Texas Invitational Advance
Erik Jones Readies for Round Two
- Race: O’Reilly Auto Parts 125 (Round 2)
- Series: eNASCAR iRacing Pro Invitational Series
- Time/Date: 1 p.m. EDT on Sunday, March 29
- Location: Virtual Texas Motor Speedway (1.5-mile oval)
- Distance: 125 laps (187.5 miles)
Where to Watch:
- FOX network
- Announcers: Jeff Gordon, Mike Joy and Larry McReynolds, with in-race commentary from Clint Bowyer.
- FS1 (DIRECTV Channel 219 and Dish Channel 150)
- FOX Sports Go app
- FOX Sports Racing for fans in Canada
- Last Sunday’s eNASCAR iRacing Pro Invitational Series race at the virtual Homestead-Miami Speedway was the single most-watched esports event in U.S. history. The race drew 903,000 viewers on FS1, besting the previous high of 770,000 viewers when Mortal Kombat aired on The CW in 2016.
- The race was the highest-rated broadcast on FS1 since mass postponements of sporting events began on March 15.
- During the race, the #ProInvitationalSeries was the No. 1 trending topic on Twitter in the United States.
- The eNASCAR iRacing Pro Invitational Series is an exhibition esports series featuring a collection of actual racecar drivers from the NASCAR Cup Series, NASCAR Xfinity Series and NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series.
- The eNASCAR iRacing Pro Invitational Series kicked off last Sunday at Homestead. It is a multi-week series emulating the original 2020 NASCAR Cup Series schedule.
- With the sports world on a necessary hiatus to combat the spread of the coronavirus, the eNASCAR iRacing Pro Invitational Series exists in place of actual NASCAR events.
- Each race in the eNASCAR iRacing Pro Invitational Series consists of 35 drivers and all races are broadcast by FOX Sports.
Erik Jones, driver of the No. 20 Craftsman Toyota Camry:
“I honestly did not know how I’d do in last week’s race at Homestead. It had been forever since I last went iRacing, so it was like I was a rookie all over again. But things came to me fairly quickly, although I’m still nowhere near where I want to be. Performance aside, I think we all came away from that race impressed with how the entire industry rallied around it, and fans seemed to like it too. Now we’re on big FOX this Sunday, so even more people will be watching. Obviously, that’s good, but it does kind of ramp up the pressure. You want to do well. Even though it’s a simulation, we’re all competitors and we want to win. And it’s appropriate that I’ve got CRAFTSMAN on my Toyota Camry this Sunday at Texas. I moved into a new house this week and between putting furniture together, hanging stuff up and even fixing a few things that broke, if I wasn’t carrying a box I was carrying a screwdriver or a wrench. iRacing practice time took a backseat to the move, so I hope my limited practice time doesn’t show up in the race.”
- Jones started 25th and finished 10th in last week’s eNASCAR iRacing Pro Invitational Series race at Homestead.
- Jones dusted off his iRacing skills for Homestead, as the race marked his return to iRacing after a lengthy layoff. In a tweet before the race, Jones said, “The last time I went iRacing, there was a solar eclipse. So, yeah, two rare events. Don’t miss this one!” For those wondering, the last solar eclipse in the U.S. happened on Aug. 21, 2017. Jones was 24 races into his rookie season in the NASCAR Cup Series.
- In actual NASCAR Cup Series racing at Texas, Jones has three top-five and five top-10 finishes in seven career starts.
- Jones’ best Texas finish is fourth, earned three straight times (April 2018, November 2018 and March 2019.)
- In Jones’ last five starts at Texas, he has finished in the top-10 each time.
- Jones is a three-time Xfinity Series winner at Texas. He won in his first Xfinity Series start at Texas on April 10, 2015. Jones then swept Texas’ 2017 slate of Xfinity Series races.
- Jones has six career Xfinity Series starts at Texas and has never finished lower than fourth. And he’s qualified on the front row in every start except one, when he qualified third for the November 2015 race.
- Jones is also a Truck Series winner at Texas. His third and most recent Truck Series start at Texas came in November 2015 and it ended in victory lane. It was Jones’ seventh career Truck Series win. Jones has only made two Truck Series starts since – one in 2016 and one in 2018. He scored top-10s in both.
— Joe Gibbs Racing —