The real world and virtual worlds collide in popular online racing game.
Since iRacing.com opened its virtual doors for business in 2008, the online racing service’s meticulously modeled race cars and tracks have proven to be valuable tools for professional race drivers, be they established stars like NASCAR’s Dale Earnhardt, Jr. and Brad Keselowski, emerging talent like Nationwide Series Rookie of the Year Landon Cassill or Conor Daly, who drove for AJ Foyt Racing in this year’s Indianapolis 500.
But drivers aren’t the only iRacers using the world’s leading motorsports simulation service as a gateway to the professional arena. Much like drivers who move-up the racing “ladder” from online to real racing, artists Guy Driggers, JD Laird, Kevin King and others are plying their craft in professional circles after serving their apprenticeships designing paint schemes for virtual cars on the iRacing service.
The results are brightly splashed across the starting grids of today’s NASCAR races on the cars and trucks of Hendrick, JRM, Richard Childress and SR2 Motorsports, BK and JJC Racing for sponsors including Mountain Dew, Taxslayer.com, Reeses, the US Navy, Dr. Pepper and the National Guard.
“iRacing’s cars are modeled so closely that what you have in the game is a good representation of how it will look on a real car,” said the San Diego-based King, whose clients include JRM and Hendrick Motorsports and Earnhardt Ganassi Racing. “iRacing has all the different packages, the different aerodynamic shapes, so you can see how a car looks on a short track, a superspeedway or road course; or how a car looks at night. That really helps show people what you’re trying to accomplish.”