The coronavirus outbreak has forced the suspension of virtually all professional sports leagues, which, to put it bluntly, really sucks. Some leagues have ventured into the online world to keep their audiences entertained, including NASCAR, the US-based stock car racing association, which has joined up with iRacing for a virtual “Replacement Series” of races featuring real NASCAR drivers.

It’s a great fit for fans. The simulation is realistic enough that it can be difficult to distinguish virtual camera shots from the real thing, and drivers online can banter between themselves in ways that aren’t possible (or at all advisable) in the real world. That adds a certain amount of levity to the whole thing, but the competition is still fierce: Both of those aspects were on display last week, when Jimmie Johnson joked about firing an NPC crew member while Bubba Wallace ragequit and lost a sponsor.

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