Column By: DYLAN FRIEBEL / RPW – PORT ORANGE, FL – Ryan Vargas announced on twitter earlier this week that he will be hosting a “Truck Night In America” Race on iRacing, which will pit 23 Pro Drivers vs 20 “Open” Drivers and the entries to be a part of the 20 open drivers skyrocketed immediately with it being closed off at 300 entries. The qualifying happened Wednesday night with the 20 Open Drivers being selected.
One name that made the field is former RPW Photographer Daylon Barr, who is now a NASCAR Photographer. He made the field through three heat races on Wednesday night to be one of the 20.
“My First feeling was that it was a relief.” He said. “Then the elation set in that I was better then 280 other drivers.”
It wasn’t just Barr who made the field, as he sponsors four other drivers in his stable under the Barr Visuals brand. His team includes Michael Frisch, Brian Mercurio, Matthew Wishart, and Kyle Riley who is the newest Addition to the Barr Visuals team.
“I wasn’t so worried about making it.” Daylon said. “If I was 10th and my driver was 11th towards the end I would have given it to him. I wanted them to make it. To have Michael who does most of our Endurance Racing stuff, to Brian who kicks ass is and on the road to pro this year, Matthew who is my best friend and Kyle being the new guy. It means a lot to me to have five Barr Visuals trucks out there in the eSports scene.”
For Barr it’s about the value that Sim Racing has to partners and Sponsorships.
“Some people don’t see the value that Sim Racing has.” He says, “But I do. I get snapchats, pictures, tweets of our Barr Visual paint scheme racing on many of the Official Races. It’s cool to see people see it, acknowledge it, and connect it to me. eSports helps me have the social media presence to bring in new clients when it comes to my actual race teams and it becomes an asset to my real race teams.”
During the down time, iRacing provides an unique way for sponsors and brands to get their name still out there versus other sports and that’s no more true then this past week.
“With the Replacements 100.” He said. “The guy who won Josh Williams is Ryan Blaney’s spotter and he ran their Advance Auto Parts scheme and the company used a screenshot from their Sim on their social media page. It’s Incredibly important to have that out there.”
For many people right now, iRacing is an outlet to have something to look forward to right now.
“A lot of what I do with photography is creative.” He said. “It helps me that I have a positive release of positive energy right now. The season is super long for me, I’m on the move every weekend and I take the offseason to get my body right and prepare. I didn’t do a whole lot in that time. The down time starts to get to you and this time right now is a type of black hole, a dark place. The first few days after Alanta being postponed, it was dark, it got me depressed and then (Ryan) Vargas said he was running this race.”
With Ryan running this race, Daylon was quick to hop on board.
“I was one of the first ones to hop on board.” He said, “I said let me sponsor it, maybe do something for charity. It would be something really cool and it got me excited. It lifted my spirits up during this pandemic with everyone quarantining and staying inside. Sim racing brings me together with other people. I look forward to getting online when my friends get home in the evening. It’s fun. These hosted sessions are fun, while the level of competition is there, it’s all about fun with no pressure to put on a show for those watching.”
These events provide an opportunity for fans to race against the stars of the Motorsports world and it’s a unique experience.
“It feels great.” He says. “I can whoop their ass on a computer, whereas in real life they would have the edge. Tonight will be cool, to race against guys like Brandon Brown and some other Xfinity Series Drivers. I know for a fact I can beat up on them in the Sim and it levels the playing field.”
Daylon has found that even making the event proves this be a success, however he is no less excited.
“I am sponsoring the pole award and victory lane tonight.” he said. “There’s a little bit of bounty or bonus for my guys if they can win the pole or the race itself and sit in Barr Visuals Victory Lane. Honestly just being in the show and being a part of one of the most historic races on iRacing, racing on night two of this is the success to me. If we all finish 43rd to 38th it’s fine, we made it. I know my guys and I want to run well for the fans but just making it is success to me.”
Truck Series Night in America is shaping up to be one of the best events in iRacing History as the “Pro’s” square off against the everyday iracer on iRacing tonight on Podium eSports, however watch out for the Barr Visuals team as they look to make a splash and put on a show for the fans.