Per some recent social media posts, it looks like iRacing is going to be scanning and adding a NASCAR 1987 Pontiac Grand Prix at some point in the future. Given some other context clues, iRacing might also be scanning a Micro Sprint as well.
On Wednesday (14th September 2022) iRacing Executive Director and NASCAR Hall of Famer, Dale Earnhardt Jr tweeted a pair of pictures with no words. Cryptic, surely, but a few iRacing Twitterers out there were quick to pick up on what Earnhardt Jr might have been hinting at.
On the left was a picture of an old NASCAR stock car, assumably from the lot of The King of NASCAR, Richard Petty. On the right, a Micro Sprint with Christopher Bell’s name on the name rail bar. The Micro Sprint also featured some yellow strips across the front nose and a person in a blue polo with a camera behind.
While we could start to jump to conclusions there, unless you knew the man behind the Micro Sprint personally, you couldn’t just say “hey, that’s a dude from iRacing and they’re scanning these things wow!” You just never know with how there cryptic tweets and posts can get sometimes. I put the tweet on the shelf, but we didn’t have to wait too long for more information to come out surrounding it all.
On Thursday (15th September 2022), the Twitter account for Richard Petty’s high-performance speed shop, @pettysgarage, tweeted at Earnhardt Jr and the Richard Petty Museum twitter account (@PettyMuseum), asking “what’s all this?” with three photos of what was likely the same 1987 NASCAR stock car that Earnhardt Jr tweeted out the day prior.
This time, however, the car was covered in the same yellow strips as the Micro Sprint from Dale Jr’s tweet. Also, a person rocking an iRacing polo can clearly be seen in the pictures with some sort of handheld electronic device hooked up to a laptop on a cart. I’d have to guess that’s a handheld laser scanner and the strips are helping with collecting the data.
Now, this is by no means anyone stating anything official, as the iRacing accounts haven’t acknowledged anything tweeted by Dale, by the Petty Garage, or by anyone interacting with the tweet. However, it seems pretty evident that these racecars are going to be coming to the iRacing service at some point. At least, I think we can confidently guess that the 1987 Pontiac Grand Prix driven by Richard Petty will be.
For the Micro, I don’t know too much about it besides that it has Christopher Bell’s name on it, but on the iRacing forums, some members were discussing the differences between mini and micro sprints in a thread regarding the tweets in question above. This one doesn’t look to have a wing and for now, doesn’t look to be related to any of the World of Outlaws: Dirt Racing content we’ll see in a few weeks.
Essentially, iRacing looks to be preserving yet another piece of racing history, something they’ve been pretty good at in recent years. Just a few days ago, it was announced that Pukehoke Park in New Zealand would be preserved with a laser scan on iRacing as the venue is set to close down in 2023.
In terms of the historical NASCAR content, in 2020, iRacing released a 1987 version of North Wilkesboro Speedway, plus the 1987 Chevrolet Monte Carlo and 1987 Ford Thunderbird. Earlier this year, iRacers got the 1987 Buick Lesabre, again, thanks to Dale Jr. The only thing that iRacing would be missing would be a 1987 Oldsmobile Delta 88 from the 1987 NASCAR Cup Series Season, if this happens to be the case.
Personally speaking, the 1987 content all happens to be some of the best content in the entire platform, so I say the more the merrier. Also, hey Dale, if you’re reading this, I think you’d get a lot of people excited if a NASCAR Generation 4 stock car from like, oh say 2003 or 2004 was announced to be scanned at some point. Just throwing that out there.
Are you looking forward to more historical content on iRacing? What do you hope they scan next? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section!