From Ross Cado, FFE Owner and Driver
The latter half of the RSR IWRAPS Winter Series is already off to a good start for yours truly, as I was able to score a 9th place finish at a track at which I’ve long been subpar. New Hampshire Motor Speedway traditionally does not jive well with my longstanding haste to get back into the throttle in the middle of a corner. The one-mile flat track commands throttle discipline and mandates a driver to be rhythmic.
In practice, running the lowest line (just above the flat portion that is above the apron) throughout the corners seems to be the most ideal approach, as the higher line did not prove to be beneficial to me on corner exit. This tighter line may have had a slightly more detrimental effect on tire wear, but it allowed for me to power off the corner and onto the straightaway in a manner that the higher line would not, as the higher line caused the #12 car to get loose on corner exit.
Qualifying 11th, I was met with a traffic jam of sorts right on the outset of the bout at The Magic Mile. I ended up settling in and methodically battling for track position around the 10th, 11th, and 12th positions. Once the occasion to make green flag pit stops rolled around, I was one of the first to make their stop. I came down to service the #12 car at the halfway point of the 125-lap event. The pit stop was flawless and I was down and away in short order. I slotted in at around 8th position once pit cycles were complete, and was glad with the two-spot advantage.
From then onward in this caution-free race, it was a matter of staying attentive to my line, all the while experiencing on which adjustments to my line proved to be the most beneficial. While I did not outright forfeit my previous driving style exhibited in the first half of the race, I made use of the higher line for several laps and tried various ways of corner entry and exit, especially with regard to entering the turns higher and then “scooping” through the exit of the turn.
With about ten laps to go, Kyle Kammer caught me and was able to eek by to grab 8th place. I tailed him for a bit, but Kammer gradually separated himself from me. By then, Eric Stanford, whom Kammer had prevailed over for 9th place before getting to me, did not have the speed to make it to my bumper–of which I was pleased.
I took the checkered flag in 9th place, happy with my performance in the context of my longstanding struggle with this track. As of now, I remain in 5th place in the points standings, 50 points back from points leader Matt Danson. Andrew Faryniarz trails the Aussie in 2nd place by a mere five points.
Congratulations to my pal Daniel E Eberhardt for winning the race!
This race also had me trying my hand at Restream, a service that allows me to stream onto multiple platforms at once. With the free tier, I am able to stream to Twitter, YouTube, and Twitch, but I relented from streaming onto Facebook, as the unpaid version only allows for streaming onto personal Facebook accounts, not pages like FFE’s. I am considering upgrading so that I may stream onto the FFE Facebook page.
Next we head to Lucas Oil Raceway for a 150-lap battle under the lights. I expect this race to be frustrating–a short track with a preferred line being at the very top. Tempers will likely flare. However, I hope that the seventh race in this season will be a lucky one for me.
This being the final post of 2020, I want to thank all who take the time to read my musings on racing and the like. The challenges experienced this past year have made me into a better person and a better racer. While the negativity surrounding the happenings of 2020 are as infectious as COVID-19 itself, 2020 has further strengthened my faith in the resilience of people. Folks figured out rather quickly how to rise to the occasion, and this especially rings true for iRacing, which gained remarkable attention during the heightened uncertainty about the direction NASCAR was to take in the earlier days of the pandemic.
I wish my followers a fruitful and blessed 2021. More exciting ideas are in the works for Fast Forward Esports. It will be great to have you along for the ride.
Keep moving forward.