Third Annual Podium eSports Daytona 500 to be run Feb. 7, 2021

eSports

By Seth Eggert, Staff Writer

The third annual Podium eSports Daytona 500 on iRacing returns on Feb. 7, 2021.

Podium eSports Daytona 500

Podium eSports, the broadcast company and Twitch streaming channel will once again host one of the largest independently promoted events on iRacing. Over 175 iRacers have attempted to qualify for the 43-car field in both years of event.

The tournament-style event has paid out over $12,000 in prize money across the two events. Seth DeMerchant won the first running of the Podium eSports Daytona 500 with Daniel Eberhardt winning the 2020 running.

No Time Limits

The 2021 edition of the Podium eSports Daytona 500 will feature two changes compared to previous years. Time limits have been removed after a glitch earlier this year sent three hopeful competitors home before they had a chance to qualify.

“It’s no secret that the decision to time limit races hurt us more than it helped us with the 2020 Podium eSports Daytona 500,” explained Podium eSports CEO James Pike. “With time limits gone, the chances of the best 43 drivers on Qualifying Day racing their way into the 500 should increase significantly.”

Add Tire Limits

While time limits have been removed, tire limits have been introduced. One of iRacing’s newest features is already implemented in several official series as well as leagues on the service. iRacers have to manage their tires, changing them only when absolutely necessary or risk running out of tire sets available.

“We love how tire limits have forced drivers to think about strategy and look forward to seeing how they will change the Podium eSports Daytona 500,” stated Podium eSports Chief Innovation Officer John Theodore. “Drivers will have to be more selective when taking tires and it should make the Podium eSports Daytona 500 even more realistic than ever before.”

Additional Events

In addition to the Podium eSports Daytona 500, Podium will also promote additional Speedweeks-style events at the virtual Daytona International Speedway. The NASCAR Xfinity Series and NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series races will match the real-life distances of their respective counterparts.

The historic 1987 cars is an added edition to the schedule in 2021. The 1987 Chevrolet Monte Carlo and 1987 Ford Thunderbird were added to iRacing earlier this year.

For ARCA, iRacing currently utilizes the 2009-era bodies. While the car is not an exact match of it’s real-life representative, the race is the same 80-lap distance. The ARCA Menards Series cars also feature iRacing’s New Damage Model.

Competitors have their choice of races to compete in.

Schedule Overview

On Feb. 1 and Feb. 2, the 1987 NASCAR Cup Series and ARCA cars will hit the track respectively. For those events, Podium eSports will utilize the 2007 ‘Legacy’ edition of the Daytona oval. Both races will be 80 laps.

Feb. 3 will feature the Truck Series vehicles for a 100-lap race. Feb. 4 sees the Xfinity cars on track for a 120-lap race.

Time trials for the Podium eSports Daytona 500 opens on Feb. 5. The next day is qualifying day with eight 20-lap heats, two Last Chance Qualifier races, and finally two Duel races to set the 43-car grid for the Podium eSports Daytona 500.

Sign-up details for the Podium eSports Daytona 500 will be announced at a later date.

Full Schedule can be found below:

Podium eSports Speedweeks Schedule

Date

Car

Track

Laps

February 1

1987

Daytona 2007

80

February 2

ARCA

Daytona 2007

80

February 3

Truck

Daytona

100

February 4

XFINITY

Daytona

120

All Speedweeks races will start at 9 p.m. ET.

2021 Podium eSports Daytona 500 Schedule

Date

Event

Time

February 5

Time Trials

7-11 p.m. ET

February 6

Qualifying Day

12 p.m. ET

February 7

Third Annual Podium eSports Daytona 500

1 p.m. ET

2021 Qualifying Day Schedule

Session

Race Time

Laps

In-Sim Time

Heat 1

12:15 p.m. ET

20

Afternoon

Heat 2

1:00 p.m. ET

20

Afternoon

Heat 3

1:45 p.m. ET

20

Afternoon

Heat 4

2:30 p.m. ET

20

Afternoon

Heat 5

3:15 p.m. ET

20

Afternoon

Heat 6

4:00 p.m. ET

20

Afternoon

Heat 7

4:45 p.m. ET

20

Afternoon

Heat 8

5:30 p.m. ET

20

Afternoon

LCQ 1

7:00 p.m. ET

30

Late Afternoon

LCQ 2

8:00 p.m. ET

30

Late Afternoon

Duel 1

9:00 p.m. ET

60

Night

Duel 2

10:30 p.m. ET

60

Night

About Podium eSports

All races of Podium eSports Speedweeks will be broadcast on twitch.tv/podiumesports. For more information on Podium eSports, visit www.podiumesports.com.

Photo courtesy of Podium eSports.

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