The second running of the iRacing Daytona 500 took place on February 19th, and like last year it occupies the second event in the iRacing World Tour series. I had mixed feelings about the event as last years event resulted in a DNF and a record number of incidents in a single race (19!). I knew what was in store, and decided to race anyway.
Last years event had over 1300 racers and this years event surpassed that with almost 1700 racers signed up to race. Unfortunately the iRacing infrastructure couldn’t handle the sheer volume of racers at once and so the race had to be delayed by two hours – midnight.
Thankfully once the server mayhem was sorted 1464 racers took part in the rescheduled race to form 37 separate race grids of ~40 racers each.
My race went exceptionally well (especially considering I was certain I’d not make it to the end). I did my usual approach of trying to stay at the rear of any pack that I was in (to reduce the risk of getting rear-ended when slowing for any wrecks) and I wasn’t far from the action all race! There were 11 caution/wrecks in my split and I think I had to drive through most of them with only a couple happening safely behind me.
As the race continued I slowly increased my position and in the second half of the race I was firmly inside the top ten. With 15 to go I had risen to 5th place and was set for a great result when I made a mistake in the pack and made slight contact with the outside car – enough to turn us both around. I was very annoyed at the mistake but thankfully it didn’t destroy everyones race behind me. It was approaching 4am by that point and I guess I had probably succumbed to the tiredness slightly.
I was lucky in that I didn’t hit any barrier in that accident so I chose to not use my single car reset and raced on to see the last ten laps home. When the race went green I quickly realised my car was more damaged than I first thought, and soon enough one of my guages was overheating massively. I was pretty sure the engine was set to blow so I moved to the back of the pack I was in (8th) and decided to try and limp home. A final caution at the very end allowed me to slow down and save the engine for an 8th place finish, which I was very happy to get.
Started : 36th of 40
Finished : 8th, 141 points (2 incident pts)
iRating : +66
Safety Rating : A/4.99 (no change)
The next World Tour event is scheduled to use the Street Stock at Thompson Int. Speedway on April 9th.