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System Failure!

Last night's XCAL Racing Web Shop 444 was an exciting event to watch! Seven different drivers would make it to the front to lead laps, and varying pit strategies kept the fans guessing as to who would come out on top. While being notorious for producing high speed crashes, Bristol Motor Speedway provided XCAL Racing with a fairly clean event! A few smalls spins ended some drivers' nights early - but the event would remain caution free until the end.

I would like to take a moment to explain to fans, who may be new to our series, how XCAL Racing events are supposed to end. Simply: Under green flag conditions. Once the leader reaches 5 laps to go, all cautions are called off and any incidents that occur are reviewed post race and penalties can be assessed. Additionally one 'Green/White/Checkered' finish is enabled in the event settings.

So why do we have a 'GWC' enabled if there are no cautions thrown at the end of a race? It is a back up system incase any of the following occur: A caution comes out with 6 or more laps to go and it takes an excessive amount of time to get the field lined up, a caution is displayed as / directly after the leader hits 5 laps to go, or something crazy happens like RACECONTROL drops a soda can on the keyboard with 3 laps to go and triggers an unnecessary caution.

The data from iRacing received by RACECONTROL is sometimes delayed a second or more, such as the lap updating after the leader crosses the line. This was the unfortunate situation that occurred in last night's event. The incident between Bowen Smith and Joe Campbell was directly in front of on coming traffic and a caution flag was thrown. Upon review the leader had in fact already passed the line at the time of the yellow and we were forced to use our back up 'GWC' finish.

To avoid driver confusion RACECONTROL quickly announced that the yellow was in fact out, and that a Green/White/Checker finish would be implemented. The last thing we needed is a few guys trying to race it out under yellow thinking the flag came out late - and that it would not count. At this point all drivers and staff fully expected to see the GWC notification from iRacing appear on the screen soon. Drivers began to get sorted and RACECONTROL got to the task of setting up the penalty for the accident that just occurred. A few drivers used this as an opportunity to get tires or other service for the final short green run to the finish. We all found out at the same time that our backup 'GWC' system had completely failed, there was no 'two to green' to apply a penalty, because no green flag was coming. RACECONTROL made efforts to extend the event on the last lap and even after the checkered was displayed, but iRacing was having none of it. The field was forced to pace across the line, finishing an XCAL event under caution for the first time in over 100 feature events. This was an unexpected, disappointing, and frankly unsatisfying outcome for our drivers and fans after an exciting evening of racing.

People were pissed ^^

When there is an outcome like this, there will always be people saying, "What if.." and @everyone will have an opinion on the matter. The problems with 'ifs' is that there is always a counter example. For every "If the caution didn't come out - Matt would have won", there is a "If the caution didn't come out - angry drivers would set off a melee, and who knows IF anyone even finishes at all". We can't and won't score "ifs" at XCAL Racing, and cannot hand back the lead to Matt Bare any more than we could to a driver who gets taken out by a lapped car at the end of an event.

I would like to apologize to the participants and fans alike who did not get to see the exciting finish at Bristol Motor Speedway that they have come to expect over the years, but hey its still better than that time Letto won.

How would you call it?

  • Consider the race over at the time of the caution

  • Go by iRacing official results after completion of lap 444

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