Mar 272017

Somewhere in the depths of the new iRacing dirt discussion forum, there lurks a thread regarding caution laps. One long-time iRacing member and defender, fanboy  and supporter, asked that dreaded question that all of us short league owners, administrators, hosts, and racers have been asking ever since we started racing short tracks on iRacing: Will caution laps count in dirt racing?

So I just grabbed my popcorn and sat back to watch. I already knew the answer to that question. It’s a question I asked about three years ago, or suggested in the suggestions forum. I don’t remember.

First come the typical answers… “I hope not,” and “I guess we will have to wait and see.” Then it starts to get a little bit interesting.

To be honest sounds like for now the series are going to be mostly R, and D so it shouldn’t really matter if those don’t have cautions anyways.

I guess a lot of people haven’t realized that a lot of us don’t give a rat’s ass about official races. Okay, maybe I’m overstating it. I don’t care too much for official races unless I can find one that has clean, respectful racers, cautions on, and enough laps to offset the caution laps. It’s rare to find those when all you run is short tracks.

Moving on, somebody else had a response to the above oh-well-hem-haw-too-bad. It was the OP with this:

Then what about the 10,000 leagues that are springing up or have sprung up that intend on running legit races?

Hard to hold peoples attention if you have a 50 lap feature, that 42 laps are run under yellow….. And no ones going to give a rats ass about a league that runs 50 lap features with no yellows. That’d just be… I cant even describe how awful….

Now it started to get even more interesting. The OP is speaking my language now. But I already knew the answer to the original question. I’ve watched the development of iRacing dirt closely and that question had already been answered… way back in April or May of 2016.

The next reply comes from another long-time iRacer, who simply says, “uuuuuuuuuuugh.”

The OP chimes in again:

My sentiments exactly. the fact I’ve posted this at times when the iRacing staff is active (when i posted this, there were 2 staffers actively posting on this forum), and its still ignored, leads me to believe that caution laps are going to be treated as they are currently.

Which leads me to believe the official series will be 30-50 lap races with no yellows. And that seriosuly makes me want to cry. Those races are going to be absolutely awful….

At least on the hosted side we can “account” for it and run longer races…. but thats still going to absolutely suck

Not bad. Keep reading. It gets even better. 🙂 An official voice finally speaks. It’s Steve Myers who finally answers the question with authority.

They[sic] cautions laps will count. It is not a simple change to do this as we have had it on the list for short track pavement racing as well.

Beyond the technical issues I am not sure if this type of race control translates very well to sim racing. Races could really get out of hand if laps don’t count under caution in the sim world. I appreciate that people want realism in our product but sometimes we have to balance usability vs realism as well.


I knew that was coming, but there are a couple of things mentioned that are worth noting. One is that it is “on the list.” How long is the list? Nobody really knows. I guess it’s somewhere in the plans but it might be a long while in coming. At least it is in the plans.

As far as “this type of race control” translating to sim racing, I call BS. It was done in rFactor mods and it worked fine. For every lap under caution, a lap was added to the race. But that is not the reason iRacing has not implemented this yet, as Myers later says:

Just to be clear I was just giving my own personal opinion on this. Its not the reason why this is not done though. That still comes back to it being a really hairy project and literally way outside of the box of how our entire system works.


Now the OP seems to get a little upset with this, and I can’t really say that I blame him. Many short track racers share the opinion that this is something important, and that iRacing should have been working on it long ago. But let’s face it. If you want to race ovals in a good sim, where else are you going to go? Here’s the OP’s reply:

If iRacing is not going to strive for realism, then the word “simulation” needs to stop being used, and we might as well start adding AI, and add in some fantasy tracks too (wait.. this is already happening with Dirt USA)…

Aside from the top 3 NASCAR series, and IndyCar, all of your other oval cars are short track cars. The three biggest complaints from the short track community, especially now with dirt, are caution laps counting towards lap counts, no easy/simple way to do heat races within one session (sorry, I don’t want to spend at least $4+ per sessions to make this work with tournaments, never mind having multiple admins available to be in each session to make it work, so instead I just don’t do them at all…), and the track “limitations” with only having inside pit roads.

I get it when it comes to official, but the caution thing is really putting all of the short track leagues in a bind. If we’re being realistic, dirt races should be 30-50 laps or so, but with caution laps counting and let’s say we have a number of cautions, we’re really being limited on the amount of green flag laps that are possible. We could make races longer to account for it, then we’ll need someone to manually count laps and manually score parts of the races, which isn’t always easy, or possible. Then once the race is over, it really screws up some of the back end of what make some leagues work when it comes to points/stats/scoring. I use danlisa for my points/stats, but manually scoring a race really messes with things when the official results from iRacing may show something different. There is simply no easy, or convenient way to making manually scored races work. And with dirt races being relatively short, now we’re stuck with trying to find some sort of workaround, but hey, as long as the usability is there for official, then we’ll have to sacrifice the realism for this game.

The second paragraph above encapsulates everything that is wrong with short oval racing on iRacing. All along, we short track guys have been “doing the best we can with what we got to do with” as my grandfather used to say.

The OP continues after reading Myers’s second post about it “being a really hairy project.”

Then your system is terribly flawed, and after 8 years and now implementing other forms of racing that require certain things, now it’s starting to show.

Get your shit together. I’ve been an iRacing fan boy for 8 years. I’ve defended it rabidly since inception. RIght now I’m finding less and less of a reason to.

And, as of this writing, that’s pretty much the end of the thread. I agree with the sentiments of the OP, but I’m not sure I would have gone that far in the open forum. I really appreciate the dirt content that’s coming. I also wish iRacing would do some work on their dilapidated scoring system.

The reality is, iRacing’s granddaddy, NASCAR Racing 2003, was, as the name implies, a NASCAR game. That carried over to iRacing, and NASCAR counts caution laps. So you could say that the scoring has not changed in this simulation since 2003 and you wouldn’t be that far off. That’s fourteen years.

But I’d rather look at the positive things. We’re getting five dirt cars and four dirt tracks in just a few days. The scoring change is on the list. For now, I’m ready for some dirt racing.

Just remember… if the forum post gets wiped you read it here. 😆

Mar 132017
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Mar 022017
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Feb 172017
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Feb 142017

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Jan 282017
Tyler D. Hudson Joins the iRacing Team; Dirt Gets Closer

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