With such a big response from competitors to join the eNASCAR iRacing Pro Invitational Series, NASCAR and iRacing introduced Saturday Night Thunder in the beginning of April to allow drivers from all series to compete on the platform during the real-time racing postponement due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This weekend the event returns, but this time the action will take place on Friday night, at virtual Martinsville Speedway.
The Friday Night Thunder entry list includes drivers from the NASCAR Cup Series, NASCAR Xfinity Series, NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series, ARCA Menards Series, NASCAR PEAK Mexico Series and NASCAR Whelen Euro Series.
There will be single-car qualifying to set the heat race grids. From there, the format will feature four 10-lap heat races to set the first 24 spots for the main feature.
Then, there will be one 15-lap last chance qualifier to fill out the six remaining spots in the 30-car field.
The event will be live streamed at 8 p.m. ET on Friday, May 8, on enascar.com/live, and on NASCAR’s YouTube channel.
The main event will be a 125-lap feature that will allow for one reset, with manual cautions and three attempts at a green-white-checkered finish.
The format will be as follows (all times ET):
7 p.m.: One-hour practice session
8 p.m.: Stream starts on eNASCAR.com/NASCAR YouTube Channel
8:05 p.m.: Three-minute, two-lap single-car qualifying session. Sets the starting grid for the heats.
- Heat 1 starts. All heats will be 10 laps with no cautions and one reset. There will be four heats and 26 cars will advance.
- Heats will set the starting grid for main race with a field of 26 cars.
- Heats will be followed by a 15-lap last chance qualifier with six drivers advancing to the main event (30-car field).
- Main event will be 125 laps with manual cautions and one reset. There will also be three attempts at a green-white-checkered finish.