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NASCAR drivers Cassill and Gase still competing via iRacing

FILE - In this image taken from video provided by iRacing IndyCar, Pato O'Ward, foreground, heads into a turn during the opening lap of the American Red Cross Grand Prix virtual IndyCar auto race at Watkins Glen International. The mind-boggling success of virtual racing has put motorsports out front in the race to create competition during the sports shutdown caused by the coronavirus pandemic. (iRacing IndyCar via AP)
FILE - In this image taken from video provided by iRacing IndyCar, Pato O'Ward, foreground, heads into a turn during the opening lap of the American Red Cross Grand Prix virtual IndyCar auto race at Watkins Glen International. The mind-boggling success of virtual racing has put motorsports out front in the race to create competition during the sports shutdown caused by the coronavirus pandemic. (iRacing IndyCar via AP)(KCRG)
Published: Apr. 12, 2020 at 10:39 PM CDT
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Right now, there's hardly any live sporting events on television due to COVID-19. However, NASCAR fans are still able to see some racing on television.

It's not real racing, but it's the next best thing. Many of NASCAR's top drivers have been competing in iRacing for the past three weeks. The races are nationally televised and have real announcers. Even the drivers have a crew chief and a spotter.

"The magic to iRacing is that the fundamentals are the same between driving a physical car and driving a simulated car," said Cedar Rapids native Landon Cassill.

He finished fourth two weeks ago in a race at Texas Motor Speedway in the Pro Invitational Series, which is the top series in iRacing.

"I see it as an opportunity to build a fan base and build an audience in a six-week period that would normally take me two years," Cassill said.

For Cedar Rapids native Joey Gase, he did race in the "Saturday Night Thunder" at Bristol and finished ninth overall. He hopes to race in the Pro Invitational Series in the near future.

"Sponsors that we would've had on these other races, I'm trying to have them on our car," he said.

Eventually, Gase and Casill hope to be back on a real track very soon.

"It's weird not being on the road and being at home so much, as weird as that sounds," Cassill said laughing.

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