eNASCAR iRacing Pro Invitational Series – Advance
Track: Virtual Richmond Raceway (.75-mile)
Teams: No. 6 Oscar Mayer/Nutrien Ag eFord, No. 17 Fifth Third Bank eFord
Drivers: Ross Chastain (No. 6), Chris Buescher (No. 17)
Twitter: @RoushFenway, @Roush6Team, @17RoushTeam
eNASCAR iRacing Pro Invitational Series – Sunday, April 19 at 1 p.m. ET on FOX Broadcast Network, FS1, FOX Sports App
· After taking the traditional Easter weekend off, the #ProInvitationalSeries is back this weekend as the stars of the NASCAR Cup Series take to the ¾-mile virtual Richmond Raceway.
· To date, the series has garnered just under 3.5-million viewers in three events, earning a top rating of 0.81 at virtual Texas, breaking its own record for the most viewed eSports event in U.S. TV history.
· NASCAR and iRacing also made format changes to the series at Bristol two weeks ago, with a Saturday night event that featured drivers from the ARCA Menards Series, NASCAR Xfinity Series, NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series, and other regional series. However, the main event – which features past and present stars of the NASCAR Cup Series – remained unchanged with the exception of a pair of qualifying heat races.
· Heading into Richmond, NASCAR, iRacing and FOX have teamed up to make additional changes to this week’s format, with the field being limited to 26 cars to improve the overall product. With the change, the race will be 150 laps with one allowed reset and a standard qualifying session.
Buescher at Richmond Raceway
· Buescher has eight Cup Series starts all-time at Richmond with a top finish of 17th (spring 2017). Most recently he finished 22nd and 31st in 2019.
· Buescher also has five starts in the Xfinity Series at Richmond with three top-10s, including a best career finish of seventh in 2014.
· Through three weeks in the #ProInvitationalSeries, Buescher has finished 28th, 18th and 23rd, after leading 30 laps at Bristol Motor Speedway just two weeks ago, before getting caught up in a late accident with a glitching car.
Chastain at Richmond Raceway
· Chastain has four Cup Series starts at Richmond Raceway with a best finish of 28th (spring 2018).
· In Xfinity action, Chastain finished runner-up in the 2018 fall race after starting third in the No. 42 machine. He most-recently earned an 11th-place run last spring.
· Chastain came out of the gate firing early in the #ProInvitationalSeries, putting his Oscar Mayer eMustang up front at Homestead before going on to finish 14th. He followed that with runs of 22nd (Texas) and 16th (Bristol).
On the eCars
The bright orange and yellow Oscar Mayer Bacon scheme – paired with Nutrien Ag Solutions from Chastain’s NASCAR Xfinity Series entry – will be aboard the No. 6 machine this weekend at Richmond. Fifth Third bank, longtime partner on Roush Fenway’s No. 17 entry, will be riding along with Buescher on the 17 machine.
NASCAR and iRacing have an unprecedented history in the esports space, currently in the 11th season of the longest-running officially sanctioned esports racing series, the eNASCAR Coca-Cola iRacing Series. It features 40 of the best sim racers in the world competing for more than $300,000, one of the richest payouts in esports racing competition.
Roush Fenway’s 2020 lineup includes Nathan Lyon, driver of the No. 6 and a native of St. Louis Missouri, and Kollin Keister, driver of the No. 17, who hails from Frostburg, Maryland.