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March 2015

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iRacing TV

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The Team

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  • David Phillips
    Editor And Chief
    David Phillips is a long-time contributor to print and electronic publications in the U.S. and abroad, including Racer, Autosport, AutoWeek, Motor Sport and SPEEDtv.com, oversees the daily updating of news stories and assigns, edits and contributes feature material for inRacingNews.com.
  • Wil Vincent
    Contributing writer

    Wil is a 25 year old student, town planner, and sim racing commentator, most well known for his work as the lead commentator for GlacierTV. Wil got into commentating through his college student radio, where he also worked as a journalist and interviewer, covering gigs and festivals within the UK, and joined GlacierTV in February 2012, becoming lead commentator a month later. His work culminated in him commentating on the 2013 iRacing.com World Championship Grand Prix Series, iRacing Indy 500, and iRacing All Star Race. When he gets in the virtual cockpit, you'll normally see will taking on the thrill of IndyCar Oval racing, or trying his hand in GT action

    Outside of iRacing, Wil's an avid IndyCar fan, having watched the sport since the late 1990s, and always looks forward to the Month of May. He also enjoys watching NASCAR, Formula 1, and V8 Supercars.

  • Jeff Jacobs
    Contributor

    Jeff Jacobs started autocrossing with the SCCA in 1990 while a student at the University of Florida. He has competed in the SCCA's National Tour and ProSolo series since 1995, winning a ProSolo National Championship in H-Stock in 2011 driving a 2010 MINI Cooper. Jeff completed his SCCA Club Racing drivers' school in 2012 at Roebling Road in a Spec Miata. He currently writes a column for the SCCA's Northeast Division in SportsCar Magazine and is the Region Executive of the Philadelphia Region SCCA.

    Jeff joined iRacing in October 2012. After starting with the MX-5 and SRF cars, he has been concentrating on the Ford Mustang FR500S, competing in the iRacing.com Mustang Cup series and the Continental Endurance Sports Car Series.

  • Cam Stark
    contributing writer

    I began taking sim racing seriously about a year ago, but have loved motorsports from a young age. I began following Formula One first, then realized there are a huge variety of motorsports to watch. iRacing has opened my eyes even more to the diversity and volume of “real world” motorsports, let alone on the sim itself. With the huge varieties of series to choose from, you're spoiled for choice!

    Ever since I began iRacing, I wanted to improve on my ability, be it road or oval. Having not really heard about oval racing prior to November last year (blame the UK press), my mentality towards it has totally changed from what it would have initially been - it's awesome! I recently began road racing again - in the Star Mazda - and have been having a blast ever since. On top of racing the series I have the privilege of writing the articles for iRacing News.

    In all honesty I have surprised myself on iRacing. From being a fairly casual gamer/racer, it's been a world of difference, but it has far exceeded my expectations. I had a very brief stint driving in rFactor leagues, but I found my place of sim racing on this service, and I can't see myself stopping anytime soon.

  • Justin Sutton
    series contributor

    Justin is 29 and lives in Texas with his girlfriend and three dogs. Although always a fan of road racing growing up, Sutton never got the chance to participate in Sim-Racing until 2012 and didn't join iRacing until 2013. The son of a writer, and former resident of Connecticut and Philadelphia, his interests vary. Currently Sutton is a co-owner of YouTube channel focused on racing games and simulators and more specifically Formula One along with his partner Mikko from Finland (BoxBoxBoxGaming). Currently Sutton writes the Skip Barber F2000 and Lotus 49 articles (and the occasional F1 article) for iRacing News, and doesn't get nearly enough time to race the cars he writes about.

    Gaming is a big part of Sutton's life as well as he is both viewer and broadcaster on Twitch along with his girlfriend of seven years. In addition to being an aspiring writer he is a skilled speaker with a focus on commentary of races and hopes one day to do commentary for road racing of some kind.

  • Matt Holden
    Contributor

    Matt Holden began his involvement in motorsports at an early age, moving to Charlotte, NC when he was 6 months old. Growing up next door to a NASCAR TV personality, racing has always been a major part of his life. Currently studying Mechanical Engineering at UNC Charlotte, Matt works for US Legend Cars International as a technical inspector and race official at local tracks such as Charlotte Motor Speedway and Concord Speedway. Within iRacing, Matt is the Crew Chief for Gale Force Racing's #05 car in the NASCAR Peak Antifreeze Series, as well as Chassis Engineer for the team's R&D program.

  • Paul Slavonik
    iRacingNews Series Writer

    For all intents and purposes, Paul Slavonik was a late-bloomer to racing. Growing up watching NASCAR drivers such as Davey Allison and Earnhardt Sr. was the furthest extent of Paul’s racing aspirations at the time. Fast forwarding 20 years, Paul began watching the UK show Top Gear and thus ensued a fascination with all things fast. Soon after, Paul stumbled upon iRacing.com and has been hooked on racing ever since.
    A United States Army Veteran, Certified Audio Engineer and aspiring author, Paul spends his time hanging out with his wife and working on his first book. Currently residing in Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW), TX, his favorite racing series is the Australian V8 Supercars (go FPR!) and he has recently joined a local ChumpCar racing team. Paul began writing news stories for iRacingNews in January of 2014 and currently covers the GT3 Challenge Series and the V8 Supercars Series.

  • Thiago Izequiel
    Contributor

    Born in 1985 in the city of Rio de Janeiro, Thiago Izequiel is a graphic and web designer, go kart racer, aiming to get a career in motorsports. He started racing in 2007 and joined iRacing in 2010. Thiago lives in Maricá, a little town located in Rio de Janeiro state, around 60km far away from Rio de Janeiro city. In 2014 he started to write for iRacing News and also started to design layouts for racing cars.

    Working as a freelancer today, he started working as a designer in 2006. After a few years working in web design agencies, Thiago decided to follow his dreams and quit his job to work with a racing driver named Suzane Carvalho in 2011, on her driver's school. Things didn't worked out as expected and Thiago, after getting jobs as a front-end developer and social media content developer, went back to the dream path as a freelancer so he could have more time to focus on his driving career.

  • Jack Davidson
    Staff Videographer

    Jack is a recent grad from Boston University with a passion for filmmaking as well as racing. He grew up playing games such as the Need For Speed series, Gran Turismo, and more recently, the GRID and DIRT franchises.

  • Jason Lofing
    iRacing.com Series Writer
    Jason is 21 years old and was born and raised in Elk Grove. California. A big time NASCAR fan, he hasn’t missed a race on Sunday in years. Lofing is also a huge San Fransisco Giants fan and tries to take in at least a couple games a year. Other than sim racing, his biggest (and far more expensive!) hobby is photography. Although he is rather new to sim racing, Lofing has already accomplished some pretty impressive results, qualifying for the 2011 iRacing Oval Pro Series in Season 1, 2011, winning the inaugural Landon Cassill Qualifying Challenge and finishing runner-up in the second one.
  • Katier Scott
    Contributing Writer
    I am a veteran sim racer who first started racing way back in 1993 on the SPRTSIMS section of Compuserve with a league who can trace themselves all the way to the present. Within that league I act as Chief Steward and try to bring the unique viewpoint that this experience gives me into my articles.
    I have a BA (Hons) in Journalism and Editorial design and have been writing for seven years and currently cover the Lotus 79 CTC and Radical series alongside my freelance work. Living in the UK, as well as motorsports I love Photography, Arts and Crafts and reading.
  • David Ifeguni
    Contributing Writer
    I was born in New Haven, Connecticut in 1988 and moved to Midland, Michigan when I was two years old. I stayed there until third grade when I moved to Farmington Hills, Michigan and now I currently live in Naperville, IL where I'm attending Metea Valley High School as a 9th grader. In the past, I have participated in soccer and this year I plan on joining swimming or water polo. My family includes my 15 year old sister, a 7 year old sister and my mom and dad. I have been writing since 6th grade and have participated in many writing contests in my school and have received several awards for writing.
    My fascination for motorsports began when I was nine. The first NASCAR race I watched on TV was the 2009 Toyota/Save Mart 350 at Infineon Raceway, won by Kasey Kahne. My favorite NASCAR drivers are Kyle Busch, Dale Earnhardt Jr, and Jimmie Johnson. I have watched all the races in the NASCAR Sprint Cup, Nationwide and Camping World Truck Series since 2010. I currently have three wins on iRacing, two of them in the Nationwide car at Daytona and one in the Street stocks at Charlotte. My favorite car and type of track on iRacing is the Nationwide Series (B Class) car and superspeedways.

Like a Win

by Jake Hayes on March 25th, 2015

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Hayes Auto Club 1

Week 4 of the 2015 NASCAR iRacing Series Open keeps us in the West at Auto Club Speedway in sunny California. Auto Club Speedway is one of two 2.0 mile tracks on Sprint Cup series schedule, the other being its Midwestern cousin: Michigan International Speedway. Interestingly enough, although the two tracks race and drive similarly, I usually run well at Auto Club despite struggling at Michigan. Last year I recorded a fifth place at Auto Club; with past success at the track, I always have high expectations for a good finish. As this was the first large track we have visited with the new rules package, I had no idea what to expect, handling-wise this week. Early in practice the car felt quite different due to the large horsepower difference [...]

Wheelin’ it at Auto Club

by Paul Williams on March 25th, 2015

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Williams Auto Club 2

It was an exciting week in the NASCAR iRacing Series as drivers found themselves wrestling the challenges of maintaining grip at the high-speed Auto Club Speedway. Trying to maintain the dangerous, but necessary, corner exit speed given the long straightaways suckered many in to overdriving the cars – leaving those who could understand and feel the tires’ limits reaping the benefits. Unlike last week at Phoenix, Auto Club’s shear size allowed for a lot of side-by-side racing and long green flag runs. The average number of cautions in both the Fixed and Open series came in in the mid-to-low single digits, affording drivers the opportunity to play multiple strategies. The week’s opening races went to Malik Ray for the Open series and Robert Padavich for the Fixed, giving both drivers [...]

Humpe Dominant, Wins Second Straight

by Jason Lofing on March 25th, 2015

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Humpe led  of laps in a convincing win at Auto Club Speedway.

For the second week in a row, Kenny Humpe visited victory lane in the NASCAR PEAK Antifreeze Series Powered by iRacing. This time, Humpe’s win capped a dominating performance at Auto Club Speedway in which he started from the pole and led five times for 97 of 125 laps. Chad Laughton finished runner-up, half a second behind the winner with Justin Bolton third, followed by Ray Alfalla and Nick Ottinger. From the drop of the green flag, Humpe was clearly the driver to beat. After Laughton drafted by to lead the second lap, Humpe regained control and looked to pull away from the rest of the field, although a trio of cautions would keep that from happening. The first two incidents were relatively minor but the third, which unfolded on [...]

NASCAR iRacing Series Diary: Auto Club Speedway

by James Falcon Pratt on March 23rd, 2015

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NASCAR iRacing Series Diary: Auto Club Speedway

Falcon Racing enjoyed a good week in the NASCAR iRacing Series at Auto Club Speedway, with a 12th place in the Open and a fourth place in the Fixed. We even lead two laps in the Fixed, adding to the two laps we lead at Daytona back in Week 1. The setup was good for a fixed setup and drivers could find different lines based on driving styles. We were running four, five and even six lines through both sets of corners and even down the front straight. At times we would be three wide down the back straight. The open setups were even more interesting with some running right at the wall and others on the white line as well as any of the four lanes in-between. Both of [...]

Behind the Scenes: NASCAR Peak Antifreeze Series – Into the Wild Unknown

by Matt Holden on March 23rd, 2015

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The Duel between Nick and Ray Alfalla in 2013 at Texas was phenomenal to watch, and I think we'll start seeing this more and more in the future.

I’ve had this article planned for a while and I’m very excited about it.  Honestly, I do not want to write a single word about the Las Vegas race.  But I will, if for no other reason than to put a period on that and go into what I actually want to discuss.  If you want to read about the race from a broad view, Jason Lofing wrote a good article on it which can be found here:  http://www.iracing.com/iracingnews/nascar-news/humpe-wins-controversial-vegas Our race was a disaster.  There is no better way to describe it.  Of our six drivers, one didn’t qualify, one disconnected on Lap 5 (No, he did not switch to Nick Ottinger’s internet service provider), three crashed, and one managed to escape the cataclysmic final restart to finish third.  In [...]

Burnin’ Rubber and Cash 2015 Nascar iRacing Series: Phoenix Spring

by Dylan Schmidt on March 23rd, 2015

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Holy paint schemes Batman!  Schmidt's latest livery is no joke!

Welcome to sunny Phoenix, Arizona everyone!  We got into town yesterday, after a seemingly endless drive across country.  I feel sorry for those East Coast teams that have to drive even further than we did… two days stuffed in a car full of smelly dudes with questionable hygiene is enough for me.  I’m restless and ready for some action! After last week’s horrible finish, we were forced to purchase a new chassis and engine.  It’s horrible having to scrap a whole car, but we’re considering options for what to do with the trashed bodies.  Maybe we’ll start a bone-yard in homage to NASCAR’s most popular driver, Dale Jr.  He likes to collect other people’s cars though, so I guess ours will just be our own dead machines. This week, we [...]

From A Dig Motorsports’ “Tough Trucks” – Bump Drafting… Again!

by Scott Smith on March 23rd, 2015

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Bump drafting is back.

As the Earth continues to orbit around our sun, she begins to tilt about on her axis, and point in a more direct manner towards the heart of our solar system.  With this seemingly incomprehensible act of the heavens comes change.  Spring is in the air (at least in north of the Equator). Critters begin to come out of hibernation, the grass turns a vibrant green, and beautiful flowers begin to bloom. In the virtual world of iRacing, a cycle of change has also dawned.  Not only are us iRacers beginning Season 2, but we have a new build to get accustomed to, as well as an up-to-date model of the 2015 NASCAR Camping World truck.  Diehard Ford fans may be disappointed, as the blue oval has been kicked to [...]

Keselowski snatches win in wild finish

March 22nd, 2015

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Brad Keselowski completed a spectacular comeback to take Fontana NASCAR Sprint Cup victory on the second green-white-chequered restart. Keselowski dived down the inside of Stewart-Haas’ polesitter and long-time race leader Kurt Busch at Turn 1 and completed the move at the exit of Turn 2 on the final lap of the race. The late-race restarts suited Keselowski as his Penske Ford was stronger on short runs, and the 2012 champion was also one of the few frontrunners to grab four fresh tyres at the last stops. Kevin Harvick earned second after winning the previous two races at Las Vegas and Phoenix respectively. His streak of top two finishes extended to eight, as he beat team-mate Busch on the run to the chequered flag after Busch hit the wall trying to [...]

Kurt Busch on pole at Fontana

March 21st, 2015

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Kurt Busch dominated qualifying for the fifth NASCAR Sprint Cup race of the season at Fontana, only his second event back after suspension. The Stewart-Haas driver had topped the earlier practice session and set the fastest times in the second and final segments of qualifying to head team-mate – and winner of the last two Cup races – Kevin Harvick. Busch had sat out the first three races of 2015 during a legal case over assault allegations. Last year’s Fontana polesitter Matt Kenseth managed third after setting the fastest time of the entire session in the first qualifying instalment, followed by David Ragan – subbing for an injured Kyle Busch in the #18 Joe Gibbs Toyota – and 2014 Fontana race runner-up Kyle Larson. The most notable absentee from the [...]

Blood clots sideline Vickers again

March 20th, 2015

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Brian Vickers has been sidelined from this weekend’s Fontana NASCAR Sprint Cup race due to a reoccurrence of the blood clots that have previously interrupted his racing. Vickers missed the opening rounds of the 2015 season following winter heart surgery. Issues relating to blood clots had previously caused him to sit out sections of the 2010 and ’13 campaigns as well. “Thankfully, because I recognised the signs and symptoms, the doctors caught this early and I’m going to be OK,” said Vickers. “I had finished my treatment for the clot I had in my leg back in 2013 and I haven’t needed to be on a blood thinner for a clot in my leg or lung since. “Now I won’t be able to race because I’ll need to be back [...]

Phoenix Recovery Room

by Jake Hayes on March 20th, 2015

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Last year's runner-up finish and a strong qualifying effort this year promised a good race.

So far this season in the 2015 NASCAR iRacing Series (Open) we have visited two 1.5 milers. Week 3 took us to the unique one mile oval at Phoenix International Raceway. The thing about Phoenix that makes it so different from any other track NASCAR goes to is the “Dogleg” located on the backstretch. Drivers in both real and sim worlds use the dogleg to make passes and it often leads to some interesting racing. This is also one of my favorite tracks and I managed a second place finish here in the 2014 season. I was hoping to improve on that this year and bring home a win! NASCAR updated its rules package for 2015 and, with its newest update, iRacing incorporated this rules package in Gen-6 Sprint Cup [...]

NASCAR iRacing Series Outlook: Auto Club Speedway

by James Falcon Pratt on March 18th, 2015

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NASCAR iRacing Series Outlook: Auto Club Speedway

We did not have this track in 2013. It was one of two tracks we did not have in the first season. (I think the other was Kansas for the first race of the season.) As a result we ran at Iowa and Rockingham. I did very well at those two fill-in tracks coming home sixth at Iowa and 11th at Rockingham. In 2014 I came home sixth in the Fixed race and 13th in the Open. Much like Michigan I do not seem to run these larger near-super speedways well, but both finishes were good. In the Open races my 13th was great in my eye. The reason is that I tend to leave a bit more room than needed braking into Turns 1 and 3. This lets the [...]

New Build Gives Second Lives at PIR

by Paul Williams on March 18th, 2015

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Turn Four bit many a sim racer, including Moore.

This past weekend’s NASCAR iRacing Series action at Phoenix International Raceway saw tempers flaring, fenders caving, and incident points accumulating. The culmination of a short track, a new build and anxious racers with little in terms of official racing available left the iRacing official pace car in need of its own pit crew. NASCAR XFINITY Series driver Josh Berry headed-off the tumultuous week with a win Wednesday night over Jordy Lopez Jr. in the Open series, while Matt Bussa celebrated a win Thursday’s Fixed series event. The average number of cautions for each opening night were in excess of 10 with nearly one third of the races being run under yellow. Friday night’s Open series event saw Jeremy R Allen sneak the win away from defending series champion Patrick Crabtree, [...]

NASCAR iRacing Series Diary: PIR

by James Falcon Pratt on March 16th, 2015

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NASCAR iRacing Series Diary: PIR

This week’s Fixed race was very messy. Why?  Well it seems that 156 lap races are too short for some drivers who feel they had to make it three wide on every restart. If you are fast the 156 laps should give you time to move through the field, or so one would think! I started in the top third of the field and with the yellows flying more than the greens I stayed out to avoid the mess in the center of the pack. This worked well and I ran as high as third at times. I would bring my nearly clean car home 10th and was very happy with that. In the Open, unlike the Fixed, I was set on the grid in the 27th spot. But as [...]

Harvick claims second straight win

March 15th, 2015

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Kevin Harvick survived two late race restarts to win the Phoenix NASCAR Sprint Cup race, taking his second consecutive victory and fifth in the last six races at the track. The 2014 champion took the lead from Joey Logano early on after a poor start from pole position, and dominated the first half of the race, with Logano again his main rival for much of that period. Harvick continued to keep various opponents at arm’s length, including series returnee and Stewart-Haas team-mate Kurt Busch, back from a three week suspension from NASCAR. Busch showed no sign of rustiness as he fought his way up the order methodically through the race, finally challenging for the lead with two thirds of the distance remaining. Harvick then made the most of a caution [...]

In-form Harvick takes Phoenix pole

March 14th, 2015

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Reigning NASCAR Sprint Cup champion Kevin Harvick took pole position for Sunday’s race at Phoenix. The Stewart Haas driver has six wins at the circuit, and has won four of the last five races despite never previously taking pole at the track. Harvick – who has two second place finishes and a win out of three races so far this season – clocked a 25.577s to head 2015 Daytona 500 winner and last week’s Las Vegas pole-sitter Joey Logano. Jamie McMurray, Matt Kenseth and Ryan Newman rounded out the top five, while Kurt Busch landed eighth on the grid for his first start of the year following his three-week NASCAR suspension. Hendrick Motorsports had a surprisingly average session, with Kasey Kahne and Jeff Gordon its highest-placed drivers on the fifth [...]

Putting the Excitement Back in Restarts

by Paul Williams on March 13th, 2015

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video game

While last week’s NASCAR iRacing Series visit to the virtual Las Vegas Motor Speedway produced many splits and some great sim racing, there was an outcry from the community about the need for an overhaul when it comes to restarts in the Gen6 cars. “I have no problem overcoming adversity of my own doing. But, to have this black flag issue affect me 2 out of 3 races so far in NASCAR iRacing Series is getting old,” said Anthony Palombo. “Driving through the field is fun, but I only want to do it if I am back there on purpose or my own doing, not because of others handling on restart issues.” Unfortunately, it’s hard to imagine a reasonable scenario from the reactive side that could resolve the problem. Programming [...]

NASCAR PEAK Antifreeze Series: Manufacturer Points

by Dylan Kapisky on March 13th, 2015

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video games

Tuesday night, the NASCAR PEAK Antifreeze Series rolled into the virtual Las Vegas Motor Speedway. The 1.5 mile track was host to a mixed bag of great sim racing, from long green flag runs to  cautions within six laps of restarts. Kenny Humpe dominated the early part of the race, and it looked as if Chevrolet would pick-up their first victory of the season. But bad timing for Humpe on a caution put Nick Ottinger in the lead late, with Toyota in position to notch their first win of 2015. With only a handful of laps to go, Humpe and Ottinger were battling for the lead, when they made contact, sending Nick into the wall, while Humpe emerged in P1. Humpe would hold the lead on a “one lap shootout” [...]

Touch ‘n Go in Vegas

by Jake Hayes on March 13th, 2015

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LVMS Hayes 3

Week 2 of the NASCAR iRacing Series sent us west to another fast 1.5 miler: Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Vegas has never been my favorite track, and I failed to finish last year’s race with a blown engine. Despite not really liking the track, I’m pretty quick around the place, which means we could get our first top five of the season! Atlanta and Las Vegas may both be 1.5 mile tracks, but they share very few traits other than that. Vegas has nowhere near the amount of bumps of Atlanta, which makes tuning your car lots easier. Vegas also has a unique line in Turns 1-2 with the fastest line often being right in the middle of the track. This makes passes challenging and track position a factor in [...]

Behind the Scenes: The NASCAR PEAK Antifreeze Series powered by iRacing.com – New Build, Same Plan

by Matt Holden on March 12th, 2015

249
Clint Bowyer tested the Gen-6 Toyota Camry at Kansas in 2012, and unsurprisingly stayed close to a "COT" car through almost every run.

A few weeks ago, I had a chat with an old friend.  He’s an old “iRacing buddy” of mine, one of the big-wigs at the team I was part of before joining Gale Force Sim Racing.  The two of us are great examples of how iRacing has developed its own types of members, very similar to how the real world of motorsport works.  He is from the northern US, and Modified Stock Cars and weekly short-track racing is his deal.  I am from the Carolinas, where engineering, math, and wind-tunnels have taken over the world of NASCAR.  His iRacing vehicle of choice is obviously the Modifieds, and he calls the big stock cars “Taxi cabs.”  I, however, have no real vehicle of choice, and haven’t run anything on a week-to-week [...]