Joining a flurry of popular cars due in the 2023 Season 2 build, iRacing will release an all-new Late Model Stock car in time for the new season in March. The car will be used in-sim in the iRacing CARS Late Model Stock Tour, the result of a new partnership agreement that will also make iRacing the Official Racing Game of the CARS Tour.
iRacing’s updated Late Model Stock is based on JR Motorsports’ CARS Late Model Stock Tour entry, which won both the driver and owner championships last year with Carson Kvapil. Weighing in at 3100 pounds, the Late Model Stock produces more than 400 horsepower and features fiberglass body panels designed to take the abuse of wheel-to-wheel short track racing. Dale Earnhardt Jr., iRacing executive director and owner of both JR Motorsports and the CARS Tour, was hands-on in the development of the car, spending hours testing and giving feedback to help tune the car to match its real-world counterpart.
“Late model racing is taking a big step forward in 2023, and it’s awesome to have iRacing be a part of that,” Earnhardt Jr. said. “The Late Model Stock is a blast to drive in the real world, and I can’t wait for people to have that same experience in iRacing. It’s also great to be able to bring iRacing and the CARS Tour together—it adds further legitimacy to the in-sim product, while also giving CARS Tour fans an official home for their sim racing fix. We’re really excited about the future and can’t wait for the car to drop as part of 2023 Season 2!”
Kvapil and JR Motorsports will kick off their CARS Late Model Stock Tour title defense in the car on March 11 at Southern National Motorsports Park, one of many CARS Tour venues currently represented on iRacing. Other playable CARS Tour venues on the sim include Hickory Motor Speedway, Langley Speedway, South Boston Speedway, and North Wilkesboro Speedway, which makes its return to the series in May as part of NASCAR’s All-Star week. In real-world CARS Tour events, iRacing logos will be present on every car, and iRacing will also sponsor the Halfway Lap Leader Award at each race.
When released, the new Late Model Stock will replace the Chevrolet Monte Carlo SS, which will be retired and no longer selectable. Previous owners of the Chevrolet Monte Carlo SS will receive the Late Model Stock for free. However, iRacers who would like to retain their replays using the old car are advised to capture photo and video content before the 2023 Season 2 build, as those replays will no longer function. In addition, AI will immediately be available for the Late Model Stock, but users will need to recreate their AI rosters and paints to be able to use them with the new car.