March 24th, 2020 by FOX Sports PR
Last Sunday, NASCAR, iRacing and FOX Sports teamed up to deliver the first-ever eNASCAR iRacing Pro invitational Series event. Today, FOX Sports is committing to coverage of the remainder of the season, beginning Sunday, March 29, at 1:00 PM ET live from virtual Texas Motor Speedway. Entitled FOX NASCAR iRACING, the races will be simulcast on the FOX broadcast network*, FS1 and the FOX Sports app. Races will be available in Canada through FOX Sports Racing.
Last Sunday’s inaugural event, won by three-time Daytona 500 winner Denny Hamlin, drew 903,000 viewers on FS1, according to Nielsen Media Research. FOX SPORTS iRACING was the most-watched telecast on FS1 since the pandemic-induced sports shutdown began on March 12 and Sunday’s most-watched sports telecast on cable television, as well as ranks as the highest rated esports TV program in history.
Additionally, according to rankings by Twitter interactions, the eNASCAR iRacing Pro Invitational Series on FS1 was the #1 most social TV program overall on Sunday. NASCAR-owned content related to the event also produced over one million engagements throughout the weekend.
“This rapid-fire collaboration between FOX Sports, NASCAR and iRacing obviously has resonated with race fans, gamers and television viewers across the country in a very positive way,” said Brad Zager, FOX Sports Executive Producer, EVP/Head of Production & Operations. “We have learned so much in a relatively short period of time, and we are excited to expand coverage of this brand-new NASCAR esports series to an even wider audience.”
The FOX NASCAR broadcast team of Jeff Gordon, Mike Joy and Larry McReynolds continue to call the action from FOX NASCAR studios in Charlotte, with NASCAR CUP SERIES driver Clint Bowyer providing “in-car” commentary.
“The response on social media to last Sunday’s race has been incredible,” Gordon said. “We were able to broadcast a virtual race that was exciting and entertaining. It brought a little bit of ‘normalcy’ back to the weekend, and I can’t wait to call the action Sunday at Texas.”
Under the banner FOX NASCAR iRACING, FOX Sports covers simulation-style esports races that include a cross-section of competitors from the NASCAR Cup Series, NASCAR Xfinity Series, NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series and a group of NASCAR dignitaries.
“We’re overwhelmed by the positive feedback and encouragement sent by industry stakeholders, drivers, partners, media and most importantly, our fans. We all can’t wait to get back to racing and our partners at iRacing and FOX have worked with us to do just that – race,” said Tim Clark, Senior Vice President and Chief Digital Officer, NASCAR. “We are committed to running these eNASCAR iRacing events in place of the NASCAR Cup Series for as long as necessary. Providing a platform for our fans to watch and engage with their favorite drivers is our number one priority.”
*Where available and subject to change