Earnhardt Jr. joins expanded IndyCar iRacing Challenge field

Dale Earnhardt will contest the third IndyCar iRacing Challenge

Scott McLaughlin is set to face some stiff opposition this weekend with confirmation Dale Earnhardt Jr. will contest the third instalment of the IndyCar iRacing Challenge.

The NASCAR icon is one of several new drivers to join an expanded field for Round 3, which takes place at Michigan International Speedway.

IndyCar has announced a 31-car field that also includes 2010 NTT IndyCar Series champion and 2012 Indianapolis 500 winner Ryan Hunter-Reay.

Marco Andretti will race in the online-based competition for the first time as will Max Chilton and James Davison.

Scott Speed, Kyle Kirkwood, and Jimmie Johnson are absent for the third round.

The Chevrolet 275 at Michigan International Speedway will comprise 85 laps of the two-mile oval.

McLaughlin will once again be joined by Team Penske trio Josef Newgarden, Simon Pagenaud, and Will Power.

Unlike the last round at Barber Motorsport Park where McLaughlin won, there will be no competition caution periods at Michigan.

It is expected the cars will be able to run a one-stop or two-stop strategy.

A 10-minute qualifying session will determine the grid with racing set to get underway on April 12 at 4:30 AEST.

No champion will be crowned at the end of the IndyCar iRacing Challenge. Instead, a donation will be made by IndyCar one of its partner charities.

Scott McLaughlin will stream the race via his Twitch channel.

CLICK HERE for the Indycar iRacing Challenge entry list

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