This week I had the chance to interview another established painter whose paint schemes can be found on many cars on iRacing, including those run by Tyler D Hudson and Nick Ottinger in the NASCAR iRacing.com Series World Championship. He has also painted many cars that have run in the NASCAR iRacing.com Class B and Class C Racing Series (see a list of “his” cars at the bottom of the page).
Q: How long have you been sim racing?
A: If we’re counting years playing racing games in general, probably since I was about ten years old, but if we’re talking about online racing, since 2008. I know there are a lot of guys who can point to NASCAR Racing 2003 season as their starting point, but I started out playing NASCAR ’08 and NASCAR ’09. So I guess you could say I’m relatively new to sim racing in a general sense. I do more painting than racing to be honest with you.
Q: How did you get started in iRacing?
A: I spent a lot of time on sim racing community sites, and I’d watched a couple of broadcast races in the past, so I knew about iRacing for a year or two before I joined, but ultimately it was Dylan Duval who sold me on it. He’d been talking about how he was running in the GSRacing.com Truck Series and that he was looking for a sponsor. We spent a couple of days discussing things and it wasn’t long after that I took the plunge and became a member on October 3, 2011.
Q: Which race car driver do you look up to the most?
A: Mark Martin. After all these years, he’s still racing and contending for wins. If ambition got him to the Sprint Cup Series, it’s passion that keeps him there, and it’s truly amazing to see him drive. It seems to me that he’s very calculated and deliberate when he’s racing – he doesn’t try to show his hand too early or use-up his equipment. I try to model my own driving style after that approach. I’ve never met him, but I hear he’s a nice, down-to-earth kind of guy too. I’d love to see him get another win soon.
Q: What type of hobbies do you do outside of iRacing?
A: I’m an aviation enthusiast. I live near an Air Force base so it’s pretty common to see aircraft of all types coming and going. My grandfather served in the Air Force during Vietnam, and when I was a kid he’d take me to see some of the old planes they have on display. I’m also a gun enthusiast, if my Chevy SS scheme doesn’t make that obvious enough.
Q: What is one goal that you hope to accomplish this year on iRacing?
A: I’d like to start racing more often and being competitive in the races I do run. I haven’t had a lot of time to do it as much as I’d like. I’ve been testing in the Chevy SS for a couple of weeks, getting the feel for it, so it might not be too much longer before you see me running official races again – I have to get my blue stripe so my buddies will stop ragging on me about it!
Q: What type of racing do you like to watch on TV?
A: I’m a huge NASCAR fan obviously, but I’m also into off-road racing. Rally racing is pretty intense in its own way – you’re not so much racing against other drivers as much as you’re racing the elements and the course. I don’t know what it would take to bring rally to iRacing, but if and when that happens, I’ll be one of the first people in line to run.
Q: How do you think your fellow iRacers see you?
A: I haven’t been racing a lot due to family and job obligations, but whenever I do run, I hope people see me as someone who will run them hard but clean. Winning might be everything, but respect is everything else. If you win the race and lose the respect of your fellow competitors, it’s not as sweet of a victory, I think. So it’s very important to me to race people clean and be respectful of other drivers.
“Winning might be everything, but respect is everything else.”
Q: If there was one race in your iRacing career you could go back and change, what would it be and why?
A: I’d have to say my last race, actually. It was a late model race at Thompson some months ago – unofficial, but still pretty important because it was a tribute race. It was 200 laps and I hadn’t practiced at all until the day of the race. The car was terrible and I spent most of the race as a back marker. I got caught-up in a couple of wrecks and after losing control twice, I parked it. If I could change it, I’d go back and prepare for it in advance by learning the track and the setup and acclimating to the car rather than just jumping in headlong and running like crap the entire time.
Q: If there was one thing you could change about iRacing, what would it be?
A: If it were up to me, I’d add a number style editor. Right now iRacing stamps all the numbers (which is understandable) but I would love to have something where I can adjust the spacing, stroke size, drop shadow, skew…, things like that. If they could ever implement that in the future, I’d say the painting aspect of iRacing would be pretty close to perfect. Of course, there’s always the issue of manufacturers for the oval cars…but I digress.
Q: What is one thing that you love the most about iRacing?
A: The painting community. Since I joined iRacing I’ve met a lot, and I mean a LOT, of other painters. I could give you a list of all the guys I talk to regularly, but I’m afraid I’ll leave someone out and offend them. But it’s awesome to be able to go into the forums and see people posting their work and getting feedback. No doubt about it, iRacing is the home of some of the best painters in the world.
Q: What is your greatest accomplishment on iRacing?
A: Racing-wise, I haven’t done a whole lot, but painting-wise, I’d say having my paint jobs in the NiSWC is a pretty big achievement for me. There’s a very short list of people who can compete in that series, and being able to say I’ve had drivers like Tyler Hudson and Nick Ottinger driving cars I designed for them is pretty damn cool.
#75 Motorsports Retro Dodge Charger – Brett Rowe (Nationwide)
#75 DuVita Chevrolet Impala SS – Brett Rowe (Nationwide)
#75 EyeEarn.com Ford Fusion – Michael Gaier (PASS South Late Model)
#40 Ron Paul Dodge Charger – Donnie Neuenberger (ARCA)
#07 BanditChippers.com Chevrolet Silverado – Jake Crum (Trucks)
#24 Silestone Chevrolet Impala – Benny Gordon (Nationwide)
#01 BanditChippers.com Chevrolet Silverado – Jake Crum (Trucks)
#24 NO MORE Chevrolet Impala – Angela Cope (Nationwide)
#39 MaddiesPlaceRocks.com Ford Mustang – Dexter Stacey (Nationwide)
#00 Hwy 55 Toyota Camry – Angela Cope (Nationwide)