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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.
  • David Judson
    Contributor

    29 years old, Dave Judson lives in Mentor, Ohio. Dave has grown up with racing, watching his father win races and championships at the local go-kart track as a youngster and continuing his love of racing while watching NASCAR, Indycar, Formula 1 and sports cars.
    Judson has enjoyed a successful sim-racing career of his own in the IZOD Indycar iRacing Open and Fixed Setup Series. He has race wins to his credits as well as the Division 1 Championship of the Open Series in Season 1 of 2013 and the Overall Championship of the Fixed Series in Season 3 of 2013.
    Dave has a Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration from Cleveland State University and is looking to expand his horizons by writing for inRacingNews.

  • Matt A Kingsbury
    Contributor

    Kingsbury lives in Fairfield, Connecticut where he currently attends Sacred Heart University. He is a fan of any form of racing, from NASCAR to IndyCar, Formula 1, and especially endurance racing. The summer of 2013 saw Kingsbury attend IndyCar's return to Pocono Raceway as well as the ARCA race at Pocono which Corey Lajoie won and got some pictures (including the accompanying mug shot) in Victory Lane thanks to his aunt!

  • Raymond Kingsbury
    Contributor

    Ray Kingsbury is a motorsport enthusiast and full-time university student, born and raised in Connecticut. He started his own racing career in BMX, riding bicycles competitively on the state level. In eight years he claimed the state championship and was ranked nationally before moving away from the sport. This void of activities led him to rediscover sim-racing in the form of NASCAR Heat. After a championship in the game's most competitive league Kingsbury started focusing full-time on his involvement in Live for Speed. There he founded Last Lap Motorsports which today has more than 20 members worldwide.

    When a few Last Lap Motorsports members decided to give iRacing.com a chance to feed their desire for more oval racing, Ray teamed with his brother Matt, Nathan Lamothe and newcomer Jimmie Jones to enter the ETV! Live Team Series and claimed the title after a dominating performance at Watkins Glen. To this day the team continues in both Live for Speed and iRacing.com and Ray still takes much delight in his own sim-racing career. A reporter for his high school newspaper before moving to university, Kingsbury keeps-up his writing activities by contributing to iRacing News.

  • 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.

  • Jordan Hightower
    Contributor

    Jordan began sim-racing in 2005 with the NASCAR Racing 2003 Season sim and then joined the iRacing community in June of 2008. He hails from Fort Smith, Arkansas where he is currently enrolled at the University of Arkansas Fort Smith, after which he plans to attend the University of Arkansas to earn his MBA. Although he enjoys watching and playing basketball, most of Jordan's focus is on motorsports, particularly NASCAR: "Anything that burns gas and goes fast, I like."

  • Scott Kelly
    Contributor

    Born and raised in the greater St. Louis, Missouri area, Scott Kelly has had a love for motorsports ever since his father did the right thing by introducing auto racing into his life. No longer able to quench his need for speed by spectating NASCAR races on TV and watching dirt track stars slide around local tracks, Kelly eventually picked-up sim racing in his teens, wheeling cars found in Ratbag Games' "Dirt Track Racing" and "World of Outlaws: Sprint Cars" while also becoming introduced into multiple Papyrus sim-racing series. Joining the iRacing ranks in late 2011, Kelly set his sights on the short track racing he was familiar with, focusing on the sprint car, while also driving the Legends and street stock in multiple iRacing.com leagues.

    Kelly brings not just his enthusiasm for racing to the highest-rated motorsports simulation, but also his B.A. degree in English; he covers the action seen in the iRacing.com Sprint Car Series, while also placing the spotlight on various leagues within the service. Enjoying his start to a career in motorsports journalism, Kelly also doesn't mind visiting victory lane from time-to-time.

  • George Wood
    Contributing Writer
    After beginning his racing career with go-karts at age seven, George then turned wrenches on street stocks until he could finally turn the wheel. Following the successes of his friends and family, George has since retired from real-world racing, where he is now a science and mathematics faculty member for several local community colleges. When George isn't grading laboratory reports or iRacing, he is performing at bluegrass festivals in the Northeast, making fishing lures, playing golf, and rooting for his beloved Baltimore Orioles.
  • Chris Hall
    iRacing.com Series Writer
    Chris Hall has been writing since the nineties and moved into motorsports reporting in 2005, covering series such as ALMS, British GT, FIA GT, Le Mans and 2CV racing for Full Throttle magazine, Motorsport.com, The-Paddock.net, GTGateway.com, L' Endurance and, of course, inRacingNews. During 2008 and 2009, he worked with the RSS Performance Porsche Carrera Cup Team (and former British GT(C) champions) as a data engineer for a variety of drivers and models of 997s.
  • 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.
  • Dylan Sharman
    Contributing Writer
    I was born in Adelaide and we moved-out for Angle Vale for a few years until I was about 7 years old, when we moved to the Barossa Valley where I live now. I'm 19 years old and currently traveling back and forth weekly as I'm studying for a Diploma of Furniture Design and Technology.

    I've always had a love for racing as my close family did some racing and we were always out at the local dirt track. I joined iRacing back in 2010 and slowly but surely got the hang of it as this is my first experience with sim racing and am loving it each time I race. I've won two SK Modified titles (almost had three in a row but finished P2 in 2011 S4), an iRacingNews Challenge championship (2012 S1 Mazda) and was also an AustralAsian Intel GT Series Finalist.
  • 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.

Gooden Plenty II

by Wyatt Gooden on July 18th, 2011

Editor’s Note: Wyatt Gooden has enjoyed great success racing sedans in both the real and virtual worlds.  As winner of the iRacing.com VW Jetta TDi Cup series in 2008, the young Ohioan earned an iRacing.com-sponsored ride in the 2009 SCCA Pro Racing VW Jetta TDi Cup.  After a rough first outing,Gooden rebounded to score a pair of wins and capture the series rookie of the year honors.

Earlier this month, Wyatt turned his attention to open wheels, making his debut in the SCCA F1600 Formula F Championship at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Quantum Racing’s Honda Fit-powered Van Diemen with support from iRacing.com 2.0 and Starting Grid.

Things went pretty well, as Wyatt explains . . .

The schedule was rather unusual as everything started late in the afternoon. It was a nice change of pace not to have to get up at 6am every day through the weekend . My parents and I arrived at the track around 2pm and, after introducing them to the team, I walked around the paddock, taking note of all the drivers who I had ‘researched’ before.

Gooden traded-in his fenders for open wheels at Mid-Ohio.

I always like to size-up the competition beforehand just to have an idea as to who I’m going up against. There were quite a few well known SCCA National and Runoffs champions in the field, guys with years and years of experience in all kinds of cars. Tim Kautz seemed to be the hot shoe in these cars, always a front runner and last year’s SCCA Runoffs national champ. I knew the Australian kid — Mitch Martin — would be quick as he was running a brand new chassis with a very high profile team, so clearly they sent him over to this event to win. Sam Beasely I’ve known for ages as he grew up near me. He’s been the Number One ranked kart racer in the country for a while and has more experience with these cars having run the season opener at VIR, as well as having done an SCCA National at the same track just a couple weeks prior.

The competition was definitely going to be strong.   I knew this going in, which is why I set my goals a bit lower just so I wouldn’t get stressed if things weren’t going well. Fortunately, I seem to be able to adapt to and pick up on things quickly, which makes up for my lack of experience.

First practice rolls around and the excitement kicks in. I felt comfortable enough with the car after the Hallett test that I knew it wouldn’t be too difficult to get up to speed. There were things I wanted to get a little better at, and I knew three practice sessions would be plenty of time to figure them out. We were able to improve every session, and by the end of the day the balance of the car was spot on, my braking was on point and I was able to hit consistent mid 28’s lap after lap. The heat was a little bit of a concern for me as it really kicked my butt out in Oklahoma during the test. I got a huge reminder of how important it is to be physically fit to drive these cars, so in between the test and this race weekend I trained really hard, cycling usually 15-20 miles a day which really helped a ton. I’m glad I did as it was certainly hotter than usual in Ohio, 80s and 90s and humid all weekend.

So the Thursday test went absolutely perfectly.   I improved here and there every session, stayed out on track as long as I could just to get laps in and, best of all, never went off track.  The only close call in practice was when a guy spun in front of me on the last lap of the last session going through that fast left hander before the Carousel. It was one of those heart-stopping moments for sure, as I could have easily run right into him had I not been looking ahead. It’s hard to slow a car down and get off line when you are going through a fast corner, as upsetting the balance when the car is already loaded usually doesn’t end well. Fortunately I escaped that one!

in a word, Thursday's practice went "perfectly."

Being fastest in practice was great and all, but I knew I had a tough weekend ahead of me at this point. Mitch Martin and I were neck and neck as far as pace every session, we even somehow managed to run the exact same lap time in final practice! It was a huge surprise to be so far ahead of everyone else though; certainly gave me a bit of confidence going into the races. I pretty much knew the battle would be between Mitch and me at this point, and Sam would be right there if he could hang in our draft.

Race days are always more nerve-racking than practice, obviously they actually count for something. I knew that my car was capable and if I kept my head together I could put it up front, but the pressure was on me to perform now. Qualifying went well.  As we expected, there was quite a bit of traffic to deal with but I managed to find gaps and lay down good laps when I needed to.

From the few times I was running with other cars in practice I knew the draft was going to be stronger than anything I had experienced in the TDI Cup. With Mitch having qualified just 2/10ths behind me, I was sure that he would be staying right with me, at least for most of the race until his tires went off.

When things finally got underway I had a good start, and led the first couple of laps, not really pushing super hard as I’m always thinking about having the best tires at the end of the race . . . when it matters. Beasley was charging hard, passing in every corner he had a chance to so I didn’t fight with him. Mitch and I were faster but Sam was being a little aggressive and we were playing it cool.

Gooden and Martin swapped the lead in Race One before Gooden pulled away to a 3.5s win..

This was the first time I really got to run in traffic, and I wanted to see how they were going to race. I hung back in third and just watched them pass each other back and forth. I felt in complete control of the race; I knew they weren’t going to get too far ahead and I wasn’t driving the car through some of the corners as hard.

Mid-Ohio is notorious for front tire wear so I kept this in mind. About a third of the way through the race we started to separate ourselves from third place, and halfway through I could tell that Mitch was slowing up a bit. We had some issues with lapped traffic but managed to keep it clean. We passed back and forth a few times on the back straightaway, but eventually I was able to start pulling enough of a gap to where he couldn’t draft by me. By the end of the race I had a 3.5 second lead, and we were 14 seconds ahead of third place!

“iRacing certainly isn’t only useful for learning tracks, but even for just knowing how to race smart, thinking ahead, blocking everything out of your mind and doing what needs to be done to win the race.” — Wyatt Gooden

To keep it short I’ll summarize the second race, which I really wish we would have had an onboard camera for, because it was absolutely epic. Mitch got the pole for Race Two and we quickly pulled away from the field. We raced more efficiently this time, only passing each other on the straights, and driving as fast as we could through the twisty rhythm section. I pulled a 1.5 second lead on Mitch, and we were once again much faster than the rest of the field when the caution came out with about three laps to go.

A familiar sight at Mid-Ohio: a victorious Wyatt Gooden.

I feel like there were so many things I’ve learned from competitive sim racing that put me ahead of a lot of other drivers out there. In my opinion iRacing certainly isn’t only useful for learning tracks, but even for just knowing how to race smart, thinking ahead, blocking everything out of your mind and doing what needs to be done to win the race. A lot of people were surprised this weekend by how well I adapted to the track and the type of racing these open wheel cars produce, I think people will start to learn that training on the simulators is really worth a lot more than they initially thought.

10 Comments or Trackbacks

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  1. Gary Holbrook
    July 18th, 2011 at 10:23 pm

    Nice win and great job covering race.

  2. Rick Crawford
    July 20th, 2011 at 9:03 pm

    Nice job PCRacer

  3. Connor
    July 20th, 2011 at 10:40 pm

    Pretty kick ass, tear it up out there Wyatt. I can only hope this, as well as GT Academy, will open eyes to the talent out there in sim racing. Hopefully some sponsors will take note and take a chance giving other top simracers an oppurtunity to win races. Good luck.

  4. Shane Lowry
    July 21st, 2011 at 12:50 am

    Way to go mate.

  5. Gabriel Montanes
    July 21st, 2011 at 4:07 am

    Go-go Wyatt !!…Incredible driver qith lot of talent. Well deserved victories and for sure will come more in the future. Go Wyatt!!

  6. Peter Lai
    July 21st, 2011 at 2:57 pm

    Nice article, I’ll be cheering you on.

  7. Guest
    July 21st, 2011 at 7:09 pm

    Nice article, though the caption for the third image spoiled the end result!

  8. richard basford
    July 21st, 2011 at 8:22 pm

    awesome as always Wyatt!! Hopefully your success inspires teams to take chances on accomplished sim racers!

    rich

  9. Jeff thomas
    July 21st, 2011 at 11:36 pm

    rock and roll excellent good job

  10. stan roogers
    November 30th, 2011 at 8:32 am

    awsome im new to i racing got my d licence currenty 3.57 in the safty ratings j dont like the road course to much but i do race like ovels and short tracks , finding it hard to get a hold of drafting any tips