Interview: Troy Schulz

LIVESTRONG TNT Racing's co-captain and one of iRacing's most consistent and fastest drivers shares some of his secrets in this interview. Apart from his on-track accomplishments, Troy is also the author of "One Second At a Time", an excellent companion to iSpeed's Lap Analyzer program.


Q:  Who is your racing hero?
A:  Mario Andretti. That man could drive the wheels of anything he sat in.

Q:  What do you do for a living?
A:  I'm a software engineer, currently managing a 6 person development team.

Q:  How long have you been on iRacing?
A:  I started on iRacing at the end of 2010.

Q:  Did you have other race simulator experience before iRacing?
A:  I've been a fan of many racing titles over the years. Nascar 2002 (Siera), Nascar 2003, Indy Car II, Nascar Racing. I've also run other racing games like NFS Underground, Shift 2, F1CE, F1 2010, GT3, GT4. However, all those sims/games and the only one I actually raced online was F1 2010. I never had a fast enough Internet connection to run online games before then.

Q:  What about real-life racing experience?
A:  My passion for racing comes from my father. He had been in karting since the early 60s and I tagged along with him to all the races. We only ever did Road Racing, which run at 'big' tracks like Infineon and Portland Intl. Raceway, vs. sprint tracks which are built only for karts. I took a 20 year break from it, but have recently started running a 125cc Stock Honda shifter kart.

Q:  Do you feel the real-life experience helps you on iRacing (or vice-versa)?
A:  I think iRacing has helped my real-life racing more than the other. Being able to compare telemetry data with other faster drivers using iSpeed has helped me refine my techniques and has actually made me faster in my kart.

Q:  What progression did you take to get to your A license?
A:  I ran MX-5 to get my D, like everyone does. From there I ran the Jetta TDI, since I own one myself and thought it would be fun to drive something I own. I tried the Skip Barber, but it wasn't a friend of mine. So, I used the Jetta to get my C license and then fell in love with the Star Mazda. That got me my B license where I ran the Radical, when it was in the Prototype series, to get my A license.

Q:  What’s your favorite iRacing track or track/car combo?
A:  Wow, a favorite is really hard to pick. Driving the Star Mazda on Oulton Park Intl. is probably the best combo by far. But there's a whole lot of really good ones to pick from.

Q:  What’s your favorite iRacing car/series?
A:  At this point, the Star Mazda is still my favorite. I've learned more in that car than I'll ever learn in any car. It has taken me from lower-mid pack to the podium.

Q:  What’s the best/most fun race you’ve ever had in iRacing?
A:  The most fun racing so far was this past year's World Cup event. The event used the Star Mazda at Spa, so it was a perfect fit for me. Many of the qualifying races were very intense battles with some of the fastest drivers on iRacing. It was very intense.

Q:  What’s your current racing rig setup?
A:  I have an Intel i7 2600K, with 8GB RAM, a 5970 2GB Eyefinity 6 video card, three Asus 24" monitors plus a 19" monitor I run iSpeed on, a G27 wheel, custom DIY CST pedals, and a Summit Racing racing seat.

Q:  What else do you do for fun?
A:  I race karts when finances allow. I'm also a board member of the local kart club and volunteer my time helping run our club events.

Q:  What tools/utilities do you use to help you get faster?
A:  I've primarily used iSpeed's LapAnalyzer tool. It has helped me isolate my trouble areas and given me the data I need to go faster. However, having teammates faster than me has given me the motivation to push as hard as I can to get faster.

Q:  What are your goals for this season?
A:  To obtain my Pro license in the FW31 series.

Q:  Who is/are your main rival(s)?
A:  Joao Cardoso, Mogar Filho, Xavier Busoms to name just a few

Q:  How has being a member of TNT Racing helped you?
A:  When I started, I really had no idea what Sim Racing was all about. The amount of competition was really incredible. TNT Racing has given me way more than I could ever return. Lots of stupid questions have been answered. Lots of insight relating to building setups. Tips and techniques required for getting the most from my driving. Plus, it's been a place where you could discuss racing incidents that are best kept private.

Q:  If you had the chance, what real-life race car would you want to drive? At what track?
A:  I'd love to drive an LMP2 car at Miller Motorsports Park.

Q:  What are your short-term and long-term goals on iRacing?
A:  Short-term, I'd love to get my Pro license this season. Long-term I'd love to qualify for the DWC.

Q:  What advice would you give to someone just getting started?
A:  Push yourself every week, but never race beyond your current skill-level.