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In the driver’s seat: The journey of Ball State’s sim racing team

MUNCIE, Ind.— For most people, Mario Kart is the end of virtual racing. But for freshman Lucas Moody, Mario Kart was just the beginning.

"All of us got started on Mario Kart. My dad and I used to play 'Mario Kart: Double Dash' on the GameCube all the time," Moody said.

For Moody and senior teammate Ar Muhammad Aleef, the virtual tracks of iRacing serve as their playing field, where they compete against some of the best collegiate sim racing drivers across the nation.

"Collegiate sim racing is all the best colleges in America racing on iRacing. We have three different championships, so we race three different times a week," Aleef said.

What started as a mere hobby at the age of nine for Aleef has led to chances to represent his culture on a national racing stage.

"I started [sim racing] back in 2008 when I was nine years old. I started off in a very humble setting. I couldn't afford a rig. Flash forward to 2024, and I'm here, in Muncie, representing Ball State and my native Singapore [roots]," Aleef said.

Moody and Aleef gave the same advice for how to get started.

“Start small and start humble. You don’t need to splurge.”

Regardless of whether the track is real or virtual, the Ball State sim racing team looks to slingshot past the competition.

Contact Jake Dickman with comments at jacob.dickman@bsu.edu.