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Goal met, first win with DRL

Last weekend I finally completed one of my goals, to win a race with Diehard Racing League (DRL). DRL is a private fixed-setup NASCAR league on iRacing. It was my 50th race, and just over a year since I began running with this group. It's been a lot of fun but also the competition is fierce, particular for the top5. It was a wild race at the Charlotte Oval and it was a total surprise to win. Speed-wise, I was doing ok qualifying 4th. That said, from the start I got trapped on the outside and fell way back to about 7th or 8th.

Finally, a win in DRL!
Finally, a win in DRL!

I attempted to short-pit early to get a bit of an undercut on the competition (to gain back track position) only to get burned by a caution, putting me a lap down. Fortunately, I took the wave-around and got back onto the lead lap. I restarted somewhere around 16th. I slowly raced my way up to about 10th before the next round of crashes and cautions. With about 20 to go I took four tires but prepped my settings for a two-tire stop if another caution was to come out.

Three-wide into turn 3 on the final lap, I was able to get the run off 4 and take the win!
Three-wide into turn 3 on the final lap, I was able to get the run off 4 and take the win!

Sure enough, with about 10 to go there was another caution. This time it was for a major pileup on the backstretch. I somehow avoided the carnage and was up to 6th. I debated to myself whether to switch back to 4-tires but ultimately figured what the heck let's go for it. Surprisingly, I was the only one to take two-tires, jumping from 6th to 1st. I knew from practice earlier that two tires works fine for a couple of laps but then starts to get loose in 3 and 4. Honestly, I was banking on some more cautions. That said, starting 1st on restarts is huge. The leader gets to pick when to start the race. In essence, you get a free corner before the pack even has a chance to catch up. We went about five laps green. I got a good start and held the lead while the 75 and 8 battled for second behind me. Coming off of turn 4 the 8 tags the wall and bounces off the 75, causing another caution. I don't pit, nor does the other top 4 or so cars. I'm a bit concerned about the cars that took 4 tires but we're down to 5 to go. On the restart the 75 misses a shift, stacking up the field and causing yet another caution. Obviously, I'm not going to pit with a Green-White-Checkered. Coming to the last lap the 133 gets a run and under me on the front stretch. Fortunately, I'm able to stay on his outside in 1 and 2 and onto the backstretch. The 31, on four tires, gets under the 133. Together, we go three-wide into turn 3 but I get the run off turn 4 to the checkered!

Finally, a Dirt Oval win on iRacing!

Dominating win in the Late Model Series at The Dirt Track at Charlotte, finally!
Dominating win in the Late Model Series at The Dirt Track at Charlotte, finally!

It took 52 tries but I finally captured an official iRacing DIRT OVAL win in the Limited Late Model series at The Dirt Track at Charlotte. It was also my second pole for this discipline. The best part was I did so in dominating fashion winning the pole (16.265), leading all 30 laps, and getting the fastest lap (16.262). There was one competitor that stayed with me through the first half of the race, but I managed to get through traffic much smoother than they did, often running high around lapped traffic. Got a nice boost to my iRating (1546[+72]) and SR (3.53[+.11]) too.

Lots of grip this race. iRacing is certainly the best place for the virtual dirt racing experience.
Lots of grip this race. iRacing is certainly the best place for the virtual dirt racing experience.

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