On March 22, the eNASCAR iRacing Pro Series Invitational kicked off at the virtual Homestead-Miami Speedway with the Dixie Vodka 150. A number of NASCAR Cup Series participated in the event including NCS champions Kyle Busch, Jimmie Johnson and Joey Logano.
For most of the race, it was William Byron, Timmy Hill and Garrett Smithley battling for the lead. While you may not be used to those drivers leading a majority of the race, this trio are three of the best iRacers in the world.
After a late caution however, it was Denny Hamlin and Dale Earnhardt Jr. coming out of Turn 4 side by side on the final lap. Hamlin edged out Earnhardt to pick up the victory in the first race of the series.
The virtual Dixie Vodka 150 was a huge success for NASCAR, becoming the most watched e-sports event in America, drawing 903,000 viewers on FS1. The eNASCAR iRacing Pro Series invitational broke its own record the next week with 1,339,000 people in the United States tuning in as Timmy Hill won at Texas Motor Speedway. The series will continue on Sunday, April 5 at Bristol Motor Speedway and will air on FOX and FS1.
“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.”