The eNASCAR IGNITE Series, the first-ever online youth racing series on iRacing, begins its 2019 playoffs tonight with the first round of action taking place at the virtual Richmond Raceway.
Over the next six weeks, 50 drivers between the ages of 13 and 16 will battle it out in five playoff events for the chance at the 2019 eNASCAR IGNITE Series championship, as well as a $10,000 racing scholarship and a test day in a NASCAR Pinty’s Series racecar with Canada’s Best Racing Team.
“The eNASCAR IGNITE Series has been an exciting addition to the iRacing family,” said iRacing president Tony Gardner. “These races have attracted hundreds of promising young talents to the iRacing service, and the action only gets more exciting this year with the introduction of the Modifieds to the playoffs. We can’t wait to see who earns this year’s title and follow along with their racing career!”
“The IGNITE Series is a key part of the eNASCAR framework, and we’re looking forward to the beginning of the 2019 playoffs tonight at Richmond,” said Tim Clark, Senior Vice President and Chief Digital Officer, NASCAR. “IGNITE has already helped identify a number of gifted young drivers and given them a platform to pursue a NASCAR career. We’re looking forward to watching the sport’s potential future stars over the next few weeks and crowning the 2019 champion in September.”
Drivers worldwide signed up to compete in eight weeks of the regular season, which featured Legends cars competing on a diverse mix of ovals and road courses. The top 50 point scorers from these races were selected to advance to the playoffs, which will feature the introduction of the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour cars, a key stepping stone in the careers of top NASCAR drivers like Ryan Preece, who won the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour championship in 2013.
Richmond marks the first of five playoff races and will introduce a new heat racing format to the IGNITE Series. Drivers will be broken up into five heat races featuring 10-lap heats with 10 cars each, with the top three drivers from each heat advancing to a 30-lap main event. Winners of a pair of 12-lap last-chance qualifiers will complete the 17-car main event. The top 30 drivers in points after four playoff rounds will advance to the winner-take-all championship race at Martinsville Speedway on September 12.
Last year’s inaugural season of the eNASCAR IGNITE Series saw great success. Champion Zack Novak currently competes for Roush Fenway Racing in the eNASCAR PEAK Antifreeze iRacing Series, iRacing’s premier stock car World Championship series. Other notable participants in the first two seasons of the IGNITE Series include fellow PEAK Series driver and playoff contender Garrett Lowe and 2019 NASCAR Drive for Diversity Youth Driver Development Program member Rajah Caruth.
The eNASCAR IGNITE Series playoffs can be seen on Thursday nights at 8pm ET on the iRacing eSports Network on Facebook, Twitch, and YouTube. For more information, visit www.enascar.com and www.iracing.com/ignite.