This was a fun race, and it’s difficult because now after the good finish I have the tough decision of whether I should try to make a full season with the NASCAR Class A series in iRacing, or not. I usually don’t have that much time to race, so I’ve stuck to the Class D series’ recently (short, punchy races are a lot of fun, too), but we’ll see. I was, after all, the first person to ever win a race with this car in the iRacing service, so I just joined to make sure I still had what it takes to win ahead of the iRacing Daytona 500 World Tour event.
If you would like to run the 2010 iRacing.com Daytona 500, check out this promotional video I made that features a great promo (3 months, free COT, free Daytona – $32).
Anyway, let’s talk about my race…
I qualified in second-place with a 47.830. I was just using the (new) Advanced setup for the car (which is actually quite good now) and knew that I had a good shot.
I started well and slotted into third-place on lap one. Everyone raced side by side successfully with only one hairy moment when the car ahead of me touched the apron in turn four. On lap 30 there was a wreck ahead of me and I just managed to clear it. I pitted, coming out in sixth-place.
For the entire race I had been experimenting with the high line. It seemed that if I was overtaking on the outside I could do it by myself as long as I wasn’t near the front, once I got closer to the leader on the high side the air just knocked me back. After the restart from the caution on lap 30 I knew this and decided to wait until ten laps to go before I pushed for the lead.
So, with ten to go I went for it, I was moving up from fifth-place and luckily caught the fourth-place man as he had a blip in his connection. I just snuck my nose on the inside and he had to give way. At the same time the second-place car had bobbled up in the turn and I followed the inside cars through, moving into third almost straight away.
I wasn’t able to move into second-place until lap 64 of 70, when the second-place car bobbled in the turn just enough for me to stick my nose on the inside again. It was close, but being a clean racer he knew he had to give me the inside and just said “Damn it!” over the in-race radio… Now I just had to pass the man who had been leading since lap 17!
I certainly tried my best. I tried to look for a gap on the low side, but one never came. I tried to go high on the backstretch, but always decided to slot back into second. Eventually I decided that after hearing others complain about not being able to hold the car down in the turns, I’d try and see if I could make the leader have that problem… So I started to bump draft at the end of the straight, hoping he’d have to run up the banking and give me the low-side.
Unfortunately, the leader was always glued to that inside line and eventually I started to bump draft simply to try to stay ahead of the outside line which was forming. I crossed the line a mere 0.070s behind.
So, like I said: I am not sure if I will compete for a championship in the NASCAR Class A Series. Certainly feeling pretty good about the World Tour event though… Daytona 500, here I come!