When the COVID-19 pandemic hit the United States, the NTT INDYCAR SERIES halted their season prior to the first green flag of 2020 dropping. With over a month without Indy car racing after what should have been the season opener, the Series began brainstorming how to keep fans engaged, drivers entertained and attempt to provide a live sporting event for spectators in what is now a virtual world.
That's when iRacing came into play. Virtual racing with familiar tracks, little-to-no cautions, and wrecks that can be fixed almost instantly to (sometimes) get a car back on track and complete the race. The first event was held at Watkins Glen International followed by events at Barber Motorsports Park, Michigan Speedway, Twin Ring Motegi, Circuit of the Americas and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. INDYCAR welcomed guest drivers such as Dale Earnhardt Jr., Jimmie Johnson, Kyle Busch and Lando Norris.
Professional race car drivers turned amateur virtual racers made for some entertaining content. Tempers flared, un-realistic moves were made, and anger management classes were encouraged during the length of the virtual series. However, some great things came out of these odd circumstances.
Graham Rahal and Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing's sponsor, United Rentals, vowed to their standard commitment of donating $50 to Turns For Troops for every lap Rahal completes on track. Only the NTT INDYCAR SERIES sanctioned events were eligible and of the 390 laps total, Graham completed 388, raising a total of $19,400 for Turns For Troops.
With the iRacing action complete, the drivers and teams now look forward to the (new) season opener of the 2020 NTT INDYCAR SEREIES season.