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iRacing is a difficult yet very rewarding racing simulation. Many will tell a newcomer to the sim to “stick to fixed setup races.” This isn’t inherently bad advice, learning to squeeze the absolute most performance out of a car with a less than optimal setup is a valuable tool for any serious racer to possess.
Why Race Open Setup?
The problem with following that approach is that — and this goes double for anyone with any aspirations of getting behind the wheel of an actual racecar someday — is that you are depriving yourself of one of the only real advantages that racecar drivers who come up the sim route have. That is the ability to tell your Crew Chief exactly what area of the car needs work.
You don’t have to take my word for it either, those are actually the words of Chad Knauss, 7-time NASCAR champion Crew Chief for the Hendrick Motorsports of the #48 driven by hall of fame driver Jimmy Johnson, Chad Knauss! He made the statement while doing an interview with Dale Jr. for his podcast “Dale Jr. Download” which you watch if you so desire at the link below.
The Jist of what he said was that he was amazed at the fact that as opposed to drivers who come up through the main channel to reach the NASCAR Cup series via dirt racing. Drivers who come up through racing simulations can tell a Crew Chief what area of the car doesn’t feel right.
Anyone who has spent a lot of time dialing in open setups can tell almost immediately if say a car is pushing or tight because of something off with the weight balance, as opposed to something being off because of something wrong in the front or rearend geometry, and both of those feel completely different than a car which is tight because of a suspension issue.
Simulator vs Dirt Drivers in the NASCAR Cup Series.
According to Chad, dirt guys have no idea whatsoever which area in the setup of the racecar a tight or loose condition might be coming from. They just know the car is tight or loose. Now, especially in the modern era, where there is very little practice time allowed, and teams lack an opportunity to get on track and gather data with which to dial a car in, knowing where to start to make adjustments is a huge advantage. He also goes on to state that iRacing in particular is so accurate that 9/10 times the driver is right about what area of the car needs adjustments.
Where do I find Setups for iRacing?
If you don’t mind paying even more on top of paying for the iRacing subscription, buying the tracks, at least one car for any series you want to compete in, there are many good options out there. Most of them will give you a choice if you’d like to buy a single setup for a particular car at a particular track? — That can range from $3-$15. —
Many of the setup shops also offer either a full season pass for an individual series, — usually around $99 — or a monthly subscription that lets you choose from an assortment of series/tracks each week — those are usually from $10-$25 monthly. —
Along with access to their setups most of these shops also offer video and/or replay clips of hot laps showing the proper line to run for qualifying as well as how to run fast yet save tires during the race. If you are willing to shell out even more, you can get personal coaching sessions taught by professional drivers with backgrounds in real racing series as well as esports pros such as current and former “iRacing eNASCAR Coca Cola Series” stars and/or former champions.
Here is a short non exhaustive list of some of the most popular paid setup shops in no particular order:
Here are the 4 Best Places for Fast Free iRacing Setups?
Here is what I imagine you actually came here to find. The best places to find both fast and free iRacing Open Setups.
Open-Source Setups has some really good free iRacing setups for all of the NASCAR oval track series. Free iRacing setups for NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, free iRacing setups for NASCAR Xfinity Series, a limited number of free iRacing setups for the NASCAR Legends 1987 cars, and of course free iRacing setups for the NASCAR Next Gen Cup Series cars.
The only complaints I have about OSS is that they don’t have a ton of free iRacing setups for the Truck Series, and sometimes the latest cup series setups don’t drop until very late in the week. Also, the website can be a pain in the neck to navigate at times. I suggest using the “track search box” on the righthand side of about every page except the homepage. If you type in what track you’re looking for you’ll get a result from all 4 of the series provided they race there, and a setup is available for that car/track combo.
Being open source, they also mirror have a mirror all of their setups in their GitHub repository, though I’m not 100% if that is updated at the same time as the website or if that is where they go after the current weeks races have run?
Old School Racing is to the best of my knowledge the longest continuously tenured website dedicated to providing free iRacing setups to the community. They have setups for the 3 NASCAR national series races each week, as a rule of thumb their setups are not as fast as OSS above, or as Busters Corner below, but they are nearly always stable and don’t tend to fall off suddenly as some setups tend to do.
Where OSR really shines is the fact that they have free iRacing setups for just about every paved oval series iRacing runs events with.
- Asphalt Late Models
- Asphalt Legends
- Asphalt Street Stocks
- Asphalt Super Late Models
- iRacing Tour Modifieds
- iRacing SK Modifieds
Sorry about no links to each series they appear to have changed some things on their site you just have to go to the track/series page from the navigation bar. At one point they even had a collection of open setups for Arca series cars, but I no longer see those.
If dirt oval is your thing, fear not because OSR has you covered there as well. With free iRacing setups for:
- iRacing 360 Sprint Cars
- iRacing 420 Sprint Cars
- iRacing Big Block Modifieds
- iRacing Pro Late Models
- iRacing Dirt Street Stocks
- iRacing Dirt Super Late Models
- iRacing Midgets
My only gripe with Old School Racing is that recently they have installed an “ad blocker nag screen” to their website. This is fine in principle; the issue arises from fact that there is no way for someone like myself, who has donated to the site through PayPal on multiple occasions to still be served this stupid nag screen while I’m logged into the site is bs.
#3. Busters Corner
Busters Corner is a group of guys and a few gals who get together on Discord to collaborate on building free iRacing setups for the Next Gen NASCAR Cup car. Did you know that Discord could be used for something other than children to release some of our nation’s most secret and highly classified documents? Documents that really the child had no business reading much less spreading around to a bunch of friends to prove how cool he was? Me either.
But it turns out that each week Buster from “Busters Corner” will release a setup for the Gen 7 Cup car. Additionally, you can usually find a selection of alternative setups to choose from provided by “Busters Buddies” — other setup builders — as well.
Busters also has links to many tools that make a setup builders life so much easier. The best is probably Stint Analyzer which lets you compare runs made after you have modified your setup and provides you with the ability to undo any number of changes you have made to the setup regardless of if you have saved over that version of the setup file many times. You can also find links and tutorials for:
Busters Corner also has a YouTube channel where they cover topics such as:
- Setup building
- Telemetry Capture and Analysis
- Testing Methods and Procedures
- Car Painting and Uploading Paint Schemes
- How to use the addon programs mentioned above.
#4. Majors Garage
I mentioned Majors Garage above as a place where you can buy individual setups or buy a subscription to receive setups all year long. If you just don’t have time and want something quick enough there single setup for $3 is about as cheap as you’ll find. Major’s also releases a free iRacing setup each week for all of the iRacing paved series. Once in a while the free setup will be quite good and need barely any tuning. Most weeks it’s going to need some fairly major adjustment — pun 100% intentional. —
That being the case Major’s is really only useful for free setups if you already possess some knowledge of how-to setup a car. For those weeks where you just can’t seem to find anything that works as a starting point Major’s Garage can come through in a pinch.
While there aren’t quite as many sites out there dedicated to providing the iRacing community with free setups as there used to be. I’d say the overall quality of the free iRacing setups that are left is greater than at any time in the history of the sim.
If you’ve ever dreamt of racing wheel to wheel in a NASCAR stockcar you should really give iRacing a try. With these resources for free iRacing setups you can be one step ahead of the competition when you earn your C Class license and can start competing in official open setup races.
I hope to see you out on the track!
If racing sims are your thing make sure to check out all of our sim racing related posts. We can help you build your triple monitor setup then we tackle in a following post how to configure the software for your triple monitor setup. We also walk you through configuring your smart device for use as a digital dashboard in sim.
More into flight simulations? We’ve got you covered too with our flight sim related section.