races and is the grandson of Richard Petty.
- Austin Blair – Silver Crown Series, from Fairview Heights, Illinois. FAA-licensed drone pilot.
- Logan Seavey – 2018 USAC NOS Midget champion.
- Dillon Welch – also a broadcaster for NBC Sports and FOX Sports. Won an Emmy for television production.
Indy Lights presented by Cooper Tires
- Robert Megennis – in 2019, he won the INDYCAR Grand Prix and finished fifth in his rookie year in the series.
Cooper Tires USF2000 Series
- Nolan Siegel – At age 15, Siegel already has seven years of experience under his belt.
- Simon Sikes – kart racer graduated to cars and won the 2017 Skip Barber Winter Series championship.
- Mark Rebilas – Renowned professional sports photographer from Phoenix, Arizona.
Drivers in the Open (non-professional) category consist of racers from the Elite Racing League (@EliteRacing_), the Gateway Kartplex™ and those who meet the entry requirements. Currently, 34 Open drivers have entered, including Gateway Kartplex™ scholarship winner Scott McClendon Jr. of St. Louis.
SUNDAY, MARCH 29
All times Eastern
Bommarito Automotive Group Throwback 500 Open race
5-6 p.m. – Practice.
6-6:05 p.m. – Qualifying (2 Laps). The fastest 20 Open drivers are locked into the 50-lap Open feature. The final eight starting berths will be comprised of the top four drivers in each of the 10-lap heat races. The top five Open drivers in the 50-lap Open feature advance to the 8 p.m. main event.
Bommarito Automotive Group Throwback 500 main event
7-8 p.m. – Final practice.
8-8:05 p.m. – Qualifying (5 laps, top 28 locked into the race).
8:05 p.m. – 15-lap Last Chance Qualifier (top 5 advance to the main event). Last Chance Qualifier will be followed by a 10-minute warm-up.
Bommarito Automotive Group Throwback 500 (248 laps/500 km).
For additional information on World Wide Technology Raceway, please call (618) 215-8888 ext. 119 or visit www.WWTRaceway.com. Follow WWTR on Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat and Instagram.
Sage Karam will be settling into the seat of his No. 24 DRR Wix Filters Chevrolet for Dreyer & Reinbold Racing on Saturday, but it will be in the comfort of his own home.
Karam will be among the large contingent of NTT INDYCAR SERIES drivers taking part in the inaugural INDYCAR iRacing Challenge, which will be a virtual race among the series' best. Saturday's event will begin at 4 p.m. ET and be streamed through INDYCAR.com for fans to enjoy the action. It also will be available on INDYCAR's YouTube and Facebook as well as iRacing's Twitch.
The experience and expectations will be widely varied among the series athletes participating, and Karam would fall into the veteran category with high expectations. He owns some of the best equipment, practices on his personal computer almost daily in his home in Nazareth, Pa., and is a member of an actual simulation team. Through iRacing, which organizes, hosts and officiates online racing on virtual tracks around the world, Karam gets to hone his skills against some of the top gamers.
Most NTT INDYCAR SERIES drivers own proper gaming equipment, but they use iRacing to varying degrees. Some drivers are more active than others, which means their skill sets vary.
Given his experience in iRacing, Karam was asked what should we expect in Saturday's INDYCAR iRacing Challenge debut event. The INDYCAR iRacing Challenge will run weekly on Saturdays at 4 p.m. ET through May 2.
How serious are NTT INDYCAR SERIES drivers about sim racing on their personal computers?
"I'd say about 30 percent are into sim racing and about 15 percent are religious about it. If you've jumped in an actual simulator (as professional drivers have) and know how to drive a race car like we do, there's a pretty decent chance you're going to be competitive."
What level of equipment does an INDYCAR driver need to be competitive Saturday?
"Honestly, if they've got a decent computer that can run the software they should be fine. Anyone who is serious has good stuff. Like, I've got a pretty good set of pedals that I can calibrate to my liking - I like it to feel how hard you have to hit the brakes in an Indy car to stop it. But it's like anything else, it can get expensive. When I started, I had a (combined) pedal and steering wheel unit that cost me $300. Now, my pedals alone cost $1,500, and I have three monitors. It can get pretty crazy, like racing does."
Is the sensation similar to driving on an actual track?
"You're feeling the strength it takes to drive an actual car, but you're not feeling the little details - that feeling in your butt or feeling when the car bottoms out or loses traction or slides. You don't get those little details. But it's pretty close in a lot of ways."
Would you rather virtually race on a road course or an oval?
"I think a road course puts on a better show; it would go a lot smoother and be a better show than an oval. When you're on a simulator you have no fear of getting hurt, so on an oval you're not scared to make a mistake. You can make it three-wide going into a corner where you'd never do that in real life and if you wreck it's like ... 'OK.' So, on a road course there are a lot fewer yellows and that makes for a better show."
Everyone in this race will have the same car setup, which takes away some of the advantage you might have as an experienced sim racer. Is that the best way?
"Yes. We want this to be a competitive race. With open setups, I would do better, for sure. But for fairness, this is the best thing for everyone -- and the fans."
Obviously, large gatherings have been shuttered for the next several weeks. Do you find a simulated race to be a good alternative for the NTT INDYCAR SERIES and its fans?
"We all know why we can't (gather in large groups). We're the only sport that can do something like this. It's a win-win for all of us. It gives us something to compete in, and it's cool for the fans. It's a pretty good solution with everything that's going on."
NTT IndyCar Series PR
As the racing world waits patiently to return safely to the track, Spencer Boyd has teamed up with RichMar Florist for an amazing on and off track partnership. During these times when most of us could use a pick-me-up, Boyd will be sending virtual flowers upon request.
Spencer Boyd elaborated on the unique sponsorship, “There are medical workers that are on the front lines. Countless people in the travel and hospitality industry have been laid off or furloughed. Grocery store workers and suppliers have been working around the clock to keep up with demand. These people and their families need a lot right now so maybe at least I can provide a smile by sending someone some flowers.”
With a collection of photographs from RichMar’s extensive work over the years, Boyd will be taking shout out requests on social media and sending people pictures of tailored floral arrangements. RichMar Florist will also take center stage as a primary sponsor of the No. 20 Young’s Motorsports Chevrolet Silverado when the NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series is ready to return.
“We’ve known Spencer for a while now and love his interaction with the fans,” said Jonathan Morrissey Vice President of RichMar Florist. “We know that social media is flooded with mixed messages right now so spreading some cheer will do us all some good and Spencer is the right guy to help do that. We support NASCAR’s decision to postpone the season and look forward to seeing this beautiful paint scheme on the track when the time is right.”
To request Spencer to send virtual flowers to someone that needs them, tag Spencer or RichMar in a social media post on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter at the accounts below.
Spencer Boyd Racing PR
Last Sunday, NASCAR, iRacing and FOX Sports teamed up to deliver the first-ever eNASCAR iRacing Pro invitational Series event. Today, FOX Sports is committing to coverage of the remainder of the season, beginning Sunday, March 29, at 1:00 PM ET live from virtual Texas Motor Speedway. Entitled FOX NASCAR iRACING, the races will be simulcast on the FOX broadcast network*, FS1 and the FOX Sports app. Races will be available in Canada through FOX Sports Racing.
Last Sunday’s inaugural event, won by three-time Daytona 500 winner Denny Hamlin, drew 903,000 viewers on FS1, according to Nielsen Media Research. FOX SPORTS iRACING 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.
Additionally, according to rankings by Twitter interactions, the eNASCAR iRacing Pro Invitational Series on FS1 was the #1 most-social TV program overall on Sunday. NASCAR-owned content related to the event also produced more than one million engagements throughout the weekend.
“This rapid-fire collaboration between FOX Sports, NASCAR and iRacing obviously has resonated with race fans, gamers and television viewers across the country in a very positive way,” said Brad Zager, FOX Sports Executive Producer, EVP/Head of Production & Operations. “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.”
The FOX NASCAR broadcast team of Jeff Gordon, Mike Joy and Larry McReynolds continues to call the action from FOX NASCAR studios in Charlotte, with NASCAR CUP SERIES driver Clint Bowyer providing “in-car” commentary.
“The response on social media to last Sunday’s race has been incredible,” Gordon said. “We were able to broadcast a virtual race that was exciting and entertaining. It brought a little bit of ‘normalcy’ back to the weekend, and I can’t wait to call the action Sunday at Texas.”
Under the banner FOX NASCAR iRACING, FOX Sports covers simulation-style esports races that include a cross-section of competitors from the NASCAR CUP SERIES, NASCAR XFINITY SERIES, NASCAR GANDER RV & OUTDOORS TRUCK SERIES and a group of NASCAR dignitaries.
“We’re overwhelmed by the positive feedback and encouragement sent by industry stakeholders, drivers, partners, media and most importantly, our fans. We all can’t wait to get back to racing and our partners at iRacing and FOX have worked with us to do just that – race,” said Tim Clark, Senior Vice President and Chief Digital Officer, NASCAR. “We are committed to running these eNASCAR iRacing events as long as necessary. Providing a platform for our fans to watch and engage with their favorite drivers is our number one priority.”
For more information on FOX Sports motor sports coverage, including photography and talent bios, visit FOX Sports Press Pass.
*Where available and subject to change
Fox Sports PR