As the summer of 2015 came to a close, we here at PRC.net published a lengthy controversial article documenting the antics of several high profile virtual racing stewards over on the official iRacing.com servers. Titled “The Good Ol’ Boys Club“, the article glanced over the history of the iRacing organization itself, as well as how staff members such as Nim Cross Jr. and Shannon Whitmore were recruited before recalling the trials and tribulations of Texas Super Late Model Driver Ryan Luza. An extremely talented shot track racer with a long list of credentials away from the confines of a desktop computer, Luza’s impressive results in a relatively short period of time prompted iRacing officials to label him a cheater and actively push him away from the racing simulator that proudly claims it’s a training tool commonly used by professional race car drivers.
The fallout from the Luza drama, as well as a string of incidents involving myself, Sev, K&N Series driver Brodie Kostecki, and others who’s details I’m a bit shaky on, gave credibility to the theory that maybe the guys calling the shots at iRacing HQ were indeed little more than random sim racers from the NASCAR Racing 2003 Season Online community, lacking the experience to represent a company on a professional level and instead protecting an elite group of internet friends.
Today, something has finally been done about this. Whitmore’s job, the Director of Competition and Community Manager at iRacing.com, has been advertised as available, and anyone can apply.
As is the norm when it comes to publishing iRacing-related stories on PRC.net, a legion of iRacing fanboys feel the need to constantly come to the game’s defense for a variety of reasons, and act as if we’re pulling stories out of our ass in an effort to damage the reputation of the biggest online racing sim on the market today. The article over the summer on the childish and immature antics used by top iRacing officials was received in the same manner, as people were quick to dismiss this very real story as “a kid sitting in the back of the class eating glue” and “fabricating negative things about iRacing.”
Yet, a few avid readers of PRC.net were quick to note they’d indeed experienced some interesting confrontations with the aforementioned staff members, adding an extra layer of credibility to an issue iRacing fanboys refused to address. In one comment from a user by the name of “Mike”, they cite an instance where an email from iRacing Director of Competition Shannon Whitmore was “full of spelling and grammatical errors”, claiming the contents of the message were “practically unreadable.”
A few months later, we received a highly sought-after private document outlining a set of proposed changes the field of the 2016 iRacing NASCAR Peak Anti-Freeze Series sought from iRacing.com and the staff members in charge of officiating the series. The biggest conclusion we’d drawn from the entire document, confirmed by individuals who wish to stay anonymous, is that the best drivers on iRacing did not trust Whitmore’s inconsistent officiating decisions, and needed a way to overrule them to ensure the integrity of the competitive environment. With a $10,000 prize on the line, it’s important to get as many calls as you can, right.
The biggest instance of this problematic officiating occurred during the final week of the 2015 season at Homestead. An incident during the previous event at Chicagoland resulted in one driver receiving a suspension via unanimous decision – a penalty he is not allowed to appeal as stated in the rule book. However, Whitmore forgot the set of rules he was obligated to enforce, let the nameless driver appeal the suspension, and allowed the driver to participate in the final event on the 2015 Peak Anti-Freeze Series schedule.
So with a well-documented trail of officiating mishaps and poor customer support despite the claims of the iRacing fanboys that we’re making it all up, we come to a post made on the iRacing.com Facebook page earlier today, advertising a job opening for the same position named on Shannon Whitmore’s LinkedIn profile.
Of course, more info on this subject will undoubtedly come out over the following days, and you can be sure bits and pieces will be leaked by people in the know on a variety of different message boards, but what we can say with absolute certainty, is that iRacing are actively searching for a new head official in time for the 2016 iRacing.com NASCAR Peak Anti-Freeze Series season, and it’s no surprise that iRacing is asking someone else to take Whitmore’s place.