In arguably the most thrilling race of the Short Track Simulation Circuit’s (STSC) inaugural season, Charlotte Bowey ended the year in victory lane for the Oktoberfest STSC Championships at LaCrosse Fairgrounds Speedway, while Danny Vandoorne celebrated the first championship in series history.
Bowey took the lead from Robert Phelps on lap 98 of the 100-lap main event and held off a hard-charging Kevin Keselowski for her second victory of the season.
Daymmo Wert started on the pole, and led the first 34 laps. However, an incident between Wert and Luis Cabrera Perez on pit road led to both drivers needing repairs, allowing Bowey to take the lead on lap 36. Bowey would hold the lead until lap 74, when Phelps moved to the top spot. Bowey and Phelps had run 1-2 throughout a long green-flag run, with Phelps closely following Bowey around the speedway. Finally, Phelps moved to the point by using the lapped car of Oliver Weaver as a pick, moving underneath both Weaver and Bowey for the lead.
Phelps maintained the lead through a round of green-flag pit stops, with Keselowski inserting himself in the battle for the win, moving ahead of Bowey for second with a fast stop. Bowey passed Keselowski for second on lap 91, then chased down Phelps for the top spot. On lap 98, the roles reversed from Phelps’ lap 74 moves, as Bowey pinned Phelps behind Harvey Bakerfield for the winning pass.
Entering the race, some pundits considered Vandoorne’s title a foregone conclusion, with a 60-plus point lead over Kurt Gunnabee. However, Vandoorne’s title shots were nearly derailed on lap 30.
Running second on a lap 30 restart behind Wert, Vandoorne was collected in a multi-car incident. Vandoorne’s team was able to repair the car under caution and keep their driver on the lead lap, but he fell to 25th in the process. This opened the door for Gunnabee to capitalize with a strong finish, but he was unable to elevate beyond the midpack throughout the race, eventually finishing 14th.
This concludes the first season in SCOR. On behalf of everyone involved on the board and league management, thank you to everyone who has made this first season such a rousing success. We look forward to bringing you even more action in Season 2, with more drivers, the start of the National Simulation Racing Series, and more.