Dale Earnhardt Jr. Signed on as iRacing Executive Director

Colin
By Colin Wood
Nov 3, 2020 | iRacing, Dale Earnhardt

Dale Earnhardt Jr. may be stock car royalty, but he’s also well-versed in the world of virtual racing.

That, coupled with the fact that Earnhardt has been a “devoted iRacing member since its beginning,” has been chosen to be an executive director for virtual racing platform.

His involvement with the platform began back in the ‘90s, when he drove NASCAR sims produced by iRacing’s predecessor, Papyrus. Since then, Earnhardt has been working to promote the potential of sim racing—even going so far as being instrumental in early talks between NASCAR and iRacing—much of the time not receiving any compensation from iRacing.

The decision, said to be effective immediately, will see Earnhardt be responsible for a number of roles that include “eSports, strategy, marketing, partnerships, and licensing.”

Read the full press release below:

CHELMSFORD, MA (Nov. 2, 2020) – iRacing.com Motorsport Simulations and Dale Earnhardt Jr. are pleased to announce that, effective immediately, Earnhardt Jr. will officially join iRacing as an executive director and part of the company’s management committee. The NASCAR Hall of Famer, two-time Daytona 500 winner, and two-time NASCAR Xfinity Series champion will have a hand in numerous aspects of iRacing, from partner and community relations to user experience and development of the platform’s stock car offerings.

We’re elated to officially welcome Dale to the iRacing team as an executive director of the company,” said iRacing owner John Henry. “For more than 20 years, Dale has been a passionate advocate of sim racing whose efforts to improve the product have dramatically shaped our direction as a company and relationships throughout the sport for the better. Through all this time, he’s never been paid a penny for his contributions. After discussions earlier this year, we’ve pursued a mutual interest in having him come on board as an official member of the company, and we look forward to continuing our growth with Dale’s guidance from years to come.”

I’ve been a sim racer for nearly three decades and a devoted iRacing member since its beginning,” said Earnhardt. “Realizing iRacing’s potential early, its success has always been important to me. Whether it was connecting iRacing with NASCAR in 2008, making other partner introductions, developing content, laser-mapping racecars, Beta testing new technology, it has been a privilege to be a small part of iRacing’s expansion. Even more, it means the world to me to officially become part of the family. I consider Steve Myers, Tony Gardner, and Dave Kaemmer great friends with like passions. I’m excited to work with them on new partnerships and projects to continue iRacing’s meteoric growth.”

I have been lucky to call Dale a friend for 20 years now, and professionally he has provided me opportunities to reach people and companies I never would have had access to without his help. We are very much a family at iRacing and Dale has been unofficially part of that family for a long time,” said iRacing Executive Vice President and Executive Producer Steve Myers. “To now make him an official part of the company doing what he has really been doing already is not only a positive step for iRacing, but also rewards Dale for his multiple decades of hard work in helping us build our brand and company.”

Earnhardt Jr.’s interest in sim racing dates back to the 1990s as an avid player of NASCAR games produced by iRacing predecessor Papyrus. He brokered the first meeting between iRacing and NASCAR, which was held in the JR Motorsports offices in North Carolina, and has continuously supported sim racing through his own leagues and teams. Earnhardt Jr. was the inaugural race winner in iRacing’s premier eNASCAR division back in 2010, taking the checkered flag at Daytona International Speedway. The familiar JRM colors have been a consistent presence at the front of the pack this year, whether through his official eNASCAR Coca-Cola iRacing Series team or by driving in the eNASCAR iRacing Pro Invitational Series for real-world stars. Additional responsibilities that Earnhardt Jr. will take on in his new role at iRacing include eSports, strategy, marketing, partnerships, and licensing.

2020 has been a record-setting year for iRacing, with tens of thousands of new users joining the platform. During the spring, iRacing set the record for the six most-viewed esports telecasts of all time in the United States with the eNASCAR iRacing Pro Invitational Series. A diverse fleet of new content released this year has included North Wilkesboro Speedway and Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway, two iconic short tracks that were brought to the service in part through Earnhardt Jr.’s efforts. In addition, iRacing’s premier eNASCAR division will crown its first $100,000 champion in November, as part of a series-record $300,000 purse announced earlier this year.

For more information on iRacing and for special offers, visit www.iracing.com.

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Comments
View comments on the GRM forums
Streetwiseguy
Streetwiseguy MegaDork
11/2/20 6:56 p.m.

I sure did try to watch it on tv...

I don't watch unboxing videos either.

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
11/9/20 8:39 a.m.

My guitar teacher is a longtime iRacer and calls races, too. That crowd takes it seriously. (He has raced against Dale Jr., too, and only had nice things to say.)

MotorsportsGordon
MotorsportsGordon HalfDork
11/10/20 3:27 p.m.

In the end of the only online racing I watched was Thursday night blunder by dinner with racers. It was done completely unserious and made it very fun.

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