There was a time when NASCAR drivers began their racing careers with go-karts when they were only five or six years old. But in recent years, the “young guns” have forsaken the go-karts and traded them in for video game and computer controllers in a virtual world.

Young gun” phenom William Byron has blown through the three major NASCAR series – the Camping World Truck Series, the Xfinity Series, and the Monster Energy Cup Series – to take the sport by storm. Byron never ran on a go-kart track and didn’t even begin racing until his teens..on the computer.

In today’s NASCAR many of the drivers prepare for an upcoming race via the simulators and iRacing.

With the popularity…and success…of iRacing (internet racing), NASCAR has announced that they will be forming a Youth Esports Racing Series. Designed to attract the best racing talent from around the world, the new Esports Series is open to anyone 13 to 16 years old.

IRacing will host the new racing series with the 12 week season set to begin this June. The series will feature short track racing using iconic short tracks.

The 12 week season is divided into an eight week regular season and a four week playoff season. The regular season is open to anyone but only the top 50 point getters will qualify for the playoffs. The top 30 point holders after the playoffs will compete for the championship round on the paperclip shaped track of Martinsville Speedway.

Young racing enthusiasts can register for the new series as

Speaking on the new series, NASCAR’s vice president of consumer innovation Blake Davidson said, “as we expand our presence in esports, NASCAR is uniquely positioned as the only sport that can develop skills transferable to real world competition. We’re excited to see the young, diverse and global talent pool this series attracts, especially as we cultivate our next generation of drivers.”