Once again, the Rowdy Energy Super Select Series powered by Speed51 produced a photo finish. This time, it was a Legends racer defeating the real-world Late Model stars for the win in the Festival of Speed at the virtual USA International Speedway.
Alex McCollum held off Devon Morgan and Colin Allman on a green-white-checkered restart, defeating Allman by 0.014 seconds at the line for the triumph.
McCollum raced his way from the Open qualifying race earlier on Saturday, rallying from a spin to take the second and final transfer spot. He then started 10th in the 100-lap main event as part of a 10-car invert from heat race results.
Despite those hurdles, McCollum stood victorious after the race in a field filled with real-life Late Model champions who will be competing full-time in the sim racing series.
“It feels great,” McCollum said on the Speed51 broadcast. “We’ve got the best short trackers out here. I got wrecked in the qualifying race, went back to 15th and got back up to second. Now, we’re here.”
It was another fender-banging finish, one week after Morgan defeated Parker Retzlaff by 0.002 seconds in the eRattler 250. This time, Morgan was on the losing end after contact coming to the checkered flag.
McCollum and Morgan made contact exiting turn four coming to the checkered flag, briefly putting Morgan on two wheels. McCollum was then able to beat Allman to the line by another slim margin.
McCollum, who also races in the eNASCAR Coca-Cola iRacing Series, apologized for his role in the contact in victory lane.
“I want to apologize to Devon,” McCollum said. “I got loose off of turn three and four and got into him. I don’t like to race like that. Once me and Devon made contact, I thought Colin had the momentum to get by me. Fortunately, I had the momentum to hold him off. By the time we got to the line, I thought we had him. I was really glad I got the win.”
Morgan and McCollum had also made contact earlier in the final lap, which nearly set up Morgan’s move for the win before ultimately finding the wall and finishing fifth.
“Everyone going on green, I got a really good restart on McCollum. I tried to move him off the bottom in one and two and it wasn’t enough. He barely cleared me on the exit of two and he went to the bottom to block me, so I went up high. I got a bit tight on exit, but I thought it would be good enough.
“He turned the wheel right on exit, I think he got loose. It put me in the wall and I ended up P5. Definitely not the way I wanted it to go, but that happens. I’m not worried about it. We had a good run, and we’ll try again next week.”
Allman could sense a potential clash brewing entered the final corner, and did his best to position himself for a win.
“Alex had no arc going into the corner whatsoever, so I knew he was going to wash up. I was making sure I was going to be good enough to stay on the yellow line that entire corner. After I saw him go up the race track, I have no idea what happened after that. I was just hoping to get by Alex for the win, but we came up just short.”
Ryan Doucette finished third, with CRA SpeedFest winner Corey Heim coming home fourth ahead of Morgan. 2019 Snowball Derby winner Travis Braden turned in an impressive sixth-place performance
The Rowdy Energy Super Select Series powered by Speed51 will next go to the virtual replica of the real-world home of the inaugural Speed51 Super Select, Lucas Oil Raceway. The race will take place on Saturday, April 4 at 7:30 p.m. ET. To see that race, along with a full schedule of upcoming sim racing broadcasts on Speed51, click here.
Race fans can watch a replay of Saturday’s Rowdy Energy Super Select Series powered by Speed51 event by clicking here.
-Story by: Zach Evans, Speed51 Content Supervisor – Twitter: @ztevans
Rowdy Energy Super Select Series Powered by Speed51
Unofficial Results - Festival of Speed