iRacing Staff Member Profile: eSports Competition Manager Travis Sollenberger

For this week of the iRacing Staff Member highlight series, we’ve got a look into the competitive racing side of the service with Travis Sollenberger.

From eSports to the official events that anyone can hop in and run, Travis has a hand in getting those up and running every season. Travis wears multiple hats as well, with his hands having worked on projects such as the World of Outlaws game. Here’s more about iRacing’s own Travis Sollenberger! 

  • Who are you, and what is your job title at iRacing?

I’m Travis Sollenberger, eSports Competition Manager at iRacing.

  • How long have you been working at iRacing?

Four years. I was originally hired to work in the Protest Department. I got trained by Nim Cross at the office, right before COVID took off and travel was basically halted.

  • What got you interested in working for iRacing?

I’ve always had a huge interest in video games and racing. I have been on the iRacing service racing since 2009. Working for iRacing seemed like a natural fit for me.

One of Travis’s wins in officials, in the 2011 NASCAR B Class at Michigan.

  • What does your job entail, from daily tasks to larger projects?

I have my hands in many different things at iRacing. I’m responsible for building out leagues and sessions, and being Race Control for many of our World Championship Series, partnership series, and even sometimes in our one-off events.

I collect all the Road Series schedules from the community for the normal 12 week series, build those series out, and typically make all the Time Attacks for each Season.

I’ve been involved in many vehicle and track projects ranging from Dirt Refresh to Oval Refresh, and I’ve also been involved in car and track physics development for the World of Outlaws: Dirt Racing game, along with helping create the AI lines for each car and track.

  • Are there any projects you’ve worked on that stand out above any others? Something you are proud of?

A few of them are pretty big to me, such as being a part of the Race Control staff for the eNASCAR Pro Invitational iRacing Series on live television. That’s something I will never forget.

The next World of Outlaws: Dirt Racing title is set to drop this September!

The Oval Refresh, Phase 1, was a major project that I was happy to be a part of and see the results. I can’t wait to see what will come of this project in the future.

I’ve always been a gamer, so to work on the World of Outlaws: Dirt Racing project, and have an AI competitor within the game, is a dream come true.

  • Are there any future projects that you can’t wait to jump on?

Yes, but not anything that I think I am allowed to talk about.

  • What are some of your favorite car and track combinations on iRacing to participate in?

Anything NASCAR, at tracks like Pocono, Dover, or on the Superspeedways. I’ll just end it there, because it could be a long list.

The iRacing Daytona 24 has made GT3 cars at Daytona Road Course one of my favorite combinations. We prepare for it every year, but don’t always end up getting to run it.

  • Are there any other video games, racing or not, that you enjoy playing currently?

Red Dead Redemption 2 and Grand Theft Auto V at times, as well as Call of Duty and World Of Outlaws: Dirt Racing. I’ll randomly play just about every type of major sports title, even if the one I have is years old.

  • Outside of iRacing, what other hobbies do you enjoy?

Travis’s 2007 Harley Davidson Dyna Glide CVO 110ci!

Riding motorcycles. I also enjoy working on and fixing up my own collection of cars I’ve acquired over the years.

I try to go to at least one live Rock/Metal concert a year.

Nim and Tyler (Hudson) would say I don’t go often enough, but I enjoy going to some local dirt tracks from time to time and watch some good racing. I live within an hour drive to Williams Grove, Port Royal, Lincoln, and Hagerstown.

Finally, I enjoy spending time with friends and family.

  • What are some of your goals you hope to achieve, either at work or outside of it?

At work, I hope to continue to help improve each project I am a part of and continue to keep iRacing as the Premier Racing Simulator that it has been for many years.

Outside of work, I would love to finish working on my car collection, but until I win the lottery, this might be a slow process.

  • Anything else we should know about you?

While we are not the power house team we used to be, I am the Team Manager at One Up Motorsports. It feels like so long ago now, but this team was started in 2011 by myself and a long time sim racing friend, Dustin Montgomery, originally as a fun league.

Before the start of the 2013 eNASCAR Peak Antifreeze Series season, Tyler Hudson joined our team, and I became his Crew Chief/Spotter that season. What a season it turned out to be, as Tyler went on to win the Championship that year. What started as a small team of friends racing for fun turned into a championship team just like that.

Our team also has a history of producing future iRacing employees. Other One Up Motorsport teammates besides myself and Tyler include Christian Challiner and Sam Roush, and both also work for iRacing.

It has been an interesting journey from the racing side of the competition to the Race Control side. I am truly blessed to have had the experiences I have during all of it.