Editor’s note: In his comment on yesterday’s NiSWC race report, Tyler Beals mentioned he was starting his first ever race on iRacing last night, Street Stocks at USA International.  I thought his experience might make for enjoyable reading and Tyler was kind enough to share his reflections on his first taste of competition with the iRacing community.  Thanks Tyler . . . and welcome to iRacing. 

Yesterday, after joining iRacing on Tuesday, I participated in the first race of my career. We had a terrible warm-up round, with many people wrecking the entire field. My goal for the race was my safety rating. As with a lot of rookie series I have seen, many people in the field wrecked multiple times. Different drivers were a little bit more professional, but all of us were still rookies.

Another downside to my experience was the fact that I have not received my steering wheel yet. I was using a Logitech Joystick used for flight simulation, to drive the Number 7 National Guard Street Stock Series Car.

The start is the most stressful moment of any race, be it your first or your 100th.

Qualifying kind of intimidated me before the race, because my track position was terrible at the start. After two drivers were knocked-out and re-qualified, my starting position was on the inside line and in ninth position.

Quickly after the third lap, the wrecks started to kick-in. First wreck was between the fourth and fifth position drivers, and made a nice little maze for me to work through.

The race was without cautions, and it kept going. As the leaders kept running into the tenth lap, I was pulling out of Turn Four when I spun-out. In races I watch it is a very rookie mistake to continue to gas the vehicle after a wreck, which in effect causes the other cars to wreck into them. I did not let anyone wreck into me, and I maintained my ground on the lower side of the front stretch. Once cleared, I made my lap and pitted.

I enjoy the realism of the track and the cars themselves. Although one thing was not the best: the pit times. They are realistic which is what I like, but some wrecks drivers get into are not as damaging to the vehicle as the game makes them. I would barely tap the wall coming-off of a turn, and instantly get the pit stop flag.

It’s been said there are only two kinds of racers: those who have crashed and those who will crash. What matters is how you deal with them.

Other than that small issue my race was enjoyable. I was able to pull out of pit lane with 15 laps to go. By this point I had fallen to second to last place, and I was five laps down to the leaders.

Even with the extensive pit time and wrecks, the race was without a doubt successful. My safety rating went down a little bit, but I’m sure with my new wheel it will get better. One special thanks to a driver who was not rude to me —  and actually was intellectual about racing — was Josh Brown2.

The race was a success for me and I was very satisfied with my position and car setup.

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