Dale Earnhardt was rarely wrong — However, he was very wrong about computers
NASCAR is currently postponed due to the coronavirus. Seven NASCAR races are on hold with more likely to follow.
Meanwhile, the digital racing world has taken center stage. iRacing and NASCAR have partnered to create an online racing series.
Each week, 30+ real-world NASCAR drivers take a seat in their sim cockpits at virtual world of NASCAR tracks. The races are shown on network television and viewed by millions of sports fans.
So how good is it?
Dale Earnhardt Jr on iRacing
Previously, Dale Earnhardt Jr has requested that NASCAR teams put the iRacing software in their own system. As far as track data, there’s nothing more accurate. But, the sim is on par as well.
“It’s as close to the real thing as you’re going to get without feeling the car in the seat of of your pants,” Dale Earnhardt Jr stated via ESPN’s Sports Center.
“That seat of the pants feeling of the car sliding across the track. You feel that in the seat that you’re sitting in. Well, that’s not going to happen in a home simulator.”
“But, the iRacing software that we use is the best, most realistic that you’ll find. I’ve used it for 20 years. This is close as you’ll ever get.”
Dale Earnhardt Sr on racing games and computer
31 NASCAR Cup Series drivers filled the iRacing field on Sunday. Would Dale Earnhardt have participated if he was still around?
“He would be doing something else, I’m sure,” Dale Earnhardt said of his father.
“When I was trying to buy my first computer in 1996, I was trying to buy a computer because I wanted to race online. They had a PC NASCAR game, actually made by the same people that are making iRacing today.”
“I wanted that game. I didn’t have any credit and had to get my sister to go with me to the store to buy a computer. She put it on her credit and I had to pay her back.”
“When dad saw that sitting in my house he was like, ‘Those things are a waste of time. Computers are a waste of time.’ “
I was like, ‘How can you say that?!’ “
“And look at it now. I would probably be rubbing that in his face. There’s not many times you got one over on dad.”
“But, that was definitely one of his misjudgments. About the future of computers and the role they would play just in racing alone.”
On living with the Dale Earnhardt name
Dale Earnhardt Jr shares the name if the most famous name in the history of stock car racing. It’s hard for him to find negatives in that.
“There were some people that were hard on you because they expect you to be as good as your dad. Or they think you might have gotten a lot of things too easily,” Dale Earnhardt Jr stated.
“I tried to work really hard to not come across as spoiled or rotten. But man, the doors that it opened for me and the opportunities that I got.”
“Even just growing up around dad. When I was a kid, that was an incredible experience to go to the race track. I would not have traded any of that for anything.”