Speedway Digest Staff

Speedway Digest Staff

Follow us on Twitter @SpeedwayDigest

Details:

 

• Race:  Food City Showdown (Round 3)

• Series:  eNASCAR iRacing Pro Invitational Series

• Time/Date:  1 p.m. EDT on Sunday, April 5

• Location:  Bristol Motor Speedway (.533-mile oval)

• Format:  Two 50-lap heat races followed by a 150-lap main event

• Note:  Finish of each heat race determines starting order of main event.

 

Where to Watch:

 

• FOX network

    •  Announcers: Jeff Gordon, Mike Joy and Larry McReynolds, with in-race commentary from Clint Bowyer.

• FS1 (DIRECTV Channel 219 and Dish Channel 150)

• FOX Sports Go app

• FOX Sports Racing for fans in Canada

 

DYK?:

 

• Last Sunday’s eNASCAR iRacing Pro Invitational Series race at the virtual Texas Motor Speedway was the most-watched esports event on TV in United States history. Simulcast on FOX and FS1, 1.34 million viewers tuned in, breaking the previous record set by the first eNASCAR iRacing Pro Invitational Series race March 22 at the virtual Homestead-Miami Speedway by 47 percent. That broadcast earned 903,000 viewers on FS1 alone, which bested the previous record of 770,000 viewers when Mortal Kombat aired on The CW in 2016.

 

Overview:

 

The eNASCAR iRacing Pro Invitational Series is an exhibition esports series featuring a collection of past and present racecar drivers from the NASCAR Cup Series.

 

• The eNASCAR iRacing Pro Invitational Series is a multi-week series emulating the original 2020 NASCAR Cup Series schedule.

 

• With the sports world on a necessary hiatus to combat the spread of the coronavirus, the eNASCAR iRacing Pro Invitational Series exists in place of actual NASCAR events.

 

KYLE BUSCH, Driver of the No. 18 M&M’S Messages Toyota Camry:

 

 

What was the difference between Texas and Homestead, and what have you learned about iRacing over the first two races?

“I’ve learned a little bit about it but, overall, I felt like we were pretty good at Homestead coming from the back and picking off a few guys and passing some cars. Then the crashes would happen and I would never be able to slow up or check up quick enough. These cars online here, they bounce off the wall way faster than they do in real life, so trying to judge how they ricochet and what is going to happen is hard to do. Last week at Texas, we got caught up in that first wreck. I think being able to qualify up front and get some track position – that would be nice to start with and seems important. I’m sure it’s even more important at a place like Bristol, so we’ll see if we can get a good finish this weekend with our M&M’S Messages Camry.”

 

• This will be Busch’s third iRacing start in a virtual NASCAR Cup Series race.

 

• Busch’s virtual M&M’S Toyota features the new M&M’S Messages program, in stores now. These new packages display 36 different messages consumers can share with their friends and family, including expressions like, “Thanks for being as awesome as I am,” which will adorn the hood of the car, along with others like “You Make Mama Proud” and “Emotional Support Candy.” M&M’S Messages come in all of the favorite M&M’S flavors – Milk Chocolate, Peanut, Peanut Butter and Caramel.

 

• For the first eNASCAR iRacing Pro Invitational Series race two weeks ago, ARCA Menards Series driver Ty Gibbs helped Busch get up to speed in his iRacing rig as Busch had never tried iRacing until practice the day prior to the March 22 race at the virtual Homestead-Miami Speedway. Prior to last week’s race at Texas, Busch had a rig brought to his house and has been busy practicing each week. William Hartman, Busch’s engineer on his regular No. 18 Toyota Camry in the NASCAR Cup Series, has been serving as crew chief for Busch each week. In addition to Hartman, Busch’s real-life spotter Tony Hirschman is spotting for the second consecutive race this weekend from his home in Pennsylvania.

 

• In actual NASCAR Cup Series racing at Bristol, Busch is the winningest active driver with eight wins, 12 top-fives, 17 top-10s and an astounding 2,334 laps led in 29 career starts.

 

TSC PR

Details:

 

• Race:  Food City Showdown (Round 3)

• Series:  eNASCAR iRacing Pro Invitational Series

• Time/Date:  1 p.m. EDT on Sunday, April 5

• Location:  Bristol Motor Speedway (.533-mile oval)

• Format:  Two 50-lap heat races followed by a 150-lap main event

• Note:  Finish of each heat race determines starting order of main event.

 

Where to Watch:

 

• FOX network

    • Announcers: Jeff Gordon, Mike Joy and Larry McReynolds, with in-race commentary from Clint Bowyer.

• FS1 (DIRECTV Channel 219 and Dish Channel 150)

• FOX Sports Go app

• FOX Sports Racing for fans in Canada

• Twitch.tv/StewartHaaseSports (Stream begins at 12:30 p.m. EDT)

 

DYK?:

 

• Last Sunday’s eNASCAR iRacing Pro Invitational Series race at the virtual Texas Motor Speedway was the most-watched esports event on TV in United States history. Simulcast on FOX and FS1, 1.34 million viewers tuned in, breaking the previous record set by the first eNASCAR iRacing Pro Invitational Series race March 22 at the virtual Homestead-Miami Speedway by 47 percent. That broadcast earned 903,000 viewers on FS1 alone, which bested the previous record of 770,000 viewers when Mortal Kombat aired on The CW in 2016.

 

Overview:

 

• The eNASCAR iRacing Pro Invitational Series is an exhibition esports series featuring a collection of past and present racecar drivers from the NASCAR Cup Series.

 

• The eNASCAR iRacing Pro Invitational Series is a multi-week series emulating the original 2020 NASCAR Cup Series schedule.

 

• With the sports world on a necessary hiatus to combat the spread of the coronavirus, the eNASCAR iRacing Pro Invitational Series exists in place of actual NASCAR events.

 

Clint Bowyer, Driver of the No. 14 Smithfield Ford Mustang:

 

“It’s as if iRacing had been started and built 15 years ago for this very moment, for this very situation. I’ve watched these races and, production-wise, I’ve known that it was good and it keeps getting better. The camera angles, everything, it’s pretty damn realistic and pretty damn good, and I think this weekend at Bristol will be even bigger.

 

“There are certain guys that when you get on the sim in any given week, whether it’s the day or the evening, that you look for because you know that they’ve got experience and track time and seat time in the sim and on iRacing. Parker Kligerman, Garrett Smithley, Timmy Hill, William Byron, Alex Bowman, Denny Hamlin, Dale Earnhardt Jr. – these are all guys that have a ton of experience. When they get on the racetrack, trust me, you need to get out there with them and learn as much as you can, follow them and everything else. You’ll see my Smithfield Ford Mustang behind them so I can figure out how to eventually get in front of them.”

 

• Bowyer started 15th and finished 11th in last week’s eNASCAR iRacing Pro Invitational Series race at Texas.

 

• Bowyer considers himself a hobby iRacer. Sunday’s race at Bristol will be just his third official iRacing start in a virtual NASCAR Cup Series race.

 

• Bowyer’s eponymous iRacing team competes in the eNASCAR Coca-Cola iRacing Series with drivers Brandon Kettelle and Brian Schoenberg, and Bowyer’s dirt late model team has been sponsored by iRacing for several years.

 

• In actual NASCAR Cup Series racing at Bristol, Bowyer has seven top-five and 15 top-10 finishes in 28 career starts.

 

• Bowyer’s best Bristol finish is second, earned in April 2017.

 

TSC PR

 

 

 

“Due to challenges related to the coronavirus pandemic, the debut of the Next Gen car will be delayed until 2022. The decision was made in collaboration with the OEMs and team owners. We will continue to develop the Next Gen car, and a revised testing timeline will be shared when more information is available.”  – John Probst, NASCAR Senior Vice President of Racing Innovation

More than 30 North Texas residents showed their great pride and concern for those in need Wednesday at Texas Motor Speedway by making critically vital blood donations to the American Red Cross to ensure a stable supply throughout the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
 
The drive collected 32 pints of blood, which can help up to 96 patients in need. The event was a collaboration between the American Red Cross - North Texas Region, The NASCAR Foundation, Texas Motor Speedway and Speedway Children's Charities - Texas Chapter.
 
"Even during this public health emergency, the American Red Cross continues our lifesaving mission nationwide, said Brian Moeschler, Regional Donor Services Executive, American Red Cross. "We appreciate the generosity and support of the NASCAR organization and their fans to host a blood drive to help us meet critical needs in the communities we serve."
 
The NASCAR Foundation provided support to the American Red Cross - North Texas Region to help continue its lifesaving mission in North Texas due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Donations to The NASCAR Foundation can be made HERE.
 
"It is always an honor to partner with our friends at American Red Cross in times when our community needs it most," said Marissa Chaney, Executive Director, Speedway Children's Charities - Texas Chapter. "It was heartwarming to see how many people were willing to donate and we hope to host more drives in the near future."
 
To make a financial donation online, visit redcross.org/donate and select "Coronavirus Outbreak." To make a contribution by check, write "Coronavirus Outbreak" in the memo line, and mail it to your local Red Cross chapter or to the American Red Cross, P.O. Box 37839, Boone, IA 50037-0839. Find a Red Cross blood drive near you by logging onto RedCrossBlood.org, downloading the Red Cross blood donor app or calling 1-800-RED CROSS.

TMS PR

Just days after breaking its own record for staging the most-watched eSports event in television history, NASCAR today announced a slate of new fantasy and prop betting offerings on the eNASCAR iRacing.com Pro Invitational Series, created courtesy of NASCAR’s official gaming partner, Penn Interactive.

In February, NASCAR and Penn Interactive, a subsidiary of Penn National Gaming, Inc. (PENN: NASDAQ) (“Penn National” or the “Company”), announced a new multi-year partnership that led to the creation of a brand new, free-to-play, mobile game named NASCAR Finish Line, which offered users the chance to win a $50,000 jackpot every race. Now, today, courtesy of Penn Interactive, the app is being relaunched to include eNASCAR contests – thus providing fans of the fast-growing eNASCAR iRacing.com Pro Invitational Series with even deeper ways to engage with the sport.

Alongside the launch of the game, Penn also announced that it would serve as the entitlement sponsor of the upcoming eNASCAR iRacing.com Pro Invitational Series event from virtual Dover International Speedway on Sunday, May 3rd. The event will be entitled by the eNASCAR Finish Line app. It also will feature special integration from Barstool Sports’ personalities – with more details slated to come at a later date.

“During this time of uncertainty, eNASCAR has provided sports fans around the world with an  exciting form of sports entertainment that is helping restore some normalcy to the weekend,” said Scott Warfield, NASCAR managing director of gaming. “Now, courtesy of our partners at Penn Interactive, fans can foster an even deeper connection with the new series and have even more incentive to tune into eNASCAR on FOX and FS1.”

The newly relaunched eNASCAR Finish Line mobile game is available now across iOS and Android phones and tablets and can be downloaded on the App Store and Google Play store. Players can win a $5,000 jackpot by accurately predicting the top two finishers and the highest finishers across six different groupings of four drivers.

In addition to the gamification elements that fans will be able to enjoy alongside eNASCAR, more fans than ever before will be able to engage with the fast-growing eSport courtesy of NASCAR.com.

eNASCAR.com has been freshly updated to reflect the addition of the eNASCAR iRacing.com Pro Invitational Series – providing fans with a centralized hub for information surrounding the world’s most watched eSport series.

Fans can tune in this weekend to watch a full slate of eNASCAR iRacing.com Pro Invitational Series events from virtual Bristol Motor Speedway, with the  main event, the “Food City Showdown”, being televised live at 1 p.m. ET on FOX, FS1 and the FOX Sports App, while a separate event from virtual BMS, Saturday Night Thunder, will be live-streamed on eNASCAR.com on Saturday night.

NASCAR PR

Beginning April 6, NBC Sports will present Racing Week in America on NBCSN, providing racing fans with a chance to relive the most thrilling motorsports moments from the past two decades on NBC and NBCSN.

Featuring races from NASCAR, INDYCAR, IMSA, Supercross and other series, Racing Week in America will have a specific theme for each day, starting with “Mayhem Monday” on April 6. NBC Sports will air 12 hours of motorsports coverage (1 p.m.-3 a.m. ET) Monday-Thursday and seven hours (8 p.m.-3 a.m. ET) on Friday-Saturday. Sunday’s coverage airs 2-4 p.m. ET and 10:30 p.m.-3 a.m. ET. Below is each day’s highlighted content throughout the week:

  • Monday, April 6: “Mayhem Monday”
  • Tuesday, April 7: “Twists and Turns Tuesday”
  • Wednesday, April 8: “WednesDale”
  • Thursday, April 9: “Best at the Brickyard”
  • Friday, April 10: “Daytona Speed Day”
  • Saturday, April 11: “Championship Saturday”
  • Sunday, April 12: “Sunday Funday”

Programming will also stream on NBCSports.com and the NBC Sports app.

In addition, NASCAR America will present the NBC eSports Short Track iRacing Challenge from Monday-Thursday at 7 p.m. ET on NBCSN, as Dale Earnhardt Jr., Kyle Busch, and Denny Hamlin headline a group of 18 drivers competing at virtual versions of iconic race tracks across America. Click here for more information.

MONDAY, APRIL 6 – MAYHEM MONDAY

“Mayhem Monday” will feature some of the most intense battles across NASCAR, INDYCAR, Supercross, and American Flat Track, including two classics from Martinsville Speedway. The 2017 NASCAR Cup Series Playoff race saw Kyle Busch win in overtime and Chase Elliott confront Denny Hamlin for costing him the victory. Two years earlier at Martinsville, Jeff Gordon earned his final win after Matt Kenseth put his feud with Joey Logano to rest. “Mayhem Monday” also has the 2015 INDYCAR race from Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California, which produced a record 80 lead changes before Graham Rahal finally won out.

COVERAGE TIME (ET) NETWORK
NASCAR - Bristol Motor Speedway 2019 1 p.m. NBCSN
INDYCAR - Auto Club Speedway 2015 3 p.m. NBCSN
NBC eSports Short Track iRacing Challenge - Rockingham 7 p.m. NBCSN
NASCAR - Martinsville Speedway 2017 8 p.m. NBCSN
NASCAR - Martinsville Speedway 2015 10 p.m. NBCSN
Supercross - Anaheim #2 2020 12 a.m. NBCSN
American Flat Track - Buffalo Chip TT 2019 2 a.m. NBCSN

TUESDAY, APRIL 7 – TWISTS AND TURNS TUESDAY

From city streets to massive dirt jumps, NBCSN will showcase the best twists and turns that motorsports have to offer starting Tuesday at 1 p.m. ET. “Twists and Turns Tuesday” includes the NASCAR Cup Series’ thrilling first race on the Charlotte Motor Speedway ROVAL; a return to INDYCAR Victory Lane for NBC Sports’ own James Hinchcliffe at iconic Long Beach; and the closest finish in Supercross history from AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.

COVERAGE TIME (ET) NETWORK
IMSA - Long Beach 2019   1 p.m. NBCSN
INDYCAR - Long Beach 2017 3 p.m. NBCSN
NBC eSports Short Track iRacing Challenge - Lucas Oil Raceway 7 p.m. NBCSN
NASCAR - Charlotte Motor Speedway ROVAL 2018 8 p.m. NBCSN
NASCAR - Watkins Glen 2017 10 p.m. NBCSN
Supercross - Arlington 2019 12 a.m. NBCSN
Monster Jam World Finals 2019 2 a.m. NBCSN

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 8 – WEDNESDALE

NBC Sports presents a full day dedicated to motorsports icon and NBC Sports analyst Dale Earnhardt. Jr. From his emotional victory at Daytona in 2001 to making “Slide Job!” go viral in his broadcasting debut at Chicago in 2018, fans will see highlights from his memorable career, as well as an episode of his popular podcast/TV show, The Dale Jr. Download.

COVERAGE TIME (ET) NETWORK
NASCAR - Talladega Superspeedway 2019 1 p.m. NBCSN
NASCAR - Chicagoland Speedway 2018 3 p.m. NBCSN
NBC eSports Short Track iRacing Challenge - Myrtle Beach 7 p.m. NBCSN
NASCAR - Daytona International Speedway, July 2001 8 p.m. NBCSN
NASCAR - Talladega Superspeedway 2017 10 p.m. NBCSN
NASCAR - Martinsville Speedway 2005 12 a.m. NBCSN
The Dale Jr. Download 2 a.m. NBCSN

THURSDAY, APRIL 9 – BEST AT THE BRICKYARD

Thursday takes a look back on NBC Sports’ exciting history at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, highlighted by Simon Pagenaud’s win last May in NBC Sports’ first-ever Indianapolis 500 broadcast. Also included are emotional Brickyard 400 wins for Indiana native Tony Stewart and transplant Jeff Gordon, and Drive Like Andretti, NBC Sports’ captivating documentary on the life and times of racing icon Mario Andretti.

COVERAGE TIME (ET) NETWORK
INDYCAR - Grand Prix of Indianapolis 2019 1 p.m. NBCSN
NASCAR - 2005 Brickyard 400 3 p.m. NBCSN
NBC eSports Short Track iRacing Challenge Championship - Martinsville 7 p.m. NBCSN
INDYCAR - 103rd Indianapolis 500 (2019) 8 p.m. NBCSN
Drive Like Andretti 11 p.m. NBCSN
NASCAR - 2004 Brickyard 400 12 a.m. NBCSN
100th Indy 500 Special 2 a.m. NBCSN

FRIDAY, APRIL 10 – DAYTONA SPEED DAY

Whether they’re on two or four wheels, legends are made at Daytona International Speedway. On Friday, NBCSN focuses on ‘The World Center of Racing’ with exciting races from NASCAR and Supercross, plus highlights from this year’s 24 Hours of Daytona - better known as the Rolex 24.

EVENT TIME (ET) NETWORK
NASCAR - 2004 Daytona 500 8 p.m. NBCSN
NASCAR - Daytona International Speedway, July 2001 10 p.m. NBCSN
2020 Daytona Supercross 12 a.m. NBCSN
IMSA - 2020 Rolex 24 2 a.m. NBCSN

SATURDAY, APRIL 11 – CHAMPIONSHIP SATURDAY

It’s what every driver works for. On Saturday, NBCSN gives fans some of the best championship moments, starting at 8 p.m. ET. The day’s schedule includes Jimmie Johnson claiming his record-tying 7th NASCAR Cup Series title in 2016; Kurt Busch’s stirring rally to become the first champion of the NASCAR Playoff era in 2004; and Scott Dixon’s triumph over Juan Pablo Montoya by the slimmest of margins to win the 2015 INDYCAR crown.

EVENT TIME (ET) NETWORK
NASCAR Cup Series Championship - Miami 2016 8 p.m. NBCSN
INDYCAR Championship - Sonoma 2015 10 p.m. NBCSN
NASCAR Cup Series Championship - Miami 2004 12 a.m. NBCSN
American Flat Track - Meadowlands 2018 2 a.m. NBCSN

SUNDAY, APRIL 12 – SUNDAY FUNDAY

Above all else, racing is fun - and that’s what the final day of Racing Week in America is about. “Sunday Funday” has the incredible 2019 NASCAR Cup Series Playoff race from Talladega (won by Ryan Blaney over Ryan Newman by .007 of a second), as well as INDYCAR’s Texas thriller from 2016, where four drivers - Graham Rahal, James Hinchcliffe, Tony Kanaan and Simon Pagenaud - went wheel-to-wheel in a pulse-pounding dash to the checkered flag.

EVENT TIME (ET) NETWORK
NASCAR - Talladega Superspeedway 2019 10:30 p.m. NBCSN
INDYCAR - Texas Motor Speedway 2016 12:30 a.m. NBCSN
Racing Roots - Kyle Larson 2:30 a.m. NBCSN

NBC Sports PR

Who can stop Sage?

That's the big question Saturday, April 4 as the INDYCAR iRacing Challenge, a virtual racing event featuring a full field of NTT INDYCAR SERIES drivers, continues at 2:30 p.m. (ET) with the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama presented by AmFirst at virtual Barber Motorsports Park.

Dreyer & Reinbold Racing driver Sage Karam won the pole and led 43 of 45 laps Saturday, March 28 in the No. 24 DRR Wix Filters Chevrolet to win the inaugural event of the virtual racing series, the American Red Cross Grand Prix at Watkins Glen International. Karam beat runner-up Felix Rosenqvist of Chip Ganassi Racing (No. 10 NTT DATA Honda) to the finish by 3.6174 seconds, with Will Power of Team Penske (No. 12 Verizon Chevrolet) placing third.

There will be an exciting new addition to the second round of the series Saturday: a live broadcast on NBCSN, including the NBC broadcasting team of Leigh Diffey, Townsend Bell and Paul Tracy.

Karam will lead a growing field of 29 drivers in the race Saturday, up from 25 drivers for the opener. New additions include 2018 NTT INDYCAR SERIES Rookie of the Year Robert Wickens (No. 5 Arrow McLaren SP Chevrolet), five-time series champion Scott Dixon (No. 9 PNC Bank Chip Ganassi Racing Honda), three-time Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge pole winner Ed Carpenter (No. 21 SONAX Chevrolet) and Jack Harvey (No. 60 AutoNation/Sirius XM Honda).

Click here: Entry List

The entry list represents 15 different teams or organizations competing in the NTT INDYCAR SERIES and a field of drivers that has amassed 189 NTT INDYCAR SERIES victories and 14 series championships. Dixon will boost a lineup of series champions that includes Team Penske teammates Josef Newgarden (No. 1 PPG Team Penske Chevrolet), Will Power (No. 12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet) and Simon Pagenaud (No. 22 Menards Team Penske Chevrolet), along with Sebastien Bourdais (No. 4 Tresiba Chevrolet) and Tony Kanaan (No. 14 ABC Supply Chevrolet) of AJ Foyt Racing.

Other NTT INDYCAR SERIES race winners entered in the race Saturday include Graham Rahal (No. 15 One Cure Honda), Alexander Rossi (No. 27 NAPA AUTO PARTS/AutoNation Honda), James Hinchcliffe (No. 29 Genesys Honda) and Colton Herta (No. 88 Capstone Honda).

Seven-time NASCAR Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson (No. 48 Jimmie Johnson Racing Chevrolet) also will continue his exploration of the NTT INDYCAR SERIES by racing in Round 2. He placed 16th after starting 19th last Saturday in his virtual INDYCAR debut at Watkins Glen, running at the finish.

The field will race for 45 laps over a virtual version of the rolling, challenging 2.38-mile road course at Barber, located in Birmingham, Alabama. The circuit was scheduled to host the second event of the NTT INDYCAR SERIES season Sunday, April 5, but the event weekend was canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

All drivers will work with an additional competitive element Saturday, a planned competition caution period that will bunch the field after the round of pit stops is completed, sometime between Laps 28 and 31, and will consist of three laps. A single-file restart will follow this caution period.

The event, which will last approximately 60 minutes, will be televised live on NBCSN. Additional viewing options are still to be confirmed.

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.

Saturday's race at a virtual version of Barber Motorsports Park, located in Birmingham, Alabama, is the second of six races to take place every Saturday through May 2. Future venues include a "Driver's Choice" track April 11, a "Random Draw" track April 18, Circuit of the Americas on April 25 and a non-INDYCAR "Dream" track May 2. The series opened March 28 at Watkins Glen International.

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.

IndyCar PR

After a disappointing finish in the No. 21 Motorcraft/Quick Lane Mustang at the virtual Texas Motor Speedway last Sunday, Matt DiBenedetto now turns his attention to the virtual Bristol Motor Speedway, where he’ll pilot the No. 21 REESE/Draw-Tite Mustang in the third round of the NASCAR Pro Invitational iRacing Series.

At Texas, DiBenedetto was running 11th and poised to move up when he bounced off the wall and damaged his car on a long green-flag run late in the race.

Still he managed to salvage a 15th-place finish, one spot better than where he qualified.
 
“I was saving my right-front tire, driving smart and smacked the wall all by myself,”

DiBenedetto said. “I was faster than a big group ahead of me and had a top-five car, but I messed it up.”
 
Now he’s focused on Bristol and preparing himself to race the No. 21 adorned in the blue and white REESE and Draw-Tite colors for the first time, on the virtual version of the track where he finished second in last year’s night race after leading 93 laps late in the race.

 “Bristol is my best track in real life,” DiBenedetto said. “But iRacing has a different feel to it.
 
“It takes a lot of practice to get more comfortable with it and to have the precision you need.”
 
He said that in addition to working out to keep himself in shape for his eventual return to traditional racing, he’ll spend hours this week in front of his computer preparing for Sunday’s virtual run on the high-banked, half-mile asphalt track.
 
“I’ll definitely put a lot of practice into it,” he said.
 
Eddie Wood said he and his family team are proud to have their virtual Mustang carry the universally known REESE and Draw-Tite brands, which have been providing heavy-duty and custom hitches and towing equipment since their inceptions in 1952 and 1946.
 
“As NASCAR’s oldest continuously operating race team, it always feels special to be associated with companies that have similar histories to ours,” he said.
 
The Bristol race is set to get the green flag on Sunday at 1 p.m. Eastern Time, with TV coverage on FOX, FOX Sports 1 and the FOX Sports app. 

WBR PR

MCDOWELL ON VIRTUAL BRISTOL:
 
“I think that this weekend's Pro Invitational Series race from virtual Bristol Motor Speedway is going to require a lot of concentration and stamina. Some people might think that just because this is a virtual race, that it will be relatively easy to compete in. However, the fact of the matter is that it still takes a lot of focus to be able to push your car to its limits, while trying your best not to crash with 35 other cars all around you."
 
“Thankfully, to help me stay alert and on my game, I have CELSIUS Fitness Drinks coming on board this weekend. Not only will they be a primary sponsor of my virtual No. 34 Ford Mustang, but they have also been my go-to fitness drink for a long time. I drink a CELSIUS before every workout and on every race morning. Their drinks taste great and provide me with the energy that I need to perform any task."
 
“I’m looking forward to another fun weekend of racing and encourage everyone to check out the full line of products that CELSIUS has to offer.”
 
CELSIUS Products: bit.ly/CELSIUSXMCDOWELL
 
FRM PR

Dale Earnhardt Jr., Kyle Busch, Denny Hamlin headline a group of 18 drivers that will compete at virtual versions of iconic and short tracks across America next week on NBCSN, as NASCAR America presents the NBC eSports Short Track iRacing Challenge beginning Monday, April 6, at 7 p.m. ET.

From Monday-Wednesday, six different drivers will compete in two timed races in Cup Series cars at an iconic track at 7 p.m. ET on NBCSN. The top two finishers from each night will advance to the championship race at the virtual Martinsville Speedway on Thursday night on NBCSN.

  • Monday – Rockingham Speedway
  • Tuesday – Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis
  • Wednesday – Myrtle Beach Speedway
  • Thursday – Martinsville Speedway (Championship Race)

The following drivers will compete in the NBC eSports Short Track iRacing Challenge:

  • Monday at Rockingham Speedway – Kyle Busch, William Byron, Austin Dillon, Parker Kligerman, Tyler Reddick and Bubba Wallace
  • Tuesday at Lucas Oil Raceway – Justin Allgaier, Christopher Bell, Chase Briscoe, Harrison Burton, Denny Hamlin and Kyle Larson
  • Wednesday at Myrtle Beach Speedway – Landon Cassill, Matt DiBenedetto, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Timmy Hill, Ryan Preece and Myatt Snider

“We’re proud to continue our successful collaboration with iRacing and NASCAR, which began last year, to produce the NBC eSports Short Track iRacing Challenge,” said Jeff Behnke, vice president, production, NASCAR on NBC and NBCSN. “Thanks to all the drivers from the NASCAR Cup and Xfinity Series for joining in what should be four consecutive nights of entertainment and fun for all the great race fans and viewers.”

“Of all of the events we’ve been putting together for real-world pros, the NBC eSports Short Track iRacing Challenge should be one of the most fun,” said Steve Myers, iRacing executive producer. “So many of the top drivers in NASCAR have honed their skills on both local short tracks and iRacing, and combining the two for a virtual week-long showdown should deliver plenty of excitement. We can’t wait to see who takes the checkered flag and bragging rights!"  

This marks the latest collaboration between NBC Sports and iRacing, which began in 2019 when NBC Sports telecast the first-ever eNASCAR live event on television. NBC Sports and iRacing teamed up to present the 2019 eNASCAR PEAK Antifreeze iRacing Championship in a two-hour event live on NBCSN last October. Earlier this year, it was announced that six races of the 2020 eNASCAR Coca-Cola iRacing Series Playoffs will air live on NBCSN later this fall.

NBC Sports NASCAR commentators Rick Allen and Steve Letarte will call the action, including interviews with drivers during the races. Jeff Burton and Marty Snider will host the NBC eSports Short Track iRacing Challenge via Zoom.

NBCSN PR

Page 2 of 3836