With NASCAR postponed through May 3, iRacing has been a great outlet for people to continue to get their racing fix either by participating online as driver or as a spectator.
Several in the NASCAR industry came together this past Sunday to run the “The Replacements 100” at Atlanta Motor Speedway on iRacing, which was broadcasted on Twitch by Podium eSports.
The 100-lap race featured NASCAR drivers, crew chiefs, spotters along with former Chicago Bear Kyle Long and country music star Tim Dugger.
Ryan Blaney’s spotter Josh Williams took home the checkered flag in the race ahead of Cup Series driver William Byron. Williams was driving the No. 12 Ford that resembled the Advance Auto Parts car that Blaney was scheduled to drive in the Cup race at Atlanta.
“It was something we kind of put together last minute to have something just to give everybody,” Williams said. “It was a lot of fun to get a bunch of drivers and a bunch of people just working in the NASCAR community together to race on iRacing.”
Audio: Williams on NASCAR Live
Williams competes in about 20 online races a week. In fact, the driver he raced hard for the win on Sunday is one that he often competes with on a weekly basis.
“I would say I probably spend two or three hours a night a couple nights a week while we are home,” Williams said. “Me and William we are probably the most regular (online) in the NASCAR community. We’re on there a lot of times together. So people that watched the race watched us race pretty hard. That’s pretty normal for us.”
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The Replacements 100 was put together quickly to give the fans some alternative programing because the Atlanta race was postponed.
“It started with TJ Majors and Kevin Hamlin,” Williams said. “They already run a little racing group on Wednesday nights with some of the JR Motorsports people. So it started with them kind of getting their group together and wanting to race. Then they wanted to make it as big as it could so they started contacting every driver and crew chief and people that work in NASCAR. So it started with those guys. I guess Saturday morning I got a text if I would want to do it. I’m like sure why not.”
Due to the popularity of the Replacements 100 there could be more races in the next month.
“The race we did Sunday was just a one-off deal and then it blew up into be something so big that now there’s people contacting wanting us to do it more often,” Williams said. “Right now, we don’t have a set plan for when we’re going to do it again, but there’s definitely talks about doing it.
“I know a lot more drivers are actually interested in trying to get involved. There’s more pit crew guys and road crew guys that are wanting to get involved too. So I think it will get bigger from here.”
Update: NASCAR, iRacing Form Invitational Series
While some drivers and eNASCAR racers have pretty impressive setups to race online, it doesn’t take much to get started with iRacing.
“The range is pretty wide,” Williams said. “You can get started running on a laptop and a wheel that clamps to a desk and spend two hundred bucks to get started. Ty Majeski is the highest ranked guy on there and he’s probably got the cheapest set up of anybody that I know and that’s just what he’s used to and he does great with it, obviously.”
Update: The Replacements returns as an eight-race series beginning this Tuesday at 9 p.m. ET. The races will run every-other Tuesday night alternating between Cup cars and street stocks.
Good news: #TheReplacements returns as an eight-race series beginning this Tuesday at 9pm ET. We’ll run every-other Tuesday night alternating between Cup cars and street stocks, with an official @iRacing stream.
We kick off in the Cup cars at Kansas this week!
— Kevin Hamlin (@KevinHamlin) March 20, 2020