January 17th, 2019 by KevinB
10th Season Sees Prize Pool Grow to $100,000
In its 10th season, the eNASCAR PEAK Antifreeze iRacing Series will see several exciting changes to the only officially sanctioned NASCAR eSports series. For the first time, official teams – both motorsport organizations and professional eSports teams – will join the series in its upcoming season.
Several high-profile teams have already committed to the series including JR Motorsports, Joe Gibbs Racing, Wood Brothers Racing, Clint Bowyer Racing, Williams Esports, Richmond Raceway Esports, G2 Esports, FlipSid3 Tactics, and Team Renegades, with more expected to join in the coming days.
The teams will participate in a driver’s draft on January 30th, where they select drivers to represent them in the 2019 season. All of these organizations have shown a genuine interest and commitment to eSports and are excited about the upcoming season.
“The 2019 season is a watershed moment for the series with the addition of these new teams as well as the significant increase in the prize pool to $100,000, said Tony Gardner, president, iRacing.com. “To have teams made up of both motorsport and eSports team competing in the eNASCAR PEAK Antifreeze iRacing Series has been a longtime goal of ours. Simracing has a unique place in the eSports world. It is the only eSport that has a direct correlation to the skills needed in the motor racing world, but without the traditional barriers, so it only makes sense to have teams involved.”
From a modest initial broadcast of the first race in 2009, which Dale Earnhardt Jr. won, to well over 12 million impressions in 2018, the series has come a long way since it’s inception. The addition of PEAK Antifreeze as the title sponsor in 2013 helped position the series as the premier NASCAR eSports series and the addition of the official teams can only help elevate the series. This upcoming season will also include multi-channel broadcasting on Twitch, YouTube, Facebook, and NASCAR.com, as well as cash prizes for each race along with the championship and the appointment of a NASCAR race director.
“I have been simracing for more than 20 years now, so it goes without saying that I am excited to see NASCAR and iRacing working to further legitimize simracing as a true eSport. Expanding the eNASCAR Peak Antifreeze iRacing Series to include teams like ours is a huge step forward,” said Dale Earnhardt Jr, co-owner JR Motorsports. “JRM has worked behind the scenes with iRacing for years on the technical side of the product as well as having an unofficial entry in the series going back to its inception in 2009. We are looking forward to JR Motorsports continued collaboration with iRacing to help promote the eNASCAR PEAK Antifreeze Series in 2019 and beyond.”
“To be invited to join eNASCAR PEAK Antifreeze iRacing Series shows the progress we have made since launching our eSports program last season,” said Claire Williams, Williams Racing deputy team principal. “Our Formula One team has enjoyed great success in North America and we’re eager to replicate that success by now expanding our sim racing team to the United States. Williams, working together with NASCAR and iRacing, has huge potential in content and audience engagement for sim racers and motorsport fans alike, so we can’t wait to get started.”
Teams that join the series after the pre-season draft will be allowed to select previously undrafted drivers. Interested teams should contact Steve Myers at Steve.Myers@iRacing.com.
“Renegades are excited to be participating with NASCAR in the eNASCAR PEAK Antifreeze iRacing Series”, said Jonas Jerebko, NBA player for Golden State Warriors and owner of Team Renegades. “The top racing teams in the world use iRacing as a training tool, and it is the most competitive eSports title in motorsports. NASCAR’s involvement in the PEAK Antifreeze iRacing Series continues to professionalize eSports and is just the beginning of what can happen in the future.”
The series kicks off on February 12 at Daytona International Speedway. Drivers will race on virtual replicas of the NASCAR Monster Energy Cup Series cars and precise digital facsimiles of the most iconic NASCAR tracks raced in the real-world series. Races are Tuesday nights at 9 pm eastern. All 18 rounds of the eNASCAR PEAK Antifreeze Series will be broadcast live on the iRacing eSports Network (www.youtube.com/iracing-esports-network) as well as on www.iRacing.com and www.nascar.com.