Auto racing is the first sport to fire back up in the United States. Well, kind of. In lieu of actual driving at the track, NASCAR and other series have turned to virtual racing.
Last weekend, Denny Hamlin won the inaugural Pro Invitational Series event on the Miami Homestead Speedway -- all from the comfort of his home.
"iRacing is helping us coordinate all of this and it's only going to get bigger and better," said NASCAR driver Kyle Busch.
Just over 900,000 people watched last week's caution-filled electronic NASCAR event broadcasted on FS1. On Sunday, they'll race virtually at Texas. Suddenly, NASCAR is being viewed as cutting edge.
IndyCar plans to run six e-races starting with this one at Watkins Glenn. Recently retired stock car legend Jimmie Johnson jumped into the online-mix despite having never won at the New York Track in real life.
"I've been drinking out of a fire hose trying to understand rigs and iRacing and simulation and chat rooms. I'm still pretty far behind and I feel like there are a few other drivers in the same boat." Johnson finished 31st at Homestead and 16th, two-laps down in the virtual IndyCar inaugural race. Sage Karam finished 1st.
There are many creative advantages to virtual eSports. Quick-change paint schemes, no weather delays and no need for paramedics. It looks like a great way to fill the gap in our deprived sports world.
NASCAR, IndyCar are back on the track with iRacing events