AVONDALE, ARIZONA - MARCH 08: Chase Elliott, driver of the #9 UniFirst Chevrolet, drives during the NASCAR Cup Series FanShield 500 at Phoenix Raceway on March 08, 2020 in Avondale, Arizona.
(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

It’s been over nine days since there have been any live sports to discuss, but on Sunday, FS1 will broadcast a virtual NASCAR race.

Frank Curto

So who is suffering from S.W.S — Sports Withdrawl Syndrome? This unfortunate issue is defined as “The inability to watch any live sporting event.”

Sports serve as a platform to distance one’s self from the problems of everyday life, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, which is beginning to turn our world upside down. Simply speaking, fear and anxiety are starting to overcome us. Everyone is in dire need of something to distract them from this nightmare we never saw coming.

Luckily, Fox Sports is pairing with NASCAR and iRacing to hold the first-ever eNASCAR event on Sunday. The eNASCAR iRacing Pro Invitational Series can be watched on both FS1 and the FOX Sports app and will take place at 1:30 p.m. ET.

The event will have the regular cast of characters calling the race from the virtual Homestead-Miami Speedway. FOX NASCAR broadcasters Jeff Gordon, Mike Joy, and Larry McReynolds will be live and on-hand for all fans and spectators.

The 90-minute, simulation-style event will have a lineup of drivers and encompass numerous competitors, such as NASCAR Xfinity Series, NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series, along with a collection of different NASCAR dignitaries.

NASCAR favorite and current NBC broadcaster Dale Earnhardt Jr., along with NASCAR Hall of Fame driver Bobby Labonte, will headline a popular lineup. This event will also include two-time NASCAR champion Kyle Busch, 2012 champion Brad Keselowski, 2018 champion Joey Logano, three-time Daytona 500 winner Denny Hamlin and Most Popular Driver Award winner Chase Elliott.

Other drivers set to partake in the event include Bubba Wallace, Chris Buescher, William Byron, Matt DiBenedetto, Austin Dillon, Ty Dillon, Timmy Hill, Michael McDowell, John Hunter Nemechek, Ryan Preece, Garrett Smithley, Erik Jones, Ross Chastain, Parker Kligerman, Landon Cassill, Ricky Stenhouse Jr., and Clint Bowyer.

The latter-most driver will serve as the in-car analyst for the 35-car lineup.

All cup drivers automatically qualify for the main event on Sunday. Xfinity and other series drivers must qualify on speed for the 35-driver field. That qualifying race will take place before the live telecast and unfortunately will not be streamed.

Serious stuff

The drivers are not using the typical steering wheel nor Nintendo Wii controller.

Bowyer will be competing in an iRacing simulator held in the FOX NASCAR Charlotte studio. These elaborate simulators cost thousands of dollars and are used by drivers throughout the season to prepare for upcoming races.

Jimmie Johnson actually possesses one is his office.

Another Hendrick Motorsports driver, Chase Elliott, has been preparing for the race as is shown in this video. His simulator does everything his No. 9 Napa Auto Parts Chevrolet does on the race track.

Dale Jr. posted a picture of practice times on Friday.

The racing may be virtual, but it will be happening live on FS1. With the way things are going in this crazy world, I’ll certainly take any live sporting event to clear my mind.

Be safe and healthy, fans.

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