NASCAR Finds A Way To Race With iRacing
This weekend, NASCAR drivers were supposed to take to the track at Homestead-Miami Speedway in Miami, Florida but had to get creative after COVID-19 caused them to pause the 2020 season.
Well, thanks to iRacing, drivers still got together for a more light-hearted virtual race with the eNASCAR iRacing Pro Invitational Series Dixie Vodka 150 at virtual Homestead-Miami Speedway.
For those unfamiliar with iRacing, my boyfriend Jordan has a pretty simple rig set up with which you hook it up to a computer but you have a whole steering wheel, gear shifter, brake and gas pedals.
"You have a steering wheel and pedals and it is like the real thing...but it's not," Jordan said (bare with me, I tried to get a good quote here). "It's a simulator."
Anyone from a complete novice to the sport to actual cup-series drivers can join in and drive on virtual, almost exact replicas of real tracks ranging from World of Outlaws (dirt) to Formula1 and everything in between.
Drivers like Dale Earnhardt Jr. even came out of retirement for today's virtual race with Jeff Gordon and Mike Joy as the commentators like usual.
Acknowledging how different it all was, Gordon and Joy still made sure to have some fun with it, noting the race was simply for "bragging rights."
Later, they acknowledged how great it was to have everyone together for a bit of entertainment, a few laughs and some friendly competition...even the great Ken Schrader joked they were all meeting up at Chuck E. Cheese.
Denny Hamlin ended up the day's champion after drivers like Jimmie Johnson struggled a bit and Timmy Hill almost fought his way to victory.
Before the race, Hamlin said if he won he would donate $5,000 to those affected by COVID-19 so all in all it was a great day for racing, even if it was virtual!
In a time where our sports are now very limited, I can say that myself and my NASCAR-loving man were very impressed and had a blast right along with the drivers and all who helped to put on the broadcast and hope if this continues we can see more drivers face off in the virtual world!