eNASCAR Road to Pro is a confusing path to esports greatness. One of the most popular series in sim racing, here is how to join the eNASCAR iRacing Series.
In sim racing, Esports is often an unpopular niche. Why watch sim racing events when one can setup their own race replicating the situation? But what if anyone could compete in one of the biggest series in sim racing? What if that same series rewarded race craft and consistency over outright pace?
That is seemingly what the iRacing eNASCAR Coca Cola Series attempts to do with its Road to Pro ladder. Those watching the headline event from the side lines may see it as unreachable. But thanks to this long qualification process, perhaps competing is easier than you might think. Here is a detailed guide on how to race in the iRacing eNASCAR Coca Cola Series, via the Road to Pro ladder.
First Steps: Oval A-Class Licence
Before embarking on one of the longest qualification journeys in Esports, there are some prerequisites. To compete in the eNASCAR Road to Pro, one must hold an A-Class oval racing licence on iRacing.
Once more, this A-Class licence must feature a Safety Rating of at least 2.0. This ensures you will not drop down to a B-Class licence mid-season – unless you really make a mess of things.
eNASCAR Road to Pro: Qualifying Series
If, come February, your Oval licence sits at an A-Class, you are eligible to join the first rung of the eNASCAR Road to Pro ladder. The Qualifying Series is a year-long championship using the NASCAR Truck models. Across the year, it is broken into two main rounds. The first round, open to everyone lasts from February to May. Here, races take place every other Thursday.
eNASCAR Road to Pro: Qualifying Series Round 1 Calendar 2024
- 15 February: Daytona International Speedway
- 29 February: Las Vegas Motor Speedway
- 14 March: Atlanta Motor Speedway
- 28 March: Richmond Raceway
- 11 April: Texas Motor Speedway
- 25 April: Dover Motor Speedway
- 9 May: Darlington Raceway
- 23 May: Charlotte Motor Speedway
Those that manage to end this first round of the series in the top 70 drivers in the standings progress to the second round. After a month’s rest, Round 2 of the Qualifying Series kicks off at the end of June. Once again, races every other Thursday last until the end of September.
eNASCAR Road to Pro: Qualifying Series Round 2 Calendar 2024
- 27 June: Chicagoland Speedway
- 11 July: Pocono Raceway
- 25 July: Lucas Oil Raceway Park
- 8 August: Watkins Glen
- 22 August: Milwaukee Mile
- 12 September: Rockingham Speedway
- 26 September: Homestead Miami Speedway
After a full year of racing in the Road to Pro Qualifying Series, 20 of the final 70 drivers make yet another step up the ladder. These top racers in the standings will spend their off-season competing in the Contender Series, as they hope to race in the Coca Cola Series that following year.
Unfortunately, the rest of the Qualifying Series competitors rejoin the rest of iRacers dreaming of Road to Pro success one year later.
eNASCAR Contender Series
Each year, during the winter off-season, iRacing and eNASCAR host an intermediate Road to Pro series to further narrow down competitors for the Coca Cola Series. The eNASCAR Contender Series welcomes the 20 top Qualifying Series drivers and puts them against the 20 bottom Coca Cola Series racers. All will drive the Xfinity cars, similarly to the real ladder’s mid-range series.
In 2023, this winter challenge saw seven rounds take place from October to November. This brief championship is all that separates drivers from the Qualifying Series and the top echelon of eNASCAR Esports.
Come the end of the season, the 40 drivers will split down the middle. The best 20 from the eNASCAR Contender Series make their move up to Road to Pro ladder to the Coca Cola Series. However, the 20 slowest drivers across the championship fall back down to the Qualifying Series. They must endure another nail-biting year at the bottom of the ladder.
Best Of The Best Make it
At the top of the eNASCAR ladder sits the Coca Cola Series. Akin to the real-world Cup Series, this is a year-long epic spanning 20 races pitting 40 drivers against one-another. The field comprises the top 20 Contender Series drivers with the top 20 Coca Cola Series of the previous year.
In 2024, the series runs from February to October with events taking place every other Tuesday. It will use the recently refreshed Cup Series cars. Streams of every race are available on the iRacing social pages. But we expect you to jump in the sim rig and try your luck at next year’s championship.
Come the end of the year, the Coca Cola Series also splits its field in two. The top 20 remain in the top series of the ladder. But those stalling in the bottom half of the standings must compete in the following off-season Contender Series. Finish in the top half of this and remain part of the Coca Cola Series. Fail to reach the top half of the standings and you will fall to Qualifying Series level for the following year.
Quite The Commitment
From this very moment, it will take budding competitors at least a year and a half of junior series before making the big leagues. That is certainly no small commitment.
The iRacing eNASCAR Coca Cola Series offers the chance at sponsorship and big cash prizes. So for those with enough motivation and talent, we simply wish you good luck.
If you prefer to watch from the side lines, our very own René Buttler will be trying his luck this year in the Qualifying Series. Make sure to follow his journey throughout 2024. His first race will be available to follow live on the OverTake Twitch channel. Tune in on 15 February at – deep breath – 4 am CET.
Have you ever attempted to race in the eNASCAR iRacing Series? Tell us on Twitter at @OverTake_gg or in the comments down below!