Getting to know Road to Pro: Daniel Buttafuoco
Editor’s Note: Over the next few weeks, we will be profiling and featuring drivers that can be seen on the Road to Pro Qualifying series broadcasts on the Podium eSports Twitch channel. We hope you enjoy reading these and learning about the drivers. This time we have sat down with Daniel Buttafuoco. You can view all of our Getting to Know profiles on this page.
What was the first racing game you ever played?
NASCAR 08 was the first racing game I played when I was 7 years old. I didn’t start taking racing games seriously until I was around 15 years old racing on the NASCAR Heat franchise and F1 games.
When did you first discover iRacing and what got you hooked?
I first discovered iRacing around 2018 when I would watch the Coke Series broadcasts; the realism was amazing. After that, I decided to switch to iRacing sometime after the eNASCAR Heat Pro League Series Season ended. A lot of my friends were encouraging me to try it. I created my iRacing account in May 2021 during Charlotte week. The immersion of the Charlotte Coke broadcast inspired me to devote my time to compete on iRacing and try to make it to the top one day.
How did you get connected with your current team that’s assisting you in Road to Pro?
I connected with Norse Force Racing through Parker White. We had raced a couple of times before in both fixed and open races. One day he asked me if I was on a team, I met with NFR and we clicked. I like the exchange and the support the team promotes. It’s been a great fit for me.
Who is your favorite race car driver? And why?
I have a lot of favorites not just in NASCAR but in motorsports in general. In NASCAR I really like Kyle Larson, Kyle Busch, and Chase Elliott. They are all very versatile in every racing discipline and I have a lot of respect for racers who are able to adapt to their surroundings very quickly. In motorsports as a whole, I am a big Ayrton Senna fan. After watching the “Senna” documentary, I admired his passion and dedication to racing and becoming the best.
If you could go to any racetrack and watch a race live, where would you want to go?
It is tough to choose one track. I would love to go to either Bristol or Darlington. The atmosphere at Bristol looks electric whether it be concrete or dirt racing. That said, Darlington is a classic track with a lot of history. Bristol and Darlington are both very challenging tracks where a driver’s talents are highlighted.
What is a skill or talent that you have that not many people know about?
I am able to solve a Rubiks Cube and I used to play three instruments back in high school (Cello, Clarinet, and Saxophone).
For anyone watching you race, who wants to end up where you are, what advice do you have for them?
I suggest patience and persistence. I believe improvement comes in small steps. There is a lot of nuance in iRacing. In order to move up the ranks and earn respect from other racers, you have to pace yourself and achieve small victories. Taking everything a step at a time really helps build confidence and composure. Persistence is another important factor necessary to earn success. Being determined and focused through practice will assist in reaching the next level. However, running laps by yourself won’t always help prepare you. Racing against other racers is essential; it will teach you how to race side-by-side, save tires, and develop strategy. In my experience, the iRacing community is a welcoming one. People are eager to help.