NASCAR legend Dale Earnhardt Jr. has long been a supporter of iRacing, the virtual simulation platform used by new and veteran drivers alike. Now he is taking his support to a new level. Earnhardt is joining the company as an executive director.
The company announced the move in a press release Monday morning, confirming that Earnhardt will join the team. He will become an immediate member of the management team and will help provide guidance for the future. Earnhardt will have a hand in "numerous aspects of iRacing." The list includes partner and community relations, user experience and the offered stock car options.
"We’re elated to officially welcome Dale to the iRacing team as an executive director of the company," said iRacing owner John Henry in a press release. "For more than 20 years, Dale has been a passionate advocate of sim racing whose efforts to improve the product have dramatically shaped our direction as a company and relationships throughout the sport for the better. Through all this time, he’s never been paid a penny for his contributions. After discussions earlier this year, we’ve pursued a mutual interest in having him come on board as an official member of the company, and we look forward to continuing our growth with Dale’s guidance from years to come."
Earnhardt took part in races during the COVID-19-forced delay. He got behind the wheel of the virtual No. 8 Chevrolet Camaro and faced off with several of his former competitors. Earnhardt nearly secured the victory during one race but slid off of the track right before crossing the finish line. Denny Hamlin won in a very wild finish.
Interestingly enough, Earnhardt's foray into iRacing began much earlier than the unique 2020 season. He began expressing interest in simulation racing in the 1990s and he later brokered a meeting between NASCAR and iRacing. Additionally, he won the inaugural race in iRacing's eNASCAR division in 2010. He won at Daytona International Speedway, one of the most famous tracks in motorsports.
"I’ve been a sim racer for nearly three decades and a devoted iRacing member since its beginning," Earnhardt added. "Realizing iRacing’s potential early, its success has always been important to me. Whether it was connecting iRacing with NASCAR in 2008, making other partner introductions, developing content, laser-mapping racecars, Beta testing new technology, it has been a privilege to be a small part of iRacing’s expansion. Even more, it means the world to me to officially become part of the family. I consider Steve Myers, Tony Gardner, and Dave Kaemmer great friends with like passions. I’m excited to work with them on new partnerships and projects to continue iRacing’s meteoric growth."