The Grateful Dead’s Bob Weir sang the national anthem from a remote location. Troy Aikman, who borrowed Matthew McConaughey’s trademark “All right, all right, all right,” ordered the drivers to start their simulators.
The new normality of NASCAR resumed on Sunday with another virtual event, the second in an iRacing series that was thrown together after the coronavirus pandemic stopped almost all sports. NASCAR’s 36 race season has been suspended four times a year.
Timmy Hill won the virtual race at Texas Motor Speedway, which culminated when iRacing officials parked Daniel Suarez for deliberately attempting – but failing – to cause Ty Dillon to crash.
Hill is one of the top competitors of iRacing, a subscription-based gaming platform. His virtual win was his 674th in the game.
Fox Sports again used his team of Mike Joy and Hall of Famer Jeff Gordon to call the race, which was broadcast on Fox in some markets as well as on its cable channel nationwide.
Those who tuned in watched a live video game of 35 NASCAR racers participating in an exact replica of the Texas Motor Speedway, where the series was scheduled to take place on Sunday before the corona virus shutdown. Fox was able to get feeds from drivers running on simulators from their bedrooms, basements, garages, and, in the case of last week’s winner, Denny Hamlin’s living room.
Clint Bowyer was the reporter in the race again, but when the booth came to him to ask about an early racing incident, he gave a quick update and shooed Joy and Gordon away.
“You bother me, sorry,” said Bowyer.
Alex Bowman again entertained fans social media with comment. It contained his tweet “I just drove through someone” after a wreck. Bowman also missed his pit booth, raced down the pit lane, complained of a need for a snack, and finally decided, “I’m a disaster.”
Chase Elliott, who was racing in striped socks, released a video during an advertising break of his feet when he pressed the pedals. Michael McDowell spoke fans through his pit Decisions. Hill’s virtual victory provided the NASCAR journeyman a rare live opportunity to thank his sponsors, the keynote address of every successful racing driver.
The event in Texas was held with a fixed setup and the drivers used different rigs. With more than $ 40,000, Hamlin’s is one of the most advanced in the field, with motion sensors and premium technology. Alternatively, Fox showed Garrett Smithley, who was racing into Smithley’s bedroom with a bike and a computer at a desk under a Richard Petty framed poster.
With nothing else to do, Texas circuit president Eddie Gossage tweeted live during the race, joking that he would charge Christopher Bell for practically tearing the grass open and painting it with a twist through the infield. Gossage also continued Texas’s tradition of giving prizes to fans during the race – although its speedway is currently closed.
IndyCar made its iRacing debut on Saturday in a race in which 25 drivers participated and the Sage Karam won. Seven-time NASCAR champion Jimmie Johnson was a special guest in the race as he worked towards an obvious IndyCar debut. He was supposed to test a car in Alabama next month before the corona virus was turned off.
SAGE KARAM WINS THE FIRST INDYCAR IRACING CHALLENGE RACE
NASCAR, IndyCar, IMSA and many of the Formula 1 drivers use iRacing as a tool to improve their skills during this break. Now iRacing has used the popularity of the sport and the lack of live sporting events to create events for the idle leagues.
IRacing is one of the few professional sports that can deliver a decent show due to the detailed details and precise rendering of each NASCAR track. The event locations are scanned with a laser scanner to detect the bumps and imperfections in the asphalt and to duplicate the stands, billboards and the pit lane.
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