Daytona 500 Welcomes new Driver Trained Through Virtual Reality iRacing

It seems no sport remains unaffected by the progress made in the virtual reality industry. NASCAR drivers of the future are now embracing this technology as a way to hone their driving skills. Considering the paychecks associated with the NASCAR Cup Series, it is evident this sport appeals to a lot of teens right now. With the rise in popularity of iRacing simulators, things will get very interesting moving forward.

VR and NASCAR go Hand-in-hand

There are some interesting developments in the world of racing which only exist due to VR technology. During today’s Daytona 500, 40 select drivers will drive their cars to the finish line as quickly as possible. One of those drivers goes by the name of William Byron, who only just turned 20 years old. What makes him so interesting is how Byron began making a name for himself in the iRacing simulator industry. He won over 200 races and finished in the five nearly 300 times.

Even though Byron never touched a race car before the age of 15, he quickly honed his skills using new technologies in the gaming industry. Getting a hands-on experience with racing is not all that easy, for obvious reasons. With virtual reality and other similar technologies, a lot of new opportunities have opened up in recent years. An iRacing simulator is not the same as the real deal, but it is as close as most people will get prior to actually driving a proper race car.

William Byron explains his career switch as follows:

“For me, I had not been in a racing family and did not have any connection with this, so iRacing was my chance to really see if I had any ability to drive a car. I think from that standpoint it’s a great starter for understanding if you do have some ability and seeing if that can translate.”

The NASCAR industry has been paying close attention to VR for quite some time now. Not everyone is a big fan of this technology, even though it has helped others practice for some of the counter-clockwise circuits on the calendar. Rest assured this technology will continue to make inroads in the NASCAR industry, mainly because the rides are readily accessible and the experience is pretty realistic.

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