After Successful Trial Run in 2020, NASCAR Considers Airing Sim Races Live

Published 12/22/2020, 10:40 PM EST
Avondale, Arizona, USA; NASCAR drivers Denny Hamlin (11), Joey Logano (22) and Kyle Busch (18) battle for the lead during the NASCAR Cup Series Championship at Phoenix Raceway. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports


In the 2020 season, the COVID-19 pandemic brought everything to a standstill. To while away the time until NASCAR found a solution, the sport suggested that drivers take part in online races. These races were then broadcast to the fans and helped tide things over until the season resumed.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

Needless to say, the experiment was a resounding success and NASCAR now plans to capitalize on it. To be precise, the rumor mill suggests that the sport is collaborating with iRacing to air sim races during race weekends. This will largely take place on Friday or Saturday during the broadcast windows.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

In the event that the sport cannot run practice or qualifying due to the pandemic, this will be a good substitute. In all honesty, this is a fairly decent system, as the fans will not be deprived of much action during the race weekend.

How will the NASCAR race weekend change?

Truthfully speaking, the format should not change by much, at least in theory. Nothing has been set in stone just yet, as talks are still underway to make this a reality. However, it would be a good bit of entertainment, just as long as Kyle Larson can keep things PG.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

Avondale, Arizona, USA; NASCAR driver Chase Elliott (9) during the NASCAR Cup Series Championship at Phoenix Raceway. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

On a more serious note, the sim races also help the drivers hone their skills as they prepare for the real thing on Sunday. Of course, there is no word on whether there will be a practice or qualifying format for the new season. Even if the iRacing idea gets approval, there is still the hassle of deciding the grid.

Will NASCAR go back to its random draw experiment, or will it implement the formula that it adopted later in 2020?

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

One thing is for sure, all of this will be shrouded in mystery until official word comes out in the coming few weeks.

SHARE THIS ARTICLE :

Dhruv George

11440 articles

Dhruv George is a senior Formula One and NASCAR analyst for EssentiallySports, having authored nearly 12000 articles spanning different sports like F1, NASCAR, Tennis, NFL, and eSports. He graduated with a PG Diploma in Journalism from the Xavier Institute of Communications. Dhruv has also conducted interviews with F1 driver Pierre Gasly and Moto2 rider Tony Arbolino.

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT