Don Bowden

I’m racing in the Daytona 500!

Well, not the real Daytona 500, I’m racing in’s virtual Daytona 500, and if you have been following my blog posts you already know I’m big time into on-line auto racing, if this is your first time reading my blog…  I’m big time into on-line auto racing.

The racing takes place this Friday and Saturday, Feb 22nd and 23rd. Because this is a world-wide event, is hosting two races in order to accommodate time zone differences. Friday’s race will take place at 9:00pm EST (02:00 GMT Saturday) and Saturday’s race will take place at 2:00pm EST (19:00 GMT Saturday) you can watch the races live on Glacier TV (

It is expected more than 1000 on-line iRacers will be competing  so in order to accommodate everyone will divide the iRacers into multiple 43 car “splits” based on each iRacers ranking. The top split from Friday and Saturday’s races will be broadcast live, I probably won’t make the top split but don’t let that keep you from checking out the on-line action; you’ll be amazed at the level of competition and just how realistic the racing looks.

I’ll be competing in the race held Friday night and I’ll be doing my qualification run before the race to determine my starting position within my split. Not sure yet what my race strategy will be, the on-line races at Daytona tend to mirror the real races at Daytona, all the cars tend to run close together in a huge pack, while this is exciting it also lends itself to huge wrecks that can destroy your car and knock you out of the race. I need to decide if I hang towards the back of the pack to avoid the wrecks and make a move to the front during the last 20 laps, or if I qualify up near the front do I try and stay ahead of the pack for 500 miles, decisions, decisions!

I’ll also be practicing my pit stops prior to the race; getting the car slowed from 190+mph down to the 55mph pit road speed limit faster than the other drivers means I’ll spend less time on pit road, an easy way to gain positions.

Horsepower for my virtual race car is courtesy of an Intel Core i7 Extreme Edition processor so if I don’t win it won’t be for lack of speed.

Here’s a picture of my virtual Intel car and pit crew

 and a picture of my racing rig, the three monitors help make the racing a more immersive experience.


Notice the keyboard/mouse tray? That’s where I’ll keep my drink and snacks; I fully expect this race to last 4+ hours so I’ll definitely need drinks and snacks.

So wish me luck! I’ll be sharing video highlights in a follow-up post so check back to see how I finished.

Don Bowden

About Don Bowden

Don is a Sr. Technical Marketing Engineer in Intel’s Corporate Demos Group supporting various Intel events from executive keynotes to trades shows. His latest gig is with the Intel Extreme Masters Gaming Series where he provides general technical support. Don’s an avid gamer, mostly first person shooters, his real passion is on-line racing with which is the closest thing to driving a real race car as you’re going get. Don is also a skier, photographer and avid motorcyclist, making two cross country trips and a trek to the Arctic Circle and back from his home in San Jose, CA.

8 Responses to I’m racing in the Daytona 500!

  1. Patrick says:

    WOW!! That is AWESOME… I bet it’s extremely realistic, other than the danger. Love the set-up you have too Don. How FUN! I’ll have to see how this turn out.

  2. Marshall says:

    This is way cool! Can we try to setup a race with 1000 cars. Talking about a wild youtube video capture:-)

  3. Josh says:

    Hello fellow iRacer… I have been iRacing for the last year or so. I absolutely believe they have the premier driving simulator available. (a little background…) I have been involved in racing since childhood, my father is a track champion as well as hall of fame member of the the state I live in, My brother races and is also a track champion, same for myself… Every “trick” or driving move and car adjustment I know as a racecar driver works just like it should in iRacing. They have done a remarkable job with this product… If you haven’t had an opportunity to check it out, you need too.

  4. Zab says:

    Nice setup.. i have the same one! Luv the obutto and i have triple 120hz monitors! Good luck on the Daytona 500… ill be in there too!