iRacing is fun but it won’t carry teams for much longer

NASCAR drivers have switched to virtual racing to keep fans entertained, but as no racing continues, smaller racing teams begin to feel the pain.

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March 31, 2020 - 12:26 PM

In an image that was computer generated in-game, Garrett Smithley, driver of the No. 51 Chevrolet, leads the field at the start of the eNASCAR iRacing Pro Invitational Series Dixie Vodka 150 at virtual Homestead-Miami Speedway on March 22, 2020, in Homestead, Fla. Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images/TNS

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Virtual racing has been the small saving grace for motorsports since the coronavirus pandemic brought nearly everything to a halt.

Timmy Hill’s iRacing victory on national television gave the journeyman driver and his sponsors exposure they would never receive during a normal NASCAR weekend.

“What I’ll gain from this is recognition. It’s hard to get that recognition because of the level of competition that we are in real life,” said Hill, who at 27 has bounced around NASCAR’s three national series since 2011 before making his first Daytona 500 this year.

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