And yet that pressure, on top of alternate fuel strategies and the debut of a five-time Verizon IndyCar Series Indianapolis 500 starter didn’t phase him.
Blocker dominated the American Cancer Society Grand Prix of Phillip Island Wednesday night, leading 29 laps en route to his series-leading sixth win of the season.
“Anytime I win at one of my worst road circuits, it’s a good day,” Blocker said. “I had to figure out what everyone’s strategy was. It made for a fun race. I just had to be patient and hit the fuel number.”
Blocker is seeking his first championship in the Lionheart IndyCar Series presented by First Medical Equipment.
The race went to plan for the South Carolina native, although he had to wait out Michael Goodman, who tried to stretch his fuel after starting on a three-stop strategy, but was unable to complete the race on two stops.
“Obviously we had a big save in the middle stint to get to 16 laps,” Blocker said. “I knew in the second stint that Goodman was not going to make it, so I sat behind him and saved my fuel and drafted off him.”
Goodman fell to fifth, despite leading 14 laps.
Kinsella finished fourth, and managed to keep Blocker from pulling away too much in the title fight.
Blocker’s lead sits at 31 at the two-thirds mark of the season. Seven races remain, including road course events at Road America and Montreal’s Circuit Gilles Villeneuve. Blocker has won all but one road course event this season, his only oval win coming at the Indianapolis 500.
Defending race winner Dan Geren had another strong showing, finishing second and rallying to third in points after a disastrous start to the season.
“I’m glad I have the monkey off my back now,” Geren said. “I love this track. We got the win here last year, runner-up again is good, especially after winning at Charlotte last week.”
IndyCar driver Sage Karam came home third in his virtual debut with the Lionheart IndyCar Series.
Karam made his league debut in the Lionheart Retro Series presented by HPP Simulation two weeks ago, battling for a win before being eliminated in a crash not of his doing.
The race was run without incident up front. 28 of the 36 starters finished the race.
The Lionheart IndyCar Series presented by First Medical Equipment returns stateside and to the ovals Wednesday night.
The Iowa 200 presented by Birky Trucking is set for Wednesday, October 17. All 229 laps can be seen live on the iRacing eSports Network, presented by Global SimRacing Channel, at 10:35 p.m. EST.