Fantasy NASCAR iRacing? That’s right, race fans. While real-life engines sit silent in NASCAR garages, some sites and apps have offered some fantasy and prop betting for iRacing.
NASCAR relaunched their free-to-play Finish Line app for iOS and Android devices for those 21 and over. In this game, you can choose the top-finishing driver from four options. After picking six drivers (one from each group), you will then predict who will place first and second in Sunday’s (April 5) race at virtual Bristol Motor Speedway. According to the app, the top 100 fans win a guaranteed prize, and those who earn 500 points win or split the $5,000 jackpot.
Another game available for U.S. users outside of Washington state is the FOX Sports Super 6 app (though the app icon says FOX Bet Super 6). It, too, is free to play and awards a $5,000 jackpot to those who get all six correct. If no one gets all six right, then $1,000 will be split among users with the next highest correct picks.
This week the app has Timmy Hill, Chase Elliott, Denny Hamlin, Joey Logano, Bubba Wallace and Clint Bowyer. You can choose where you think each driver will end the race by sliding the bar under “Finish Place” to the range you want. Positions one-30 are separated in increments of five, while 31-40 is the final range.
Finally, if IndyCar iRacing is more your thing, go to fantasy.indycar.com to compete in INDYCAR’s iRacing Fantasy Challenge. There are five rounds left in the series and Saturday’s race is at virtual Barber Motorsports Park. You choose a team of four drivers that will total no more than $100. Drivers earn points for finishing position and bonus points for winning the pole, leading a lap, leading the most laps and those on the podium. There will be 10 winners each round, so make your picks at least 15 minutes before each event. See the website rules link for further details.
Now, here are a few iRacing Pro Invitational Series drivers to look for when making your props this weekend.
Byron is well-known for his iRacing prowess. The NASCAR Cup Series No. 24 Hendrick Motorsports driver has 292 career wins across 1,467 iRacing starts prior to Texas Motor Speedway. Last week, he led a whopping 80 out of 125 circuits and put himself in position to win. However, he was “boot-scootin’ boogied” out of Hill’s way in the closing laps and ended in seventh place.
Sportsbettingdime.com has both Byron and Hill at +400 this week and “Willy B” will need a better finish to avoid being beaten again by Hill, who’s finished top five in the first two eNASCAR races of the season and owns a win percentage of nearly 40% in his iRacing career.
While Byron’s real-life Bristol statistics aren’t stellar, he should still remain competitive near the front of the pack for your fantasy NASCAR iRacing roster.
In his return to the simulated NASCAR circuit, Earnhardt has led several laps in each Pro Invitational Series event. He also has two finishes of sixth or greater in his No. 8 car. The first of these came at Homestead-Miami Speedway two weeks ago, a race where Hamlin narrowly beat him across the finish line. In 91 iRacing starts, Earnhardt’s done well, earning 11 wins and 44 top-five finishes. He has a good chance to gain another top 10 among a somewhat-inexperienced field this weekend.
Additionally, Earnhardt has a real-life victory at Bristol, although it was way back in 2004. Still, he did finish second to Carl Edwards in 2016 and has a history of short-track success at other places.
Cassill finished fourth in last Sunday’s race at Texas. Though widely known as an underdog, he does have 26 top fives in 44 iRacing events. Also, while driving for StarCom Racing he finished several positions greater than where he began in the past four races at Bristol. One of those was a 20th! With equipment on par with the best drivers this time, Cassill should be one to watch out for as a strong top-five contender.
Jones ended the O’Reilly Auto Parts 125 in 10th place, much better than his first round at Homestead. However, it’s his real-life statistics at Bristol that prove intriguing. During his rookie Cup Series season in 2017, Jones led 260 laps en route to a runner-up finish. He also finished fifth in 2018 there, and although last season was disappointing, the short-track package is different this year, evening the playing field further in iRacing. Jones just might earn another top 10 at the Last Great Colosseum.
I know, Busch hasn’t performed up to his championship caliber yet, the result of limited iRacing experience… but hear me out. Busch improved upon his dismal result in the Pro Invitational Series opener to run 17th at Texas. Though his tendency to get caught up in big incidents makes him a risky pick, Busch’s competitive fire runs deep and he’s anxious to get up to speed.
Now, the driver heads to a track where he’s conquered eight races in the real world. Three of those Bristol victories came within the last five events.
Could Busch be a risk worth taking? We’ll find out Sunday. But I wouldn’t hesitate!