Starting this week, Jake Finch will be hosting a feature called 12 Questions, where he explores those in the Championship Online Racing Teams. For this inaugural edition, Jake catches up with Head Administrator and CORT TeamSpeak Cup Series Director David Damboise ahead of CORT's historic 2017A season.
1. How long have you been sim racing?
I have been sim racing since 2002, and online since 2005 with a small break from 2007-2009. First in NASCAR Racing 3, then in NASCAR Racing 2003 Season, had a cup of coffee in a rFactor stock car league, then ultimately back to n2k3 and ultimately iRacing in 2012.
2. Do you remember your first sim race? If you do which car, where, and how did it go.
Oh god. It was back in the NASCAR Racing 3 days. I was with Matt Bergeron back at the first iteration of ASRA and I ran a #21 PayDay Chevrolet in a race at South Boston. This was old school 1999 South Boston and in N3 the track seemed like it was 6 cars wide. I had no idea what I was doing half the time and I spent the afternoon (yes afternoon, it ran on Sunday afternoons, something I find crazy today) getting lapped numerous times. I ran a few more N3 races but when Alex Faust made ARSA happen, I raced there. It's still crazy that a guy I used to race with is now calling college basketball for ESPN.
3. What are some other hobbies you like to do outside of sim-racing?
I've recently gotten into just doing things solo. I've done a lot of American truck simulator and playing Madden. The ATS stuff is great because it's a good way to unwind after the work day. Madden's just fun because it's Madden.
I also don't try and do just one thing. I will find myself reading random Wikipedia articles or browsing reddit about a lot of things not even remotely related to racing or sports.
4. You founded and currently run this league. What is the toughest part of being the league owner?
Well actually I didn't start the league. Mike Husby started what we now know as CORT in 2010 with CASCOR. I simply picked up the ball in 2012 and ran with it. He should get the credit because without him, we don't get the large (at the time) user base to start with.
The toughest part about being a league owner is having to separate friendship from competition. It would be easy to simply favor those I am friends with but you have to, at the end of the day, have a fair and equal place to race for everyone. It wouldn't be fair to someone new to favor those who are here the last 4 years, nor the other way, so having everyone feel like everything is officiated fairly is the big thing.
The other thing that's hard is to see things from others points of view. Case in point, the clamoring for us to promote a dirt series. I personally have no interest in promoting a dirt series, mainly because I'd like to stick to two nights a week in the new year, but I know the demands there and we risk being left behind if we don't. Same thing for our road side of things. We're a bunch of oval guys, so to entice people to try and run road courses is hard, so doing things like putting it on Tuesdays and having a reset helps a lot.
5. In actual auto racing who do you base your driving style off of?
I'm gonna lean very old school but maybe someone like a Johnny Benson or a Bobby Hamilton. Someone who never wins but ends with the car in one piece. I'm not a speed demon but I feel like the later a run gets, the better I do. I might even be considered a little too conservative with tires or exit but usually I'm running at the end.
6. Since we are in the off season. How have you spent your time off?
There is no off season. Getting ready for season 10. Rebranding the entire league and making sure our rules and what everyone needs is priority #1. Also preparing for the Daytona 24 with CRT is important as well.
7. Chess or Checkers?
As someone who was a part of a chess club at school (and lost literally every game I played), neither.
8. How did CORT get it’s name?
CORT got its name because [Andrew] Hayes and I loved CART and when we wanted to promote an iRacing IndyCar league, we joked that the league would of been CORT. We pretty much had the name for the league before the league.
9. Favorite color?
Red. Or blue. Like a double blue, one light one dark.
Black I don't know. Go with blue.
10. Who would you label the “Kidney Stone”(Hardest to pass) of CORT?
As someone who has had them twice, both since we started CORT, I know how that feels.
On the track? Johnny Eckert is always hard to pass for me. He will pressure you while also showing you a ton of room and respect. I also love battling Steve [Luvender], I'm sure if you asked him this question he'd probably say me though.
11. We are entering CORT’s 10th season. What is your favorite CORT memory?
Probably when everyone came together when I got diagnosed [with Hodgkin's Lymphoma]. It was the scariest time of my life to be 23 and be battling cancer but everyone here was absolutely phenomenal. From the well wishes, to the care package Kevin [Bartelt] sent and just from listening to me at all times of the night. I went through some tough times but this league and these people stuck with me through that. It's kind of why I feel indebted to them and why I keep CORT going. I can probably say if we didn't have the support and passion that others bring us, we'd probably would of closed the doors by now.
12. Next week I will be asking Mike Husby 12 questions do you have a question for him?
Mike's been around nearly as long as me! I'd ask him, besides the one race he won on his roof at gateway all those years ago, and the light pole incident (which I don't know if he actually did hit a light pole), what was the weirdest thing he saw in his n2k3 days. He was either racing or being in n2k3 leagues for a while and with the way that stuff operated, it got weird sometimes.