Sports Car Racer Claims Throwback 500 Victory

The Elite Racing Bommarito Auto Group Throwback 500 brought professional drivers from IndyCar, NASCAR, NHRA, and other racing disciplines together at the virtual World Wide Technology Raceway at Gateway for 500 kilometers around the 1.25 mile oval.  It was a battle of attrition throughout the 248-lap affair, with just five of the 33 starters running at the conclusion of the event.

 

Professional LMP3 driver Scott Andrews wrestled the lead away from Chad Frankenfield with just under 40 laps remaining and drove away from Ryan Gavel and James Davison late to score the win in the race.  The Australian driver made the race-winning pass with the fuel game on his mind, which almost played a factor in deciding the outcome of the Throwback 500.

 

“Following him, I found that I had some good pace and I wanted to spend a couple laps behind him making sure I would save enough fuel to the end and the draft takes less fuel. I saw he was going wide off of four and there was an opportunity I could maybe stick my nose in there and his tires started going away a little bit,” Andrews told Speed51.com.

 

“Going off of four, I was able to get a good run on him and he gave me just enough room to let me get my car there.  I knew if I was able to get the outside through one and two and pinch him down and then get the drive off I’d probably have the race. That’s what happened and I was able to drive away.

 

“With ten to go I realized that I was really tight on fuel and I wasn’t going to make it.  I had to start lifting and clutching into turn one to make sure I saved,” he added.  “I saved just enough, I crossed the line with less than one liter left.”

 

Andrews attributed his qualifying effort for the reason he was able to dodge the attrition that was prevalent in the first half of the race.  However, it did throw a wrench into the pit strategy, almost costing him the win in the end.

 

“Qualifying in the top 10 really helped, I think we qualified sixth from memory.  Most of the guys that were racing at the front were pretty calculated, so a lot of the attrition didn’t really affect me position-wise but it was interesting to call the strategy then as well and figure out when to come in for fuel and whether to take tires,” he said.  “The first 100 laps made it really interesting to guess the strategy with the fuel and everything.”

 

Sim racing hasn’t been something Andrews has been able to utilize since moving to the United States eight years ago to further pursue his racing career.  Now residing in Miami, Florida, the opportunity to run Sunday night’s race came at the last minute.

 

“I’m fortunate enough to race for a living but I did a lot of sims when I was growing up through my junior and senior karting career and through Formula 4.  Since I moved to the States eight years ago, I haven’t had a simulator to use until as of five days ago.  It was really nice for me to come back on the simulator stuff."

 

Ryan Gavel represented the sim racing world well with a second-place finish after a late battle with IndyCar Series driver James Davison.  The two battled side-by-side for several laps before a net-code error sent Davison into the wall at the exit of turn two with eight laps to go.  While he was unable to close the gap completely, he left the race grateful for an unusual honor.

 

“That was definitely the highlight of my race, knowing who Davison and is getting to race against him is one thing, having a battle like that is another.  It was wild battling against him,” Gavel said.  “To be honest, he was holding me up, I was trying to catch up to the guy leading because I knew he was going to be burning up a lot of gas and once I knew I had enough to make it to the end I just wanted to get around him and try to catch Scott, who was really having to save a lot of gas being out front in the clean air.  It was unfortunate with the net-code there, I never got into him but he got turned anyway. That was unfortunate, I felt bad but I’m honored to get cussed out by James Davison.”

 

IndyCar regular Conor Daly, F1600 driver Simon Sikes, and Frankenfield rounded out the top five.

 

Catch a replay of the Bommarito Auto Group Throwback 500 for free by clicking here.

 

-Story by: Koty Geyer, Speed51.com National Correspondent – Twitter: @kgeyer3

 

Bommarito Auto Group Throwback 500 Results:

  1. Scott Andrews
  2. Ryan Gavel
  3. Conor Daly
  4. Simon Sikes
  5. Chad Frankenfield
  6. James Davison
  7. Vincent Isabella
  8. Jacob Abel
  9. Damien Leninger
  10. Austin Blair
  11. John Poole III
  12. Josh BIlicki
  13. Carson Hocevar
  14. Austin Wayne Self
  15. Shawn Langdon
  16. Ty Gibbs
  17. Graham Rahal
  18. Colton Herta
  19. Alexander Rossi
  20. Colin Mullan
  21. Mark Rebilas
  22. Jordan Anderson
  23. Cabot Bigham
  24. Braden Eves
  25. Daltyn England
  26. Santino Ferricci
  27. Garrett Smithley
  28. Robert MeGennis
  29. Ron Capps
  30. Tim Doyle
  31. Tyler Ankrum
  32. Gabby Chaves
  33. Stefan Wilson

Sports Car Racer Claims Throwback 500 Victory