Fox and its sibling channel, FS1, are going to broadcast a â€œseasonâ€ of virtual races that pit current, past, and the rising stars of NASCAR against each other on the sim racing platform iRacing. The races will air on Sundays at 1PM ET, pretty much the same time slot that NASCAR ran its real-world races before the novel coronavirus pandemic hit. Theyâ€™ll also be available to watch in the Fox Sports app.
This is all happening because the worldâ€™s biggest motorsports series are on pause during the pandemic, and so pro drivers have taken to competing in sim racing games like iRacing, rFactor 2, and F1 2019. At the same time, various esports teams, sim racing broadcasters, and real-world crew members helped spin up a handful of special races last week with big NASCAR, F1, and IndyCar stars that drew hundreds of thousands of viewers who suddenly had no real-world racing to watch.
The downside of this new NASCAR Pro Invitational Series is that, since itâ€™s been scooped up by Fox, it wonâ€™t be live-streamed on YouTube or Twitch. One of the reasons those first few post-pandemic sim races drew so much attention last week was because they were freely available, and because some of the drivers themselves hosted their own streams as well. There were no broadcast networks to tangle with over TV rights.
But don't despair there is still other open streaming racing that will happen.
See Fox will broadcast NASCARâ€™s substitute sim racing â€˜seasonâ€™ on television
Featuring current and former real-world NASCAR stars