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Finish Line 150

eNASCAR iRacing Pro Invitational Series / Saturday Night Thunder News & Notes – Virtual Dover International Speedway


eNASCAR iRacing Pro Invitational Series
Next Race: eNASCAR Finish Line 150
The Place: Virtual Dover International Speedway
The Date: Sunday, May 3
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 Dover International Speedway
The Date: Saturday, May 2
The Time: 8 p.m. ET
Online: enascar.com/live, NASCAR’s YouTube Channel
Distance: Four heat races – 10 laps each; One LCQ – 15 laps; Main Event – 125 laps

What’s going on in the Pro Invitational Series to date?

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.

The third race of the series was at virtual Bristol Motor Speedway, where iRacing veteran William Byron took the checkered flag. Next, the series went to virtual Richmond Raceway, where Byron once again took the checkered flag and won back-to-back races. Last weekend’s race at virtual Talladega Superspeedway was won by Alex Bowman.

Corey LaJoie finished runner-up, Ryan Preece finished third, Garrett Smithley finished fourth and Landon Cassill rounded out the top five. Jeff Gordon, who had only been in the iRacing broadcast booth, got behind the wheel of the No. 24 over the weekend and made his iRacing debut. After some on-track incidents, he finished 38th.

The series’ opening event on March 22, won by three-time Daytona 500 winner Denny Hamlin, drew 903,000 viewers on FS1. The second series race at Texas Motor Speedway, won by Timmy Hill, drew 1.3 million viewers. Bristol’s virtual race drew 1.179 million viewers and got a 0.81 rating, won by Byron. Richmond’s virtual event, also won by Byron, earned 971,000 viewers and was the second-most watched sports event of the weekend.

Most recently, Talladega’s virtual event earned 1.24 million viewers and is the second-highest viewed NASCAR iRacing event so far.

This weekend, the series heads to the Monster Mile to take on the virtual 1-mile oval at 1 p.m. ET on FOX, FS1 and FOX Sports app.

Pro Invitational Series charitable efforts
This weekend at virtual Dover International Speedway, the charity partner for response to COVID-19 is the Bayhealth Foundation in partnership with The NASCAR Foundation. Donations to the Bayhealth Foundation will support ongoing efforts to support the Bayhealth Hospital and media staff that are involved in the COVID-19 testing at Dover International Speedway.

The donations will also benefit the Bayhealth Foundation’s mobile testing, protection equipment and the media supplies needed during the pandemic.

Donations can be made by visiting https://www.NASCARfoundation.org/response.

eNASCAR Finish Line free-to-play game

Want to win $5,000? eNASCAR Finish Line, a free-to-play game where you can enter various contests, view live tracking, and earn a chance to win a $5,000 jackpot is all available by the click of a button. All you have to do is download the app (click here) and one fan could be the next big winner.

Byron’s Dover paint scheme with Voltatex
This weekend, William Byron and the No. 24 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet will sport their Axalta paint scheme with a special nod to Voltatex. Voltatex has been working with Axalta on their PPE initiatives during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Axalta has increased the supply of its Voltatex electrical insulating resins to ensure its medical device customers are well equipped to rapidly produce life-saving equipment, such as ventilator motors and N95 facemasks, which are in high demand by hospitals globally during the coronavirus pandemic.

"Axalta’s Voltatex products are on the front lines in the fight against COVID-19," said Dave Heflin, Axalta’s Vice President, Global Industrial Liquid Coatings. "As a supplier to medical device companies globally, we are manufacturing more product so that our customers can continue to ramp up production of critical ventilators and N95 facemasks for hospitals around the world."

Saturday Night Thunder at Dover International Speedway

NASCAR and iRacing introduced Saturday Night Thunder in the beginning of April to allow drivers from all series to race during the real-time racing break. The inaugural event at Bristol Motor Speedway ARCA cars. This weekend’s race at virtual Dover will mark the fourth installment of the event and 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.

This weekend Saturday Night Thunder will return for a 125-lap main feature at virtual Dover International Speedway.

This weekend iRacing is also introducing webcams into the stream for the first time.

The top-five finishers from last weekend’s race at virtual Talladega will start at the rear of the field (Landon Huffman, Josh Berry, Joe Graf Jr., Tommy Joe Martins, Spencer Boyd.) The field of drivers will have one hour-long practice and a one-lap, single-car qualifying effort.

From there, the format will feature four 10-lap heat races with 12 cars possible in each heat. Six cars advance to the main event from each heat. There will also be one 15-lap last chance qualifier with two drivers transferring. In the case there are is an entry list of more than 40 drivers, there will be a second LCQ. The main event will have an entry list of 26 cars. The event will be live streamed at 8 p.m. ET on Saturday, May 2, 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.: Three-minute, one-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 20 cars will advance from each heat.

  • Top six drivers will advance depending on how many cars enter.

  • Heats will set the starting grid for main race with a field of 26 cars.

  • Heats will be followed by a 15-lap last chance qualifier. There will only be a second one if over 40 cars are entered.

  • Main event will be 125 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 eNASCAR Finish Line 150 will feature a two-lap, single-car qualifying session with the top 10 inverted to set the grid for the main feature event.

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 field will consist of a 39-driver entry list. The top-three finishers for Talladega (Alex Bowman, Corey LaJoie, Ryan Preece) will be relegated to the back of the starting lineup and will not make a qualifying attempt.

Drivers will be allowed one reset this week at virtual Dover International Speedway with manual cautions. If a car is damaged, drivers must drive back to their pit stall and come to a complete stop. This will automatically apply the fast repair and give the driver a new car.

The below times are approximate and subject to change:

12 p.m. – Practice session goes live

12:50 p.m. – Qualifying (Two laps, single-car with top 10 inverted)

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

1:13 p.m. – Green flag (150 laps)

— NASCAR —