There’s running a Twitch channel, and giving viewers the option to donate a pound or two towards your endeavor if they feel inclined to give back in some fashion for the hours of entertainment you’ve provided them, and then there’s outright asking your audience for the funding to purchase a full-fledged race car. When we last profiled iRacing Twitch personality Jason Jacoby here on PRC, the 27-year old Domino’s Pizza delivery driver from Georgia had revealed his one-of-a-kind sim racing cockpit to the world based upon an actual late model stock car chassis provided by a local race team – though his efforts were overshadowed by just how he’d acquired the funding to build such a monstrosity; payday loans and credit cards. Approximately eight months and 1,700 subscribers later, Jacoby is back in the iRacing community spotlight, this time asking for $13,000 to jump-start his real world racing career. With a GoFundMe page entitled “A Pizza Delivery Boy’s Big Dream”, Jacoby is now openly accepting donations from fellow sim racers in the hopes of acquiring a Legends car to campaign at short tracks across the eastern portion of the United States.
The roadsters are a pricey entry level stock car racing class, though they can be configured to run road courses and dirt ovals as well, which makes them so alluring for sportsman competitors – they can be raced practically everywhere.
The description of the campaign, which I encourage all of you to read in full, is nothing short of preposterous for someone approaching their thirties. Embarking on a long-winded life story, Jacoby details his time spent in a private NASCAR Racing 2003 Season online league as Dale Earnhardt Jr’s personal backup for one event, before outlining his experience driving street stocks many seasons ago in which his car constantly suffered from mechanical issues. This is actually the most reasonable part of the entire crowdfunding pitch, as it appears Jason does possess limited real-world experience and merely wants to get back into the sport, however he fails to provide photographs or results sheets from online transponder websites such as myLaps to provide a sense of validity to his claims – which is usually standard for when drivers are trying to secure funding for the upcoming season.
While technical failures are a part of real world racing, companies want to know that at the very least, you won’t be a rolling safety hazard to your competitors, nor be upside down and on-fire. Jason hasn’t provided tangible evidence of that.
He’s also failed to provide evidence that your money will be used in a wise fashion, which is rule number one when creating a crowdfunding campaign and asking strangers for money. In a video uploaded just a few short days ago, Jason proudly shows off a brand new Chevrolet SS ARCA Series show car he plans to turn into another elaborate sim rig, obtained for the low price of just $2,000.
As someone who participates in grassroots racing myself during off-weeks from our big car, I find this to be the most particularly insulting portion of this crowdfunding campaign so far; it costs significantly less to build and campaign a hornet or mini-stock at NASCAR-sanctioned tracks – the proper steps for Jason to take in order to pursue his dream of becoming a race car driver – than to purchase a show car and turn it into a proper in-house simulator setup. Pulling a page from my own personal sponsorship package I hand out in the off-season, the following are 100% authentic numbers regarding the cost of getting into a local entry level class and running a full season. I am left totally bewildered – as should others considering a contribution to this campaign – as to why he feels the need to ask sim racers for money to launch his racing career, when it was absolutely doable from the start out of his own wallet (my first season was self-funded while working at Enterprise Rent-A-Car, which pays less than Domino’s), and he instead chose to purchase an expensive toy for his bedroom, on top of the other toy he’s still in the process of paying off.
You are an absolute fool if you give this guy money, because there is zero guarantee it’ll go to the correct places.
Like last time, I once again must point the finger at the sim racing community – in particular the equally delusional iRacers – as there appears to be an abundance of grown men unable to see the situation for what it is, instead encouraging and enabling Jason to pursue this avenue to obtain funding for a drive in a real car, with the end result being nothing short of cringetacular. Wander through his YouTube channel, and there’s a shocking abundance of users in the comments section of every video who don’t seem to be all that bothered by these unconventional, nonsensical attempts to get into real world racing, nor do they seem to care about the amount of money spent for little to no gain, and in what ways this money was obtained. Buying elaborate toys with money you don’t have was traditionally a way to end up on the front page of TheDirty and earn yourself a pretty shitty reputation across Scottsdale, Arizona, but in the sim racing community it’s instead somehow a way to attain acceptance and praise from your peers. How not one responsible adult has stepped into the fray to inject some common sense into this trainwreck speaks volumes about the iRacing community.
It’s also pretty wild that none of these supposedly mature sim racers willing to spend an arm and a leg on iRacing have notified Jason that live streaming himself on pizza deliveries is actually in violation of Georgia’s recording laws. If a customer complained, this guy at the very least has the potential to lose his job, and that’s in an ideal scenario. Maybe it’s my manlet powers taking over, but if my pizza guy shows up to my door with a hidden camera and he’s streaming to his buddies on YouTube, I’m going to make sure he’s not going to be anyone’s pizza guy for much longer. This isn’t cool.
When we last ran a story on this particular iRacing Twitch personality, many of our readers criticized me for supposedly “bullying” an autistic child. Sadly, the lot of you are incorrect and need to head back to the metaphorical drawing board. Jason is three years older than yours truly, and he’s putting himself out there as a public sim racing personality. These aren’t private streams for a few close friends to goof off with; these are open broadcasts that anyone can watch – and now donate to.
I’m in a unique situation in that I’m essentially on the career path Jason aspires to be on, and I’m pretty disgusted by what I’m seeing. Do you want sim racers to look like man-children attempting to indulge in some boyhood fantasy? Because this is precisely how you do it.
Grassroots racing is easily affordable for anyone with a full-time job, regardless of how little their workplace pays. I was employed at Enterprise for just over three years, and had absolutely no trouble campaigning an entry-level car out of my own pocket without the use of payday loans, credit cards, or other miscellaneous shady adventures. Granted, I didn’t have an elaborate simulator setup to pay off, but that’s a choice I made ahead of time – I thought it would be more reasonable to head out to my local track and risk sucking major ass in the hopes of chasing a childhood fantasy, than to blow all my disposable income and then some on a fake cockpit inside my bedroom. Financially, it was also the cheaper option of the two. So for me to see this guy drop upwards of an estimated $23,000 to play computer games in the hopes of launching a real racing career, when he could have gone out and actually launched a racing career at his local track for a fraction of that amount – without the long-term financial problems – I’m about a step or two below having a full-blown anuerysm at this point.
Then there’s the crowdfunding campaign. Look, everyone has their own way of asking for sponsorship funds in the off-season, but coming to the sim racing community and essentially asking them not just for sponsorship, but to buy you a brand new race car – after they’ve been made aware that you’ve already blown through a significantly large amount on a fake race car – with zero credentials other than “I raced a long time ago and my Grandpa said I was good but our car sucked” is some next-level shit. It would be one thing if this guy had a season or two under his belt and could point to statistics online that proved he was decent, because then it’s just a sim racer trying to leapfrog a few classes and acquire a more serious batch of sponsors (which there’s nothing wrong with, it’s actually smart), but that isn’t the case here. You essentially have a computer geek begging for hand-outs, when there is absolutely no reason he couldn’t have funded an amateur ride himself… Save for that useless ARCA show car he blew his money on instead.
When you’re on YouTube as a twenty seven year old man having your mom conduct fake post-race interviews with you, it’s hard to believe this is anything other than a delusional iRacer surrounded by an equally delusional crowd of online friends, unable to tell him he’d crossed the line. Do not contribute to this crowdfunding campaign.