RPW Column By: DYLAN FRIEBEL / RPW – Anthony Alfredo driver of the No. 21 Xfinity Series car for Richard Childress Racing is trying to keep himself occupied just like the rest of us.
However before all this world pandemic hit. He formed a racing league on iRacing called ERL or eSports Racing League this year.
“I’ve been a big gamer my whole life.” Alfredo said. “I was gaming before I ever went racing. I’ve always tried to be at the forefront of bridging the gap between the Motorsports industry and eSports and the easiest way to do that is through simulation.”
While Alfredo just formed the league in 2020, he looks for it to keep expanding
“Right now it’s just on iRacing.” He said. “We have plans to grow it out more than oval racing. Right now it’s just mostly Xfinity and Cup Cars but we want to grow it into Late Models, Modifieds, some road and dirt racing as well. We want to utilize all aspects of iRacing and all the disciplines. We want competitive series in every one.”
His ERL League was front and center of the iRacing world on Wednesday night as they hosted an All-star race at the Virtual Iowa Speedway and it took on a whole new meaning than what had been planned when the schedule was set.
“We saw a lot more current NASCAR drivers and special guest hop in.” Anthony said. “That’s due to their availability. The series was already scheduled to race but we opened it up to be more of an All-star event. We are looking into doing more of them until we Can get back racing. We want to give these fans and Pro iRacers the opportunity to run against Pro Racers have fun and put on a good virtual show for the fans.”
Anthony has been doing a multitude of things to keep himself busy during this down time, however you can find him over on Twitch.tv under the username Fast Pasta for a good chunk of time.
“I’ve been training from home to keep my physical condition in good shape.” He said. “iRacing has been a good outlet to kill time and have fun, but I am honing my skills as well so I’m best prepared for when I get back into the car in real life. I’ve also been running about 3-5 hour Call of Duty streams everyday.”
For everyone in NASCAR, the season starts in Daytona in February after about 8-10 weeks off. We seem to be on the same trajectory with the same amount of time off only 4 races into the season.
“You’re so excited to get back into the Car.” Alfredo said. “You’re sometimes nervous and anxious to get back into the car and it can take a minute to adjust. For now I am not too worried about it. I think we will be just fine and NASCAR plans to run all the races still so I will have a lot of seat time and plenty of momentum to carry.”
Alfredo will try to qualify for the 35 car field in Sunday’s eNASCAR Pro Invitational. While current cup drivers are already locked into the field, Anthony and others will have to try to race their way in and showcase their talents live on FS1 tomorrow afternoon.
“Originally I didn’t know it would be so many drivers racing for so few starting positions.” He said. “So now the first goal is to make the race. It’s a fixed setup race and with so many pros we are so close in speed. We overlap each other, it will not be easy to be in the top drivers that transfer in with those drivers already locked in. I need to make the race first but I feel like I have some decent experience in the Sim and confident in my ability.”
The Dixie Vodka 150 will be broadcast live on Fox Sports 1 network TV at 1:30 PM. NASCAR is afforded a special opportunity no other pro sports are with a simulation platform as realistic as iRacing. Look for Anthony Alfredo to be a threat.