NASCAR and iRacing jointly announced today with the City of Chicago and the Chicago Sports Commission that Chicago will be the fifth event in the eNASCAR iRacing Pro Invitational Series, allowing NASCAR Cup Series stars to compete virtually on a street course through the heart of Chicago.
“On behalf of the City of Chicago, I am thrilled to work with NASCAR and iRacing to showcase our great city to NASCAR fans who will be watching this cutting-edge event from around the country,” said Chicago Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot. “Through this exciting and innovative exhibition, fans will be able to see and experience Chicago’s iconic downtown in a way that has never been done before. I am excited to partner with NASCAR and iRacing to produce this event and look forward to providing a new, uniquely Chicago experience to those near and far.”
“The success of our eNASCAR iRacing Pro Invitational Series was underscored by an industry-wide effort to entertain fans during the early months of the global pandemic,” said Tim Clark, NASCAR senior vice president and chief digital officer. “This year the Pro Invitational will return with a schedule of midweek races that will bridge the gap between our real-world races each weekend.”
NASCAR and iRacing have partnered to create the eNASCAR iRacing Pro Invitational Series – a virtual racing exhibition featuring some of the biggest names in the sport. Thanks to iRacing’s cutting-edge technology, NASCAR Cup Series drivers will make their virtual street-course debut in Chicago, live on June 2. In collaboration with the City of Chicago, NASCAR and iRacing scanned real-life city streets and avenues to develop the virtual rendition of the course. The virtual street course will run past the city’s iconic skyline and Lake Shore Drive, around Buckingham Fountain and Grant Park.
“Today’s announcement marks a huge milestone for Chicago and the Chicago Sports Commission,” said Kara Bachman, Executive Director of the Chicago Sports Commission. “CSC and its partners, such as TSMGI who has been integral in securing this event, have long awaited the opportunity to collaborate with NASCAR. The iRacing Pro Invitational Series is the perfect virtual launching pad and a testament to NASCAR’s innovation.”
Conducted live, the race will be broadcast on FOX Sports from 7:00pm – 8:30pm CDT on June 2, 2021. The 2020 Pro Invitational reached 6.8 million unique viewers, and with the NASCAR Cup Series set to visit new tracks and new markets in 2021, including Chicago, the series helps fill a crucial void in FOX/NBC’s respective programming schedules in the era of reduced practice/qualifying sessions.
|2021 eNASCAR iRacing Pro Invitational Series (First Five-Races)|
|Wednesday, March 24||Bristol – Dirt||FS1||8-9:30 p.m.|
|Wednesday, April 21||Talladega||FS1||7-8:30 p.m.|
|Wednesday, May 5||Darlington||FS1||8-9:30 p.m.|
|Wednesday, May 19||COTA||FS1||7-8:30 p.m.|
|Wednesday, June 2||Chicago||FS1||8-9:30 p.m.|