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NASCAR goes online racing

Bill France Jr. had a vision 15 years ago that has lead to the formation of NASCAR iRacing.com Series. On Feb. 9, online racing competition will begin. The inaugural 18-race, 39-week NASCAR iRacing Drivers World Championship season will begin on that and will include 50 top drivers currently racing in iRacing's Pro Series. Among those drivers will be Dale Earnhardt Jr.


"Bill France Jr. was ahead of his time when he initially had the vision of an online racing series. Thanks to evolving technology NASCAR fans can virtually compete at their favorite track and have their chance to end up in a Victory Lane," NASCAR Senior Vice President Paul Brooks said.


There will be another series just below the World Championship for the top-250 oval-track iRacing drivers -- the NASCAR iRacing Pro Series. These competitors will begin competiting in May for eligibility in the 2011 NASCAR iRacing Drivers World Championship.


While the World Championship and Pro Series are limited to iRacing's top drivers, there will be five NASCAR amateur series that all NASCAR fans can participate in, providing they become members of the iRacing.com online service.


"We've created our online racing service for racers and fans," iRacing President Tony Gardner said. "We've done the hard work to make it simple and easy for NASCAR fans to join iRacing and get behind the wheel. You don't have to be a computer geek to do this. PC owners with a broadband connection, only need to purchase an inexpensive wheel-and-pedal set from their local consumer electronics store or online. In an hour, they can be racing. It's that simple. Everything an aspiring racer needs to know to get started is on our Web site, at www.iracing.com."


For everyone else, there will be four 12-week season each calendar year for series that feature modifieds, late models, the Camping World Truck Series, Nationwide Series cars, and Sprint Cup Series cars. Competitors will begin short track racing and then move up to the three real-world premier series of NASCAR -- Truck, Nationwide and Sprint Cup.


Unlike the real NASCAR world, unlimited testing is allowed.


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