The 2020 Spring/Summer Season is set to begin this week, starting tonight with Dirt Night, so here’s a quick look at what’s new for the upcoming season:
After taking a few seasons off from broadcasting our premier Super Late Model division, broadcasts will return this season as we bring on Speed51 to present all of the action in the newly named Speed51 Super Series presented by EPYK Media. This season races will be LIVE on Speed51 each Thursday night on Speed51.com at 10 PM Eastern.
There are no major changes this season for the Davis Chassis Works Contender Series. This division will continue to be our secondary SLM division that runs on Wednesday nights, providing drivers a chance to gain experience, and race competitively, all while developing their skills and setups before potentially moving up and taking on some of the league’s best in the Super Series.
This season on Tuesday nights, we’ve added a little more horsepower to the lineup. After two seasons of running Late Models, Street Stocks and SK Modifieds, we are kicking it up a notch as we move up into the Tour Modifieds and introducing the ARCA cars back into the rotation. The two cars will alternate weeks, running at a handful of tracks throughout the season. Both cars will have a single drop race, scoring a driver’s best 5 out of 6 races towards the championship.
The Dirt Pro Late Models are returning this season in the 9:30 PM Eastern time slot on Dirt Night, but we’re making the switch from the 410 Non-Wing Sprint cars to the Midget cars at 10:45 PM on Monday nights. The Pro Late Models will run at nearly every dirt track on the iRacing service, while the Midgets will focus a majority of their schedule at some of the smaller tracks.
Both Dirt Night divisions will continue to run fixed setups this season. For the Pro Late Models, the setups will be custom made to help provide better racing. At times the setups may include slight changes to fuel, ballast and gearing, while other tracks may require more changes to enhance the racing action. At this time the Midgets will mainly use the iRacing fixed setups with fuel changes. Both setups will be posted on the division page on the website prior to race week.
One more change to Dirt Night will include some resets to the track state. We typically start all sessions at 0% track state and let that carry over throughout the night. But at times, depending on the car counts or the track itself, the track will get very slick very early and will become single-grooved and harder to pass by the time the A-Main comes around. This season we have added in the option to reset track states down to 10% prior to the Warmup and Feature sessions as a way to make the track stay tackier for a little longer to produce some better racing in the A-Main. This will be decided on a case-by-case basis each race.
This season we are making the move back to Forecasted Weather for all divisions. Last season we used Dynamic Weather, which at times could have been considered “random” weather, which made it tough to setup cars during the week when each time you tested could result in different conditions. So we have switch back to providing a weather forecast which will be available on each division page of the website.
The Forecasted Weather provided will list specific weather conditions, however when we set the session up on the Admin side of things, we have a new option called “Variability”. What this means is that there will be some deviation from the specified weather conditions provided, and the session will launch with weather conditions within a couple numbers of the forecast. For example if the weather provided is 75 degrees, 55% humidity, 4mph winds to the N, when we add in the variability setting, the session will launch fairly close to the forecast at 73 degrees, 52% humidity, 3mph winds to the NE.
At this time, this feature will NOT be used. The DNC Caution feature, which allows us to run races without counting caution laps, was recently introduced by iRacing, however they have noted there are still some bugs in the system, and despite them making it available to hosted racing, they have suggested using it “at our own risk”. So at this time we will NOT be using this feature.
However, once we know some of these bugs have been worked out, we plan on fully switching over to using DNC Cautions in all of our divisions. Since caution laps will not count towards the lap totals, races will likely get shortened. Dirt Night races will become 50-75 laps for the DLM, and 30 laps for the Midgets. And on the asphalt side, all races will be shortened by roughly 25 laps. We will make an announcement at a later time once this feature is schedule to be enabled.
We have made a few tweaks to the rulebook this season. The first change is for the number of bonus points drivers will get for a clean race, which is being reduced from 5 down to 3 bonus points. Obviously these bonus points are an incentive to running clean races, but we nearly had a situation last season where a driver who was outperforming a competitor on track was actually behind another driver in the points who had more clean races. So this season the reduction down to just 3 bonus points for a clean race is in effort to balance clean racing and performance.
Appeal Penalty Points
Another change being made in relation to points, is the ability to now appeal penalty points that are received from getting too many incidents in a race. Once a driver reaches 15 or more incidents, they will automatically receive a points penalty in the standings. At times, we are aware that not all incidents are 100% at the fault of the driver, and there may be situations where they received incident points unfairly. Drivers who receive 15+ incidents may now appeal their penalty points by sending an email to email@example.com with a list of the laps they received incident points that they would like reviewed, and admins will then review the situation to determine if any incidents or penalty points could be reduced, at their discretion. Incidents received from common contact or being involved in wrecks will not be removed, but incidents received from intentional contact or unavoidable contact may be removed on a case-by-case basis.
The last change in the rules isn’t much of an actual change, but it’s something that we’ve been doing for a while that was actually a bug in iRacing’s system that is now fixed. In divisions where we run two separate sessions (one for practice+qualifying, and one for the warmup+race), the race session has always been setup to start at 30% track state. However there has been a bug on iRacing’s end that was introduced when day/night transitions were added, that actually cause the session to launch at a random track state percentage way higher than 30%. It would go up at a random value, sometimes seen as high as over 80%. This recently just got fixed in a patch, so now race sessions will properly launch with the correct track state of 30%.