NASCAR has partnered with iRacing to host a new virtual racing series that will air on NBCSN during prime time next week.
The new series, dubbed the NBC eSports Short Track iRacing Challenge, will race exclusively at virtual versions of some of America’s most popular short tracks. The series will air next Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, with coverage beginning at 7 p.m. ET on NBCSN.
The first race, to be held on April 6, will be hosted at iRacing’s virtual rendition of Rockingham Speedway. The series will then head to Lucas Oil Raceway for the second round on Tuesday, followed by a visit to Myrtle Beach Speedway on Wednesday and finally the championship round at Martinsville Speedway on Thursday.
The series will feature a rotating cast of NASCAR Cup Series and Xfinity Series stars. On Monday, Kyle Busch, William Byron, Austin Dillon, Parker Kligerman, Tyler Reddick and Bubba Wallace will make up the field, while Tuesday will see Justin Allgaier, Christopher Bell, Chase Briscoe, Harrison Burton, Denny Hamlin and Kyle Larson compete. On Wednesday, Landon Cassill, Matt DiBenedetto, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Timmy Hill, Ryan Preece and Myatt Snider will take to the track. The championship round will consist of the top two finishers from each of the prior three rounds.
Small regional short tracks are considered to be the lifeblood of stock car racing and as such, many fans have expressed a desire for NASCAR’s top series to return to such venues. The NBC eSports Short Track iRacing Challenge will give these race fans their wish – even if the racing is only happening virtually.
“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 of production for 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.”
Additionally, the races will be called by regular NBC Sports NASCAR commentators Rick Allen and Steve Letarte, while Jeff Burton and Marty Snider will host a web show covering the action via Zoom.
“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,” added iRacing executive producer Steve Myers.
The NBC eSports Short Track iRacing Challenge will run on conjunction with the ongoing eNASCAR Pro Invitational Series on FOX Sports, which was set up last month as an unofficial replacement for the postponed NASCAR Cup Series season.