Virtual Racing on TV: Where to Find NASCAR, IndyCar and Other Action March 28-29
Any week when the biggest news in racing is that the Indianapolis 500 has been postponed until August because of the coronavirus outbreak can’t be a good week.
However, there will still be racing. And, if you don’t look too closely, you might even think you’re watching the real thing, as NASCAR, IndyCar and a Legends All Star race highlight the virtual racing offerings.
After a big ratings week (900,000+ checked out the opening race in the iRacing series), NASCAR action returns to FS1. Other virtual action will be online. Hook your TV up to your computer and you can get the online racing on your big screen, too.
IndyCar will be holding its kickoff event of the virtual season at virtual Watkins Glen. The event will bring a big field of IndyCar drivers, including a few newbies to the iRacing game.
“The world of sim racing is new to me,” said IndyCar veteran and 2013 Indy 500 winner Tony Kanaan. “And when I say new, I mean it. When IndyCar announced that they were planning on creating something to keep the drivers and fans connected through this difficult time, I went after getting a sim setup for the house.
“That was last week.”
Give it a try. It might just be the only live (OK, we know it’s not real) racing for a while.
Here’s where to find the best in virtual racing, featuring some of racing’s biggest names, this weekend:
SATURDAY, MARCH 28
IndyCar iRacing Challenge American Red Cross Grand Prix, virtual Watkins Glen International, 4 p.m. ET, IndyCar.com, IndyCar Facebook, IndyCar YouTube, iRacing Twitch.
Noteworthy: Race will be 45 laps (approximately 70 minutes); driver will have 10 activations of 10-second push-to-pass boost; two expected pit stops.
Provisional entry list: Josef Newgarden, Team Penske; Scott McLaughlin, Team Penske; Will Power, Team Penske; Simon Pagenaud, Team Penske; Sébastien Bourdais, AJ Foyt Racing; Tony Kanaan, AJ Foyt Racing; Dalton Kellett, AJ Foyt Racing; Pato O’Ward, Arrow McLaren SP; Oliver Askew, Arrow McLaren SP; Marcus Ericsson, Chip Ganassi Racing; Felix Rosenqvist, Chip Ganassi Racing; Kyle Kaiser, Juncos Racing; Graham Rahal, Rahal Letterman Lannigan Racing; Santino Ferrucci, Dale Coyne Racing with Vasser Sullivan; Alex Palou, Dale Coyne Racing with Vasser Sullivan; Conor Daly, Ed Carpenter Racing; Sage Karam, Dreyer & Reinbold Racing; Zach Veach, Andretti Autosport; Alexander Rossi, Andretti Autosport; Kyle Kirkwood, Reay Andretti Autosport; James Hinchcliffe, Reay Andretti Autosport; Colton Herta, Andretti Autosport; Scott Speed, Andretti Autosport; Felipe Nasr, Carlin; Jack Harvey, Meyer Shank Racing
Torque Esports, The Race All-Star Esports Battle, 1 p.m., the-race.com/TheRaceMustGoOn
Noteworthy: Series features drivers from the past and present of from NASCAR, IndyCar, F2, F3, Super GT and Formula E. Drivers expected to compete include Juan Pablo Montoya, his son Sebastian Montoya, Antonio Felix da Costa (Formula E), Maximilian Gunther (Formula E), Daniel Juncadella, Bruno Spengler (winner of last week’s virtual IMSA race), Gabby Ghaves (IndyCar), Rudy Van Buren (gaming star), Philipp Eng, Anthoine Hubert (F2), Callum Ilott (F2).
The Torque Esports event also includes a companion race, The Race All-Star Esports Battle Legends Trophy. The field for that is expected to include racing legends Emerson Fittipaldi, Dario Franchitti, Johnny Herbert, David Brabham, Emanuele Pirro.
SUNDAY, MARCH 29
eNASCAR iRacing Pro Invitational Series, virtual Texas Motor Speedway, 1 p.m. Eastern, FS1
Noteworthy: There will be a 35-car field for the second race in the series. Denny Hamlin won the opener last week at the virtual Homestead-Miami Speedway, nosing out Dale Earnhardt Jr.
Provisional entry list (locked in): Kurt Busch, Austin Dillon, Ross Chastain, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Chase Elliott, Denny Hamlin, Ryan Blaney, Ty Dillon, Clint Bowyer, Greg Biffle, Chris Buescher, Kyle Busch, Bobby Labonte, Erik Jones, Matt DiBenedetto, William Byron, Tyler Reddick, Michael McDowell, Ryan Preece, John Hunter Nemechek, Kyle Larson, Bubba Wallace, Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Jimmie Johnson, Garrett Smithley, Timmy Hill, Parker Kligerman, Alex Bowman, Landon Cassill, Christopher Bell, Daniel Suárez.
Drivers expected to attempt to qualify to fill open spots in the 35-car field as needed: Justin Allgaier; Brennan Poole; Justin Haley; Austin Cindric; Sam Mayer; Tyler Ankrum; Kaz Grala; Anthony Alfredo; Todd Gilliland; Jesse Iwuji; Ryan Truex; Ty Majeski; Chandler Smith; Jeffrey Earnhardt; Stewart Friesen; Joey Gase; Kyle Weatherman; Scott Stenzel; Brandon Brown; Sheldon Creed; Ryan Ellis; Joe Graf Jr.; Christian Eckes; Alex Labbe; Myatt Snider; Chase Briscoe; Harrison Burton; Spencer Boyd; Jeb Burton; Ruben Garcia; Derek Kraus; Drew Dollar; JJ Yeley.
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