Former, current NASCAR drivers give fans live iRacing event

Sports
Denny Hamlin

Denny Hamlin celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Daytona 500 auto race at Daytona International Speedway, Monday, Feb. 17, 2020, in Daytona Beach, Fla. Sunday’s race was postponed because of rain. (AP Photo/John Raoux)

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – NASCAR gave fans a much-needed live racing event, in the form of virtual iRacing.

Thirty-five current and former NASCAR drivers participated from race simulators at their houses and the whole race was broadcasted on national television, complete with race commentators and in-race interviews with the drivers.

Jeff Gordon and Mike Joy were in the booth doing the broadcasting for the live streaming event.

It was a 100-lap race, run at the Miami-Homestead virtual track. There were cautions, pit stops, the whole 9-yards, which made it feel like an actual race.

In the final lap, it came-down to Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Denny Hamlin battling it out into turn four, where Hamlin edged-out Junior to take the checkered flag. Earnhardt Jr. said after the race that he and Hamlin had been iRacing against each other for several years and that Hamlin was one of the best NASCAR drivers at virtual racing.

Better yet, in addition to giving fans some racing excitement and access to see their favorite drivers during this coronavirus pandemic, Hamlin pledged to donate money to families in the Homestead-Miami area who have been impacted by COVID-19.

The Joe Gibbs Racing driver, who was instrumental in making this event become a reality, pledged $100 for every lap led and $5,000 if he won the race. Fellow driver, Kevin Harvick, and FOX Sports matched the pledge of $5,000 if Hamlin won.

The event even topped Twitter’s Trending category.

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