1. How long have you been sim racing? -
I’ve been sim racing for 14 years come, March of this year. The funny thing is when I got involved in sim racing, I chose to buy NR2k3 over getting a haircut in March of 2004 and the rest as they say is history.
2. Do you remember your first sim race? If you do which car, where, and how did it go? -
I don’t recall if it was my first sim race or not, but I do recall one of my first races from NR2k3. When I first started back in 2004, I ran in a league run by (NASCAR’s) Shane Hmiel and a guy who helped him out with it named Zach Brewer. Anyway, they had a Superspeedway division that raced Trucks at Daytona, Talladega and fictional tracks. One of the first ones I got to run I ended up doing surprisingly well in. So it got down to the final laps and I was planning my move for the win. Coming off of turn 4 to the checkered I thought it would be great to have a Ricky Craven/Kurt Busch style battle to the win, but I had no idea what lag was back then. So I ended up wrecking myself and the guy I was battling for the win, so instead of finishing first or second, I ended up 7th… It was definitely a lesson learned though, that sim racing hadn’t quite developed to what iRacing is today (laughs).
3. What are some other hobbies you like to do outside of sim-racing? -
I’m actually pretty big into hanging out with friends and family. And playing sports like Baseball and Basketball. I enjoy staying active and being a part of pretty much any sport if it’s not racing related. I also enjoy going to the movies in my spare time, it’s just a different atmosphere when you’re in a theater than watching it on a screen at home. You can almost get lost in them at times and forget about all the craziness that’s happening in the world for a couple of hours.
4. What is your favorite type of race track and why? -
My stats show that I’m pretty good at 1.5 mile tracks and short tracks. But I grew up around short tracks and they’ll always be some of my favourite tracks to race on. It’s hard to win at a short track because competition is so tough these days, everyone’s always right behind you, beside you or in front of you and it’s much more physically demanding than most places.
I also like 1.5 milers because of how open and fast they are. You can drive the cars to their peak speed and performance and I find it almost scary at times, even racing online. Because one little mistake can and will cost you a good finish.
5. In actual auto racing who do you base your driving style off of? -
I’ve always felt like I’ve been a cross between Mark Martin and someone like Jimmie Johnson (and not because of wins or championships per se, but character). I find both are soft spoken guys that are great role models and champions in their own right. But I feel like I can win on any given day, maybe not every race like some guys (laughs), but either of those guys [I’m referring to] can and could do just that.
I’ve had Mark Martin luck with the amount of times I’ve finished 2nd in points, but obviously managed to win my championship in 2013B with the help of a great spotter and crew chief Nathan Smith. I’m grateful and happy to be one of the few guys that have won a CORT TeamSpeak Cup Series champion.
6. Where did the saying “track is plenty wide” come from? -
It all happened one night at a drivers meeting when I became an admin, possibly in the Truck Series when I ran it – I can’t remember. But anyway, I’ve been known to say that “the track is wide enough to race 3 wide and/or 4 wide at places, so use it up”. And I recall Chris Swett say it in the way Larry McReynolds says it on the FOX broadcasts, so ever since then it stuck (laughs), and now I always say it when it’s my turn to talk in the drivers meetings.
7. Favorite type of music? -
My music preference really depends on my mood (laughs), some days I’ll listen to Rap or Hip-Hop. Other days I’ll listen to Hard Rock, Alternative, Pop etc. But oftentimes I prefer, Classic Rock, Hard Rock and lately Rap. Maybe I am Mark Martin’s alter ego (laughs).
8. Biggest fear?
A lot of people might find this a little funny, especially with being so tall (6’4”). But I am actually afraid of heights. I wasn’t always though, I used to go rock climbing with my family and would always try to be the first one to the top… I’m not sure what changed, but it was within the last 10 year or so of my life that I became aware of this fear. And don’t really like being in really tall buildings that I can see down from. I try to avoid those places if I can (laughs).
9. This question is from David Damboise. What was the weirdest thing you saw in you N2k3 day’s? -
I’ve had a little time to think about it and honestly like Dave said last week. Me winning on my roof had to be one of the weirdest things I’ve even been a part of or witnessed. I think Dave actually said he gave up on NR2k3 just because of that moment (laughs).
Another moment I’ll never forget was when a family member of mine wanted to race one night at Daytona and he actually blew his engine before we even got rolling off the grid. It was a little embarrassing to say the least...
10. Let's say CORT races were broadcasted nationally, and you were just a fan. Who would be your favorite CORT driver?
I think it would have to be Jim Gutta. I swear if CORT was broadcasted nationally and had the following NASCAR does, they could make a comedy reel out of his in car audio (laughs), but he of course provides the comedy. He’s a character on and off the track, in a good way of course. But knows how to put that aside and take things seriously when it comes down to the final laps of a race. He’s a hard racer when he needs to be and knows when it’s time to be patient. He’s a great guy and a great champion for the CORT TeamSpeak Cup series and I’m glad to see he finally got that elusive championship he’s been waiting for.
11. We are entering CORT’s 10th season. What is your favorite CORT memory?
Wow, that’s a tough one. There’s been so many to choose from in these past 5 years. I almost can’t narrow it down to just one. But if I had to, and I know I’m probably being a little biased. It had to be when I had to hold Tim Silliman off on a one lap shootout at Indianapolis Motor Speedway to win the Indy 250. That to me was like winning Indy Car’s version of the Daytona 500. It was incredible, and to have it come down to that kind of a finish and having to hold Tim off was something I’ll never forget.
12. Next week I will be asking Chris Swett 12 questions do you have a question for him?
On a scale of 1-5 stars, how good is Papa Jim’s compared to american Topper’s Pizza?