Kevin Keselowski made history at Darlington Raceway, winning the inaugural event in the National Simulation Racing Series (NSRS) in dominant fashion.
The Houston, Texas driver led 108 of the 111 laps at the famed 1.366-mile oval after starting on the pole, making an early statement in the series’ debut event.
In the end, Keselowski won by 3.22 seconds over Tilly Tamburlaine, matching the Louisiana driver’s best finish in the Short Track Simulation Circuit (STSC) last season. Damien Wert finished third, with Tigole Bittles and Carl Downey rounding out the top five.
The highlight of the race occurred on lap 31, as a multi-car incident wreaked havoc for several drivers, including a front-runner. Charlotte Bowey and Jack Stevens made contact entering turn three, leading to Stevens spinning into the wall. Stevens then collected Borsepher NaNa, Julia O’Sullivan, Dave Lake, Niki Lauda, Jr., Pushkin, and Duff Wallace in the ensuing carnage.
While most of the drivers involved were able to continue with damage (and Bowey restarted third), the accident marked the end of the race for Stevens, Pushkin, and NaNa.
The next stop on the NSRS schedule brings the series to its first short track of the year. Iowa Speedway will host the second round of the calendar, a 0.875-mile oval in Newton, Iowa.
Golden Wheel: With the first win in series history, Keselowski takes the early lead towards NSRS’ Golden Wheel, awarded to the driver with the most victories at season’s end.
Lapsetter: Averaging 161.127 miles per hour around “The Lady in Black,” Keselowski took the first pole of the season.
Lead Dog Award: Missing out only three laps led, Keselowski secured the race’s Lead Dog Award.
Hard Charger: After what can only be described as a dismal qualifying effort, Luis Cabrera Perez improved from 28th to seventh over the course of the 111-lap race.