What is IndyCar iRacing? How the virtual races work, drivers, full schedule & more

Coronavirus has shut down nearly all sporting events, but IndyCar fans can still get their racing fix — sort of.

Welcome to iRacing, an online motorsports simulation platform founded in 2004. With all IndyCar races canceled through the month of August, the league has partnered with iRacing and NBC to provide fans with entertainment in the meantime.

A six-race IndyCar iRacing Challenge began last weekend with a race at the virtual Watkins Glen International. This weekend’s race will be aired at 2:30 p.m. by NBCSN. NBC Sports’ lead IndyCar broadcast team of Leigh Diffey (play-by-play), Paul Tracy (analyst), and Townsend Bell (analyst) will call the action

Below is all you need to know about iRacing and the new series for virtual IndyCar races, including the schedule and the drivers participating.

What is iRacing?

It’s important to remember: this isn’t just a goofy racing video game like Need for Speed. It’s a realistic racing simulator.

Anybody can sign up to race at iRacing.com, but there are system requirements.

A description of iRacing, courtesy of its site:

“iRacing is the ultimate global racing portal. Whether you want to experience a NASCAR Cup car, a World of Outlaws Sprint car, an open-wheel IndyCar, an Australian Supercar, an IMSA prototype or Touring Car, or the ultimate: an FIA Grand Prix car, iRacing’s online racing simulations offer them all.

“All you need is a computer equipped with one or more USB ports, and a digital wheel/pedal, or gamepad backed by a high-speed internet connection. iRacing does the work for you by organizing and managing more than 50 official series, or you can choose to race in more than 400 private leagues or launch your own hosted events.”


iRacing was founded in 2004 by Dave Kaemmer, the co-founder of Papyrus Design Group, and John Henry, the principal owner of the Boston Red Sox and Liverpool Football Club as well as co-owner of NASCAR’s Roush Fenway Racing. iRacing.com has developed several formal partnerships, including with NASCAR, IndyCar, International Speedway Corporation, Speedway Motorsports, IMSA, World of Outlaws, Mazda Motorsports, McLaren Racing, Williams F1, Audi, BMW, Ferrari, Ford, Mercedes-Benz, Porsche, Volkswagen, the Skip Barber Racing School and General Motors.

INDYCAR iRacing Challenge schedule

What current drivers are in INDYCAR iRacing?

The entry list represents 15 different teams or organizations competing in the NTT IndyCar Series and a field of drivers that has amassed 189 NTT IndyCar Series victories and 14 series championships, including five-time series champion Scott Dixon and three-time Indianapolis 500 winner Ed Carpenter, who both joined this week.

In addition to the 28 IndyCar drivers, NASCAR driver Jimmie Johnson is also in the competition. Johnson finished 16th last weekend at Watkins Glen after starting 19th.

All IndyCar iRacing Challenge races are exhibition events, so the entry lists will vary each week. However, many current IndyCar drivers have committed to iRacing competition for the foreseeable future.

Below is the current field IndyCar drivers who are competing in the event on April 4.

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