iRacing (Sim Racing) Controversy

SpeedPagan

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So apparently, people are just really really bored during this off-season and Daytona can't come soon enough.

It all started with this tweet from a Modified race car driver.


There was a tweet attributed to Brian Keslowski that equated sim racers to school shooters, but that turned out to be fake, so I won't include it here. Of course today, we have Kyle Larson chiming in on this as well, which I'm sure will ruffle some feathers.

https://nesn.com/2017/07/kyle-larson-admits-some-sim-racing-drivers-are-better-than-real-life-ones/

Kyle Larson Admits Some Sim Racers Are Better Than Real NASCAR Drivers

Now anyone who knows me know I've been involved in sim racing in one degree to another since the days of NASCAR Racing 1994. I was also a fan of NR 2003 which is still hugely popular in the sim racing community and I played a little bit with ARCA Sim Racing before jumping into iRacing.com.

I will be the first to admit that sim racing is not the same as real life racing. There's really no comparison between the two. However, I do think it's kind of silly to get upset when kids who started out in sim racing, get noticed in the sim racing world and move onto the real world racing.

One of the more familiar name to most NASCAR fan is William Byron Jr. the driver of the #24 car in the CUP Series. While he did get his start on iRacing, he also piloted Legend cars, K&N cars, Trucks and the Xfinity car before moving up to the iconic #24 with Chad Knaus as his crew chief.

Sim racing is also a great way to interact with fans, Dale Earnhardt Jr. is helping iRacing scan North Wilkesboro Speedway, Dale and Tony Stewart have made appearances on iRacing and you have the aforementioned Denny Hamlin inviting sim racers over to hang out at his house.

Like I've said before, sim racing is not equal to real life racing, however there is some skills that do transfer over from one to the other, if that wasn't the case, race teams like Hendrick and Gibbs wouldn't invest in their own dedicated racing sim with software that is irrelevant to iRacing software.

For most people (like myself) sim racing is a hobby, it's a good way to get a small taste of what it's like to be on the track. For others, it's a door they can use to get in on the ground floor of real world racing, and I think it's a great way for professional race car drivers to interact with fans.\

/rant
 

AndyMarquisLive

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There are real life racers who work on their cars, spend countless hours and dollars trying to find speed, bust their ass perfecting their craft on the track, meeting with fans and signing autographs off track, putting on a show in front of hundreds of fans at their local shirt track, and they're lucky to leave the track with a few hundred dollars.

Meanwhile, a 13-year-old kid can win $100,000 on iRacing.

**** that.
 

SpeedPagan

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There are real life racers who work on their cars, spend countless hours and dollars trying to find speed, bust their ass perfecting their craft on the track, meeting with fans and signing autographs off track, putting on a show in front of hundreds of fans at their local shirt track, and they're lucky to leave the track with a few hundred dollars.

Meanwhile, a 13-year-old kid can win $100,000 on iRacing.

**** that.
I mean, take that up with NASCAR & PEAK Antifreeze. They're the one putting up the prize money for the iRacing CUP Pro Series. It's not just NASCAR, It's also World of Outlaws that is getting into sanctioning iRacing Series.
 

DewChaser988

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I still believe ESports are the way to return NASCAR Cup Series racing to it's former status as the most popular spectator sport in America. You could use it to gain more millennial fans, and even minority drivers. Since let's face it, racing has an extremely high entry barrier.
I'll say it right now, there could be an African-American driver that could end up turning into one of the sport's biggest stars, but we don't know it yet and he may never have the chance to become that, since racing is an expensive past time.
 

SpeedPagan

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I still believe ESports are the way to return NASCAR Cup Series racing to it's former status as the most popular spectator sport in America. You could use it to gain more millennial fans, and even minority drivers. Since let's face it, racing has an extremely high entry barrier.
I'll say it right now, there could be an African-American driver that could end up turning into one of the sport's biggest stars, but we don't know it yet and he may never have the chance to become that, since racing is an expensive past time.
Yea, the arms race doesn't exist in just NASCAR's top three series, it exist in all form of motorsports. Back in the 90s when my brother and I were kids, he would race go-karts every Friday and Saturday night. It was $10,000 a season for my brother to be competitive and go for wins. My dad would also go over the rulebook before the beginning of each season and see where he could bend the rules a bit. I can't imagine racing has gotten any cheaper since the 90s.
 

DewChaser988

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Yea, the arms race doesn't exist in just NASCAR's top three series, it exist in all form of motorsports. Back in the 90s when my brother and I were kids, he would race go-karts every Friday and Saturday night. It was $10,000 a season for my brother to be competitive and go for wins. My dad would also go over the rulebook before the beginning of each season and see where he could bend the rules a bit. I can't imagine racing has gotten any cheaper since the 90s.
At least with sim racing, you don't have to maintain cars or feel the financial sting of a wreck destroying your car
 

SpeedPagan

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At least with sim racing, you don't have to maintain cars or feel the financial sting of a wreck destroying your car
And you don't get nickle and dimed by the track. I've heard of the fees local track owners would just pile onto people who come to compete in their track.
 

gnomesayin

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Good, thoughtful lead post @SpeedPagan.

I respect sim racing as a pursuit, and I've dabbled in it, though not in the iRacing era. I do not like it when anyone even begins to equate it with the real thing, or describes it as "the future of motorsports". It is not. It's a simulation and a tool that can be used to enhance real driving skills. But as soon as the real thing goes away, the desire to pretend to do it will as well.

It's also fine for sim racing to be its own competitive world with money and prestige on the line. When real world racing people get upset at this, they don't understand that the money invested in sim racing wouldn't automatically go into short track or other developmental areas if sim racing magically disappeared. For most, sim racing is simply a hobby and a way to get some impression of what actual auto racing is like. Its advantage lies in being far, far more accessible.

At best, sim racing can be a great promotional tool to expose racing to hard to reach demographics.
 

sky

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How many of us under 30 have the means to be buying full fledged V8 late models/modifieds without a check from someone's daddy? Anything smaller is considered "hobby" racing. If this is how they shoot their shot I'm for it. Interested to see how the sim translates to the real thing.
 

gnomesayin

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How many of us under 30 have the means to be buying full fledged V8 late models/modifieds without a check from someone's daddy? Anything smaller is considered "hobby" racing. If this is how they shoot their shot I'm for it. Interested to see how the sim translates to the real thing.
Not many of us over 40 do either, or ever did. The reason Larson's observation that some sim racers are "better" drivers than some real racers is because nepotism runs deep in racing, and always has. As you suggest, there are steep barriers to entry that can be overcome, but not without tremendous effort and good fortune. None of this is true in the sim realm, at least not yet.
 

Greg

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Posting announcement: Half time = Bed time
Will resume posting at 4am as if in real time.
 

Greg

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If somebody doesn't like SIM racing shouldn't they buy a 3D SIM person to complain, where is the credibility?
 

Mispeedway15

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There are real life racers who work on their cars, spend countless hours and dollars trying to find speed, bust their ass perfecting their craft on the track, meeting with fans and signing autographs off track, putting on a show in front of hundreds of fans at their local shirt track, and they're lucky to leave the track with a few hundred dollars.

Meanwhile, a 13-year-old kid can win $100,000 on iRacing.

**** that.
They’re free to play iRacing as well and earn that $100K
 

AndyMarquisLive

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I mean, take that up with NASCAR & PEAK Antifreeze. They're the one putting up the prize money for the iRacing CUP Pro Series. It's not just NASCAR, It's also World of Outlaws that is getting into sanctioning iRacing Series.
NASCAR pays people who play a videogame more than they pay the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series national champion.

I do have a problem with that.
 

Snappy D

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I’ll never understand how one could equate being good at a sim to thinking they could actually COMPETE in a real race without ever driving a car. I’m 35, I grew up playing video games and still do when time allows. I always played sports game...EA Sports games to be exact. Madden, FIFA, NCAA, NBA 2K, PGA Tour, MLB The Show, F1, NASCAR Thunder. I never ever thought I could get behind the wheel of an F1 car or go out at a PGA Tour event because I was good at a game. Video games is not a sport, I’m sorry. Just because it costs copious amounts of a financial commitment doesn’t make you a racer. You’re good at a game and that’s it. I have zero problem capitalizing on being good at a game to make money on that. Zero problem. But To be completely frank, the video game and E Sports community I really have no use for, they’re very loud opinion on how their relevance is a complete turn off. I’m not hating it’s just my opinion and feeling on it. I have never or would ever pay or dedicate what little time I have each week to watch someone play a video game. Now saying all that the E sports is pretty damn competitive and there is money in it. You’d be a fool if you were an NBA, NFL, MLB or a NASCAR team to try not to make money on these people by having your own team of players competing in whatever it is they compete at it and having a visible representation of your franchise. I understand this is where things are headed and it’s meh to me. I do think as far as racing sims go it’d be a useful tool to prepare for a track you’ve never seen or get a feel for a track you haven’t raced at in a while. Jeff Gordon used it when he filled in for Jr in the 88 (he used the Chevy racing sim rig) and Fernando Alonso uses a sim to keep sharp. But I wish things were kept more in perspective, if you’re good at a game and making money while playing it great. But you’re not a racer, nba player, nfl player or golfer. It’s apples and oranges.
 

Mispeedway15

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I’ll never understand how one could equate being good at a sim to thinking they could actually COMPETE in a real race without ever driving a car. I’m 35, I grew up playing video games and still do when time allows. I always played sports game...EA Sports games to be exact. Madden, FIFA, NCAA, NBA 2K, PGA Tour, MLB The Show, F1, NASCAR Thunder. I never ever thought I could get behind the wheel of an F1 car or go out at a PGA Tour event because I was good at a game. Video games is not a sport, I’m sorry. Just because it costs copious amounts of a financial commitment doesn’t make you a racer. You’re good at a game and that’s it. I have zero problem capitalizing on being good at a game to make money on that. Zero problem. But To be completely frank, the video game and E Sports community I really have no use for, they’re very loud opinion on how their relevance is a complete turn off. I’m not hating it’s just my opinion and feeling on it. I have never or would ever pay or dedicate what little time I have each week to watch someone play a video game. Now saying all that the E sports is pretty damn competitive and there is money in it. You’d be a fool if you were an NBA, NFL, MLB or a NASCAR team to try not to make money on these people by having your own team of players competing in whatever it is they compete at it and having a visible representation of your franchise. I understand this is where things are headed and it’s meh to me. I do think as far as racing sims go it’d be a useful tool to prepare for a track you’ve never seen or get a feel for a track you haven’t raced at in a while. Jeff Gordon used it when he filled in for Jr in the 88 (he used the Chevy racing sim rig) and Fernando Alonso uses a sim to keep sharp. But I wish things were kept more in perspective, if you’re good at a game and making money while playing it great. But you’re not a racer, nba player, nfl player or golfer. It’s apples and oranges.
Nah I disagree. If I were to do it 4-5 hours a day for 6 months or so I do believe I could competitively drive a car. The difficulty would be mechanically improving the vehicle but I think sim racing can absolutely give you a start if you focus on a certain discipline of racing
 

Snappy D

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Nah I disagree. If I were to do it 4-5 hours a day for 6 months or so I do believe I could competitively drive a car. The difficulty would be mechanically improving the vehicle but I think sim racing can absolutely give you a start if you focus on a certain discipline of racing
No way. Then how come more people arnt just jumping into a race car, being competitive right off a sim? I’m sorry but your post is just delusional and an insult to people who made real sacrifices at real race tracks to just get an even sniff at the big time IMO
 

gnomesayin

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NASCAR pays people who play a videogame more than they pay the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series national champion.

I do have a problem with that.
Do we really need to dispute the notion that a market economy results in people earning what they "deserve" on some sort of merit?

This isn't binary. If sim racing was banned, it wouldn't turn most of the people who do it into short track racing participants. I say that as someone who loves grass roots racing and hasn't done more than watch a few iRacing events, which I mostly found lacking in any sort of genuine immersive 'realism'.

The overlap between sim racing and grass roots racing is 10-20%. This includes the degree to which they can help and harm each other.
 

Greg

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Nothing is perfect.
Very few can afford to race real cars and SIM isnt immersive and you dont have actual skin in the game.
Not trying to trash it, it is one of the hobbies I want to pursue when I retire. I am just being realistic.

Still the same I think it is a positive, and it should create more interest in racing real cars.
I guess some people do a SIM and think they know as much as most that race the real cars. But I wouldn't blame it all on SIM. We got posters here that naturally without a SIM, that already know more about it than the Nascar drivers, CCs, and owners that run the real cars.
 

Charlie Spencer

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NASCAR pays people who play a videogame more than they pay the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series national champion.

I do have a problem with that.
Does NASCAR pay that, or do the iRacing sponsors (Peak? Porsche?) pay that? It isn't anyone's fault in NASCAR or iRacing if those sponsors elect to spend more than Whelen. Whelen series drivers knew the potential payoff at the start of the season; they're the ones choosing to spend the money.

So a sponsor feels it can reach its target market better by sponsoring one form of entertainment vs. another form. What's the issue? Sponsors support hundreds of forms of entertainment. Some deals involve more money iRacing champ gets, some less than what a Whelen champ gets. Why is this particular sponsor / entertainment combination an issue vs. any of the others? Is it a problem that Xfinity or Camping World or Monster choose to award bigger payouts than Whelen?
 
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SlicedBread22

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If theres an audience.. theres profit.. whether it's real life or a video game.

Do you realize how much people can make just in viewer donations playing a game like call of duty online in front of a few hundred people? That doesn't even begin to cover the professional side of video games.

NASCAR is on the right side of this trend in my opinion.
 

StandOnIt

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I’ll never understand how one could equate being good at a sim to thinking they could actually COMPETE in a real race without ever driving a car. I’m 35, I grew up playing video games and still do when time allows. I always played sports game...EA Sports games to be exact. Madden, FIFA, NCAA, NBA 2K, PGA Tour, MLB The Show, F1, NASCAR Thunder. I never ever thought I could get behind the wheel of an F1 car or go out at a PGA Tour event because I was good at a game. Video games is not a sport, I’m sorry. Just because it costs copious amounts of a financial commitment doesn’t make you a racer. You’re good at a game and that’s it. I have zero problem capitalizing on being good at a game to make money on that. Zero problem. But To be completely frank, the video game and E Sports community I really have no use for, they’re very loud opinion on how their relevance is a complete turn off. I’m not hating it’s just my opinion and feeling on it. I have never or would ever pay or dedicate what little time I have each week to watch someone play a video game. Now saying all that the E sports is pretty damn competitive and there is money in it. You’d be a fool if you were an NBA, NFL, MLB or a NASCAR team to try not to make money on these people by having your own team of players competing in whatever it is they compete at it and having a visible representation of your franchise. I understand this is where things are headed and it’s meh to me. I do think as far as racing sims go it’d be a useful tool to prepare for a track you’ve never seen or get a feel for a track you haven’t raced at in a while. Jeff Gordon used it when he filled in for Jr in the 88 (he used the Chevy racing sim rig) and Fernando Alonso uses a sim to keep sharp. But I wish things were kept more in perspective, if you’re good at a game and making money while playing it great. But you’re not a racer, nba player, nfl player or golfer. It’s apples and oranges.

You could have saved yourself a lot of trouble if he would have added a different word to his vocabulary. It's called SIM racer. Right now across the parking lot from the Chili bowl are 400 (entry cap) from all over who are racing R/C cars in multiple classes having their R/C chili bowl. I really want to see one of these poor mouths stand in the middle of the track and tell these 400 some odd entrants, this isn't racing and they aren't racers.

http://www.rcchilibowl.com/
 

aunty dive

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I really want to see one of these poor mouths stand in the middle of the track and tell these 400 some odd entrants, this isn't racing and they aren't racers.
RC cars? am I reading that correctly?
 

Revman

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Sim stuff is what is is....What is stupid is pretend that it is a sport worth watching. It isn't, and honestly listening to advocates talk about it makes me embarrassed for them. As far as connecting to the fans? Maybe some, but not all. I don't need to test my driving skill in a car (real or not) any more than I need to go into my backyard, and throw a football 60 yards. That doesn't drive my fandom, and I am betting it doesn't drive most. Young fans won't make the connection. The sim spin is weird and stupid.
 

StandOnIt

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Sim stuff is what is is....What is stupid is pretend that it is a sport worth watching. It isn't, and honestly listening to advocates talk about it makes me embarrassed for them. As far as connecting to the fans? Maybe some, but not all. I don't need to test my driving skill in a car (real or not) any more than I need to go into my backyard, and throw a football 60 yards. That doesn't drive my fandom, and I am betting it doesn't drive most. Young fans won't make the connection. The sim spin is weird and stupid.
yeah I'm sure glad the airlines don't think that way, or on a lower level racing teams don't use those stupid things.
 
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