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Daniel Faulkingham (right) crossing the finish line in the UMM stickered car

UMaine Machias student represents school while winning in eNASCAR

Have you ever felt that your college career was racing by? For one University of Maine at Machias (UMM) student, that’s just the case as he represents UMM while competing in eNASCAR.

What is eNASCAR some may be asking? It is a competitive online simulation of NASCAR racing using a platform called iRacing. At the college level, students from both the U.S. and Canada compete for large sums of scholarship money. This simulation is far more realistic than a TV screen and a small gaming controller, as competitors operate their digital cars using a steering wheel and pedals, which is also known as a “sim racing setup.”

Daniel Faulkingham, a forth-year Small Business Management student at UMM, has been racing in eNASCAR since 2017. Now that he’s attending college, he competes in the College iRacing Series. Faulkingham proudly represents UMM by bearing the school’s logo on the hood of his car in all of his races.

“You just want to do well to represent your college,” Faulkingham stated.

Daniel Faulkingham’s Class B NASCAR Xfinity Series car, proudly wearing UMM’s logo

In the College Series, Faulkingham has already won the top of the podium, with a first-place win racing at a digital Daytona in September of 2023. This year, he also took first place in racing at Michigan International Speedway in a truck class. Not only does he compete in college races, but he also participates in the eNASCAR Coca-Cola iRacing Series. According to iRacing’s website, this series has the world’s highest-level drivers for oval simulation racing.

When racing in the College Series this year, Faulkingham has fluctuated between a Class B NASCAR Xfinity Series car, which resembles a Toyota GR Supra, and a NASCAR Truck Series car. His next race is in the truck at Talladega on March 19th.

At the time of writing this, the paint design for Faulkingham’s Truck Series car is not complete yet. He will provide a picture of it when it is finalized, however. He mentioned that a friend of his, who also does his vehicle designs, works with vehicles for many participants in the iRacing industry. It is fascinating to see these competitions creating professions amongst non-competitors, even while the events are digital.

While the process of qualifying and competing in these races is complex, Faulkingham gave us a summary of how it all works. First, qualifying for it is a “time attack” run, which is where one car at a time races around the track being timed, and the drivers with the fastest 40 times are eligible to compete in the “A-Main.” The A-Main is then the race for the scholarship money. Only the top 10 winners from that race earn money, and the amounts paid vary depending on where the driver finished in the race.

For Faulkingham’s particular racing setup, he uses a VRS Direct Force Pro racing wheel, a type of direct-drive wheel, which enables him to feel “every little bump on the race track,” just as if he was driving a physical car. He claims that this helps him feel everything the car is doing, especially what the tires are doing. He also uses three ASUS gaming monitors, which wrap around where he sits. Using three monitors helps him with peripheral vision as he races.

Daniel Faulkingham, ready to race

Faulkingham noted that while he gets an adrenaline rush from racing with the most skilled drivers in the world, he doesn’t have the same nervousness he used to have going into races. “As long as you put that aside, you focus on yourself, you put on a good race, you do the best you can, there’s really not too much to worry about. But you still get the ‘jitters’ a little bit when you’re doing these races at a high level.”

“I got familiar with what iRacing was around 2013… as a kid, I would watch online YouTube videos of people racing… It’s way different today than it was ten years ago.” After that, Faulkingham became growingly interested in participating for himself. “It wasn’t until 2016 that we got the wheels rolling in terms of getting on the service [iRacing].” In 2017, he began racing. He described that, while he has always dreamed of racing in real life, this is the next best thing.

“I hope I can do it for as long as I can,” mentioned Faulkingham. While he’ll be graduating soon, he plans to participate in the eNASCAR Coca-Cola iRacing Series after leaving UMaine. However, he worries, as he’s seen many drivers have to stop competing because “life has taken over.”

“Being on iRacing has allowed me to meet so many friends and make so many teammates. It’s really mazing just what racing on a simulator really can do for real life relationships as well… that’s what I’m most happy about,” he expressed lastly.

If you would like to watch eNASCAR and cheer Faulkingham on, you can watch all the races at, as well as iRacing’s Twitch and YouTube pages. His next race is March 19th, at 8:00 pm ET.

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