Virtual NASCAR and IndyCar Racing

Nolen Cooper, Reporter

With the absence of real racing events due to COVID-19, Fox has been televising online races that take place in iRacing. Soon NBC will follow and televise online IndyCar races through iRacing. 

“I think it’s great, maybe not as cool, because it’s not “real” but it’s still just as entertaining,” senior Robby Manor said. 

These virtual indyCar races will have the same broadcast crew that NBC uses on their real-world competitions. Fox has found some success using this method, as their March 29 broadcast pulled 1.3 million viewers, near the amount of viewers the least popular real-world NASCAR race would have. IndyCars’s first broadcast had over 200,000 viewers. 

“I really like it; I think it’s smart to go virtual,” senior Ian Couch said. 

iRacing was able to be implemented in place of regular NASCAR and IndyCar so easily because of the preexisting competitive virtual racing leagues. Many pro drivers are also already familiar with these platforms, and have racing setups at home for practice/fun. Some pro drivers were even getting involved in virtual racing leagues on their own which helped spark the official NASCAR virtual races. 

On March 31, Fox announced that it will start televising a weekly series of “iRacing events across multiple disciplines and various virtual racetracks.”