In late 2001, I bought a wheel/pedal set and NASCAR Racing 2002 Season for my computer. It didn't take long for me to get bored with the AI drivers. I wanted to race against real people.
I went searching for a league and found one called NORCA. I finished fourth in my first race at Pocono and was hooked. Over the next few years, I raced in a few different leagues, but two things never changed.
First, I still loved racing online with real people. Second, my wife hated every second of it. She always told me that it wasn't real and that she didn't understand why I was doing it when I would really never win anything.
When NASCAR and iRacing announced they would be starting an official NASCAR series for sim racers, I was sure to rub it in her face. This is a dream come true for sim racers.
Over the years of sim racing, I ran three different sims. I used NASCAR Racing Season 2002 and NASCAR Racing Season 2003, both from Papyrus. When I had to leave the track for good thanks to work, I was running with the rFactor sim.
I never got the chance to run iRacing. One of the reasons is because of one of biggest differences between iRacing and other racing sims.
It's a pay-to-play sim. You must have a subscription to use it. That was a turn off to many sim racers who were used to buying a sim and having to pay for nothing more than their internet connection to play.
I felt the same way, until now. Work permitting, I will gladly pay the $19-a-month fee to race an officially sanctioned NASCAR sim race.
As I said, I haven't run this sim, so I can't personally account for it's physics. The fact that drivers like Dale Earnhardt Jr., Brad Keselowski, A.J. Allmendinger, and Marcos Ambrose use it is enough for me.
iRacing actually went to each of the NASCAR tracks and laser scanned each and every part of them. Thanks to this technology and hard work, these tracks are accurate down to the nearest millimeter.
Details of how the series will be run will be released by the end of the year and I will try to keep this topic updated as I find out more.
One thing is for sure, I will be on the track as much as I can in 2010.