Driving to Daytona

Just as the real-world NASCAR show went to Daytona this week, so did the Sim Racing world, with both iRacing‘s official Daytona 500 and the DOM-GNL series heading to the famous oval Super Speedway.

While a press release from iRacing states that over 1000 individual drivers led at least one lap during their recreations of the classic NASCAR race, Robert Graf’s simFlight liveried Chevy Impala unfortunately wasn’t one of them… this time! He did improve on the non-finish from the last outing, though – although the pixels still got shifted around a little to say the least.

For iRacing’s coverage of their Daytona races, see their coverage at inRacing News. For Robert’s race report on the DOM-GNL competition, click “Read More“, below.

“Daytona is Roulette, you allways have to be on your toes and then drop the hammer just a the right moment. Since i recently collected some penalty points, i wouldn’t risk anything and bring home my first superspeedway finish.

From position 42 on a 43 car grid I started into this 115 lap race. The first yellow flew on lap 9 and I teamed up with team DIHL on the restart, running 30ish. The stint got longer and longer and soon the tank was running empty. This stop under green went wrong, first time round I couldnt get to my pit, because there was a car beside me. Second time I missed the pitts completely and stayed on the apron. Finally, on the 3rd try I got my fuel and tires. 1 lap down, I continued from position 40.

Only thing I could do now was wait. On lap 66 the next yellow. I stayed out, got my lap back and was now 34th. I gave my car the beans and stormed up till 23rd. Then the tank was empty and I pitted, surely knowing this was were i would lose my race. Possibly back to the end of the field and nobody out there to help me.

And at exact that moment the next yellow came out. So with 13 to go and bad feelings remembering Chicagoland I was indeed running in the TOP20 again. Slipstream ended right behind me and I had to fight to keep up. In front the struggle for positions heated up and I regained the vital draft. I wanted more, but had no room in this tight pack. 7 laps to go, I saw a gap. Up, in, down, 19th. Then the high line quickened, so up I went, 18th, 5 laps left.

And then all hell broke loose. Number 2 gets his nose under the leader, turns him down the infield, sends himself spinning up the track and takes 7 cars with him, myself included. First I crash into his car head on, then into the wall. The hood is up, steering is shot, but the engine is still running. Stewards tell me to come in and show me the “Meatball”. It’s either come in or be disqualified. But this only is true if the race restarts again. If it finishes under yellow, I’m safe. Guess what, it does and I nurse my coughing Chevy over the line in 17th place.”

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