iRacing becomes official simulation partner of NASCAR in new agreement

Justin Melillo

Today, NASCAR and iRacing announced that virtual racing platform is to become an official simulation partner for NASCAR.

iRacing has held a NASCAR license to make content on their platform since 2010. With the new partnership, the two entities will be able to work side by side to improve both the real-life racing product as well as the computerized one. 

This year alone, the two have been collaborating on the NASCAR NEXT Gen car, a future Chicago Street Course, and first saw what it was like to put some dirt on top of Bristol Motor Speedway. Before that, iRacing had been working on a reconfigured Auto Club Speedway.

“NASCAR has been immensely supportive of iRacing over the past decade, and a huge contributing factor in our growth as an organization,” said iRacing president Tony Gardner.  

“From their world-class support of the eNASCAR Coca-Cola iRacing Series for more than a decade, to the explosion of new initiatives like Pro Invitational events and track development projects, NASCAR’s assistance has helped iRacing remain at the forefront of the esports industry while also taking our organization to exciting new places. We’re incredibly excited to extend our partnership and look forward to continuing to evolve these efforts for years to come.” 

On the iRacing service currently, every single track that the three American-based NASCAR National Series goes to on the current 2021 calendar is available to race on currently, most of them fairly up to date.  

There are NASCAR Cup Series, NASCAR Xfinity Series, NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, and a variation of the ARCA Menards Series cars available to race on, as well as many older cars from years past like the 2012 NASCAR Car of Tomorrow, earlier Xfinity Series cars (back then, they were Nationwide Series cars) and old Camping World Trucks.  

There’s also a limited run series for the International crop and rising stars of NASCAR happening on Wednesday nights.

“NASCAR fans know and love iRacing for their accomplishments in the development of virtual racing series, but what many may not realize is that the company is so much more than just an esports partner,” said Tim Clark, senior vice president and chief digital officer, NASCAR.  

“iRacing is a full-on technology partner in every sense of the word, and their best-in-class simulation and engineering capabilities are helping us innovate across multiple layers of our business– whether that be in designing new racetracks, developing new race cars, creating compelling digital content, or providing a virtual training ground for the next generation of NASCAR stars.” 

eNPIS: Erik Jones steals NASCAR NEXT Gen victory at Darlington
The eNASCAR Pro Invitational Series continued to change the game in 2021 with the addition of the NASCAR NEXT Gen cars in their race at Darlington Raceway earlier this season.

iRacing was able to step up in a big way during the COVID-19 pandemic with the introduction of the eNASCAR Pro Invitational Series, placing the stars of the big series on virtual track during the downtime. With the new agreement between NASCAR and iRacing, the aim is high for the future of both parties. 

Some of the key goals from the press release include the “design of new and proposed NASCAR racetracks,” as well as the “use of iRacing as a training tool for NASCAR’s Drive for Diversity class,” something that can possibly get more future drivers of the sport funneled into the ladder system at a lower cost. 

This all could be mean that iRacing is more involved with real-life NASCAR decisions, but we’ll have to wait and see what the outcomes are.

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