‘Virtual racing is way harder’ Ricky Stenhouse Jr. talks new-look NASCAR

Sports

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – NASCAR has been presented with an interesting opportunity – it can be the only live-action sport right now.

Social distancing as a response to flattening the curve with COVID-19 has brought the sports world to a screeching halt.

“This is a bummer for everybody across the country and in all sports and obviously with the Olympics this summer getting postponed, it kind of put everything to a halt for everybody,” said NASCAR driver Ricky Stenhouse Jr. “So now we’re stuck in a spot here where nobody is getting any viewership.”

Except for NASCAR.

“For us to be able to go out and put on some races for our fans and maybe get some new fans to join in maybe, it is a good thing for us make sure to get out and do our part and continue to be a part of these races,” said Stenhouse Jr.

Sure there are no screaming fans, no real cars, and no pit crews, but the action continues through iRacing. The eNascar iRacing Pro Invitational Series has kept the spirit of live-action races alive while everyone is practicing social distancing.

This isn’t as simple as a video game and a controller, the drivers use serious equipment to mimic actual racing. The virtual tracks were made by scanning actual tracks so they both look and feel identical to the actual race tracks. Even the quirks like random bumps in the road are included.

The next race is at virtual Texas Motor Speedway for the O’Reilly Auto Parts 125. You can watch it on FOX and FS1 this Sunday at 12 p.m CT.

Full interview with Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

Stay with News 2 for continuing coverage of the COVID-19 Pandemic.

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