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NEWS

Texas Invitational Advance | Clint Bowyer and Chase Briscoe Continue Sim Racing Assimilation
  • Race: O’Reilly Auto Parts 125 (Round 2)

  • Series: eNASCAR iRacing Pro Invitational Series

  • Time/Date: 1 p.m. EDT on Sunday, March 29

  • Location: Virtual Texas Motor Speedway (1.5-mile oval)

  • Distance: 125 laps (187.5 miles)


  • Where to Watch:

    • FOX network

    • Announcers: Jeff Gordon, Mike Joy and Larry McReynolds, with in-race commentary from Clint Bowyer.

    • FS1 (DIRECTV Channel 219 and Dish Channel 150)

    • FOX Sports Go app

    • FOX Sports Racing for fans in Canada


    DYK?:

    • Last Sunday’s eNASCAR iRacing Pro Invitational Series race at the virtual Homestead-Miami Speedway was the single most-watched esports event in U.S. history. The race drew 903,000 viewers on FS1, besting the previous high of 770,000 viewers when Mortal Kombat aired on The CW in 2016.

    • The race was the highest-rated broadcast on FS1 since mass postponements of sporting events began on March 15.

    • During the race, the #ProInvitationalSeries was the No. 1 trending topic on Twitter in the United States.


    Overview:

    • The eNASCAR iRacing Pro Invitational Series is an exhibition esports series featuring a collection of actual racecar drivers from the NASCAR Cup Series, NASCAR Xfinity Series and NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series.

    • The eNASCAR iRacing Pro Invitational Series kicked off last Sunday at Homestead and it is a multi-week series emulating the original 2020 NASCAR Cup Series schedule.

    • With the sports world on a necessary hiatus to combat the spread of the coronavirus, the eNASCAR iRacing Pro Invitational Series exists in place of actual NASCAR events.

    • Each race in the eNASCAR iRacing Pro Invitational Series consists of 35 drivers and all races are broadcast by FOX Sports.


    Clint Bowyer, driver of the No. 14 Rush Truck Centers Ford Mustang:      

    “We’ve had a partnership with iRacing on our dirt late model team for several years and we’ve run an iRacing team since last year. I’ve always jumped on it from time to time even though a lot of people don’t know that. My favorite thing to do on iRacing is not my day job. I came from dirt racing, so I love to get on there and burn laps on a dirt late model, a sprint car or midget. Heck, I’ve even done off-road truck racing. Those are my favorite things to do. A lot of my fans and peers get on and run Cup races and tracks we race on every week. For me, iRacing gives me a chance to drive something I’ve always wanted to drive, but never had the chance. That’s why I love iRacing, and I love the fact that this Pro Invitational Series has made more people aware of iRacing. Now, that means more eyeballs on us this Sunday, so I need to step up my game and put my Rush Truck Centers Ford Mustang up front.”



     

     

     

     

     

     

    • Bowyer started 11th and finished 16th in last week’s eNASCAR iRacing Pro Invitational Series race at Homestead.

    • Bowyer considers himself a hobby iRacer. Last Sunday’s race at Homestead was his first official iRacing start in a virtual NASCAR Cup Series race.

    • Bowyer’s eponymous iRacing team competes in the eNASCAR Coca-Cola iRacing Series with drivers Brandon Kettelle and Brian Schoenberg, and Bowyer’s dirt late model team has been sponsored by iRacing for several years.

    • In actual NASCAR Cup Series racing at Texas, Bowyer has four top-five and 12 top-10 finishes in 28 career starts.

    • Bowyer’s best Texas finish is second, earned twice (April 2011 and March 2019).

    • Anheuser-Busch, the country’s largest sponsor of live sports and entertainment, is redirecting it sports and entertainment investments to its non-profit partners to respond to the coronavirus public health crisis. As part of a $5 million donation to the American Red Cross, Anheuser-Busch, alongside its sports partners, will identify available arenas and stadiums to be used for temporary blood drive centers. As part of the donation, Anheuser-Busch is donating media air time to the Red Cross in support of its public service announcements. To learn more about how to attend a blood drive, visit org. Additionally, Anheuser-Busch is using its supply and logistics network to produce and distribute bottles of hand sanitizer. The hand sanitizer will be utilized at Red Cross blood donation centers and to support emergency shelters for future relief efforts.


     

    Chase Briscoe, driver of the No. 98 Ford Performance Racing School/HighPoint.com Ford Mustang:

    “It obviously hasn’t been the greatest time for anybody right now, so it’s cool to have a way to keep your mind off of it. There isn’t really anything on TV and there are no other sporting events going on, so to be the only sport that can still continue, it’s been really cool to see everybody embrace it. When the idea first came out to run iRacing on FOX, I think people were curious to see how it was going to go and concerned that it wouldn’t be like ‘real life’, but it’s as close as we can get to it. It fills that void for the racing we don’t have right now, and it’s an awesome way to keep us occupied, keep the fans involved, and the sponsors as well. And maybe we’re opening the sport up to people that normally wouldn’t pay attention. It’s been really cool to see how many fans have gotten behind it.

    “It’s been quite a bit different going from the Xfinity car to the Cup car, even though it’s iRacing. It’s realistic enough that even in simulation the cars don’t drive similarly at all. In the Cup Series car, there’s a lot more on throttle time and a lot less brake, so Texas will be a lot of the same. We’ll be on the gas a lot and drafting down the straightaway. They’re different, but it still takes the same characteristics to go fast and win, and I got that part figured out last weekend at Homestead. Texas is kind of an unknown to me. iRacing just updated the track a few weeks ago with the repaved surface and changes to the banking, so I don’t even have any laps around there. It’ll be a learning curve for sure, and it isn’t the best feeling to know I have to race my way into the main event. We saw last weekend that anything can happen to keep some of the better guys from being in the race. That being said, I feel good about our chances to run up front again with the Ford Performance Racing School/HighPoint.com Mustang.”



     

     

     

     

     

     

    • Briscoe started sixth and finished fourth in last week’s eNASCAR iRacing Pro Invitational Series race at Homestead.

    • Briscoe is a regular iRacer, but mainly in the Xfinity Series. Prior to Homestead, The Replacements 100 March 17 at the virtual Atlanta Motor Speedway was Briscoe’s most recent iRacing start in a virtual NASCAR Cup Series race.

    • In actual racing, Briscoe has never competed in the NASCAR Cup Series. He is currently in his second full season of Xfinity Series racing.

    • Briscoe has three Xfinity Series starts at Texas with a best finish of fourth, earned last March.

    • Briscoe also has two Truck Series starts at Texas with a best finish of second, earned in June 2017. And when the Truck Series returned to Texas that November, Briscoe finished fourth. 


    About Stewart-Haas eSports:

    NASCAR is the ultimate test of driver acumen and mechanical know-how, where teams scrutinize every detail in a never-ending quest for speed. Stewart-Haas Racing has thrived in this environment, winning races and championships to firmly establish its presence in NASCAR. Stewart-Haas eSports emulates these efforts in the virtual world, where sim technology provides a visceral experience that amplifies the grit and determination of NASCAR drivers in the real world. Stewart-Haas eSports is a natural extension of Stewart-Haas Racing, where competition and simulation are one. For more information, please visit us online at www.StewartHaasRacing.com and follow on Twitter @SHR_eSports. 

    About Stewart-Haas Racing:

    Stewart-Haas Racing is the title-winning NASCAR team co-owned by three-time NASCAR Cup Series champion Tony Stewart and Gene Haas, founder of Haas Automation – the largest CNC machine tool builder in North America. The Kannapolis, North Carolina-based organization has won two NASCAR Cup Series titles, one NASCAR Xfinity Series championship and more than 70 NASCAR races, including such crown-jewel events as the Daytona 500, Brickyard 400 and Southern 500. For more information, please visit us online at www.StewartHaasRacing.com, on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/StewartHaasRacing, on Twitter @StewartHaasRcng and on Instagram @StewartHaasRacing.


    Event:  eNASCAR iRacing Pro Invitational Series
    Time/Date:  1:30 p.m. EDT on Sunday, March 22
    Location:  Virtual Homestead-Miami Speedway (1.5-mile oval)
    Distance:  100 laps (150 miles)


    Where to Watch:


    FS1 (DIRECTV Channel 219 and Dish Channel 150)
    Announcers: Jeff Gordon, Mike Joy and Larry McReynolds, with in-race commentary from Clint Bowyer.
    FOX Sports Go app

    Overview:

    • The eNASCAR iRacing Pro Invitational Series is an exhibition esports series featuring a collection of actual racecar drivers from the NASCAR Cup Series, NASCAR Xfinity Series and NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series.

    • While the eNASCAR iRacing Pro Invitational Series kicks off on Sunday at the virtual Homestead-Miami Speedway, it will be a multi-week series emulating the original 2020 NASCAR Cup Series schedule.

    • With the sports world on a necessary hiatus to combat the spread of the coronavirus, the eNASCAR iRacing Pro Invitational Series exists in place of actual NASCAR events.

    • Each race in the eNASCAR iRacing Pro Invitational Series will consist of 35 drivers.


    Clint Bowyer, Driver of the No. 14 Mobil 1 Ford Mustang:

    “I don’t know if I will be able to keep up with all these young kids who do this all the time, so my goal is to have fun and keep the fans entertained on Sunday. I can’t thank iRacing, FOX and NASCAR enough for putting this together, and all the sponsors like Mobil 1 who made this event happen so quickly. Everyone needs some entertainment right now. We’re all in it together, man. This puts a new perspective on life and, when it all comes back, we will appreciate everything much more.”



    • Bowyer considers himself a hobby iRacer. This will be his first official iRacing start in a virtual NASCAR Cup Series race.

    • Bowyer, however, is an iRacing team owner. His eponymous team competes in the eNASCAR Coca-Cola iRacing Series with drivers Brandon Kettelle and Brian Schoenberg. And Bowyer’s dirt late model team has been sponsored by iRacing for several years.

    • In actual NASCAR Cup Series racing at Homestead, Bowyer has three top-five and eight top-10 finishes in 14 career starts.

    • Bowyer’s best Homestead finish is second, earned in 2012.


    Chase Briscoe, Driver of the No. 98 HighPoint.com/Ford Performance Racing School Ford Mustang:

    “I’m looking forward to going iRacing again. We had The Replacements 100 race last weekend at Atlanta and I felt like I learned quite a bit in that race because, obviously, I don’t run the Cup car very often on there. It’s got the actual Cup package with the big splitter and everything else, so it’s different than what I normally run. It felt like tire wear came into play at Atlanta and it definitely will again at Homestead, so finding that balance of how to save tires will be important. On iRacing, you wouldn’t think you’d have to save tires, but you actually do and it makes a difference. So, you get on there and just try to find that fine line of being able to go fast enough, but not too fast, to burn your tires up like you actually have to do when you go to Homestead. It’ll be fun to try to figure it out with our HighPoint.com/Ford Performance Racing School Ford Mustang.”



    • Briscoe is a regular iRacer, but mainly in the Xfinity Series. Last Sunday’s The Replacements 100 at the virtual Atlanta Motor Speedway was Briscoe’s most recent iRacing start in a virtual NASCAR Cup Series race.

    • In actual racing, Briscoe has never competed in the NASCAR Cup Series. He is currently in his second full season of Xfinity Series racing.

    • Briscoe is a winner at Homestead. He won his first career Truck Series race at Homestead in 2017.

    • Briscoe has two Xfinity Series starts at Homestead, with a best finish of third, earned last year.


    About Stewart-Haas eSports:

    NASCAR is the ultimate test of driver acumen and mechanical know-how, where teams scrutinize every detail in a never-ending quest for speed. Stewart-Haas Racing has thrived in this environment, winning races and championships to firmly establish its presence in NASCAR. Stewart-Haas eSports emulates these efforts in the virtual world, where sim technology provides a visceral experience that amplifies the grit and determination of NASCAR drivers in the real world. Stewart-Haas eSports is a natural extension of Stewart-Haas Racing, where competition and simulation are one. For more information, please visit us online at www.StewartHaasRacing.comand follow on Twitter @SHR_eSports.

    About Stewart-Haas Racing:

    Stewart-Haas Racing is the title-winning NASCAR team co-owned by three-time NASCAR Cup Series champion Tony Stewart and Gene Haas, founder of Haas Automation – the largest CNC machine tool builder in North America. The Kannapolis, North Carolina-based organization has won two NASCAR Cup Series titles, one NASCAR Xfinity Series championship and more than 70 NASCAR races, including such crown-jewel events as the Daytona 500, Brickyard 400 and Southern 500. For more information, please visit us online at www.StewartHaasRacing.com, on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/StewartHaasRacing, on Twitter @StewartHaasRcng and on Instagram @StewartHaasRacing.
    Drivers Justin Bolton and Dylan Duval Ready for First 1.5-Mile Oval of 2020 eNASCAR Coca-Cola iRacing Season

    Event:  eNASCAR Coca-Cola iRacing Series (Round 3 of 20)
    Time/Date:  9 p.m. EDT on Tuesday, March 17
    Location:  Virtual Homestead-Miami Speedway (1.5-mile oval)
    Distance: 134 laps (201 miles)

    Where to Watch:

    ●   eNASCAR.com/live
    ●   Facebook.com/NASCAR
    ●   YouTube.com/NASCAR
    ●   Twitch.tv/iRacing

    Overview:

    ●   This is the eNASCAR Coca-Cola iRacing Series’ 10th visit to the virtual Homestead-Miami Speedway.
    ●   Tonight’s race is the first time that Homestead has not hosted the season finale.
    ●   This is the first time in 2020 that the eNASCAR Coca-Cola iRacing Series will compete on a 1.5-mile oval. The series’ previous race came Feb. 25 at the virtual 2-mile Auto Club Speedway. Its season opener was Feb. 11 at the virtual 2.5-mile Daytona International Speedway.

    Justin Bolton, driver of the No. 10 Smithfield Ford Mustang:     

    “Homestead has always been a blast to race. With so many lanes to choose from, being able to run right against the fence has worked well for us in the past. I think our Smithfield Ford Mustang will be really fast tonight, but clean air is going to make the difference above anything else. We’re going to try to put ourselves in the best spot possible for the end of the race and do what we can to bring home a solid finish before we head off to Bristol in a few weeks.”



    Bolton is a 24-year-old engineer on Stewart-Haas Racing's NASCAR Xfinity Series team who helped Cole Custer to a career-high seven victories in 2019. Bolton has raced in the eNASCAR Coca-Cola iRacing Series off and on since 2014, accumulating 48 starts with nine top-five finishes and a career-best points result of ninth in 2015. The Latrobe, Pennsylvania, native also has real-world racing experience, as Bolton has raced Legends cars and Late Model stock cars, winning the 2013 Fall Classic at Hickory (N.C.) Motor Speedway in the Limited Late Model division.

    Dylan Duval, driver of the No. 41 Mobil 1/Haas Automation Ford Mustang: 

    “I can’t wait to get on track tonight at Homestead with our Mobil 1/Haas Automation Ford Mustang. Obviously, track position and clean air are going to be crucial, so getting a good lap during qualifying will be paramount. In last season’s race at Miami, I had a strong showing and ran top-five for most of the day, but ended up in eighth. I’m pretty confident that I can improve on that performance and I know it’s going to be a fun race.”



    Duval is a 24-year-old from Halifax, Nova Scotia. The graphic designer debuted in the eNASCAR Coca-Cola iRacing Series in 2012 and is the first Canadian iRacing winner in series history, taking the virtual checkered flag at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in 2016. Duval has made 75 starts in his seven-year career, scoring eight top-fives and earning a best points finish of fifth in 2016.

    About Stewart-Haas eSports:

    NASCAR is the ultimate test of driver acumen and mechanical know-how, where teams scrutinize every detail in a never-ending quest for speed. Stewart-Haas Racing has thrived in this environment, winning races and championships to firmly establish its presence in NASCAR. Stewart-Haas eSports emulates these efforts in the virtual world, where sim technology provides a visceral experience that amplifies the grit and determination of NASCAR drivers in the real world. Stewart-Haas eSports is a natural extension of Stewart-Haas Racing, where competition and simulation are one. For more information, please visit us online at www.StewartHaasRacing.com and follow on Twitter @SHR_eSports.​

    About Stewart-Haas Racing:

    Stewart-Haas Racing is the title-winning NASCAR team co-owned by three-time NASCAR Cup Series champion Tony Stewart and Gene Haas, founder of Haas Automation – the largest CNC machine tool builder in North America. The Kannapolis, North Carolina-based organization has won two NASCAR Cup Series titles, one NASCAR Xfinity Series championship and more than 70 NASCAR races, including such crown-jewel events as the Daytona 500, Brickyard 400 and Southern 500. For more information, please visit us online at www.StewartHaasRacing.com, on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/StewartHaasRacing, on Twitter @StewartHaasRcng and on Instagram @StewartHaasRacing.

    SCHEDULE

    eNASCAR Coca-Cola iRacing Series
    All races start at 9PM ET
    Round 1 February 11th Daytona International Speedway
    Round 2 February 25th Auto Club Speedway
    Round 3 March 17th Homestead-Miami Speedway
    Round 4 March 31st Bristol Motor Speedway
    Round 5 April 14th Richmond Raceway
    Round 6 April 28th Dover International Speedway
    Round 7 May 12th Charlotte Motor Speedway
    Round 8 May 26th Atlanta Motor Speedway
    June 16th All-Star Exhibition
    Round 9 June 30th Indianapolis Motor Speedway
    Round 10 July 14th New Hampshire Motor Speedway
    Round 11 July 28th Michigan International Speedway
    Round 12 August 11th Watkins Glen International
    Round 13 August 25th Daytona International Speedway
    Round 14 September 15th Darlington Speedway
    Round 15* September 24th Las Vegas Motor Speedway
    Round 16* October 1st Talladega Superspeedway
    Playoff Round 1* October 8th Charlotte Roval
    Playoff Round 2* October 15th Kansas Speedway
    Playoff Round 3* October 22nd Texas Motor Speedway
    Season Finale* November 1st Phoenix Raceway