Jeff Gordon is arguably one of the greatest drivers in NASCAR’s modern era, with 4 championships and 93 Cup wins under his belt. After retiring at the end of 2015, he was called back to duty in 2016 to fill in for an injured Dale Earnhardt Jr. Due to 8 months of rust, Jeff turned to racing simulators to help him get back on track.
Video Credit Fox Sports
In this video from Fox Sports, Jeff Gordon showcases how he utilized Chevrolet Performance’s racing simulator to re-acclimate himself with the 2016 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Chevrolet SS. Despite his storied career, he had never been behind the wheel of the simulator until 2015, his final full season. However, when Dale Earnhardt Jr was injured, Jeff Gordon spent a lot of time behind the wheel of the sim to get up to speed with the changes that the car went through between his retirement and the current iteration of the car.
Looking at the simulator, it appears to be based off of the ISIMotor 2.5 base, possibly using rFactor 2 or a modern version of rFactor Pro. I think it’s safe to assume that Chevrolet (along with Pratt and Miller) develops their own car in-house for the sim, to try to get it as close to reality as possible.
It’s awesome to see Jeff Gordon talking highly about how he was able to use a simulator as a training device, which seems to have paid off. In 2016, he had an average finish of 13.9 over 8 races, with a best finish of 6th.
It would definitely be cool to see more drivers testing out simulators like this, and stories about how they used them to train for events. What are your thoughts? Let us know!