Open Wheel Racing at Daytona? How a Wild Idea Became The Next Race
Published On: January 22nd, 2022
When the 2022 ASR Open Wheel Series Schedule was shown to drivers for the first time, Florida Speedweeks was set to start at a different venue.
The double date for Homestead-Miami Speedway featuring an oval race and a road course event was quickly met with opposition from drivers as the road course was believed to be “too small” and the uncertainty of how the course would race led to ideas being proposed. One such proposal was to take the fourth Open Wheel Series event on the 2022 calendar to Sebring International Raceway, the former airport turned race track that hosts the world renowned “12 Hours of Sebring” annually. “IndyCar ran an iRacing event at Sebring this past year so it was a very viable option and the course is something that is on the agenda moving forward but the opportunity to try something different was too exciting to pass up” said Jim Foose, ASR Promoter.
Another proposal came from ASR Founder and Promoter Jim Foose and was shared through a cryptic Facebook post showing Foose’s #42 Dallara IR-18 on the high banks of Daytona International Speedway. Immediately messages flooded Foose’s inbox asking if he was really planning an oval race at a superspeedway or if the road course was in play.
Once everyone was on the same page with the road course being used the real work began in building a suitable setup for the high speeds that Daytona’s high banks would provide while keeping the car stable in the slower sections of the infield road course. Almost immediately an issue popped up: the cars were going so fast from the “bus stop” chicane to the tri-oval that there was almost no way to gear the cars for the speeds and keep them somewhat competitive in the infield. It was then that the NASCAR chicane, just prior to the pit entrance was brought into play. Designed to keep the heavy stock cars from having to lift prior to the start-finish line to make turn one, the added chicane provided another passing zone on the track and introduced another challenge to drivers each lap.
The finale hurdle was cleared just two weeks prior to the event when iRacing released an updated track for Daytona International Speedway including the larger sausage curbs in the bus stop. “It altered the line slightly for the drivers looking to cut that corner but we don’t see any issue with them, this is a game of risk vs. reward and the drivers know they are there going into the race” said Foose.
When the green flag drops Wednesday for the Daytona Grand Prix, Foose won’t have time to think about the hurdles that needed to be cleared or the effort by him and the drivers of the ASR Open Wheel Series, he’ll be occupied with driving his #42 Dallara IR-18 in search of his first ever road course win.
Registration is open at American Sim Racing by visiting www.americansimracing.com and clicking “Join”. American Sim Racing has seen steady growth since it’s inception in 2002 and now entering the 20th Anniversary Season ASR looks to grow even more.