At long last, the preseason is over. We have made it to the start of the inaugural Short Track Simulation Circuit season, which will open Wednesday. In this week’s From the Tower, we look at some items of note from the last two preseason sims and prepare for Season 1 in SCOR.
OP, pls nerf: The star of last week, as noted in last week’s From the Tower, was Rick James. James dominated during the Bristol tests, and opened the Wednesday sim with strong showings at La Crosse and Martinsville. Too strong, some felt.
Sure enough, a closer look at James’ in-sim attributes showed his minimums were keyed-in considerably higher than they should have been, effectively closing his GAP far beyond what the rules allow.
For those unsure what the GAP is all about, that’s a great look. Basically, in each attribute you have a minimum and maximum rating. A smaller GAP between the two leads to more consistent performances, which was the key to James’ success … until he was nerfed by this discovery. In his last three races, James has finished 23rd, 14th, and 24th.
Tears at the Grand Ole Opry: The official Season 1 Short Track Simulation Circuit schedule was released today, with not a lot of changes from the initial release. The order of some of the dates moved around, but otherwise 14 of the 15 tracks initially listed on the schedule remain.
The one change comes at the expense of Fairgrounds Speedway. A 0.596-mile oval located on the Nashville Fairgrounds in Nashville, Tennessee, Fairgrounds Speedway was the launching point for many NASCAR drivers, including the Waltrip brothers, Coo Coo and Sterling Marlin, and Bobby Hamilton. It also hosts the All-American 400 each season, as well as a date on the ARCA Racing Series schedule.
Unfortunately, the virtual version of the ol’ Fairgrounds has proven finicky, which prompted LaCrosse Fairgrounds Speedway’s inclusion during last Wednesday’s test. The test race was an audition for the Wisconsin oval, and it passed with flying colors. There was clean, exciting racing throughout and a thrilling side-by-side finish between Cheating Rick James and Charlotte Bowey. Not only did LaCrosse replace Nashville on the schedule, it will now be the season finale, where we will crown the inaugural STSC champion.
Cashing in: Along with the announcement of the schedule, we saw the release of payouts for this season’s races, including a handful of events which will feature bonus payouts.
The first bonus event will come at Rockford Speedway, in the Midwest Spring Nationals. Rockford hosted the first test sim for the series, and has served as a flagship location for the STSC thus far in its formative stages. The Illinois quarter-mile has been in operation since the 1940s, hosting the National Short Track Championships since 1966, when Dick Trickle won the inaugural running of the event. The Midwest Spring Nationals will pay an extra $5,000 to win on top of the traditional $5,000 winner’s pay.
The second bonus event will benefit users from the Simulation Hockey League, as the fellow sim league is endorsing and sponsoring the SCOR Mid-Season Classic 100 powered by SHL at Slinger Speedway. With 33 degrees of banking, Slinger is known as the World’s Fastest Quarter-Mile, and will produce exciting, fast-paced racing. If the winner of the SCOR Mid-Season Classic 100 is a user on SHL, they will receive a $1 million bonus to their SHL account.
Third on the list of bonus races is the Red Snapper 100 at 5 Flags Speedway. Located in Pensacola, Florida, 5 Flags Speedway hosts one of the top Late Model races in the United States each December, the Snowball Derby. In 2017, the event celebrated its 50th anniversary, with Kyle Busch taking advantage of the NASCAR offseason to compete in the golden anniversary event and take the win. Like the Rockford race, the 5 Flags winner will pocket $10,000 in ROC.
Lastly, there is the aforementioned season finale at LaCrosse Fairgrounds Speedway. In case deciding a champion was not enough excitement for the Oktoberfest STSC Championships, the winner will receive a $10,000 ROC bonus, for a grand total of $15,000 to win.
You’ve got (no) mail: Nobody sent in mailbag questions through the comments on last week’s From the Tower! Shame! Shame on you all! If you’ve got questions, feel free to drop them in the comments.
That concludes this week’s From the Tower. Good luck as we start the season!