Tuesday night was a historic night for Elite Racing. Alongside World Wide Technology Raceway, Elite Racing put on the Gateway 100 featuring 10 real life pro racing drivers and the superstars from the Elite Racing Leagues. The list of pros included Stefan Wilson, Kaz Grala, Brennan Poole, Travis Braden, Ron Capps, Simon Sikes, RC Enerson, Jeff Green, Brandon Brown, Rick Garvie, and TJ Majors. These 10 pros took on 30 Elite Racing drivers in an 80 lap, 100 mile shootout at World Wide Technology Raceway with a trip to WWT Raceway on the line for the top finishing Elite driver.
The night kicked off with Collin Fern setting his truck on the pole with a lap time of 33.591. The top qualifying pro driver was RC Enerson placing 7th with a lap time of 33.779. Fern started the night leading the first 18 laps of the event. On Lap 19, Ryan Lutz made the move from his 4th place starting position, into the top spot. Lutz was able to lead the final 22 laps into the scheduled mid race caution at Lap 40.
An unfortunate iRacing outage under the caution had a number of drivers lose connection to the event just before the start of the final sprint to the end. Lutz took the top side on the Lap 47 restart outside of Jared Rexing with Ryan Gavel and Collin Fern close in tow. A fierce battle with Gavel and Fern had Lutz out front by 1.5 seconds. The good start to the night turned ugly for Fern as contact with Rexing on Lap 57 turned him into the Turn 1 wall, with surprisingly no caution thrown.
The night’s first yellow was thrown for a nasty flip involving Gavel and Jordan Owens. While trying to get by Owens, netcode had the two come together and sent Gavel into the inside wall, turning his truck over rolling down the front stretch. What looked to be Lutz’s biggest competition in Gavel, had his night end early after tearing through the field from his 36th place starting spot.
Four trucks pulled pit strategy under the caution with Lutz, Ron Capps, Mark Rebilas, and Collin Fern staying out as everyone else came down for 4 fresh tires. Lutz pulled away on the Lap 68 restart as trucks scattered behind him exiting Turn 1 bringing out the final yellow of the night. The trucks with tires had an advantage on the trucks with older tires creating a four abreast situation as contact between Rebilas and TJ Majors sent Rebilas around.
The spin collected 10 trucks in all and setup the final run to the end with 8 laps to go. On the restart Lutz gapped second place Thomas Sherman by 0.7 seconds and held on with old tires to take the win and the prize in the Gateway 100. Another night, same story for Lutz dominating an Elite race again leading 62 out of 80 laps. Thomas Sherman, RC Enerson, Daniel Dye, and Shane DiMantova rounded out the top 5. Enerson was the top finishing pro with his 3rd place run.
Lutz will go for the clean sweep in Elite this week in the JoinAPS.com Cup Series at The Milwaukee Mile tonight. The race starts at 8:30 pm edt on the Elite Racing Network.