NASCAR, IndyCar, IMSA, and More: Here Are the Online Racing Events to Watch (or Enter) This Weekend
From amateur dirt-track to professional road racing, there’s something for everyone this weekend.
Sporting events were an early casualty of the war on COVID-19, and while there's no chance of seeing live racing action anytime soon, the internet is now full of ways to get your speed fix. Several real racing organizations have committed to broadcasting simulated racing events (sim racing) with real announcers and legit racing drivers involved, and our guess is that even more are coming in the near future.
Here at The Drive, we're ramping up our coverage of esports racing, both because it's kind of the only way you can watch live racing right now and because we anticipate a big boom in the sport even when this outbreak eventually subsides. Tune in every week to see a roundup of the virtual racing coming your way soon.
It's important to stress that while many of us here are esports fans (and occasional iRacing competitors), this is a brave new world for all of us. Did you see anything we missed? Let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org or in the comments below. We're also open to suggestions on how we can improve this list.
Let's get started!
- Who: NASCAR drivers
- What: Virtual races that replace the NASCAR season
- When: Sunday, March 29 at 1:00 p.m. ET
- Where: "Texas Motor Speedway" via Fox broadcast network, FS1, and the Fox Sports app
NASCAR, in conjunction with iRacing, is presenting the remainder of its season virtually with what it's calling eNASCAR. Last week's race was won by Denny Hamlin and it drew nearly 1,000,000 viewers on FS1, which made it the most-watched sports program and the highest-rated esports show in history. The races still feature Jeff Gordon, Mike Joy, and Larry McReynolds calling the action.
This week, eNASCAR is headed to the Lone Star State, where a field of racers anxious to get back behind a real steering wheel will compete at the famous Texas Motor Speedway.
- Who: NTT IndyCar Series Drivers
- What: Virtual races, pre-race coverage with virtual autographs, and post-race Instagram interviews
- When: 4 p.m. ET each Saturday through May 2, starting March 28
- Where: www.indycar.com
The IndyCar iRacing Challenge will take place over several weeks, with a race every Saturday at 4 p.m. ET. In order to make the virtual experience as “real” as possible, there will be a pre-race virtual autograph session with many of the racers and a post-race interview with Indycar pundit Katie Hargitt on Instagram.
There was a fan voting bracket to choose the series’ first track, with Watkins Glen making the cut for the inaugural virtual race. Most, if not all, IndyCar drivers will make appearances in the event, including Graham Rahal, Josef Newgarden, Tony Kanaan, and Arrow McLaren SP's Pato O'Ward and Oliver Askew.
The Race has held several events with big names from F1, NASCAR, IndyCar, and others, and the upcoming Legends race will feature some of the biggest names in the business. The event will be held only for drivers over 40 years of age and with considerable bragging rights in their own careers. This should be a great way to see racing between drivers who have mostly retired from the limelight—although not fully.
iRacing is a huge deal in the world of sim racing. It sponsors and broadcasts several different types of online motorsports. The company sponsors and broadcasts races for IndyCar, NASCAR, and their own league's events.
There are multiple races almost every day, and if you get tired of watching you can pay to join a league and start driving yourself—but before you do that make sure you read our own racer's journey on becoming a sim racer. There’s a whole career path system and guidance on how to become completely obsessed with the world of sim racing. Most of us will be happy just watching, however, which can be done on the series’ YouTube channel or with a paid membership.
LSRTV - Live Sim Racing
- Who: Live Sim Racing is part of the iRacing network of broadcast entities
- What: Dirt track racing, truck races, and more, staged to take place at virtual versions of real tracks
- When: The next race is an Adrenaline Racing League event, scheduled for March 29 at 6:30 p.m. ET
- Where: Facebook and YouTube
LSRTV has a calendar full of various sim racing events that cover this weekend and beyond. This week’s streams include a dirt track race in Charlotte, a truck series race in Texas, and an Adrenaline League race in Indianapolis.
The events are streamed on LSRTV’s YouTube channel and are strikingly high quality with very decent commentators. If you’re looking to pick up a few extra dollars while watching, you can even apply to be a race announcer.
Apex Racing TV
Apex has been around for quite a few years and runs streams on YouTube, Twitch, and Facebook Live. There is generally a race to watch every day, with multiple events on weekend days. This week’s schedule has already covered a few Pro Series championship races and an event at Road Atlanta.
Have a tip or know of an upcoming sim racing event? Let us know at email@example.com.