Ryan Lutz made a daring last lap, last corner move, sending Josh Robbin up the track in turns three and four to take the checkered flag in the Speed51 Elite Homeplace Beer Series Clash at the virtual New Smyrna Speedway. However, it would all be for naught after he was penalized post-race for jumping the final restart, giving the win to Caleb B. Thompson.
Elite Racing League owner Chad Frankenfield spoke to Speed51 regarding the penalty handed down to Lutz after the broadcast went off air.
“He was penalized because of a restart violation. Per rulebook, the leader’s the one that sets the start on restarts. We actually let it go on a previous restart, we were like, hey, just an FYI, this isn’t a Clash race, stop jumping the starts, this is your warning,” Frankenfield explained. “He went from 48 to 53, he let the leader get the spot back but just like real life, that guy goes and it screws everybody behind him because they think they’re going green and then they’re not. Lutz will be put at the end of the lead lap as far as the results are concerned and Caleb B. Thompson will get the win.”
Lutz took to Twitter to give his thoughts on how the race played out. While disappointed to not be crowned the winner after an eventful race, his focus is set on the points chase starting next week.
“Had a @ApexSimRacing_ Ford Mustang that was bad—. 2 minutes of optional repair and brought her across the line first but rules are rules and I didn’t follow them. We’ll keep our head up and move on to points racing!”
Maine racer Caleb B. Thompson would be crowned the race winner after remaining out of contention for the majority of the race. He had the best view of the green-white-checkered battle between Lutz and Robbin. He had already considered himself lucky just by crossing the finish line in second, before he was ultimately crowned the winner.
“I wasn’t really expecting that, I was just hoping to hold there,” Thompson said on the broadcast. “It looked like Lutz washed up a little bit and got into Josh. I just had to keep it at the bottom there and snuck around them and just got lucky, I guess.”
Thompson had to race his way into the Clash through the Showdown
“In practice, you weren’t really racing guys, so that Showdown showed how people were racing. You could definitely tell people were getting into that corner hot so you just had to take it a little easy and wait for them to make a mistake, really. I was only up front for like, five laps there at the end.”
Andrew Rucker, Joshua Clark, Logan Shea, and Josh Robbin would fill out the remaining spots in the top five.
The Speed51 Elite Homeplace Beer Series points season begins next week at the virtual Daytona International Speedway. It will be broadcasted live for free on Speed51.com. A full schedule of Speed51’s sim racing broadcasts can be found here.
Click here to watch an on-demand replay from Monday night’s race.
-Story by: Koty Geyer, Speed51.com National Correspondent – Twitter: @kgeyer3
-Photo Credit: Elite Racing Leagues