eNASCAR series could conclude with North Wilkesboro finale
With NASCAR set to resume its 2020 racing schedule in about two weeks, Fox Sports has confirmed the innovative eNASCAR Pro Invitational Series will conclude on May 9 and it could be on a surprise track.
The esports series has been held every weekend since March 22, racing at the virtual track where NASCAR events were originally scheduled for that week. This weekend’s race will take place at virtual Dover (Del.) International Speedway and broadcast at 1 p.m. ET Sunday.
The final event of the series will be held at 3 p.m. ET Saturday, May 9, Fox confirmed. The series will not race on Mother’s Day and there are no plans to continue the series once real racing has resumed, a Fox spokesperson told Motorsport.com.
Fox is still considering the possibility of continuing in some fashion its current “Wednesday Night iRacing” TV block in the future. Of course, at least in the early-going, there will be several Cup races scheduled on Wednesday nights.
Martinsville (Va.) Speedway was the site of the original May 8-9 race weekend, but Fox currently has the virtual track listed as “TBA.”
Bringing North Wilkesboro back ... virtually
Sources have told Motorsport.com that there is an effort underway to attempt to run the race at virtual North Wilkesboro (N.C.) Speedway. The iconic track is scheduled to be added to the iRacing venues in June but the project should be completed in time to be utilized for the final broadcast of the eNASCAR series, sources said.
North Wilkesboro Speedway is a 0.625-mile oval. The track hosted its first NASCAR Cup Series race in 1949. Jeff Gordon, now a Fox broadcaster and NASCAR Hall of Fame member, won the final NASCAR race at the track in 1996.
After several efforts to return some forms of racing at the track, it was officially closed on May 9, 2011.
The five Fox broadcasts of the eNASCAR series thus far during the COVID-19 pandemic have become the top-five esports TV broadcasts of all time. The races have seen an average viewership of 1.135 million with a high of 1.353 million viewers for the event at virtual Texas on March 29.
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