Last Sunday, 20-year-old rookie Trevor Bayne became the youngest winner of the Daytona 500 in Nascar history. His first experience with the track? Driving the iRacing video simulator at Daytona a year earlier, with Michael Waltrip giving him pointers.
iRacing, the fantastically detailed racing simulator that uses laser scans of race tracks to recreate the actual driving experience, has a rabid following among race drivers. Many already use the software to familiarize themselves with new courses; last year, Top Gear flew out iRacing champ Greger Huttu to Road Atlanta, where he drove nearly as well in real life as his iRacing times — except for vomiting in his helmet a few times.