Chris Shella has been a part of the iRacing community since July of 2010. Since then, he has given us 182 reasons why he is one of the top competitors on the service. Specifically, he has scored 172 wins in nearly 1400 oval starts and ten victories in 177 starts on road courses. This year, he has won nearly 20% of the oval races he has started and has finished in the top five, over half of the time.
Chris hasn’t stopped at race wins either. He won the championship for his division in the iRacing.com Grand Touring Cup in 2011 Season 4. No question, Shella is one of the top iRacers in the Carolina Club. I got the chance to talk to him (and ask him some questions) in this week’s edition of Get to Know:
Q: How long have you been sim-racing?
A: I have been sim racing since about early 2010. I got started with NASCAR 09 and NR2003, yet it wasn’t much of anything serious due to the fact I used a gamepad and primarily stayed offline.
Q: How did you get started in iRacing?
A: The first time I saw iRacing was on some sort of NR2003 forum page. I watched some videos on YouTube and the next thing I knew I had a wheel and some pedals along with an iRacing membership.
Q: Which race car driver in any racing series do you like the most?
A: My favorite race car driver in any series is Jimmie Johnson in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. I’ve watched NASCAR since about 2004 and he’s always been my favorite driver.
Q: What type of hobbies do you do outside of iRacing?
A: I used to race Bandoleros at my local short track, Orange County Speedway. We are moving up to the Limited Late Model class this year. I also enjoy playing basketball, break-dancing and playing the cello.
Q: What is your greatest accomplishment on iRacing?
A: My greatest accomplishment in iRacing so far would be placing 25th with five wins in the NASCAR Class A series standings this season. It’s really made me realize how I’ve progressed and also how far I still need to go.
Q: What car and track combination on iRacing would you like to drive in real life?
A: I would like to drive the Gen 6 Chevy SS at Rockingham Speedway in real life. The Gen 6 has become my favorite car on iRacing and Rockingham is a very difficult and fun track.
“If I can be seen as the guy who gets an increasingly quick pace week in and week out, I feel as though I’ve accomplished my mission.”
Q: What type of racing do you like to watch on TV?
A: I obviously love to watch NASCAR regardless if it’s the Cup Series or K&N. Other forms of racing I enjoy are Dirt Late Model Racing and Offroad short course racing (TORC).
Q: How do you think your fellow iRacers see you?
A: I think that my fellow iRacers see me as an evolving and progressing competitor. I always try to increase my lap count on each car/track combo I race to assist me in gaining speed. If I can be seen as the guy who gets an increasingly quick pace week in and week out, I feel as though I’ve accomplished my mission.
Q: What are three things that people on iRacing probably don’t know about you?
A: The first thing that people don’t know about me is that I must have my shifter on the driver’s left of the wheel, due to my computer being on the right. The second thing would be that I am actually younger than my voice sounds, meaning that people always assume I’m over 16. The last thing people don’t know is that I’m of African-American ethnicity, and this is something I do not mention often due to the flurry of jokes that ensue when it is mentioned.
Q: What is your favorite racing series on iRacing and why?
A: My favorite racing series is the NASCAR Class A Series. I absolutely love the car and it is the most competitive environment that I’ve ever been in.
Q: If there was one thing you could change about iRacing, what would it be?
A: If there was one thing I could change about iRacing, I would shift more focus to updating current content and working on physics for content we already have. I feel that we need a bit more focus on keeping current content updated and making everything as realistic as possible.
Q: What is one thing that you love the most about iRacing?
A: The thing I love the most about iRacing is that it lets you race in the most realistic environment available and allows you to connect and compete with those who enjoy it just as much as you do.
Q: Overall, how do you rate your success on iRacing?
A: I would rate my success on iRacing as about 7 out of 10. I feel like I’ve come a long way but I still need to get faster and to win bigger events such as a Pro series championship in order to be completely satisfied.