CHARLOTTE, N.C., Jan. 21 /PRNewswire/ -- A vision that Bill France Jr. articulated more than fifteen years ago will become reality this season with the formation of the NASCAR iRacing.com Series, an official NASCAR racing series.
On February 9th, online racing competition commences with the first event of the inaugural 18-race, 39-week NASCAR iRacing Drivers World Championship. This series will feature the 50 top-rated drivers currently racing in iRacing's Pro Series and will include NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Dale Earnhardt Jr., who recently clinched entry into this elite series.
Selected races from the series will be carried over the internet on iRacing.com. Weekly iRacing news coverage and standings will be featured on NASCARmedia.com.
NASCAR and iRacing have worked together since the announcement of the partnership in 2009 to refine the structure of the series, establish a "sporting code" or rule book, as well as develop an identity for the series.
While entry for the NASCAR iRacing Drivers World Championship is limited to the top 50 drivers, iRacing will also host five NASCAR amateur series open to all NASCAR fans through membership in the iRacing.com online service.
Just below the World Championship series, the 2010 NASCAR iRacing Pro Series is reserved for the 250 top-ranked oval-track iRacing drivers and commences in May to determine eligibility to participate in the 2011 NASCAR iRacing Drivers World Championship.
"Bill France Jr. was ahead of his time when he initially had the vision of an online racing series. Thanks to evolving technology NASCAR fans can virtually compete at their favorite track and have their chance to end up in a victory lane," said NASCAR Senior Vice President Paul Brooks.
Tony Gardner, iRacing's president, explained that iRacing's staff has been busy fine-tuning the infrastructure and creating the organization that supports the vision of NASCAR online racing.
"We've created our online racing service for racers and fans," Gardner said. "We've done the hard work to make it simple and easy for NASCAR fans to join iRacing and get behind the wheel. You don't have to be a computer engineer to do this, all you need to know is how to turn on a computer and connect to the internet. For PC owners with a broadband connection you just buy an inexpensive wheel-and-pedal set from your local consumer electronics store or online and in an hour you can be racing. It's that simple. Everything you need to know to get started is right there on our Web site, at www.iracing.com."
The opportunity for NASCAR fans to have extremely affordable but highly meaningful racing careers of their own will become a reality with the launch of these NASCAR-sanctioned amateur online racing series organized and hosted by iRacing.com.
Featuring four 12-week seasons each calendar year, these series feature modifieds, late models, NASCAR Camping World Truck Series trucks, NASCAR Nationwide and NASCAR Sprint Cup Series cars and mirror the skill ladder that NASCAR athletes typically follow, beginning with short-track racing and proceeding through virtual versions of the three premier real-world NASCAR series.
While iRacing competition licenses to participate in organized races are issued in progressive skill levels, all members are permitted to practice with any car on any track. In conjunction with the Daytona 500, the spring NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Talladega race and the NASCAR season-ending Championship Weekend at Homestead-Miami Speedway, as part of its 2010 World Tour, iRacing will organize races that are open to any member of the service, regardless of license level.
The National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing, Inc. (NASCAR) is the sanctioning body for one of North America's premier sports. NASCAR is the No. 1 spectator sport – holding 17 of the top 20 highest attended sporting events in the U.S., and is the No. 2 rated regular-season sport on television. NASCAR races are broadcast in more than 150 countries and in 20 languages. NASCAR fans are the most brand loyal in all of sports, and as a result more Fortune 500 companies participate in NASCAR than any other sport.
NASCAR consists of three national series (the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, NASCAR Nationwide Series, and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series), four regional series, and one local grassroots series, as well as two international series. Also part of NASCAR is Grand-Am Road Racing, known for its competition on road courses with multiple classes of cars. NASCAR sanctions more than 1,200 races at 100 tracks in more than 30 U.S. states, Canada and Mexico. Based in Daytona Beach (Fla.), NASCAR has offices in New York, Los Angeles, Charlotte (N.C.), Concord (N.C.), Conover (N.C.), Bentonville (Ark.), Mexico City, and Toronto.
The company was founded in September of 2004 by Dave Kaemmer and John Henry. Kaemmer was co-founder of Papyrus Design Group, developers of award-winning racing simulations including NASCAR Racing: 2003 Season and Grand Prix Legends. Henry is principal owner of the Boston Red Sox and Fenway Sports Group – the co-owner of Roush Fenway Racing – as well as an avid simracer. The iRacing team combines more than 100 years of real-world racing experience with more than 50 years of successful racing simulation development. The company has developed numerous corporate relationships in the motorsport industry, including agreements to develop track simulations with International Speedway Corporation, Speedway Motorsports, and Panoz Motor Sports Group and vehicles with General Motors, Riley Technologies, Radical Sportscars, and 600 Racing. iRacing is the official simulation partner of the NASCAR Hall of Fame, Sports Car Club of America, Volkswagen Jetta TDI Cup, Star Mazda Championship, Skip Barber Racing School and Australia's V8 Super School. In April, 2009 iRacing and NASCAR announced a partnership to develop NASCAR-sanctioned online racing series. A similar program with the Indy Racing League, Indianapolis Motor Speedway and Dallara Automobili was announced in August, 2009. In January, 2010, Williams F1 and iRacing agreed to produce a virtual version of the 2009 AT&T Williams FW31 Formula One car. The iRacing service is open to racers and fans of all skill levels from top-level pros to complete beginners. To join in the fun, go to www.iRacing.com.