The final of five eNASCAR Pro Invitational Series races on FOX Sports wraps up with a fantasy feature that could lead to a real race date in the future. Future cars, future track, and the future of stock car racing may all be on display later today.
With the area scanned in the middle of the night just about nine months ago, the first street course on the modern NASCAR calendar could be on the horizon with the help of iRacing. The streets of Chicago, Illinois would be the site of the proposed event, but first a virtual one will take place on Wednesday night.
The Windy City 110 on the streets of Chicago will be a first for the eNASCAR Pro Invitational Series in the sense that nobody will have driven this layout ever. I mean, it is possible that these drivers have driven the streets in a street car with normal everyday traffic, but not with barriers, catch fencing, and tons of billboards lined up along the sides of the street.
The Chicago Street Course will be the second road course race of the season in a row and in the series’ entirety. James Davison won the first bout two weeks ago at the Circuit of the Americas over Anthony Alfredo and William Byron, all three of which are some of the top iRacers in the series.
The entry list has 37 drivers listed with notable full-timers Kurt Busch, Kyle Busch and Michael McDowell not listed as entered. Ty Gibbs will fill in for the younger Busch brother. Dale Earnhardt Jr, Timmy Hill, and Fan Vote winner Jesse Iwuji will all take part in the FOX Sports finale, but this is only the first half of the proposed season. NBC Sports is expected to take control of the second half of the virtual season, but a schedule has not yet been announced.
Through four races, Davison, a part-time driver for Rick Ware Racing in the NASCAR Cup Series, leads the field with the best average finish. Last year’s de facto champ, Timmy Hill from MBM Motorsports, currently sits in second in the made-up standings. The two drivers normally don’t finish near the front in the real series due to funding and equipment, but both have been able to utilize the platform to turn virtual sponsors into reality, one of the big benefits of the series.
With so many unknowns entering the Chicago Street Course event, it’s tough to say who will have the upper hand on Wednesday night. William Byron will be racing in studio as opposed to his home rig, so a level of uncertainty may exist there with the most-winningest driver in the series as he attempts the circuit on an unfamiliar rig. Keep your eyes on Davison, Alfredo, and Byron to be at the front, but don’t be surprised to see a new face figure out the 2.14-mile / 3.44-kilometer street course in the city of Chicago.
The coverage begins at 6:00 p.m. EDT / 11:00 p.m BST on FOX Sports 1 during NASCAR Race Hub and practice coverage will begin at 7:00 p.m. EDT / midnight BST. The race itself, a 51 lap free-for-all with two resets in the NASCAR NEXT Gen cars, will start around 8:00 p.m. EDT / 1:00 a.m. BST.