Dale Jr., Allgaier Among Competitors for eNASCAR iRacing Pro Invitational Series

Ron Lemasters | 3/20/2020

Brandt Dale Earnhardt Jr. FilterTime iRacing Justin Allgaier News

Drivers across NASCAR will take to the virtual version of Homestead-Miami Speedway for an invitation only iRacing event which will air on FS1.

MOORESVILLE, N.C. (March 20, 2020) – There might not be any NASCAR racing on the track until early May, but that doesn’t mean there’s not NASCAR racing to be had that includes some of the top drivers in the sport.

Dale Earnhardt Jr. and JR Motorsports driver Justin Allgaier are among the stars listed as part of the newly formed eNASCAR iRacing Pro Invitational Series, a multi-week offering of exhibition events that will feature drivers from all three of NASCAR’s national series. The first race is set for Sunday at 1:30 p.m. EDT at the virtual Homestead-Miami Speedway...where this weekend’s actual races would have taken place had not the current health emergency been declared.

The Invitational series will also have a broadcast partner. FOX Sports 1 and the Fox Sports GO app will air the series opener, and the remaining races and broadcasts will be announced at some point in the future.

As a Cup Series driver, Earnhardt Jr. will be automatically in the field, but Allgaier, as a representative of the NASCAR Xfinity Series, will have to advance to the 35-car main event on speed during a qualifying session including the other NXS and NGROTS drivers.

 “Until we have cars back on track, the entire NASCAR community has aligned to provide our passionate fans with a unique, fun and competitive experience on race day,” said Ben Kennedy, vice president of racing development for NASCAR and a former NASCAR Xfinity Series and Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series driver. “Our long-time partners at iRacing offer an incredible product and we are excited to see how many of our best drivers will stack up in the virtual domain of competitive racing.”

One of the biggest proponents of the iRacing experience, Earnhardt Jr. is the headliner of a group that includes Allgaier, Kyle Busch, Denny Hamlin, Clint Bowyer and Kyle Larson, all of whom have eNASCAR teams which compete alongside JRM in the eNCCiS, the longest-running officially sanctioned esports racing series now entering its 11th season. The eNASCAR Coca-Cola iRacing Series features 40 of the best sim racers in the world competing for more than $300,000, one of the richest payouts in esports racing competition. The elite series features NASCAR and professional esports teams, including JR Motorsports, with drivers Brad Davies and Michael Conti.

Earnhardt Jr. will compete alongside Allgaier in the event, and the two have been preparing for it over the past several days. “Dale and I have raced pretty much every night here lately,” Allgaier said. “Dale has been a part of iRacing since the beginning, a huge part of what is going on there. It’s cool to see what he has invested in time and energy to it.”

Having a tool like iRacing has many benefits, not the least of which is Earnhardt Jr.’s passion for it. That carries over to the other drivers and teams who are in the same boat. “There’s nothing like iRacing on the market,” he said. “It’s an incredible program, an incredible simulation, and it’s really cool what they’ve been able to accomplish and what they’ve created is really impressive.”

Without being able to do their jobs for real due to the virtual stoppage of all professional sports, the competition will be fierce, Allgaier said.

“A lot of guys have been working, practicing for this,” he said. “It’s interesting because I think a lot of the guys have taken this 100-percent serious and they are excited to get going with it and be a part of it. I am equally excited.

“I think it’s going to be a lot of fun and be something that is going to be a good race. It’s going to be something we’re going to have to do for the short term to be ready for the long term. For us, the biggest thing is, it’s just laps on a race track. I don’t think anybody really knows what to expect. I think that’s the hardest part. It will be interesting to see how it all plays out.”

The event comes at a good time, the Illinois driver of the No. 7 BRANDT Professional Agriculture Chevrolet said. “It’s always fun whenever you can do something like this,” he said. “Making the most out of a difficult time, being a part of something like this is unique in a time whenever things aren’t going the way we want them to go. I think it’s going to be really neat.”

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  • August 22 04:00 PM ET
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  • August 23 12:30 PM ET
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  • August 28 07:30 PM ET
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XFINITY Series Standings

After Henry 180

Road America | 8/8/2020
RankDriverPointsBehind
1Austin Cindric7710
2Chase Briscoe760-11
3Ross Chastain708-63
4Noah Gragson697-74
5Justin Haley636-135
6Harrison Burton #608-163
7Justin Allgaier598-173
8Michael Annett543-228