eNASCAR iRacing Pro Invitational Series Race Preview: Darlington

The eNASCAR iRacing Pro Invitational Series continues to hit its stride with tonight’s visit to Darlington Raceway (8PM ET, FS1). The third round of the 2021 season brings drivers to the track where real-world racing resumed last spring after the extended pandemic-related pause in the world of sports, for 120 laps of wheel-to-wheel action on the Lady in Black.

The big story of the day, of course, is that NASCAR will be unveiling its Next Gen cars for the 2022 NASCAR Cup Series season today, and the Pro Invitational will be a part of that unveiling. Tonight’s field will be running the Next Gen cars virtually for the first time on Darlington, giving drivers and fans alike a preview of what to expect when the cars make their racing debut in time for next year’s Daytona 500.

William Byron and Brad Keselowski took the first two wins of the Pro Invitational season so far, with Byron surviving the heat races and unique challenge of Bristol Motor Speedway on the dirt in March and Keselowski outdueling a dominant James Davison and the rest of the field in the closing laps at Talladega Superspeedway two weeks ago. Darlington, however, is a whole different animal from either, splitting the difference in track length at 1.366 miles and rewarding those drivers who can push the limits by running the high line through its asymmetrical corners. It’ll also mark the final oval of the first half of the season, as road and street courses will comprise the next two events.

The real-world stars of the NASCAR Cup Series will once again comprise the majority of the field, with a handful of additions. Bobby Labonte will join Dale Earnhardt Jr. as this week’s promoter’s provisionals, while past Pro Invitational race winner Timmy Hill and Fan Vote winner Jesse Iwuji will complete the grid. Darlington will be Iwuji’s second event in a row as the driver voted into the field through a poll on eNASCAR.com that was run over the previous weekend.

eNASCAR iRacing Pro Invitational Series race action from Darlington Raceway will kick off at 8PM ET on FS1. The Pro Invitational and eNASCAR Coca-Cola iRacing Series for the world’s top sim racers will both descend on Circuit of the Americas for their next races, with the sim pros hitting COTA on May 18 at 9PM ET on eNASCAR.com/live and the real-world stars taking it on the next day at 7PM ET on FS1.

For more information on the eNASCAR iRacing Pro Invitational Series and eNASCAR Coca-Cola iRacing Series, visit www.eNASCAR.com. For more information on iRacing and for special offers, visit www.iracing.com.