Like the rest of the country, Logan Schuchart gets pretty bored being home all day.
While he waits for the signal that it’s OK to get back on the track, the World of Outlaws 410 sprint car driver from Hanover has found a way to stay involved with the sport from the comfort of his home. Schuchart participated in the first two World of Outlaws iRacing Invitational events broadcast on Fox Sports 1 and grabbed a pair of top-five finishes.
“It’s just nice to have some type of racing in our life in general,” Schuchart said. “We have been sitting around and not doing a whole lot for a while, so it’s weird for all of us, but iRacing kind of gives us a little bit of that edge to be able to still get some laps under our belts, whether it’s the real thing or not.”
Just getting started: Schuchart started iRacing last December, but admitted he didn’t really spend much time focused on it until it became his only outlet for racing. Although he enjoys the iRacing experience and said the change in track conditions during the race and differences in the car depending on fuel level made it feel realistic, he doesn’t put too much stock in the virtual event helping him in his car.
“To me, it’s something fun to do. It’s still a game,” Schuchart said. “Some people will get hurt if they hear you say that, but that’s my opinion. I don’t try to pay too much attention to it, but I think it’s something fun to do right now.”
A fun project: Right now, Schuchart is racing at a do-it-yourself setup at home, but he is working on building his own rig from cars that are out of service. In the iRacing events, Schuchart finished ahead of NASCAR drivers Kyle Larson and Bubba Wallace on Wednesday, who both used state-of-the-art rigs.
In addition to possibly helping him win an iRacing event, the project gives Schuchart a chance to practice his ability to build a car without the high stakes of messing up the real thing.
“I don’t know if it’s going to make me any better or anything,” Schuchart said through a laugh. “A lot of these guys get these real expensive rigs and stuff, which is cool, everybody has got their thing, but we have some cars sitting out back that were crashed and no use to us. So we decided we’re going to try to build our own rigs.”
Schuchart finished third in the first race on April 1 and claimed the fifth spot on Wednesday.
Growing the sport: While he was happy to get back to some form of competition and get exposure to potential fans through a Fox Sports television broadcast, Schuchart said it’s great for the entire sport and its fans to get the recognition it deserves.
As an added bonus, Schuchart hoped that in a time without sports, the World of Outlaws could generate some more fans at the track once the real races start because of the iRacing events.
“That would be huge,” Schuchart said. “Being on a major network like that, you’re going to get people that are going to scroll past it and don’t know much about the sport and might check it out. It’s great for everybody.”
As the world waits for the all clear to get back to life as usual, Schuchart is using the virtual races as a chance to escape the boredom of staying inside to help slow the spread of the coronavirus pandemic. With a new rig in the works, and nothing but time on his hands, the Hanover native hopes to land in victory lane soon, even if it’s from his own home.
“It’s just like anything, if you spend some time with it you get good at it,” Schuchart said. “Now, since that’s the only thing we have, I would like to spend some time with it and hopefully get a little better.”
Reach Rob Rose at firstname.lastname@example.org.