Betting on virtual NASCAR races gets green flag

NASCAR

Start your engines and place your bets — Las Vegas is taking action on virtual NASCAR racing.

Nevada Gaming Control on Friday announced that the state’s sportsbooks could offer betting on the 2020 eNASCAR iRacing Pro Invitational Series, beginning with this weekend’s events from virtual Bristol Motor Speedway. It’s the first time Nevada sportsbooks have been allowed to take bets on a virtual auto-racing event.

The broadcasts of main-event races like Sunday’s “Food City Showdown presented M&Ms” (1 p.m., FOX, FS1) have generated interest. According to Nielsen Sports, last week’s race from the virtual Texas Motor Speedway drew a record 1.3 million viewers, the most ever for a televised esports event.

“During this time of uncertainty, eNASCAR has provided sports fans around the world with an exciting form of sports entertainment that is helping restore some normalcy to the weekend,” said Scott Warfield, NASCAR managing director of gaming. “Now, courtesy of our partners at Penn Interactive, fans can foster an even deeper connection with the new series and have even more incentive to tune into eNASCAR on FOX and FS1.”

NASCAR stars including Dale Earnhardt Jr., Kyle Busch, Denny Hamlin and Clint Boyer are competing in the eNASCAR series, competing gamers on the iRacing simulation platform.

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