The NASCAR season is the only part of the major sports calendar still rolling along, albeit virtually, as they have televised the iRacing Pro Invitational Series for the last three weeks. It’s been fun to watch the pro drivers hop into virtual cars and run around tracks in what are pretty incredibly realistic simulations.
Sunday’s event in Bristol figured to be the biggest challenge for the drivers, who as Michael McDowell recently explained to us are all still figuring out how to drive without feel, as they would have to deal with short track racing virtually for the first time. At a track where contact is constant and cautions are at an abundance in real life, there figured to be some choppy racing in the virtual world where there have been many wrecks the first two weeks as drivers adjust to the virtual setup.
That, sure enough, took place early on at Bristol as cars were bumping and crashing all over. Each driver is given one free “reset” to get their car back to brand new in the iRacing world, a gesture of goodwill and understanding from NASCAR knowing wrecks are going to happen, and Bubba Wallace had to use his really early on Sunday at Bristol. Shortly after that, on lap 15, he got wrecked by Clint Bowyer who rode up from the low line and into Wallace on the high line, prompting something familiar to anyone that’s played video games before: a good old fashioned rage quit.
— FOX: NASCAR (@NASCARONFOX) April 5, 2020
Says @bubbawallace on his stream after he wrecked with Bowyer: “That’s why I don’t take this shit serious. Bye bye. Peace out!”
Then the stream went dark. Bubba gone.
— Jeff Gluck (@jeff_gluck) April 5, 2020
Wallace, without any resets left, realized his day was effectively done, and went ahead and shut it down for the day, cutting his stream and disconnecting from the race. When you wreck twice in 15 laps and can see how the day is going to go, it’s an understandable reaction. Still, it’s just another unique aspect of the iRacing world, where if its just not your day you can cut bait and do something else rather than putter around the track trying to pick up some owner points like in an actual event.