The Sim Auto Racing Association Speed51 Super Series kicked off its 2020 Spring/Summer season at the virtual Iowa Speedway Thursday night. Casey Kelley started the season in style, leading all 90 laps of the feature race to begin the campaign in victory lane.
The South Carolina native started on the pole after an eight-car invert following qualifying. That proved to be crucial, as track position was vital throughout the evening.
Kelley never relinquished that track position, scoring what he called the biggest win of his iRacing career.
“Track position was key tonight,” said Kelley on the Speed51 broadcast after the race. “The setup was good, too. It was some good racing. I can’t believe I led all 90 laps. It’s definitely my biggest win on iRacing.”
While Kelley led every lap of the event, he felt there were several competitors capable of challenging him throughout the race. In the early stages, it was Ryan Matthews applying the most pressure for the top spot.
“At the start of the race, I felt like Ryan Matthews had a little bit for me, but I was saving tires. It’s a long race and everything, but I was trying to stay in front of him because it was so hard to pass. Track position was key.”
Ultimately, it was Alex McCollum finished second. McCollum struggled during practice for the event, but found speed with a setup adjustment and a patient approach to the race.
“We needed green-flag runs,” said McCollum. “I felt like my car was super, super strong on the long runs. This car is really hard to pass at. I was three-tenths off in practice but I was able to find something.
“I found something in the front suspension that seemed to work, so I went with it and told myself to drive my race and be smart. It seemed like it worked.”
Devon Morgan rounded out the podium, scoring his 20thconsecutive top-five finish in the SARA Speed51 Super Series. That consistency has led to back-to-back championships with the tour, and Morgan hopes that will continue in the upcoming campaign.
“We were just way too tight,” said Morgan. “We’ve got to get to work on the setups. It was a great race, and I’m glad to come away with third.
“I’ve been fortunate enough to get 20 consecutive top-fives, so hopefully I can keep that consistency up and go for a third consecutive championship.”
The SARA Speed51 Super Series will continue its season next Thursday, April 23 at Five Flags Speedway. Fans can view all of Speed51’s upcoming sim broadcasts, including the Speed51 Super Series, by clicking here.
Race fans can watch a replay of Thursday’s season opener at Iowa Speedway by clicking here.
-Story by: Zach Evans, Speed51 Content Supervisor – Twitter: @ztevans