In Richmond Raceway eSports’ second year competing in the eNASCAR PEAK Antifreeze iRacing Series (NPAiS), the team selected Jimmy Mullis and Malik Ray in the first-ever draft for the series. Mullis and Ray will be behind-the-wheel of Toyota Camrys with two iconic numbers for Richmond Raceway (Richmond), No. 46 and No. 90.
Richmond Raceway eSports will compete with initial sponsorship support from Richmond’s Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series entitlement partners, Toyota and Federated Auto Parts, to promote the TOYOTA OWNERS 400 in the spring and Federated Auto Parts 400 in the fall. Sim Seats will also return for their second year of sponsorship with Richmond Raceway eSports.
“Richmond Raceway eSports welcomes Jimmy Mullis and Malik Ray to our team competing in the eNASCAR PEAK Antifreeze iRacing Series this season,” said Richmond President Dennis Bickmeier. “eSports has become an area of focus for Richmond Raceway, and these talented racers will help us continue to support the mission of growing our involvement in competitive gaming and connecting with a new generation of fans.”
Mullis returns to Richmond Raceway eSports for his second year after being part of the team’s inaugural season. 2018 was a record year for the North Carolina native as he earned his first career victory and four Top 5 finishes that landed him 11th in the NPAiS season rankings. Mullis has participated in sim racing for six years, and will look capture his first NPAiS championship this season. Mullis will drive the No. 46, which is symbolic of the year the track was founded and held its first race in 1946. Last night, Mullis finished second in the NAPiS season opening exhibition race, THE DASH.
“2019 is going to be a huge year for iRacing in many aspects, especially with the growth of NASCAR eSports over the last two years,” said Mullis. “It is a privilege to be working with Richmond Raceway eSports, because of the experience they bring. It is so great to see how much NASCAR eSports has grown in what seems like such a short period of time, and the places it is headed are remarkable. I’m very fortunate to be partnered with such a great program once again this year, and I believe with my two years of experience in the series, 2019 can be my best year yet. I feel very confident in my ability to represent Richmond Raceway eSports at a very high level in 2019. This is going to be an awesome year for iRacing, and I hope at the end of the year Richmond Raceway eSports will come out on top.”
Ray will be competing in his first season with Richmond Raceway eSports and his first in the NPAiS. At 19 years old, Ray has already made a name for himself in the eSports racing scene by collecting 1,361 iRacing wins. In 2018, Ray competed in the iRacing Pro Series, where he earned one victory and two Top 7 finishes. The South Carolina native has been sim racing since 2012.
“I’m looking forward to competing in the upcoming 2019 eNASCAR PEAK Antifreeze iRacing Series season with Richmond Raceway eSports,” said Malik Ray. “To be considered one of the 24 best drivers in the draft, I now have the opportunity to compete against the best this season. As eSports continues to grow with iRacing, Richmond was the one of the first eSport teams I knew of and now there are over 10 eSport teams in the series. It is cool seeing how big iRacing is becoming with real life race teams and Richmond Raceway eSports competing.”
Ray will drive the No. 90 in honor of Richmond native and long-time NASCAR team owner, Junie Donlavey. His No. 90 team represented NASCAR in the 1976 24 Hours of LeMans, then got its only Cup victory with Jody Ridley at Dover 1981. Donlavey was one of the inaugural members of the Garage Walk of Honor at Richmond, which was unveiled this past September in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series in the new DC Solar FanGrounds. Paint schemes for the No. 90 will be unveiled in the coming weeks.
The NPAiS will showcase 40 of the world’s best sim racers with 24 of those drivers drafted by 12 different teams. NASCAR teams Joe Gibbs Racing, JR Motorsports, Wood Brothers Racing, and Roush Fenway Racing are fielding cars in the series. NPAiS is NASCAR’s only officially sanctioned eSports racing series, and will be celebrating its 10th season in 2019. There will be 18 races in 2019, taking place every two weeks. The season kicks off on Feb. 12 at Daytona International Speedway, and ends in mid-October with the championship race at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
The NPAiS is the $100,000 eSport World Championship series officially sanctioned by NASCAR featuring the world’s most elite oval sim-racers competing on simulated versions of the actual real-world NASCAR tracks and Gen6 cars available on iRacing.
Rounds run every other Tuesday night starting February 12 at 9 p.m. (ET). Each round will be broadcast live to the general public on Twitch and YouTube, with coverage provided by RaceSpot TV. For the full 2019 NPAiS schedule, click here.
For more information on Richmond Raceway eSports, visit richmondraceway.com/eSports.
Richmond Raceway 2019 NASCAR Season
The 2019 NASCAR season at Richmond returns “under the lights” for both race weekends hosting the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series and NASCAR Xfinity Series (NXS) at America’s Premier Short Track.
Richmond’s NASCAR Playoff Race Weekend will start the NXS Playoffs with the Go Bowling 250 playoff race and host the second race of the Monster Energy Series Playoffs with the Federated Auto Parts 400 playoff race on Sept. 20-21.
Tickets for the Toyota Spring Race Weekend on April 12-13 and Fall Playoff Race Weekend on Sept. 20-21 are available for purchase in-person at the Richmond Ticket Office, via phone at 866-455-7223, or online at richmondraceway.com.
The Pro All Stars Series (PASS) will run the inaugural PASS Commonwealth Classic on Saturday, March 30 at Richmond. The PASS Super Late Models will headline the day with feature events for Tour-Type Modifieds, MASS Street Stocks, Mini Stocks, and American-Canadian Tour (ACT) Late Models. To learn more or purchase tickets, visit richmondraceway.com or proallstarsseries.com.