The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has limited most real-life racing from taking place, including many short track racing events. However, Speed51 is still excited to present an exciting replacement in the form of increased sim racing coverage this weekend.
One of those exciting events is the Speed51 Elite Yuengling Truck Series Pro-Am Jam, which will feature real-life stars going against some of the best in the sim racing series. The event truly features a stellar list of short track champions across several disciplines, as they will race for 130 laps around the virtual Atlanta Motor Speedway.
Among the headliners scheduled to appear are a pair of champions from two of racing’s premier tours. Representing the Stock Car world, 2019 ARCA Menards Series champion and 2016 Snowball Derby winner Christian Eckes has entered Saturday’s race. From the Modified wars, 2018 NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour champion Justin Bonsignore will compete in the event.
Along with Eckes, who currently competes full-time in the NASCAR Trucks Series, other NASCAR National Series competitors are expected. Cup Series racer Garrett Smithley, Xfinity Series driver Ray Black, Jr. and Truck Series competitors Ryan Truex and Carson Hocevar, and Derek Kraus will also be in the fold for Saturday’s race.
Ty Gibbs, a two-time winner in the ARCA Menards Series in 2019, is also scheduled to compete in Saturday’s race. 2020 CRA SpeedFest winner Corey Heim is also expected.
The race is also expecting some competitors who are now involved in the NASCAR Cup Series as team members, but have strong real-world racing pedigrees of their own. Kevin Hamlin, currently a spotter for Alex Bowman, was a two-time NASCAR Northwest Series champion in 2001 and 2002. Coleman Pressley, spotter for Brad Keselowski, is the son of former Cup racer Robert Pressley and won the 2010 UARA Stars Championship.
Along with Ryan Truex, cousin (and real-world racer) Tyler Truex will also be involved in the festivities. Other short track racers scheduled to compete in the race include Modified racers Austin Beers and Kevin Iannarelli, 2020 NASCAR Drive for Diversity team member Rajah Caruth, 2019 New Smyrna Pro Late Model champion Daniel Dye and 2020 Kulwicki Driver Development Program Semi-Finalist Ryan Kuhn.
Other team members expected in the race include Johnathan Davis (Car Chief for Michael Annett), T.J. Majors (Spotter for Joey Logano) and Brent Wentz (team member for Matt DiBenedetto).
These real-world racers and team members will be going against some of the best in the Speed51 Elite Yuengling Truck Series. The sim racing series is scheduled to start its season on April 5 at the virtual Pocono Raceway, so Saturday’s race will also offer a sneak peek of the upcoming campaign.
Saturday’s race will air at 9:00 p.m. Eastern and can be watched for free on Speed51. Click here for more information regarding Saturday’s broadcast.
There will be another Pro-Am event on Sunday featuring the Speed51 Elite JoinAPS.com Cup Series competitors at Atlanta. Stay tuned to Speed51 and our new Twitter account, @S51eSports, for details on that event and who will be competing.
Speed51 will have numerous sim racing broadcasts in the coming weeks and months. Click here for a full schedule of broadcasts planned for 2020, featuring the Yuengling Truck Series as well as other tours under the Elite Racing Leagues umbrella.
-Story by: Zach Evans, Speed51 Content Supervisor – Twitter: @ztevans
-Photo credit: Elite Racing Leagues