Cody Thompson is the first to admit he hasn’t always been terribly serious about his sim-racing since joining iRacing in 2011. Then again, he’s had some legitimate excuses. Like the fact that he’s attending the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse (majoring in philosophy); or the fact that he bought a Street Stock this spring and has been racing it at his local short track.
But a funny thing happened with Thompson got a little more serious about his sim-racing this spring. He started winning . . . often. Often enough to boost his career winning percentage to 21.4%; often enough to capture the Season 2 Division 2 NASCAR iRacing.com Late Model Series title, besting Satoru Ohno by 99 points.
A hectic schedule this summer has forced Thompson to cut-back on his sim-racing, but when Season 4 rolls around . . . watch out!
Q: How long have you been sim racing?
A: I’ve been sim-racing for almost 10 years now, since NR2003 first came out. I didn’t really start to get serious about it until about three years ago, about a year before I started iRacing.
Q: What attracted you to iRacing?
A: The biggest attractions for me were 1)–always racing against real people (it makes the racing as real as possible, the good and bad) and 2–the Late Model iRacing uses, as it is similar to what we can all see every weekend on out local short tracks.
Q: What are favorite iRacing cars/tracks?
A: The Late Model is far and away my favorite car, and has been since day one. As far as tracks, being from Wisconsin, the Milwaukee Mile is tops on my list, followed closely by Langley, at it is very similar to the track I race on in real life.
Q: What do you like most about iRacing?
A: The close, competitive racing; the camaraderie and friendships–there are a bunch of people I talk to on a daily basis that I would never have met without iRacing; the way the Late Model community is so willing to help out new drivers–Kevin J Myers has helped me tremendously, both with setup and driving line/technique, and that has been instrumental in all my success on here. Last but certainly not least, I love the leagues out there for the Late Model as they promote all the aforementioned qualities.
Q: What would you change about iRacing?
A: The biggest thing I would change about iRacing is the change itself–especially with the LM, it seems like they release changes to the car purely for change’s sake. I know I am not the only one with this opinion; there are many of us that would gladly keep the current version for multiple seasons while the iRacing developers work to fix all the problems, instead of continually releasing what feels like an unfinished product. This actually goes for iRacing in general too. I would rather they make everything we have now, right, BEFORE adding more cars/tracks, so the current problems don’t continue to spread and make the issue of fixing them all but impossible later on.
Q: How many hours a week do you spend on iRacing?
A: This summer I have been working 60 hours a week, so I’m lucky if I can get in three hours a week (I relied heavily on Mr. Myers to help me run for the LM points this season) but during the winter months, I often spend two hours per day on iRacing in one form or another (driving, forums, creating paint schemes etc).
Q: Tell us about the paint schemes on your helmet/car(s).
A: My helmet and suit are currently plain black, as a tribute to my cousin that passed away this spring. My LM is a scheme I created for the season we just finished up. Just to be different, I put a Buick LaCrosse grill decal on it, which is apparently the way to be, as that scheme is undefeated in league races and won the 2012 Season 2 Division 2 Late Model points.
Q: What other sim racing activities (Forza, Gran Turismo, etc.) do you do?
A: At this point, I basically only do iRacing, with the rare excursion back to NR2003 for old time’s sake.
Q: What are your favorite video games?
A: The only video games I play with any regularity are Super Mario Galaxy 1 & 2 on the Wii. I’m not much of a gamer.
Q: Do you do any real world racing? Has iRacing been of any benefit?
A: I currently have a Street Stock; I’m not sure how much, if any, benefit I get from iRacing, as I did not have the car prior to iRacing.
“We have the unique experience of having thousands of people from all over the world with different backgrounds that all share a similar passion for the world of racing.”
Q: What is your most memorable iRacing moment?
A: This one is a tough call, there are two that are probably tied. The first is the one, and only, time I have ever beaten Jeremy Davis in a hotlap session. I’ve said for months that my two goals on iRacing were to beat Jeremy and KJM (which I never really expected to happen), so to see Jeremy say “you win” floored me. The second moment is actually a collection of them–in the five weeks after my cousin passed away, I finished 2nd, 1st, 1st, 1st and 1st to close-out the season at TeamSportRacingOnline.com. It was the best five weeks on my sim-racing career, hands down. I have never been so dominant, and wouldn’t be surprised if it never happened again. The best part was, the last week was my first ever broadcast race.
Q: What is the iRacing moment you’d love to forget?
A: I don’t remember
Q: What car/track would you like to see iRacing add to the service?
A: SUPER LATE MODEL!!!!!!!!!!!!
Q: What person, living or dead do you most admire?
A: Brian Back has been my hero since the very first short track race I ever saw when I was around four years old. The man is one of, if not the best drivers I have ever seen, and he is an absolute genius when it comes to building and setting-up race cars.
Q: What’s your favorite real world racing series?
A: ASA Midwest Tour.
Q: Name the title of the most recent book you read.
Q: Name of your favorite movie/TV show?
A: The Office.
Q: How many of your close friends are iRacing members?
A: Of the people I knew before iRacing, there are only a couple that are members, but there are many that I met on the service that I would consider good friends now.
Q: Has competing with iRacers all around the world influenced your opinions/outlook on life/world events? How?
A: I’m not sure that it necessarily changed anything, but it certainly reinforced the old adage that “there is more than one way to skin a cat.” We have the unique experience of having thousands of people from all over the world with different backgrounds that all share a similar passion for the world of racing. And although we won’t agree on so many things, it is still like one gigantic family.