NASCAR’s video game rights have shifted not only back to an American-based company, but one that’s right in the heart of stock car country.
Charlotte, N.C.-based DMi Games has announced that it has acquired exclusive licensing rights to produce NASCAR games as part of a multi-year agreement.
They’ll be taking over for UK-based Eutechnyx, which has been the NASCAR licensee since 2010.
As part of the deal, DMi has acquired from Eutechnyx “certain NASCAR-related assets” including core art assets such as cars and tracks. It has also received some existing NASCAR games, such as the NASCAR Manager mobile app.
“It is a deal that had been in the works for several months,” DMi president Ed Martin writes in an open letter on his company’s website. “But it was something that could not be disclosed until everything was finalized. And by ‘everything,’ I mean a very long and complex set of negotiations and agreements.
“Just to give you some context, a contemporary NASCAR video game has over 1,000 licensed and approved properties in it. That’s a lot of stakeholders and people to get organized!”
Martin says his group plans to “develop & publish a wide range of games across pretty much any interactive entertainment platform you can imagine – including console, PC and mobile.” He then confirms in his letter that an all-new NASCAR game will be produced by DMi for the Playstation 4, Xbox One, and PC platforms in 2016.
Eutechnyx will close out their NASCAR tenure with “NASCAR ’15,” an update of its previous “NASCAR ’14” game that will have an online-only release this spring for Playstation 3, Xbox 360, and PC.
In a separate statement put out by DMi Games’ parent company, HC2 Holdings, NASCAR’s VP of licensing/consumer products, Blake Davidson, said the new partnership would provide “a first-class gaming experience to our fans.”
He also cited DMi’s roots in Charlotte, a home for many teams within the NASCAR industry.
“Establishing the company in Charlotte, a central location for the NASCAR industry, will only strengthen this great partnership,” Davidson added.
Chase Sexton stumbled in San Diego and Eli Tomac had a hard fall in Anaheim 2, but the Monster Energy Supercross numbers for Houston suggest they will continue to be the ones to beat in Houston. To do so, they will have to turn back challenges from another pair of riders who have swept the top five in the first three rounds and another with a worst finish of sixth.
There are reasons to believe Webb and Roczen can keep those streaks alive.
Webb is the only multiple winner at Supercross’ current Houston stadium. His pair of wins came in 2019 and 2021, the same year he won his two 450 championships.
Clinton Fowler points out this week, that Webb has carried that strength into 2023. Webb had a late surge in Anaheim 1, advancing from fifth to second in the final six laps. In San Diego, he set his ninth fastest lap with two to go and his eighth fastest on the final lap. He posted his fastest lap of Anaheim 2 on Lap 12 while the rest of the field did so on Lap 6 on average.
By comparison, Tomac set his 14th fastest lap on the final circuit in route to winning the Main at San Diego while he was trying to keep Webb at bay.
With a sixth at San Diego, Dylan Ferrandis barely missed sweeping the top five in his first three races as did Tomac with a sixth last week at Anaheim 2.
This will be the 46th year Supercross has visited Houston and with 55 races the city is tied for the second-most with Detroit.
Webb won most recently in 2021 in the final race of three held there that year as the series executed a strategy of racing in residencies to limit travel during height of the COVID-19 pandemic. Tomac and Justin Barcia also won in Houston in 2021.
Two privateers have started the season on a high note.
Joshua Cartwright and Joshua Varize have each made the last two Mains. Cartwright finished 18th in San Diego and 21st last week in Anaheim 2 – all while working fulltime as a Business Intelligence Analyst at the University of Texas, Dallas. Varize earned a top-15 (12th) in San Diego and was 21st in Anaheim 2 in his third season on a 450.
The numbers show none of the active 250 Supercross East riders have won in Houston, so no matter who steps on top of the box, there is going to be a fresh face. That is not surprising since most of the top competitors have not raced at this venue yet.
Michael Mosiman has a pair of top-fives there, however. His best finish was a second in the second 2021 race. Garrett Marchbanks scored a top-10 in his rookie season of 2019 in Houston.
In the 250 East division, Hunter Lawrence is one of the favorites to win the title now that Christian Craig has moved to 450s. Last year he had four wins and nine podiums, but failed to set a fast lap in a race.