CHEK Upside: Sidney company helping motorsports go virtual during pandemic

CHEK Upside: Sidney company helping motorsports go virtual during pandemic
WatchVRX Simulators in Sidney is busier than ever thanks to the emergence of iRacing and major eSports leagues due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

It’s NASCAR gone virtual.

iRacing, a realistic racing simulation, has quickly become one of the most popular ways for race car drivers to spend their time in isolation. One of the leaders in the industry is VRX Simulators in Sidney.

Owner Robert Stanners has been trying to fill the need for simulator rigs for twenty years.

“Now we’re back to where our roots started, building home racing simulators, busier than ever trying to fulfill the um need of a lot of wannabe race car drivers and professional race car drivers,” Stanner said.

The company’s sim rigs have been in demand all over the world, with clients wanting their own at home motorsports experience. It’s left the Sidney outfit scrambling to get their product out the door.

“You know with our presence being a premiere builder in this market, emails say you know how quickly can I get a sim, where we typically like four to six weeks on a build,” Stanner said.

“It’s been a challenge but we’ve met the need and as you can see we’ve got a lot of sims on the way with a lot of demand and a lot of pressure on our logistics team to make sure we get them out.”

They also have real NASCAR drivers getting behind the wheel of their own VRX simulator. Drivers such as NASCAR Cup Series champion Brad Kesolowski, Drive for Diversity racer Hailie Deegan and Jeffrey Earnhardt, grandson of the late Dale Earnhardt. Another up and coming NASCAR star that uses a VRX simulator is Derek Kraus, who has been a longtime iRacing user.

“I’ve been on iRacing for six years now, so I’ve been iRacing for a while. I’ve really enjoyed it. That’s what I do every night when I get home from school or now I’m home all day so I can iRace pretty much whenever I want. Everything helps, and iRacing is a big advantage I feel like, in racing,” Kraus said.

Kraus will be competing in the NASCAR Saturday Night Thunder iRacing Series that showcases development drivers every Saturday. The races are live-streamed on NASCAR’s YouTube channel.

Cole SorensonCole Sorenson

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