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September 2014

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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.
  • Matt A Kingsbury
    Contributor

    Kingsbury lives in Fairfield county, 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 Corey's aunt!

  • 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.

  • Brooks Westfall
    Silver Crown Writer

    I've been sim racing since 2011 when I joined iRacing. I've jumped to many different sims, including rFactor, Richard Burns Rally, and the famous NASCAR Racing 2003. I picked up a copy of NR2003 with my birthday money when I was only 9, but was limited to a keyboard and a controller. After reciving a G25 for Christmas in '11, I've loved sim racing and the community iRacing has. I hope to end up writing for a car magazine or website in the near future, and intend on attending university to accomplish that.
    Aside from my career in sim racing and the real world, I hope to have my own small, yet functional race team soon with the purchace of a go kart. Since I'm currently residing in Maryland, I don't have a wide range of racing to choose from. My only options on a small budget are drag racing or kart racing. After the completion of my senior year in high school next year, I hope that inRacing News and other affiliates will help my dreams of writing for Road & Track become a reality!

  • 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."

  • 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.

  • Marc Dorval
    series contributor

    Marc Dorval has been a dedicated but talentless iRacer since 2009. Currently hanging out near the back of the Lotus 79 pack, he nonetheless contributes to the community through posts, statistics, and a weekly recap on the main events of the Lotus 79 series.
    Outside of iRacing, Marc is married with two grown-up children, loves Jaguar cars, and runs an IT consulting practice.

  • 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.

  • Ray 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.

  • 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.

  • Tom O'Leary
    author

    Tom is an 18-year old student from London, UK. Tom started sim-racing quite recently, although his passion for motorsport started at an early age, watching BTCC since the late 90s. Tom has since then expanded his interests in motorsport, watching Le Mans 24hr (and endurance racing as a whole) as well as the DTM, F1, and since starting to write about the NASCAR iRacing Series - NASCAR!

    Tom appeared on the sim-racing scene by trying out rFactor, rFactor 2 and then iRacing - where he spends most of his time racing in the Star Mazda Series where he has claimed third and then second overall in the two full seasons he has competed. On the oval side, Tom has completed a few races in the NASCAR Class C (Fixed) although he most enjoys the road side. Tom is an active member of Friction Racing, a team which focuses on the Star Mazda and the Williams-Toyota FW31, with the aim of reaching the Pro Series - and the iRacing World Championship Grand Prix Series.

    In his personal life, Tom spend time with his girlfriend (they have been together for two years) and likes a variety of games and has started to livestream his races/gameplay on Twitch, to give an insight to his approach to racing and gaming.

  • 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.

Michael Self’s PIR Blog

by Michael Self on November 21st, 2012

Every race I compete in is different, which is ironic because when I made the switch from road racing to ovals everyone gave me a hard time saying that I was just going to be driving the same circle week after week.  But for those who said this, I can’t tell them how wrong they are.  Oval racing takes a different mindset, a different way of driving, a different way of adapting to new tracks and with that, adapting to different races.

Coming in to the Casino Arizona 50 the mindset was a little different than the majority of the K&N West Weekends.  We generally put on a one day show.  Practice, qualify and race on the same day, with the race being around 150 laps.  I arrived at Phoenix International Raceway Thursday afternoon with a one hour practice session at 4PM that day, a one hour session early the next morning, then qualifying the NEXT morning with the race that evening, and the race was only 50 laps.  That meant I had to keep my mental state where I needed it for about 52 straight hours and make sure it was at its peak there at the end.

The Golden Gate Racing team had me set right out of the box, which always makes life a little easier.  We were top of the board early in the first session and ended the session P2 by just a few hundredths and confident going in to the next mornings practice.  Again we topped the board from the start of the session, ending up fourth just behind the three K&N East cars that were our competition this race.  The next morning is when things started to get a little crazy…

PIR and NASCAR had made the decision to bring in fire trucks after Friday night’s Camping World Truck series race and completely soak the track down to clean it off.  We were the next ones on the track early Saturday morning.  My qualifying position couldn’t have been much better as I was second to last to go out, but as I watched the first car come through Turn 1 with dirt bellowing off his rear spoiler and his MPH nearly 6 slower than it had been all weekend I knew we were all in for a little bit of a shock.  By the time the line had gotten close to me four cars had spun, the times were all over the place, and the pit area was surprisingly quiet as everyone waited to see the results of each car.

Two cars before was a three time champion of the K&N West Series, one of my biggest threats in practice.  I was belted in watching in my rearview as I heard his car coming off Turn 4 down the front stretch and heard that dreaded sideways tire squeal as his car came across my rear view backwards and hard in to the Turn 1 outside wall.  Not the most reassuring thing in the world right before my run.  I knew I had to bring it a step back, just make it through conservatively.  After nailing the run with a P2 effort it was time to wait those last eight hours until I got back in to the car.  In the meantime I had the option to enjoy the live Nationwide Series race, and with Kyle Busch starting P2 I figured I may be able to learn something about that freshly-cleaned outside groove on the start.  I thought that until my hopes were shattered a little bit and saw how loose he got in that outside groove and dropped about four positions.

With no worries about iRating, Self led from start to finish to win the Casino Arizona 50 at PIR.

As the race drew near and the rainclouds started to move overhead it was time to put everything together, for 50 laps.  A shootout at the most.  The tires wouldn’t have any issue falling off and our car had been the most consistent by far, so all I had to do was block out the hundreds of other things I had going on over the past few days and take control of the race.  A scenario I’d been through before.  Over the last year and a half I’ve found something unique that racing does for me:  When the lower chin guard of my helmet crosses over my eyes and I become encased in that fiberglass surrounding things change.  Every worry, every thought, every other issue in the outside world disappears and my focus changes.  I no longer have close friends around me; the other cars are obstacles that I simply have to maneuver around.  I remember back to last winter, when I was having stressing issues going on, or things that I just needed to get away from, I would fire up my computer, jump in to my Playseat, log-on to the familiar iRacing members website and load one of my favorite scenarios to put some laps on.  Whether it was a Carburetor Cup Race in which I could just have fun, or a Lotus 79 test session at Lime Rock, or one of the 24 Heurs De Fun races.  None of these would affect my iRating but they would all give me the chance to escape and clear my head and just do some sim-racing, but the racer in me would naturally pull the focus that I needed to get my mindset right so that I could perform.

“I had to ignore the pressure of having Richard Childress sitting atop my pit box talking over the radio as I waited to start the car.”

That’s exactly what I had to do at Phoenix.  I had to clear the thoughts of being in Phoenix for the last two days.  Before qualifying I had to erase that pure image of the car wrecking just before me.  Now I had to get rid of the thought that the outside lane wasn’t going to work for me on the start and know that I could MAKE it work.  I had to relieve the pressure of having Richard Childress himself sitting atop my pit box talking over the radio as I waited to start the car.  I had to imagine myself in my Playseat, with a wide open track in front of me and no iRating on the line, just all out fun and the enjoyment of being in the car.

Richard Childress celebrates at Phoenix with Michael Self, Jimi Offenbach and Mike Self Sr. (Pat Brandon Photo)

The green flag dropped and I got what I’ll say was easily my best start of the last three years.  I nosed past the leader at the line and never so much as thought about what was behind me.  I cleared the pole sitter the next lap and had that familiar, wide open track in front of me.  Coming down the front stretch with the lights illuminating  the track and the rain clouds making for darker than average night, it was the sight I was so comfortable with.  It was like I had no rear view mirror; it was just me on the track loving what I do so much, and having so much fun with it, and the only thing on my mind was making those perfect four turns lap after lap.

Everything went as smooth as ever.  iRacing gave me so many opportunities to practice what happened on Saturday night, but I never really realized it until then.  It gave me the chance time and time again to just clear my head and drive on a wide open track in a risk free environment, and at Phoenix, that’s the mindset I needed to win that race.

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