Today we experienced a very large increase in site traffic due to Jere Seppala of GlacierTV linking our article detailing our surprise ban from the popular online racing sim, iRacing.com. Jere agreed with the majority of the article but could not understand the hostile reaction from 99% of iRacing members, who attempted to discredit the lengthy article just because it was me. Jere’s comments, hacked up from multiple posts to save space, can be viewed here:
Jere backs up our original article on the Camaro stating that “street stock @ charlotte is a really bad combo”, and “[the] article is pretty accurate (tire model + rookie’s cancer mentality). Jere is a long-time iRacing member who contributes to the community in a big way by helping with broadcasting some of iRacing’s biggest leagues; he’d be the first to know what iRacing’s shortcomings are.
However, what followed were some pretty outlandish accusations and stories, turning the comments section of the article into a warzone between iRacing fanboys and PretendRaceCars.net readers. I personally don’t believe in moderation as it goes against the ideology of this site, so the best way to deal with all of these creative stories is to simply just confront the four most repeated comments with facts and get on with ourselves.
This isn’t something repeated by just iRacing fanboys, so it’s time to set the record straight. One commenter used a traffic estimation website to take an educated guess at the number of monthly viewers we receive. The site spit out a number of 9,600 views in the past month, and he was pretty certain that this number was accurate:
Unfortunately for him, WordPress has a Sim City-like statistics screen that you can access at any time.
We got a variety of comments of this sort, most of which claimed you were annoying people and spamming the chat. We ran almost 30 races over the past three weeks. Not once were we ever told to shut the fuck up, nor did anyone draw any attention to anything we’d type in the chat box aside from the regular banter, and the entire room, not just us, did their fair share of shit-talking.
Once we all realized iRacing’s Rookie Series was equivalent to the casual environment of Xbox Live, we adjusted our demeanor accordingly. In one race, some guy from Brooklyn described how he’d spent a few years in prison for stabbing a kid. Another race, some clown kept trying to poke his nose under me, totally fine with dog fighting for third place on lap four instead of running down the leaders and giving both of us a shot to win at the end of the race. Anytime I tried to physically force my car in front of his, followed by typing into chat “stay in line so we can catch the leaders”, I was called a fucking asshole and the dude threatened to report me for blocking.
Keep in mind that you can report people for swearing, in case you missed the irony.
As we encountered many of the same drivers, race after race, most made threats that they were going to intentionally wreck me, and as you can see in the shot above, one of them tried to move me, failed, tried again, succeeded, and then called me a bitch and blamed me for the accident despite his car clearly being on the apron in a spot where it shouldn’t be.
As we described in the original article:
[iRacing] surrounds [rookies] with other drivers who will cuss at you for shit that sometimes doesn’t even make sense and drive as if they were never given a chance to wheel mom’s sedan around the block.
My most sincere apologies to not taking iRacing as a super serious racing simulation when half of the room are childishly arguing with each other as if we’re on Xbox Live, and making all of my chat macros instructions on how to bake chocolate chip cookies. Grease the baking pan.
Any aggressive driving towards us was met with equally aggressive retaliation, but that’s to be expected when half the field can’t drive and the other half hates you because you’ve won the last five races.
Not only did we post a dedicated article encouraging readers to take advantage of a promotional offer and try iRacing for free, we praised how the Street Stock drove at USA Speedway and that’s what prompted a group of us to create rookie-only accounts; so we could enjoy driving the car at our own pace. Additionally, in a review I wrote for RaceDepartment on iRacing back in the summer of 2013, I praised multiple aspects of the online racing simulation, from the sheer abundance of oval racing cars included, the photorealistic graphics that did not rely on any fancy post processing effects, to the unmatched online structure. Sure sounds like an insane vendetta.
How about when five of us sat down for an entire Sunday and collaborated on a 2500 word article breaking down both the positives and negatives of iRacing’s slowest oval racing car? Do these points sound like someone with an insane vendetta?
- We openly advertised a promo code that would potentially bring more people into their sim.
- We clearly stated our previous credentials that adequately backed up our opinions.
- We explained, to our European readers, what a Street Stock is.
- We praised the car’s handling at USA Speedway and admitted we enjoyed how the car drove.
- We explained how to drive the car at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
All five of us spent a solid chunk of the afternoon describing the negative experiences we had with the car, and putting those thoughts into written words:
- We went into detail about how and why the draft model isn’t realistic, and why it affected the racing in a negative way.
- We went into detail about the game’s tire model and how it affected the racing in a negative way.
- We went into detail about the new adjustments made to the tire model, even noting the exact lap the tires exhibited odd behavior.
- We conducted an experiment to see if turning off force feedback made you faster – and it did.
All of these screenshots directly correlated with what was talked about in the article, to back up some of our more absurd claims. For instance, here’s the “one-groove, can’t pass” racing we’re talking about:
Here’s the guy I talked about wanting to dump me and report me for blocking for position 3 on lap 4. In fact, in the shot, you can actually see him trying to poke his nose under me as the leaders I mentioned pull away in front of us:
Oh boy. B. Americano got the story right in the comments section, but I’ll tell my side of things.
Straight up, I did some artwork for a YouTube vlogger (you can still buy the shirts HERE) and ran the name she called her audience where you’re regularly supposed to put your surname on the Sprint Cup cars. Retarded paint schemes aren’t uncommon on iRacing, and I went a few weeks without anybody noticing. And when I say retarded paint schemes aren’t uncommon, here’s something I saw watching my buddy’s stream a while back.
Anyways, the story goes that it was a late night race at Las Vegas in March of 2013 with a ton of high ranked drivers, most notably Bryon Daley and Ray Alfalla, who’s name you’ve probably heard at one point. Daley and Alfalla tangled with a few laps to go, and I won the race. As I was someone who primarily raced only the K&N Series car and had basically turned into the Frank Kimmel of iRacing, this was a pretty huge deal.
The next morning, I found out my account had been suspended for two months. A friend of mine linked me to Ray’s facebook page with a photo of the exact moment the two leaders got together. In the comments section, a handful of people agreed to protest me.
The reason I was given was “having an inappropriate paint scheme” – and here’s the thing – iRacing’s rules don’t state anything about inappropriate liveries, as you use a third party program that has no official ties with iRacing to download custom skins. If someone found the text across the roof offensive, they could simply delete my car file and I would show up as whatever livery I painted using iRacing’s in-game paint shop editor, with preset bases and sponsor configurations all pre-approved by iRacing. The program itself discourages adult and/or offensive car liveries, yet does not outright disallow them. A report function is included within the program, but had never been used on any of my cars, including some of the more obnoxious ones:
In short, I was parked for something iRacing can’t actually park you for, because a few people they liked complained. And this is where the story differs. iRacing fanboys believe I was permanently banned for a multitude of reasons in March of 2013, never to return.
Here’s me winning at Texas in April of 2013:
I was never permanently banned, and only raced sporadically over the past two years simply due to the fact that better games have come along. Assetto Corsa came out in late 2013 and took the world by storm, I got big into organized rFactor racing during the summer of 2014, which carried into the winter and eventually transferred over to Game Stock Car Extreme.
There was no ban being evaded, because I wasn’t banned in the first place. Both myself and several PRC affiliated drivers were able to run 25+ races over the span of three weeks on an alternate account with zero issues. In fact, Chris of PRC had even contacted iRacing support to get his in-game name changed, removing the 2 at the end of his surname and replacing it with his middle initial – indicating iRacing knew full well what we were doing and didn’t have a problem with it.
Yet, within two hours of a lengthy article popping up on the iRacing forums that implied the expensive racing sim was anything but perfect, I’m suspiciously receiving a 403 error and getting notified that my account has been suspended, with no email indicating what exactly happened. Hmm…
Seems fishy, considering the last time I wrote a lengthy article on iRacing breaking down the entire game, listing it’s positives and negatives, Tony Gardner tried to get me kicked off the staff of the website I was writing for:
I guess Dale Jr has a crazy vendetta, too?
And finally, to answer some Finnish guy’s question of when the new thread about the article would get removed:
It was removed shortly after this post, so twelve hours: