eNASCAR iRacing Pro Invitational Series – Advance
Track: Virtual North Wilkesboro Speedway(.625-mile)
Teams: No. 6 Acronis/Nutrien Ag eFord, No. 17 Fastenal eFord
Drivers: Ross Chastain (No. 6), Chris Buescher (No. 17)
Twitter: @RoushFenway, @Roush6Team, @17RoushTeam
Hashtag: #ProInvitationalSeries, #eNASCAR
eNASCAR iRacing Pro Invitational Series – Saturday, May 9 at 3 p.m. ET on FOX Broadcast Network, FS1, FOX Sports App
· The eNASCAR iRacing Pro Invitational Series concludes this weekend with the much-anticipated return to North Wilkesboro Speedway, a .625-mile track roughly 80 miles from Charlotte that once featured the stars of NASCAR.
· To date, the series mirrored the would-be NASCAR Cup Series schedule and garnered close to 7 million viewers through six weeks. The return to North Wilkesboro is in large part thanks to the efforts of Dale Earnhardt Jr., and a group of volunteers from the racing industry, who paid a visit to the oval back in December to clean up the vacant facility and prep the track for iRacing action. Chris Buescher, who has never turned a lap at the track, was part of the group that initially assisted in those efforts. · The spin-off series that iRacing and others teamed up to create – Saturday Night Thunder – also concludes this weekend with a Friday night race at Martinsville Speedway, where the NASCAR Cup Series was set to be this weekend for a special Saturday night race. Drivers from the ARCA Menards Series, NASCAR Xfinity Series, NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series, and other regional series will continue to contest that event.
· Saturday’s event from North Wilkesboro will feature traditional time-trial qualifying set to determine the projected 30-car field. Drivers will once again have one available reset at their disposal in the 160-lap event.
History at North Wilkesboro
· North Wilkesboro Speedway was part of NASCAR’s first Strictly Stock (now called the Cup Series) season in 1949. The venue last hosted NASCAR’s top division in 1996.
· Jack Roush has two wins all time at North Wilkesboro – both from Mark Martin – in 30 events from 1988-96. Martin went to victory lane in the fall of 1990 after nearly winning the spring race, leading 103 laps in that event after starting from the pole.
· The Hall of Famer also won again in the fall of 1995 after leading 126 laps. Overall, Roush had 14 top-10s at the facility with four different drivers (Martin, Jeff Burton, Ted Musgrave, Wally Dallenbach Jr.).
Buescher at North Wilkesboro Speedway
· Like most of the field in Saturday’s event, Buescher has never turned laps from North Wilkesboro, but was part of the volunteer crew to pay a visit to the historic facility back in December to make iRacing possible at the .625-mile track.
· Through six weeks in the #ProInvitationalSeries, Buescher has finishes of 28th, 18th, 23rd, 21st, 29th and 35th.
Chastain at North Wilkesboro Speedway
· Chastain has finishes of 14th, 22nd, 16th, 13th, 27th and 17th in the #ProInvitationalSeries.
On the eCars
RFR team partner Acronis – paired with Nutrien Ag Solutions from Chastain’s Xfinity Series entry – will ride on the No. 6 eMustang. Longtime RFR partner Fastenal will be riding along with Buescher on the No. 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.