That setup worked well for him, he admitted, but it became an inconvenience. When the sim wheel needs to recalibrate, it spins all the way around in both directions.
Swindell couldn’t do that with the cables attached to it. He had to take the system apart, let the wheel recalibrate and then put it back together again.
Now, Swindell has his eye on a new prototype SimAbility is working on. It’s the setup socialized about on Twitter that Max Papis has helped put together for injured IndyCar driver Robert Wickens to use in IndyCar’s iRacing events.
“I think the motion and quality of the control is better on the new one they’re working on and has a little bit better spring system in it,” Swindell said. “There’s just not a lot of adjustment on the one I have right now to kind of fine tune some of the tension for running half throttle and things like that.”
Even with some of the hinderances he faces, Swindell has had competitive runs in his three World of Outlaws iRacing Invitational starts. He finished 18th in the inaugural Sprint Car race at virtual Volusia Speedway Park. Then, for round two at The Dirt Track at Charlotte, he contended for the win and led laps early before fading to 11th.
The next night he finished 12th in his World of Outlaws Morton Buildings Late Model iRacing debut.
“It was fun, running around the fence (in the late model),” Swindell said. “The sprint cars are obviously easier for me. I’m a bit more comfortable in those. But, yeah, the Late Models, it’s probably more fun running laps when it got slicker than the Sprint Car because the bumps tend to throw you around. It seems like it’s pretty easy to get behind trying to throttle with my hand. If anything gets really out of control that’s when I tend to struggle, the Late Models seem a little lazier so that makes it easier on me.”
No matter the outcome, he’s having fun racing, and others around him are enjoying seeing him behind a wheel, again — well, maybe not every driver.
After the Sprint Car Invitational on Sunday, Swindell’s wife, Jordan Swindell tweeted, “It’s cool to see [Kevin Swindell] racing again. Sim racing or not, it makes my heart happy for him he’s able to adapt to so many different ways of doing things and still finds a way to be good at all of it.”
Swindell owns his own sprint car team, which his three-time World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car champion father – Sammy Swindell – will drive for this year.
He’s also the “owner” of several iRacing teams. His Swindell Speedlab team competes in the World of Outlaws Pro Sprint Car and Late Model World Championships.
He’s been a big proponent for eSports racing and is happy to see FOX Sports teaming with the World of Outlaws’ iRacing league.
“It’s cool,” he said. “To see it grow is great and to see it get some big attention is good for it. Those guys, the full-time guys, are impressive to watch. I spotted for Eric Jones in the (NASCAR) Cup race and that was kind of a neat deal to see happen.
“It’s good that bigger companies are getting behind this while we’re all stuck inside.”