Okay in my first post about my season in the NASCAR game, which you can see here, I wrote at the end that I had some real struggles as my season left Daytona and went forward. Oh boy did I! I had some good races too so I could get those out of the way first but since I had mentioned the bad ones at the end of this first series I may as well get those out. I have one word that sums up my major failings as the season went along: Pocono. And again, Pocono. Both of those two races ate me up and spit me out in a way just about no NASCAR game has done to me before. I have no clue what went wrong but both times I could do nothing to make my car any better during the race. Even in practice I was always a good 2 seconds or more off the pace of the leader, which meant trouble. I enhance my engines and other car parts in the shop so I don’t get why I was so far out in left field. Generally if I can sense that I’m going to be behind in an event I’ll do some alternate pit strategy of some kind, like pitting just before halfway or something like that, hoping it stays green until the end and I get a good finish. That has worked for me several times in the past. But not at Pocono.
Nothing strategy wise worked in any form at all, likely because it’s such a large track and I couldn’t get the gains I’m used to with short pitting. So pitting just short of halfway did nothing in either event. That plan actually may have worked if I was within a second or two of the leader when I pitted, but the last race for sure I was more than 11 seconds behind by the time I pitted. The added seconds it takes to get down pit road plus that major distance is likely what hurt me so much. But I couldn’t out race anybody at all, I was struggling to run 43rd which is really sad to me. I don’t have any clue why but I just cannot do anything good at Pocono. My last race there I did end up getting 41st so that was a slight improvement over dead last from before but not enough so that I was happy with the race. What’s funny is that I’ve heard if you’re good at Pocono, because of the design of the track, you’ll be good at the Brickyard. When I got to the Brickyard I did very well in the race, typically running right outside of the top 10 all race until a ton of cautions popped up at the end of the race and provided a green white checkered finish at the end, and I won! I was happy on the one hand and shocked on the other, since I’m trash at Pocono I figured the same would be true here, but nope! That was a nice win, in reality I’d want to win the Daytona 500 and Brickyard 400 the most so it was fun to get them in one season in my season.
But there was one more major thing I had happen in the game apart from Pocono and winning at Indy since my first post. Namely Sonoma. You know how I couldn’t do anything right at Pocono and I was trash there? I was practically invincible at Sonoma. I could do no wrong; my practice times were great, my laps lead count was high in the race, and I was able to totally stomp the entire field in the race. At the end with pit strategy I was a bit far behind so I believe I ended up being fortunate to catch a caution to help me gain the distance but other than that I had the weekend absolutely owned completely. The same thing seems to be happening for me at Watkins Glen, the next race on my schedule. My practice times are years above the next cars so I’m hoping I sweep the road courses for the season. Thus far I have 5 wins and I’m hoping to have more to that number soon. One thing is sure: I can’t have any more Pocono’s, especially during the Chase. Time will tell but I’m having a blast and I’ll follow this up with post 3 soon!