The Rowdy Energy Super Select Series powered by Speed51 originated as a way for real-world Late Model racers to compete against each other in the virtual world while racing is shut down during the COVID-19 pandemic. Now, the series has turned into a battle between those real racers and iRacing veterans who have earned their spots in the series.
The frist race of the season, the eRattler 250 presented by PFC Brakes, was won in thrilling fashion by Devon Morgan. While he has Late Model experience in the real world, the South Carolina native earned his spot in the eRattler field through an open qualifying process and then flexed his muscle against the real-world stars.
The following week, Legends racer Alex McCollum scored the victory in the Festival of Speed at USA International Speedway. It wasn’t until the third race of the season before a driver with Super Late Model experience, Kaden Honeycutt, went to victory lane at Lucas Oil Raceway.
Thus, many of the signature names of the Super Late Model world invited for the Rowdy Energy Super Select Series powered by Speed51 are still seeking virtual victory lane. Corey Heim came closest to the feat at USA International, finishing fourth in that event.
This is particularly interesting considering the grand prize at hand for the Rowdy Energy Super Select Series Champion. The series title, along with receiving the lion’s share of the season-long points fund, will be granted an invitationto the Speed51 Super Select Super Late Model All Star Race.
This invitation stands even if a sim racer claims the 10-race points battle, as long as they are able to arrange a ride and present a legal car for the event, as well as pass an on-track performance test conducted by event promoters.
The real-world stars certainly want to prevent that from happening, as they all already covet invitations to the All-Star event typically granted only to winners of major or touring Late Model series events. The last thing they want to see is a sim racer taking their spot in the show.
Nonetheless, it stands a good chance of happening after three races. Currently, Morgan leads McCollum and ARCA’s Parker Retzlaff (an accomplished sim racer in his own right) in the points battle.
The good news is that many of the real-world racers are acclimating to the sim racing competition. Travis Braden has improved to 10thin points after a slow start to the season, and several “Select Team” drivers saw their best finishes of the season at Lucas Oil.
So will a sim racer claim the Rowdy Energy Super Select Series Championship? Or will a real-world racer come from behind to take the honor?
The next chance for the real world racers to turn the tide comes Saturday, April 11 with round four of the Rowdy Energy Super Select Series powered by Speed51. The series will take on the close confines of The Bullring at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in this weekend’s race.
-Story by: Zach Evans, Speed51 Content Supervisor – Twitter: @ztevans