The first - oh god this name is too much - eNASCAR iRacing Pro Invitational Series event on Fox Sports this past Sunday drew over 900,000 viewers this past Sunday. That number is lower than the almost 4.6 million viewers who tuned into NASCAR's last official race at Phoenix Raceway, but it was still the most-watched sports telecast on cable television that day and the most-watched telecast on FS1 since professional sports leagues began postponing events on March 12.
Now, Fox has committed to airing the full NASCAR iRacing season on Fox Sports, and will show numerous events on the main Fox broadcast network.
"The rapid-fire collaboration between Fox Sports, NASCAR and iRacing obviously has resonated with race fans, gamers and television views across the country in a very positive way", said Brad Zager, Fox Sports executive producer/executive vice president head of production and operations.
The network has now committed to carrying the entire season, which will continue until NASCAR gets back on track sometime after May 3 when coronavirus restrictions are eased, with the broadcast team of Mike Joy, Jeff Gordon and Larry McReynolds calling the races.
Last Sunday, drivers from all three NASCAR national series competed in a 100-lap iRacing event at the virtual Homestead-Miami Speedway. "We were able to stream a virtual race that was exciting and entertaining".
NASCAR isn't the only racing series to turn to esports. "It brought a bit of normalcy to the weekend and I can't wait to call action on Sunday in Texas".
ENASCAR iRacing Pro invitational Series, which was won by three-time Daytona 500 victor Denny Hamlin, will continue to utilise the racing brand's vast array of racers from various competitions including the NASCAR CUP SERIES, NASCAR XFINITY SERIES, NASCAR GANDER RV & OUTDOORS TRUCK SERIES, among others. We can also expect "a group of NASCAR dignitaries", including Dale Earnhardt, Jr and Bobby Labonte. Considering the event was just to appease certain race fans while introducing esports, it has now broken records and will now be recognised as a serious league, hence FOX's willingness to extend its partnership. Providing a platform for our fans to watch and interacting with your favorite drivers is our number one priority.