I already knew the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup layout at Infineon Raceway, but hadn’t run on it for a long time, probably since I ran there with NASCAR Racing 2003 Season (the previous simulation by the guys at iRacing).
Early this morning I joined a qualifying session at the circuit and set a 1:28.324. I joined the a race straight away and had an awful time with my consistency, finishing eighth. Afterwards I joined a Time Trial and worked on it a little, I was able to get down to a personal best laptime also and joined another Qualifying session at 11:20 am… I managed to get down to a 1:27.638 and was fairly happy with that, for now.
I joined the 12:00 pm Skip Barber Race Series event and found myself third on the grid. Just before the race started the man who had pole position quit the server, so this put me into a second-place starting position and also gave me the inside line into turn one. I knew (looking at others qualifying times), that nobody had got a good handle on this week’s track yet – so if I stayed clean, I might end up with my second win in two days!
I got a good start but had to give the first turn to the man who had started infront of me, I followed him closely the whole lap and pushed him pretty hard, knowing (because of his qualifying time) that he was capable of lapping around one-second a lap faster than I could. We pulled away from the rest of the field and I knew that if there was to be a battle for the win, it would be a battle between just us two.
On the second lap of the race I was still following closely as we both mounted the kerbing out of turn four, I watched the guy infront start to get sideways and knew that if I could get by, I had the lead… Luckily for me, he didn’t just get sideways, he speared off to the right side and probably hit the wall as he disappeared from the top six positions.
For the rest of the race (like with my win yesterday), the only person I had to worry about, was me. I felt really good out there though and found myself lapping quicker and quicker, eventually setting my fastest lap of 1:27.171 on lap seventeen of the twenty. Two people were faster than me, but showed less consistency, so I won with a margin of twenty-two seconds over second place.
I didn’t make a single error, again. I’m really feeling good on the racetrack right now… My iRating will soon catch up with my new found ability to stay on the track during these races and when it does I’ll probably struggle to win, so I’ll enjoy it while I can!
If you watch the video and wonder what’s going on with the gear selections on my fastest lap? I use a $30 wheel and it does that sometimes… It also shakes and glitches, but nothing that really harms my racing…
I grew up in a household where waking up at 2am to watch races in Australia or Japan were the norm. We were huge fans of motor racing, so playing racing games seems like a natural extension of that.
My first racing game addiction was with Geoff Crammond's 'Formula 1 Grand Prix' released in 1992 on the Commodore Amiga. This game kept me going for a long time thanks to various editing tools which were available, and I continued to play it until I owned a PC. After that, I played through most of the Papyrus and Image Space Inc. titles, but have most fond memories of Grand Prix Legends.
I founded a major sim racing site that led to my employment at iRacing, Image Space Inc. and later on, Studio 397. The difficulty in working in the industry is how little time you often have to play your own games. Quite often I escape with space games instead!
Tim is British and lives in the United States with his wife and kids.
He works for software developers Image Space Inc. and Studio 397 on their racing simulations, and is a fan of Gaming, Motorsports, and photography.