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North Wilkesboro on tap for iRacing Pro Invitational Series — entry lists, race procedures

The eNASCAR iRacing Pro Invitational Series will take a page from NASCAR history next weekend, racing on one of the simulation’s newest tracks — North Wilkesboro Speedway.

The .625-mile track in the North Carolina foothills debuts on the iRacing service on Saturday for the seventh and final race for the invitational sim series, the North Wilkesboro 160 (3 p.m. ET, FOX, FS1, FOX Sports App).

Meanwhile, Saturday Night Thunder will move to Friday and become Friday Night Thunder — and will compete at virtual Martinsville Speedway (eNASCAR.com/live).

RELATED: NASCAR announces revised May schedule

Dale Earnhardt Jr. led a group of drivers and broadcasters who cleaned the track surface at North Wilkesboro Speedway last December, allowing iRacing to scan and map the historic venue. Earnhardt teased a screenshot rendering of virtual North Wilkesboro’s frontstretch and main grandstand April 14.

North Wilkesboro Speedway was part of NASCAR’s first Strictly Stock (now called the Cup Series) season in 1949. The venue last hosted NASCAR’s top division in 1996 with Hall of Famer Jeff Gordon prevailing in the final race.

RELATED: Dale Earnhardt Jr. preps North Wilkesboro for scanning

Saturday’s event is the finale in the invitational series, which was created to fill the sports shutdown void during the height of the coronavirus outbreak. NASCAR officials announced last week that it aims to resume racing for its national series May 17, revealing a portion of a revised 2020 schedule that includes multiple races at Darlington Raceway and Charlotte Motor Speedway in the coming weeks.

The race will be 160 laps with a projected final field of 28 drivers. Those competing getting one reset, manual cautions are prevalent and there will be a maximum of three attempts at a green-white-checkered finish, if needed. The top three finishers from Dover will start at the rear — that’s race winner William Byron (who isn’t competing this weekend), Christopher Bell and Timmy Hill. The top 10 qualifiers will be inverted to start the event. Green flag is set for 1:13 p.m. ET.

As for Friday’s event at Martinsville Speedway, it will be a chance for those who are not part of Saturday’s invitational to compete. The format is as follows: Single-car qualifying will be used to set the grid for four, 10-lap heat races that will determine 24 spots in the feature. Then, a 15-lap last-chance qualifier race will determine the final six spots in the feature for a total of 30 cars.

The feature will be 125 laps, and the order of the first 10 cars will be inverted before the green flag. There will be one reset, manual cautions and three attempts at a green-white-checkered finish.

Pro Invitational Series entry list
* subject to change

No. Name Team
3 Austin Dillon RCR
4 Kevin Harvick SHR
6 Ross Chastain Roush
8 Dale Earnhardt Jr Invitation
10 Aric Armirola SHR
11 Denny Hamlin JGR
13 Ty Dillon Germain
14 Clint Bowyer SHR
15 Brennan Poole Premium
17 Chris Buescher Roush
18 Kyle Busch JGR
19 Martin Truex Jr. JGR
20 Erik Jones JGR
21 Jon Wood Wood Bros.
24 Jeff Gordon Invitation
31 Tyler Reddick RCR
32 Corey LaJoie GoFas
34 Michael McDowell Front Row
37 Ryan Preece JTG
38 John Hunter Nemechek Front Row
41 Cole Custer SHR
49 Chad Finchum MBM
51 Garrett Smithley Invitation
52 JJ Yeley Rick Ware
53 Joey Gase Rick Ware
66 Timmy Hill Invitation
77 Parker Kligerman Invitation
89 Landon Cassill Invitation
95 Christopher Bell LFR
018 Bobby Labonte Invitation

Friday Night Thunder

Driver Car No.
Alex Labbe 90
Angela Ruch 00
Anthony Alfredo 33
Austin Cindric 22
Bayley Currey 74
Brandon Brown 68
Brett Moffitt 23
Chase Briscoe 098
Chase Cabre 4
Christian Eckes 81
CJ Mclaughlin 39
Derek Kraus 19
Donny Lia 07
Drew Dollar 015
Drew Herring 3
Grant Enfinger 98
Harrison Burton 20
Jeb Burton 8
Jeffrey Earnhardt 50
Jesse Iwuji 36
Joe Graf Jr. 80
Josh Berry 88
Josh Bilicki 99
Justin Allgaier 7
Kaz Grala 29
Kyle Weatherman 54
Landon Huffman 75
Logan Seavey 67
Matt Mills 5
Myatt Snider 93
Noah Gragson 9
Ruben Garcia 27
Ryan Ellis 78
Ryan Truex 40
Ryan Vargas 51
Joe Graf Jr. 80
Scott Stenzel 63
Spencer Boyd 02
Stephen Leicht 25
Stewart Friesen 52
Thad Moffitt 46
Todd Gilliland 38
Ty Majeski 45
Ty Gibbs 18
Will Rodgers 55
Stefan Parsons 83