Sim racing by iRacing eNascar will air on NBC Sports Network for the first time on live television. NASCAR America will showcase sim races that are part of a partnership between NBC Sports, NASCAR and iRacing on Thursday’s at 5 PM ET on NBCSN. The best iRacing drivers will participate in a four-race series on TV allowing fans to watch the event in real-time on TVs, connected digital devices and computers. In case you are new to the concept, watching gamers play video games and game simulations is a fast-growing industry, something racing is not at the moment making this business endeavor a good idea in principle to enable established and new fans alike to learn more about the sport. Viewers will perhaps one day want to become a racer and hopefully activate as a NASCAR fan eventually even attending races at race tracks around the United States. The Sports Techie community blog supports eSports and sims and believes in their future as a real sporting activity.
NBC Sports, iRacing and NASCAR may never catch the number of viewers watching eSport giants such as Fortnite, Madden NFL Football and FIFA Soccer, or Call of Duty and Overwatch but you never know.
“The trio of NBC Sports, iRacing and NASCAR has been terrific in wanting to work together to find new ways to bring current and new fans into the NASCAR scene,” says Jeff Behnke, Vice President of NASCAR Production at NBC Sports Group.
I applaud the three business partners for going for it, just as car racers, whether real or sim, do.
“Our eNASCAR platforms bridge the gap from one race weekend to the next, delivering NASCAR-style racing to our fans through the rapidly growing esports space,” said Tim Clark, senior VP and chief digital officer, NASCAR.
NBC Sports Simulator
The eNASCAR iRacing All-Star new four race series features racing from the NBC Sports simulator in Stamford, Conn.
Tony Gardner, president of iRacing, said, “We’re incredibly excited to work with NASCAR and NBC Sports to bring our world-class simracers to a live national television audience for the first time on NBCSN. We expect the action to be intense, and we can’t wait for the green flag to drop this Thursday.”
Will internet speed affect the racers? Of course it will but the official word is not much lag time if any all will occur making it as even a race as possible from the start to the checkered flag finishes.
Behnke added, “For 5 years, the simulator has been used on NASCAR America to showcase tracks and racers around the USA and this new four race venture will be a natural extension of that teamwork.”
Hosts for this ground-breaking event include Krista Voda, Parker Kligerman, and AJ Allmendinger of NASCAR America together Steve Letarte and Jeff Burton, both whom are iRacing team owners as is Kligerman.
“It’s going to be really cool to take part in live iRacing action on NASCAR America,” said Kligerman. “I’ve seen firsthand just how exciting these races can get, and I can’t wait to give our viewers an inside look at what it’s like to face off against the best in the world. It’ll serve as a great preview of what it’s like to compete for the fans tuning in to watch our real-world coverage on NBCSN this weekend!”
iRacing claims to be the leading online simulation racing game. Competitors located worldwide square off in head-to-head races.
Gardner says, “This is a landmark moment for iRacing, and all racing esports.”
After this week’s event tomorrow, iRacing will air on NBCSN’s NASCAR America the last Thursday of every month for four-races.
Additional details surrounding these upcoming iRacing events on NBCSN will be forthcoming over the next several weeks.
The landmark eNASCAR iRacing All-Star events being broadcast on NBCSN, join other iRacing and NASCAR professional esports races branded as the eNASCAR PEAK Antifreeze iRacing Series. Virtual drivers from around the globe compete for more than $100,000 in prize money during the year-long championship. Notable team owners in this series include NBC Sports’ Dale Earnhardt Jr. and NASCAR stars Clint Bowyer and Austin Dillon. NBCSN also provides weekly coverage of the series on NASCAR America.
Clark added, “This new collaboration with our partners at iRacing and NBC Sports is an example of how esports is allowing us to evolve the way we engage our fans.”
Video Gaming On
Sports Techie, I have blogged about NASCAR over the years yet I still haven’t attended a live race in person. I’ve been around sims for the past 25 years and know that industry pretty well. Additionally, I’ve written many blogs about NBC. As a result, I like to think my expert sports tech perspective has some value about this story.
Watch NASCAR America on NBCSN this Thursday at 5PM ET to see iRacing NASCAR action and you might get hooked as thousands of gamers already are. Follow @iRacing and @NASCARonNBC on Twitter for the latest news and live updates happening raceday. For more information on iRacing and for special offers, visit www.iRacing.com.
Having said that, the merger of the three brands – NBC Sports, iRacing and eNASCAR, definitely turns some old school fans off but it shouldn’t because the racing is real and the virtual results are earned just like on an actual race track.
The bottom line is, eSports are here to stay.
See you later sportstechie in Seattle, Atlanta and around the world!
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