I’m just another racer . . .

These are the words you will hear Ryan Worley utter in his soft-spoken demeanor if asked about his experience with iRacing. You might think to yourself, ‘Much ado about nothing,’ until you have the chance to talk with this inspiring individual.

You see, Ryan has a unique set of challenges when one thinks of sim racing, though you’ll never hear that from him. Quite the contrary… In fact Ryan is absolutely content with whom he is and wouldn’t change anything. He is 23 years of age and hails from the little town of Vaughn, located 60 miles southwest of Seattle, Washington. A member of iRacing since December of 2010, Ryan enjoys working on a farm with an ATV and follows professional bull riding quite avidly. He can also be found at Grays Harbor Raceway now and again taking-in some local dirt track racing.

But there are a couple of things that make this young man stand out where sim racing is concerned:
A)    He races from a wheelchair.
B)    He used a gamepad but has since moved to a Logitech DFGT steering wheel in the midst of our interview.
C)    He has one arm and one foot, an anomaly at birth that doctors have never been able to diagnose.

Certainly not the typical attributes when one thinks sim racing, right? Don’t be fooled, Ryan is very talented on the track and his stats prove this out. In his short iRacing career Ryan has achieved a sound four wins and 21 top five finishes from 40 races on the oval side of the sim. Equally (if not more so) impressive are his nine top fives from 13 starts on the road side. Ryan’s last 10 race stats show that he enjoys all the challenges iRacing has to offer. From Late Models to the Mazda MX-5, and Legends as well as the Cup car…Ryan will run them.

In deciding to do this article I wanted to get permission from Ryan, just a respect to privacy deal really, because I matter-of-factly didn’t know how to tackle such a story. Ryan was receptive and it was then that I explained what brought him to my attention. It was a thread he created in the iRacing forums as a means to quell the curiosity of folks during races when he explained his condition and/or reason for an on track mistake. The original post is as follows:

“If you’re curious. I steer and downshift with my toe using the left thumbstick, I click down on it to downshift. And I do the throttle with my index finger using the trigger, and I upshift by clicking down on the right thumbstick and brake by pulling down on it.”

The thread generated 155 replies of support, admiration, and respect within a mere five days and really drove me to take action.

From there we had some late night conversations using a chat application called Ventrilo. I was at ease with Ryan almost immediately and we talked about all kind of matters. Ryan got the bug for racing awhile back and started-out on consoles with F1 and GTR2.  Once Ryan made the jump to iRacing, he was able to use his prior console experience to adapt pretty quickly. He tells me he is learning the process of making setups but that GTR2 was a little easier. He also says he has been able to help others shave considerable time off their laps through corrected braking points and lines.


Ryan is currently involved in league racing as well at “DP Late Night Racing,” running the Legends cars on Tuesday nights with a very solid group of folks I had the opportunity to speak with as a group on Teamspeak.

“We were more than happy to take Ryan on board here at DP Late Night Racing and look forward to racing with Ryan and learning from him as well,” said Doug Easterday, president of the league. The common consensus in the conversation amongst the members was that Ryan Worley is fast. This was reiterated by Patrick Rowland, co-owner of the league. “Ryan is great, he’s fast, we love racing with him and he has a great attitude.”

Our conversation found its way to the iRacing service itself and how Ryan re-ups his subscription in 3 month increments. I didn’t ask the whys and wherefors on the subject. I just remembered him saying that he enjoys road racing more than oval and didn’t have all of the road content.

I also learned that Ryan acquired a Logitech DFGT steering wheel recently and I got to wondering . . .’There must be a better way for Ryan to access buttons and have a more comfortable grip on a wheel.’ It dawned on me that the guy who might be able to come through on this is an iRacing member.

Worley (foreground) working a best lap of 1:00.496 in the MX-5 at Lime Rock Park.

Continuing our conversation we began talking about places we’ve been. Race tracks mainly… go figure huh. Ryan has been to a number of races including Infinion in 2008. Anyway he said if he could ever get to an oval track of choice, it would be Bristol.

What unfolded over a number of days following my chats with Ryan is to the credit of the following:
•    iRacing
•    Dale Earnhardt Jr.
•    Charlie Visscher
•    Steve Sheehan

Enter iRacing president Tony Gardner and staff.  iRacing has made a generous membership donation, insuring that Ryan will be around for a good while and enjoy those road courses he does not have… yet.

Charlie Visscher, owner of SimRacnWheels has generously donated his collaboration with Ryan in fabricating that perfectly accessible wheel I know Ryan will enjoy. Charlie’s Plexiglas wheels are of the finest craftsmanship and I encourage anyone to check them out when shopping for a custom steering wheel. Steve Sheehan, a member at iRacing, also donated a G27 to compliment the one-off wheel.

I’m also pleased to announce that Dale Earnhardt Jr. has graciously donated an all-expense paid trip to “The World’s Fastest Half Mile” for the Irwin Tools Night Race in August. This is sure to be a memorable time for Ryan and I can’t thank Dale enough for his donation and support in making this a reality.

In wrapping this up, I’d just like to say that I have seen and done some pretty cool stuff. I’ve been privileged in my time to be touched by a lending hand a time or two and always have looked for ways to do my stint when I see an opening that allows me to make a difference. This is my latest and without a doubt, most fulfilling bit.

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19 Comments

Definitely one of the best all-around stories to ever take a lap around the iRacing forums. Very awesome of iRacing, Dale, Steve, and Charlie…and very inspirational story. Excellent article, Rick! And best of luck fellow Ryan. 🙂

Ryan
April 30th, 2011 at 1:23 am

He’s actually 22, but no harm he appreciates the age upgrade lol.

Chris Worley
April 30th, 2011 at 6:53 am

Great article Rick!! Well done!

Reed Rundell
April 30th, 2011 at 12:41 pm

Ryan, been racing with you for a while now and you deserve it. Although i dont know if i like it. You are already fast. All this new equipment we wont be able to beat you 🙂 But seriously its been an honor to race with you and hope we continue to in the future.

Michael

Michael Hungerford
April 30th, 2011 at 2:45 pm

I can only but admire the courage and dedication Ryan shows us.
Amazing aricle.
Once more, it shows us that all is possible if you put your mind to it.

Wim Bries
April 30th, 2011 at 11:03 pm

i remember Ryan from that thread.

it’s awesome to know people who go for their passions like he’s doing here. he’s certainly a winner for that!

good luck in your races Ryan, and great story Rick!

Alexandre
April 30th, 2011 at 11:43 pm

exactly, Wim. We can put things up down with our minds.

Ryan, you are very strong person. Huge respect to you, best wishes in everything you do.

Evgeny Garanin
May 7th, 2011 at 10:17 pm

Wow.

Luke Annett
May 2nd, 2011 at 2:43 am

Incredible. Enjoy your new equipment dude and your trip to Bristol. That should be an awesome experience.

Needham
May 2nd, 2011 at 3:17 pm

Awesome story Rick ! Ryan.. You are the man !! Keep it up buddy !

Darin Gangi
May 2nd, 2011 at 4:21 pm

Great story Rick and keep up the good work Ryan its always fun racing with you and hope to see you Tuesday

Doug Easterday
May 2nd, 2011 at 8:59 pm

ryan as a member of dplatenightracing its always fun to race with you side by side with you but moslty behind you lol

danny j
May 2nd, 2011 at 9:43 pm

Very Inspiring story! Thank you for sharing, Doug. Awesome Story Rick!
Fred & Lin

Fred
May 2nd, 2011 at 11:36 pm

Good stuff Ryan you can race better then me and i have all my legs and feet.

roy easley
May 3rd, 2011 at 1:35 am

Great Story. Well done Ryan you are very strong willed.

Zorro
May 4th, 2011 at 11:16 am

Yeah Ryan! Great story!

Chris Desgroseillier
May 4th, 2011 at 5:15 pm

Fantastic story! Ryan, so glad you are having fun doing what you love! Good luck in the future!

Jack B
May 24th, 2011 at 6:05 pm

i cant do any of this without God. He’s what allows me to do the impossible

Ryan Worley
June 8th, 2011 at 3:39 am

Ryan, I don’t know if you will ever see this comment, but I am gonna type it up anyway. When I joined Iracing I wondered who the heck had the same name as me. I was personally was a bit mad that I had to show up as Ryan C Worley and not Ryan Worley. I spent a good bit of time figuring that the first Ryan Worley was someone who had just stopped racing after a couple of months, and that I would never see them on track.
Today I decided to search drivers and found you. When I did I realized that the guy with my name was not just someone who quit after a month. In fact I found someone who didn’t quit after 7 years! I found a Ryan Worley who didn’t quit, even though he had only one leg and one foot. I found someone who faced adversity, and kept on going.
Now that I know who the other Ryan Worley is, I am proud to say that I share the same name! Good luck, and if we ever meet in a race, which I would love, we will make it very confusing! 🙂

Ryan C Worley
July 12th, 2018 at 11:22 am

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