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Toyota Owners 150

Richmond eNASCAR iRacing Pro Invitational and Saturday Night Thunder News & Notes


eNASCAR iRacing Pro Invitational Series
Next Race: Toyota Owners 150
The Place: Virtual Richmond Raceway
The Date: Sunday, April 19
The Time: 1 p.m. ET
TV: FOX (where available and subject to change), FS1 and FOX Sports App
Distance: 150 Laps

Saturday Night Thunder
The Place: Virtual Richmond Raceway
The Date: Saturday, April 4
The Time: 8 p.m. ET
Online: enascar.com/live
Distance: Four heat races – 10 Laps; Last Chance Qualifier – 16 Laps; Main Event – 125 Laps

Going green at virtual Richmond!

While NASCAR’s on-track activity has been postponed through the weekend of May 3rd to align with CDC guidance, drivers and fans are turning to the virtual world to see some of the best racing competition around.

NASCAR, iRacing and FOX Sports teamed up to deliver the first-ever eNASCAR iRacing Pro invitational Series event, the Dixie Vodka 150, at virtual Homestead-Miami Speedway after all national pro sports were put on hold due to the pandemic a few weeks ago. FOX Sports later committed to covering the remainder of the season, which began Sunday, March 29, at 1 p.m. ET from virtual Texas Motor Speedway. Two weeks ago, the series went to battle at virtual Bristol Motor Speedway, where ultimately William Byron took the checkered flag.

After a brief break last weekend in observance of the Easter holiday, the eNASCAR iRacing Pro Invitational Series is back in action this Sunday at virtual Richmond Raceway.

Entitled FOX NASCAR iRacing, the races will be simulcast on the FOX broadcast network where available, FS1 and the FOX Sports app. Races will also be available in Canada through FOX Sports Racing.

The most recent race of the series, the 150-lap virtual race event at Bristol Motor Speedway, was full of excitement. Veteran iRacer Byron won the pole award and led a majority of the race en route to his 293rd iRacing win.

John Hunter Nemechek finished second to Byron, Timmy Hill, the Texas race winner, finished third, Denny Hamlin finished fourth and Matt DiBenedetto rounded out the top five.

The series inaugural event on March 22, won by three-time Daytona 500 winner Hamlin, drew 903,000 viewers on FS1. The second series race at Texas Motor Speedway, won by Hill, drew 1.3 million viewers.

Bristol’s virtual race drew 1.179 million viewers and got a 0.81 rating.

Sunday’s Toyota Owners 150 at Richmond Raceway (1 p.m. ET on FOX, FS1, FOX Sports App) will once again feature FOX NASCAR broadcasters Jeff Gordon, Mike Joy and Larry McReynolds calling the action, as well as Clint Bowyer serving as the in-race analyst.

Saturday Night Thunder at Richmond Raceway

Two weeks ago marked the introduction of a new iRacing event, Saturday Night Thunder, that used ARCA cars. This weekend’s race at virtual Richmond will use NASCAR Xfinity Series cars including the Supra, Mustang and Camaro.

The Saturday Night Thunder entry list includes drivers from the NASCAR Cup Series, NASCAR Xfinity Series, NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series, ARCA Menards Series, NASCAR PEAK Mexico Series and NASCAR Whelen Euro Series.

The format will be similar to short-track events and will feature multiple heat races and one main event. The event will be live streamed at 8 p.m. ET on Saturday, April 18, on enascar.com/live, and on NASCAR’s YouTube channel.

The format will be as follows (all times ET):

7 p.m.: One-hour practice session

8 p.m.: Stream starts on eNASCAR.com/NASCAR YouTube Channel

8:05 p.m.: Two-lap single-car qualifying session. This will set the starting grid for the heats.

8:08 p.m.:

  • Heat 1 starts. All heats will be 10 laps with no cautions and one reset. There will be four heats and six cars will advance from each heat.
  • Heats will immediately be followed by one Last Chance Qualifier. This will be 15 laps with no cautions. Top two drivers will advance to main event.
  • Heats will set the starting grid for main race with a field of 26 cars.
  • Main event will be 150 laps with manual cautions and one reset. There will also be three attempts at a green-white-checkered finish.

Sunday’s run of show and race format

Sunday’s Toyota Owners 150 will be preceded by a Richmond Qualifier race of 13 drivers who are not locked in, giving them a chance to race their way into the main event. A two-lap qualifying session will set the grid for the qualifying race. The qualifier race will be 25 laps with no cautions or resets. The top two finishers will transfer to the main event and then two additional provisionals will be chosen by FOX.

The main race will be a total of 150 laps with double-file restarts and lapped cars will go to the rear. There will be three attempts at a green-white-checkered finish, if necessary. The locked entry list consists of a tentative 26-car lineup with the format being the default iRacing Richmond setup. But, after Sunday morning’s qualifier race, the main event with feature 30 cars.

Drivers will be allowed no resets this week at virtual Richmond Raceway.

The below times are approximate and subject to change:

10 a.m. – Practice session goes live

10:30 a.m. – Two-lap qualifying session begins to set grid for Richmond Qualifier (Three minutes)

10:33 a.m. – 25-lap Richmond Qualifier race (Four drivers will advance to 1 p.m. main event)

12:50 p.m. – Qualifying (Three minutes, two laps)

1:00 p.m. – FOX, FS1, FOX Sports App broadcast begins

1:13 p.m. – Green flag (150 laps)

Statistical Notes

A wide range of drivers with various experience both at Richmond Raceway and in iRacing will be contending in this Sunday’s Toyota Owners 150 in the fourth race of the eNASCAR iRacing Pro Invitational Series (1 p.m. ET on FOX – where available and subject to change, FS1 and the FOX Sports app).

Below is a list of anticipated participants (listed numerically), their statistics, and career highlights, for the fourth race of the series.

Entry lists (lists are subject to change):

Invited Drivers:

#1 Kurt Busch

#2 Brad Keselowski

#3 Austin Dillon

#4 Kevin Harvick

#6 Ross Chastain

#9 Chase Elliott

#11 Denny Hamlin

#12 Ryan Blaney

#13 Ty Dillon

#14 Clint Bowyer

#17 Chris Buescher

#18 Kyle Busch

#20 Erik Jones

#21 Matt DiBennedetto

#22 Joey Logano

#24 William Byron

#31 Tyler Reddick

#37 Ryan Preece

#38 John Hunter Nemechek

#43 Bubba Wallace

#48 Jimmie Johnson

#51 Garrett Smithley

#66 Timmy Hill

#77 Parker Kligerman

#88 Alex Bowman

#95 Christopher Bell

Qualifying Race Entries:

#00 Quin Houff

#8 Dale Earnhardt Jr

#15 Brennan Poole

#19 Bobby Labonte

#32 Corey LaJoie

#34 Michael McDowell

#41 Cole Custer

#47 Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

#49 Chad Finchum

#52 JJ Yeley

#53 Joey Gase

#89 Landon Cassill

#96 Daniel Suarez

— NASCAR —