The Inaugural Speed51 Super Select brought a group of the top Super Late Model drivers in the country to Lucas Oil Raceway for a first of its kind winner-take-all event with a unique format. The race had three 25-lap segments, with an invert of the lead lap cars after the first segment and the lineup for the final segment decided by the best average finish between the first two segments.
Fans at LOR and watching on the Speed51 Network were treated to three and sometimes even four-wide racing as drivers jockeyed for position, especially during the second segment. Drivers pulled slide jobs and crossovers on the high-line heavy .686-mile oval, as every position mattered as they raced for $10,000 and bragging rights in the Super Late Model All-Star Race.
Eventual Speed51 Super Select winner Bubba Pollard was a big fan of the format and the race itself, saying it was the most fun he’s had in a race car this season. The Georgia driver continued the theme of winning big-money races on maiden trips to race tracks by taking $11,500 total after winning $1,500 in Segment #1 presented by PFC Brakes and the big $10,000 check after 75 laps.
“This is a place you can do it at. I think this is a great, great venue for this type of racing and format, I don’t think you can do it everywhere,” Pollard said in victory lane. “I think it put on a great show, we had a good enough car to where we could make our way up through the field. I knew those where they kind of finished early in that first stage, I felt like I could just sit down and ride there and save for the last ten laps in that second stage and it paid off starting up front there. Casey runs hard and it was fun, that’s what it’s all about. This is some of the best in the country right here and that’s what it’s all about.”
Harrison Burton has spent the 2019 season competing in the NASCAR Gander Outdoor Truck Series for Kyle Busch Motorsports, making periodic starts in a Super Late Model. Burton, who pocketed a $2,000 JEGS.com product certificate for winning the second segment, was happy with being able to put on a show for the fans and the added strategy that comes with the segments and the format.
“I loved the format, it put a lot of strategy in because we didn’t have a good first segment so we had to get all the points we could in the second segment when our car got better,” Burton told Speed51.com. “It was a lot of fun, we got to put on some great moves and put on a great race for the fans, that’s what it’s all about. I had a lot of fun racing some Super Late Models and I have to do it more often.”
Eight-time Lucas Oil Raceway winner Brian Campbell said the combination of the talent level and the format created exciting racing. The Michigan driver had arguably a better view of the action late than anyone else, finishing fourth after struggling through the middle stages of the race.
“It was very conducive to good racing, I didn’t think there was going to be a yellow flag,” Campbell said. “You can get these guys to bang off each other and wiggle each other and run three-wide and everything was fine, and that’s what you need todo in this kind of race to do it. Casey and Bubba did a fantastic job on restarts. I’m
sure it was exciting; it was exciting from where I was sitting and I wish I was up there messing with them.”
Indianapolis’s own Jack Dossey III admittedly didn’t know what he was getting into when the green flag was waved Saturday night. By the end of a top-five finish at the Super Select, he became one of the biggest fans of the format. The two-time JEGS/CRA All-Stars Tour champion is looking forward to future editions of the Super Late Model All-Star Race.
“Going into it I was pretty nervous, kind of timid of what other guys were going to do and how other guys were going to drive. It was a lot of fun, looking back at it there wasn’t any reason to be nervous or anything. I was doing some things wrong on the track and all that and finally figured it out after I got behind Brian Campbell at the end but it was too late. The format and everything, it turned out a lot prettier than I thought it was and we put on a really, really good show for the fans and sometimes that’s tough to do at this track. My hats off to Bob Dillner and CRA and all of Speed51 for putting it on.”
Stay tuned to the Speed51 Network for highlights, recaps, and more from the Inaugural Speed51 Super Select.Race fans can watch a full on-demand replay from Saturday night’s race anytime on the Network as a premium subscriber.
-Story by: Koty Geyer, Speed51.com State Editor (IN & MI)
-Photo credit: Speed51.com / Evan Canfield