The Speed51 Elite Racing JoinAPS.com Cup Series kicked off their season Tuesday night with a “Clash” of the series’ best drivers.
The field of 16 drivers, representing the best of last season’s Cup Series field, took to the virtual New Smyrna Speedway in a three-segment race. The 100-lap race featured breaks on lap 20 and 40, with the segment winners starting on the front row for the final 60 lap run to the checkers.
Strategy was the name of the game early in the event. After Damien Leiniger stole the stage one win on a late-segment restart, Jared Rexing stayed out on old tires. The move allowed Rexing to stay at the front of the field for the start of segment two. Rexing ran away from Speed51 Elite Racing Street Stock Nationals winner Ryan Lutz and Gerald Campbell while they battled for second place, securing a front row starting position for the final segment.
Leiniger jumped out to the early lead in segment three but got loose off turn four, handing the lead to Rexing. Rexing would never look back on his way to the Clash win, slowly stretching his lead over the field over the final 50 laps. The win was the first for his new team, Myrtle Beach Speedway’s eSports team.
Rexing attributed his win to strategy, expecting patience to be the winning virtue.
“In practice, I wasn’t trying to hot lap, just make long runs and practice that. I knew going into it that I’d have a good starting spot so if I didn’t win in the first segment, if I stayed out, I’d have a good shot later on.”
Rexing expected track position to play a factor.
“It’s so hard to pass there. Even though I had the lead, if the caution would I have come out it would have been a pain in the butt. I was praying it would go green flag all the way.”
The race served as a warm-up for the March 18 season opener for the Speed51 Elite Racing JoinAPS.com Cup Series, kicking off an 18-race schedule at Daytona International Speedway. To see Speed51’s full eSports broadcast schedule, click here: https://speed51.com/2020-sim-racing-schedule/
-Story by: Patrick Hahe, Speed51 Technology Coordinator
-Photo credit: Speed51