DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Feb. 3, 2020) – NASCAR and iRacing today announced the longest-running officially sanctioned esports racing series will return for its 12th season with an increased championship purse, new teams and an elevated playoff format to conclude an 18-race schedule, which will mirror some of the real-life NASCAR schedule enhancements.
“After more than a decade of iRacing competition, the 2021 season is poised to further position the eNASCAR Coca-Cola iRacing Series as one of the most immersive and competitive gaming leagues,” said Tim Clark, senior vice president and chief digital officer, NASCAR. “Last year was monumental for esports, and we’re committed to elevating NASCAR’s presence in the space, delivering more entertainment for fans and connecting the sport with new audiences.”
The eNASCAR Coca-Cola iRacing Series season will kick off at the virtual Daytona International Speedway on Feb. 8 at 9 p.m. ET on eNASCAR.com. Teams will compete for the largest purse in series history, totaling $330,000.
“Year after year, the eNASCAR Coca-Cola iRacing Series has grown bigger and bigger, to the point where we crowned our first $100,000 champion last year,” said iRacing president Tony Gardner. “We’re excited to continue raising the bar in 2021 with new drivers, teams, and tracks, an even larger purse, and a new playoff format, and we can’t wait to get the season started at Daytona!”
The 2020 eNASCAR Coca-Cola iRacing Series season went down to the wire, with Nick Ottinger claiming the series’ first $100,000 championship in William Byron eSports’ first year in the series. Ottinger and nearly 30 other drivers return from last season, plus a talented mix of rookies and veterans that weren’t on last year’s grid. An already marquee group of returning teams welcomes the virtual debut of 23XI, the new NASCAR Cup Series team owned by Michael Jordan and Denny Hamlin; McLaren Shadow, the official esports team of McLaren F1; Elliott Sadler Esports, owned by former NASCAR Cup Series veteran Elliott Sadler; and professional esports teams Spacestation Gaming and XSET.
The 40 drivers and 20 teams will take on a challenging schedule that represents the best of NASCAR’s highest level, from the first green flag at Daytona to an epic finale at Texas Motor Speedway, and an All-Star Race featuring the return of former series champions on the three-mile iRacing Superspeedway. New this season, the playoffs will expand from eight drivers to 10, with a “win and you’re in” format for drivers in the top 20 in regular season points, before paring down to four drivers for the Texas finale.
The full 2021 eNASCAR Coca-Cola iRacing Series schedule is as follows*:
- February 8: Daytona International Speedway
- February 23: Homestead-Miami Speedway
- March 2: Las Vegas Motor Speedway
- March 16: Atlanta Motor Speedway
- March 30: Auto Club Speedway
- April 13: Richmond Raceway
- April 27: Kansas Speedway
- May 18: Circuit of the Americas
- May 25: Charlotte Motor Speedway
- June 22: Pocono Raceway
- June 29: Road America
- July 13: New Hampshire Motor Speedway
- July 27: iRacing Superspeedway (All-Star Race)
- August 3: Watkins Glen International
- August 17: Michigan International Speedway
- August 31: Darlington Raceway^
- September 14: Bristol Motor Speedway^
- September 28: Talladega Superspeedway^
- October 12: Texas Motor Speedway^
^Denotes Playoffs Event
*Subject to change
All races will be broadcast live on eNASCAR.com and iRacing.com/live, as well as the NASCAR and iRacing Facebook, Twitch, and YouTube channels. All race streams will kick off at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT.
The National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR) is the sanctioning body for the No. 1 form of motorsports in the United States and owner of 16 of the nation’s major motorsports entertainment facilities. NASCAR consists of three national series (NASCAR Cup Series™, NASCAR Xfinity Series™, and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series™), four regional series (ARCA Menards Series, ARCA Menards Series East & West and the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour), one local grassroots series (NASCAR Advance Auto Parts Weekly Series) and three international series (NASCAR Pinty’s Series, NASCAR Peak Mexico Series, NASCAR Whelen Euro Series). The International Motor Sports Association™ (IMSA®) governs the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship™, the premier U.S. sports car series. NASCAR also owns Motor Racing Network, Racing Electronics and ONE DAYTONA. Based in Daytona Beach, Florida, with offices in eight cities across North America, NASCAR sanctions more than 1,200 races in more than 30 U.S. states, Canada, Mexico and Europe. For more information visit http://www.NASCAR.com and http://www.IMSA.com, and follow NASCAR on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat (‘NASCAR’).
The world leader in the online racing simulation and gaming market, iRacing was founded in 2004 by Dave Kaemmer and John Henry. Kaemmer was co-founder of Papyrus Design Group, developers of award-winning racing simulations including “Grand Prix Legends” and NASCAR 2003.” Henry is principal owner of the Boston Red Sox and Liverpool Football Club, as well as co-owner of NASCAR’s Roush Fenway Racing. iRacing.com has developed dozens of formal partnerships in the motorsport industry to help create the most authentic racing simulation in the world.