Tutorial Simulating Nascar round based qualifying style in NR2003

Lengthier learning guides you can learn more in-depth processes to improve or setup NR2003 or related tool/programs
As some of you are probably aware by now Nascar changed their qualifying method for it's series: https://www.jayski.com/nascar-cup-series/cup-qualifying-procedures/

Usually when something in Nascar changes everybody wants to know "can we do X in NR2003?" I know somebody in due time will probably start asking "is there a way to simulate the new Nascar Qualifying in NR2003?"

The answer is yes. I'm not sure if it can be done for online unless the save game editor can manipulate online qualifying order but at least for offline this system will work. Keep in mind it will require a tiny bit of manual work to simulate and some rosters needing to be created but nonetheless you still would get the same result as the real Nascar using practice/warmup speeds to dictate qualifying order. This is at least how I would do it off the top of my head:

For this demonstration I will go over how you would do the 3 round elimination setup. According to NASCAR (at least back in 2014 when round based qualifying started happening, youc na adjust these numbers to more recent times)Round 1 the top 24 cars advance, Round 2 top 12 advance, and Round 3 the 12 cars left sort out the top 12 starting positions. So if you add all 3 rounds up this would be: 19 + 12 + 12 = 43 cars total (a full NR2003 starting field basically).

So lets get started shall we?

First you need to download two programs: (if you don't have them already) called NR2003 save game editor: utilities & patches section and NRatings: NRatings

Round 1 - Simulating Qualifying:

Start up NR2003, choose your series and track. Before you start the race set both practice and Warmup session options to be 25 mins long. This will simulate the time frame that NASCAR is allowing for round 1 of the qualifying session.

At this point even if your NR2003 carset has more than 43 drivers NR2003 has already automatically cut some drivers so the field is 43 max. Now go to warmup and accelerate the time a bit and export the data with the button called 'export. This will save an html file you can open up and see the roster. The purpose of doing this is to EXPORT the current roster so you know WHO is in the field. It is mostly just for people who have a carset of more than 43 drivers in a roster. If you don't do this and you restart NR2003 the game may choose a different driver that was not chosen previously. It's to avoid confusion as we continue the process.

All qualifying/happy hour exports are saved in your NR2003 directory folder call 'exports_imports' keep note of this as we advance.

Next choose happy hour session (reset the session if you accelerate of course). I will choose warmup but if you want to choose practice this may work as well (I think NR2003 can export practice lap times). Now run with all other 42 cars on the track for 25 mins in happy hour. Once the session ends that will complete round 1. Make sure to EXPORT the happy hour data now with the export button. Call it 'Round 1' or something you can remember.

Round 1 - Creating Roster:

Now exit NR2003 and open up the exported happy hour html file and NRatings program. Locate your current NR2003 carset roster and using NRatings (if unsure how to use NRating the are tutorials on how to use it) make a new roster that includes the LAST 19 cars in happy hour. So this would mean 25th-43rd in happy hour would be included in the new roster. Name the roster something like 'round 1' so you can reference it easily. After you have added the slowest 19 cars of round 1 make another roster. Name this one 'Round 2 entry' or something you can remember easily. Simply add the top 24 (basically all remaining cars from happy hour) into this roster.

Round 2 - Simulating Qualifying:

After round 1 is completed and you have successfully made the two new rosters it's time to hop back into NR2003. Choose the exact same track and change the practice and warmup options from 25 mins to now 10 min each. This next step is very important, make sure you choose the 'Round 2 entry' roster you just created (or whatever you named it as). This will tell NR2003 "I only want these 24 cars in the next race". Now go straight to warmup and run the 10 min session and race with the other 23 cars. Once warmup session is completed in 10 mins export that data and exit NR2003.

Round 2 - Creating Rosters:

Just like round 1 we will now go back to NRatings and make 2 more rosters: One for those cars that failed to advance and another for the top cars that move on to the next round. So make a roster for the 12 cars that finished from 13th-24th and name the roster something like 'round 2'. Next make a another roster for the top 12 (1st-12th place). Name this one something like 'round 3 entry'.

Round 3 - Simulating Qualifying:

Just like round 2 choose the same track, make practice and warmup setting 5 mins long each, and choose the roster called 'round 3 entry'. Run warmup for the 5 mins and export your results again. Congrats all 43 drivers have now qualified for an event! Now it's time to get all 43 drivers in the same roster and also place them according to the new qualifying order.

Setting the field for race day:

For overview we just ran 3 elimination rounds. Each roster shortened the field down until the top 12 fastest cars made it into the final elimination round which they all ran their laps to decide placing for 1st-12th in the race.

If you've done this correct you should have:
round 1.html
round 2.html
round 3.html

All of these will contain the lap times for the warmup sessions. With this we can build a new roster to include all 43 drivers and then set the field according to the lap times. First open up NRatings. Make a new roster that includes ALL 43 drivers. First include from round 1 the 19 cars that finished last (25th-43rd). Then add round 2 drivers (13th-24th place), and lastly include round 3 drivers (1st-12th). It doesn't matter what order you add the drivers. Just make sure ALL 43 drivers are correctly added in the roster. Save the roster as something like 'Starting grid' or whatever you please. If you were unsure if a certain driver was needing to be added remember those extra rosters we made called 'round 1, 2, and 3'? You can use those to double check the right driver got in.

Now Start NR2003 again. It is important you now set your race options to how you want the race to be. If you are unsure or need to tweak the Ai to be better or slower now is the time to tinker with settings. After you are SURE everything is to your liking proceed to qualifying session. Run the most drunk lap ever ... it literally does not matter. But you do need to log a lap for data on your driver to be added to qualifying order so you can't just accelerate. Just make sure qualifying gets completed and sends you back to race weekend. Now SAVE race results. The button should light up next to the export button and it will confirm 'results from qualifying have been saved'. Proceed to exit NR2003.

Now comes the easy part. We've gathered all 43 drivers in one nice and neat roster, we have fake qualifying data, and we know the happy hour laps times for all 43 drivers. All that is left to manipulate the qualifying results data to mimic the happy hour elimination round order.

Open up the NR2003 save game editor program. Locate your NR2003 qualifying result .svg file. If you are unsure where the svg files are save they are in your player folder data. For example mine would be in: G:\NR2003\NASCAR RACING SERIES 2014\players\Driver__Name\savegame. It will be pretty obvious what svg files you are looking for as the svg files will be saved as the same name as the track you qualified on.

Now up up the svg file and using the save game editor re-order the driver positions according to the happy hour lap time with the fastest driver starting in 1st and the slowest in 43rd (of course. After you've made sure all 43 drivers are in their correct starting positions simply save the file and exit.

That's it! The field is set and next time you go into NR2003 the starting grid will reflect laps times based off of happy hour. If all went correct when you choose to load the track NR2003 will prompt you if you want to 'resume saved race'. Simply click YES and it's time to go racing. Best part is you can still do warmup before the race and then go actually racing but the field's qualifying order is set so you don't have to worry about it anymore.

I hope this helps anyone who was wondering how it could be done. Maybe there is another way but it doesn't get much simpler than this. In short it's just running 3 separate happy hour sessions with select rosters then manipulating one qualifying result file to mimic the happy hour lap times really.
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