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eNASCAR iRacing Pro Invitational Series set for return at Richmond; entry list, race procedures revealed

The next installment of the eNASCAR iRacing Pro Invitational Series is set for Sunday, and the virtual venue holds true to the original 2020 NASCAR Cup Series schedule.

The select field of current and former Cup Series regulars will compete at virtual Richmond Raceway in a 30-car field, returning to competition after a break for the Easter holiday. The Toyota Owners 150 presented by Toyota at the .75-mile track will be the fourth iRacing event in the series, created to fill the void of a real-world motorsports stoppage because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

RELATED: Qualifying race added prior to Sunday’s main event

FOX Sports will return as the broadcasting partner for the Toyota Owners 150 presented by Toyota (1 p.m. ET, FOX, FS1, FOX Sports App). Veteran Mike Joy remains on the call with analysts Jeff Gordon and Larry McReynolds, joined by in-race contributor Clint Bowyer. The fixed-setup race is scheduled for 150 laps with competitors not allowed any car resets for repairs.

The 30-car field is a change for the league and represents fewer entries than previous races. Here’s how the number was determined: 26 NASCAR Cup Series drivers were manually selected for this short-track event. Then, on Thursday, a qualifying race was announced with 13 entries.

The top two finishers in that qualifying race Sunday will advance to the feature later in the afternoon, and FOX will additionally pick two more drivers as provisional entries into the main event.

RELATED: More on qualifying race

Additionally, Saturday Night Thunder will return on Saturday — and continue moving forward — after its first race at Bristol Motor Speedway two weeks ago. The Thunder event complements the eNASCAR iRacing Pro Invitational Series, and NASCAR Cup Series drivers not competing in Sunday’s show are eligible for this race, a change from the Bristol weekend.

At Richmond, the Saturday Night Thunder field will use NASCAR Xfinity Series cars and the race will air on NASCAR’s YouTube channel and eNASCAR.com/live.

There’s a Saturday Night Thunder practice at 7 p.m. ET, and the stream will go live at 8 p.m. ET. Single-car qualifying begins at 8:05 p.m. ET, which sets the lineup for the four 10-lap heat races — with 15 cars possible for each heat.

Six cars advance from each heat race advance to the big show, putting in 24 cars. The final two spots in the 26-car field will come from the top two finishers of a 15-lap consolation race, which is scheduled for after the heat races and comprised of drivers who have not yet qualified.

The 125-lap feature race will follow, with one reset allowed and three green-white-checkered attempts. The projected entry list is below.

After a scheduled tripleheader at Atlanta Motor Speedway was postponed March 13, officials with NASCAR, FOX Sports and iRacing joined forces with drivers and teams to quickly create a stand-in series of esports events. Denny Hamlin won the series’ first race March 22 at virtual Homestead-Miami Speedway, and wins came on subsequent Sundays by Timmy Hill (Texas Motor Speedway) and William Byron (Bristol). The series was idle Easter weekend.

RELATED: Merch for iRacing Pro Invitational Series

Below is the entry list, subject to change.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Bobby Labonte and Landon Cassill raced their way in Sunday morning as the two last-chance qualifiers.  Daniel Suarez and Dale Earnhardt Jr. were selected as the two FOX provisional drivers after finishing third and fourth in the qualifying race, respectively. 

TOYOTA OWNERS 150 PRESENTED BY TOYOTA ENTRY LIST

* Subject to change

 

No. Driver Affiliation
1 Kurt Busch Chip Ganassi Racing
2 Brad Keselowski Team Penske
3 Austin Dillon Richard Childress Racing
4 Kevin Harvick Stewart-Haas Racing
6 Ross Chastain Roush Fenway Racing
8 Dale Earnhardt Jr. Invitational
9 Chase Elliott Hendrick Motorsports
11 Denny Hamlin Joe Gibbs Racing
12 Ryan Blaney Team Penske
13 Ty Dillon Germain Racing
14 Clint Bowyer Stewart-Haas Racing
17 Chris Buescher Roush Fenway Racing
18 Kyle Busch Joe Gibbs Racing
19 Bobby Labonte Invitational
20 Erik Jones Joe Gibbs Racing
21 Matt DiBenedetto Wood Brothers Racing
22 Joey Logano Team Penske
24 William Byron Hendrick Motorsports
024 Jeff Gordon Invitational
31 Tyler Reddick Richard Childress Racing
37 Ryan Preece JTG Daugherty Racing
38 John Hunter Nemechek Front Row Motorsports
43 Bubba Wallace Richard Petty Motorsports
48 Jimmie Johnson Hendrick Motorsports
51 Garrett Smithley Invitational
66 Timmy Hill Invitational
77 Parker Kligerman Invitational
88 Alex Bowman Hendrick Motorsports
89 Landon Cassill Invitational
95 Christopher Bell Leavine Family Racing
96 Daniel Suarez Gaunt Brothers Racing

SATURDAY NIGHT THUNDER ENTRY LIST

* Subject to change

NAME CAR #
Alex Labbe 90
Angela Ruch 00
Anthony Alfredo 33
Austin Cindric 22
Bayley Currey 5
Blake Koch 57
Brennan Poole 15
Chad Finchum 13
Chase Briscoe 98
Chase Cabre 4
Christian Eckes 81
Cole Custer 41
Derek Kraus 19
Drew Dollar 015
Elliott Sadler 99
Harrison Burton 20
Jeb Burton 8
Jesse Iwuji 36
JJ Yeley 85
Joey Gase 53
Josh Berry 88
Josh Bilicki 099
Justin Allgaier 7
Justin Haley 10
Kyle Weatherman 54
Landon Cassill 89
Landon Huffman 75
Logan Seavey 67
Matt Mills 5
Michael Annett 1
Michael McDowell 34
Myatt Snider 93
Noah Gragson 9
Ruben Garcia 27
Ryan Ellis 78
Ryan Truex 40
Scott Stenzel 63
Spencer Boyd 2
Stephen Leicht 25
Stewart Friesen 52
Todd Gilliland 35
Ty Majeski 45
Will Rodgers 55