iRacing 101: The NASCAR iRacing Series and Other Year-Long Series

Welcome to iRacing 101, where each week we’ll go through some of the many features that make iRacing the World’s Premier Motorsport Simulation. From highlighting our features to some of the top series and forms of racing you’ll encounter when you get behind the wheel.

This week’s topic: What is the NASCAR iRacing Series, and how is it different from other series on iRacing? Are there any other series like it for other forms of racing?

Most iRacing series are run in 12-week cycles that begin in December, March, June, and September. The reset of these series coincides with every new iRacing build, or new content release.

The NASCAR iRacing Series (also known as NIS) is the highest-profile exception to this series model. It carries through multiple iRacing builds each year, instead closely mirroring the real-world NASCAR Cup Series calendar. Most of these events run half the distance of the real-world races, but a select few are run to a full race distance. For 2024, these races are the Daytona 500 in February, Coke 600 at Charlotte in May, Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis in July, and Bristol night race in September.

How can I compete in the NASCAR iRacing Series?

To be eligible to race in the NASCAR iRacing Series, you’ll need to get your Oval license up to C Class (or have a minimum 4.0 Safety Rating at D Class). From there, you’ll have two versions of the series to choose from: the Open version, where you supply your own car setup, and the Fixed one, where we supply it for you.

The NASCAR iRacing Series – Open runs on Thursdays at 2:00 and 19:00 GMT, Saturdays at 2:00 GMT, and Sundays at 15:00 GMT.

The NASCAR iRacing Series – Fixed runs on Wednesdays at 21:00 GMT, Fridays at 2:00 GMT, Saturdays at 10:00 and 17:00 GMT, and Mondays at 2:00 GMT.

Are there other series that follow the NASCAR iRacing Series model?

The iRacing Grand Prix Tour (which features both Open and Fixed series) and INDYCAR iRacing Series (Open only) apply the NIS model to two very different types of open-wheel racing. The minimum license requirements are the same for both, except this time you’ll need to meet them under our Formula Car license.

iRacing Grand Prix Tour

The iRacing Grand Prix Tour features iRacing’s most modern formula car, currently the Mercedes-AMG W13 E Performance. It’s modeled after the real-world Grand Prix season and features many of the same tracks in the real world, with the additional spaces filled in by other premier road and street courses from around the world. These races are run to their full real-world distances.

The iRacing Grand Prix Tour runs on Fridays at 10:00 and 19:00 GMT, Saturdays at 1:00 and 4:00 GMT, Sundays at 10:00 and 19:00 GMT, and Mondays at 1:00 and 4:00 GMT.

The iRacing Grand Prix Tour – Fixed runs on Thursdays at 10:00 and 19:00 GMT, Fridays at 1:00 and 4:00 GMT, Saturdays at 10:00 and 19:00 GMT, and Sundays at 1:00 and 4:00 GMT.

INDYCAR iRacing Series

If you’re looking to mix the best of both worlds—an open-wheel car, plus some ovals to go with your road courses—the INDYCAR iRacing Series is for you. Currently featuring the Dallara IR18, this schedule closely matches the real-world INDYCAR campaign, with a handful of tracks from the series’ storied history also included along the way. Most of these races are run to their full real-world distances.

The INDYCAR iRacing Series runs on Thursdays at 1:00 GMT, Fridays at 20:00 GMT, Saturdays at 18:00 GMT, and Sundays at 2:00 GMT.

Interested in learning more about iRacing? Click here for the full iRacing 101 archives!