Another season draws to a close and another championship shall be decided at Auto Club in the Lionheart Championship 250 presented by Dewars Candy . The 2 mile super speedway has been home to the Lionheart Series finale since the league was formed back in 2014. Jesse Vincent won the first ever Lionheart Season championship back in 2014 in the DW12 over Richard Behr by just a single point. Last year, in the inaugural Retro Series season, it was Jake Wright, closing things out with a 4th place finish to take the championship over Ryan Otis.
This season is much closer than last. The 2 contenders this season are Adam Blocker and Alex Saunders, and are separated by just 9 points. Saunders has found victory lane 8 times in 2018 to Blocker’s 5, but Blocker has 14 top 5’s to Saunders’ 11, giving the Carolina driver a slight edge heading into the finale. Blocker has been a fierce competitor all season and has capitalized in those instances where Saunders has made mistakes. Its moments like this that differentiates drivers from champions. Saunders will do anything but laydown when it comes to fighting for the championship. Blocker and Saunders have been on the podium together for a total of 7 races, and it is highly likely that a win will be needed to secure the championship one way or the other, with double points on the line for the final leg of the Triple Crown.
They are fighting for prize fit for a king, with HPP awarding the season champion their top of the line 3P-PRX-SE hydraulic pedal set valued at nearly $1400 dollars.
Meanwhile, other story lines continue to fascinate. While they have no chance at the title, just 91 points separate 5th place Justin Weaver from 14th Scott Johnson. With prizes paying down to 10th, these drivers will have everything to race for, and could prove to be a foil in the championship as they race for their own prizes.
The team championship will also come down to the final event. Currently Raven Motorsports leads by 88 over 8 Ball Motorsports. Raven dominated the team championship standings all season until 8 Ball had an impressive running at Indy putting the pressure on Raven and tightening the championship down the stretch. If 8 Ball can capitalize on the double points at Auto Club they certainly would have an opportunity to steal the championship from Raven. Adrenaline does still have a mathematical chance at the championship, but will need a significant swing in fortunes for both 8 Ball and Raven.
The cleanest driver will also come down to the finale with Lanini and Reiman being separated by just 4 incident points. One crash either way could be all it takes to flip this award and the prizes that go with it.
Iron Man standings going into the finale are being led by Adam Blocker with a total of 2,765.90 miles completed on the season.
The full 2019 schedule will be released at the end of the finale. The Series will be looking to add new drivers in the off season as many of the drivers from the 2018 season are looking to run exclusively in the IR-18 for 2019.
The Challenge Series will again be running during the off season. Each year the series brings new cars and tracks together in a 10-race series to give the members a “challenge” while also using it as a tool to gauge new drivers looking for roster spots for the upcoming season. This season the series will use the Nissan GTP-ZXT and have its opener on 12-27 at ISM Raceway.
Many changes are arriving to Lionheart in the off season. New rules package for 2019 along with a confirmed new series. New for 2019 the Lionheart Renault Series featuring the FR 2.0 will be home to 15 rounds and be used as part of the leagues new ladder system being established to keep drivers active as they work towards an eventual seat in IR-18.
Tune in to see who will be crowned champion on Thursday November 29th at 10:35pm eastern only on the iRacing Esports Network presented by GSRC.
Two rounds remain, two chances, two drivers locked in one of the tightest most exciting championship battles in lionheart history will face off at Road America and the finale at Auto Club Speedway. What a fitting end to an exciting second Retro Series season. The first of the two rounds will be on the greatest road course in the US; Road America, for the LPM Grand Prix at Road America. This is fitting as our two championship leaders have dueled this season to assert their road course dominance. However, the championship will be settled and won by the driver who dominates both road and oval disciplines. So far, Adam Blocker has proven to be the oval master, while Saunders has had the edge on the road.
Last time out in Montreal was the first time this season that someone not named Blocker or Saunders won the race, with real-world IndyCar driver capitalizing on a mistake by Alex Saunders in the last 10 laps en-route to a victory in only his second league start. Saunders would come home 2nd, with Adam Blocker 3rd. Andrew Kinsella was the only lead lap driver to run a 1-stop strategy, and used it to vault 3 places in the final standings to finish 4th. Marc Cohn came home an impressive 5th. With 2 races to go, the results in Montreal leave Saunders 18 points behind Blocker.
This fight certainly brings back memories of the S1 Lionheart championship which saw Jesse Vincent win the title over Richard Behr by just one point. A lot has changed since the Lionheart Racing Series was formed back in 2014. Back then, the only thing that was won was bragging rights, however, now the champions not only are winning the respect of their fellow drivers but now earn some serious prizes as well. This year the Retro Series Champion will win a set of HPP Simulation top of the line pedals valued at over $1300.
Four drivers still have a mathematical shot at winning the championship with over 180 points yet to be decided thanks to the finale being double points. Dustin Wardlow and Michael Goodman sit 3rd and 4th and will need a lot of help in order to make it happen. They’re not out of it yet and are sure to give it everything they have to win this championship, but will need a lot of help, starting with the round at Road America.
Sage Karam has had a strong start to his first few races in the Lionheart Series. Winning at Montreal over Alex Saunders. Certainly, if Blocker or Saunders want the championship title they will have to contend with Karam for every point, and Karam could be the wild card that decides this championship one way or the other.
James Brant has had a strong season in the Retro Series with 3 top 5 finishes and 7 top 10’s. After last round, he has gained 3 positions in the standings and is now 12th overall. Brant is certainly a driver to watch over the remaining two races. If Brant continues this seasons success he certainly can finish within the top 10 in points for 2018. Rumors around the paddock are that Brant will be moving over the IR-18 series full time for 2019.
The team championship has taken a swing after Montreal with Raven Motorsports gaining much needed ground over their closest rival 8 Ball Motorsports. The difference is 100 points currently and Road America will be the final road event where each team can make up or lose ground before heading into the finale where a strong running can be a nail in the coffin for the other team. Adrenaline Motorsports sits 150 points back, and still have a shot at the title as well.
Last year at Road America, Adam Blocker was victorious over Wardlow by 4.5 seconds. David Altman rounded out the podium, while Travis Jegerlehner and Jason Galvin rounded out the top 5.
The 2019 season schedule has been finalized by league officials it is confirmed that 18 rounds will once again make up the season schedule. The Lionheart series is happy to be officially announcing the inaugural running of both Imola and Sebring for season 3. Tune in to the season finale for more details .
But first, we have the penultimate round to get through. Tune in on Thursday November 1st, 2018 at 10:35pm eastern for all the fabulous Retro action only on the iRacing eSports Network and iRacing Live, presented by GSRC.
Sage Karam has spent the better part of five season working towards his first win in the Verizon IndyCar Series.
It took two weeks to capture his first win in the Lionheart Racing Series.
Karam took advantage of a late race pit stop by Alex Saunders, capturing the lead with three laps remaining and winning the Skidmark Motorsports Grand Prix of Canada Thursday night in the Lionheart Retro Series presented by HPP Simulation.
“Alex went off the track towards the end, and that was all I needed,” Karam said. “I saw that and figured I’d pit early for clear track, and it worked out. I was able to close the gap and get out in front after the last stop.”
Karam, the five-time Indianapolis 500 starter, battled in his series debut at Gateway Motorsports Park before being eliminated in a mid-race wreck.
But on the streets of Montreal, Karam was avoided trouble and was flawless, keeping the pressure on Saunders and Adam Blocker throughout the event.
When the championship contenders hit pit road with four laps remaining, Karam turned on the jets, sneaking past Saunders and holding the road course ace off over the final three laps at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve.
“That was definitely a fun race,” Karam said. “I learned I need to practice more. I maybe did ten laps before qualifying, but as the race went on I figured out the track a lot more. I put my best lap in at the end of the race.”
Saunders felt like he let one get away, and declined a post race interview.
Blocker was a distant third, finishing ten seconds back after the final stop.
“I made a mistake and cut the chicane, and Sage dive bombed me at one point,” Blocker said. “Alex made that error which minimized a bad day for me, so it’s still a good day in the points.”
Andrew Kinsella came home fourth, with Marc Cohn capturing his first series top five in fifth.
Blocker’s lead slipped to 18 points with two races remaining in the season. Dustin Wardlow fell to 101 points out of the lead following a disappointing sixth place finish after early damage.
The pass for the lead was the only change up front, as 15 of the 21 starters finished the event.
The penultimate race of the season is set to take place Thursday, November 1, at Road America. The LPM Grand Prix of Road America can be seen live on the iRacing eSports Network presented by Global SimRacing Channel at 10:35 p.m. EST.
One step forward, two steps back. That must be how the two drivers competing for the championship in the Lionheart Retro Series presented by HPP Simulation feel after every oval race. The American Cancer Society 150 at Iowa Speedway was no different Thursday night.
Adam Blocker picked up a huge win, despite picking up damage in a late-race wreck, when his championship rival Alex Saunders was swept up by a spinning Michael Goodman.
Goodman had dominated the event, leading 167 of the 172 laps, but Blocker led the three most important.
“I knew anytime someone went low and was pinched on the tighter line, there was a likelihood of a spin,” said Blocker after getting out of his damaged car. “But obviously I wasn’t expecting it from Goodman. He dominated this race.”
Goodman recovered to finish fourth, but Saunders car was too injured and finished 17th.
The championship lead for Saunders sits at just seven points with four races remaining.
It was a reversal of fortunes for the title contenders, after Blocker was involved in a nearly identical wreck at Indianapolis, when Jason Galvin spun on his own with two laps remaining. Saunders would win that race.
“That was obviously the best thing I could’ve hoped for,” Blocker said. “You never hope for that, but it was the best situation for my championship hopes.”
Bob Mikes ended up second, after running near the front all race and avoiding the chaos at the end.
“I was so far back that I didn’t even see who all was involved,” Mikes said. “As I was catching the pace car, I thought I might’ve won this thing. But then when we caught the pac car, I saw Blocker a little bit ahead. It was a funny moment.”
Dan Geren picked up a podium in third, helping his 8 Ball Motorsports team close in on Raven Motorsports for the team championship. The lead is down to seven points.
“I feel bad for my teammate Goodman, it sucks he wrecked,” Geren said. “But I’ll take third any day.”
The race was slowed by six cautions for 27 laps, including the one that ended the race.
Championship hopeful Dustin Wardlow was eliminated after James Krahula early on.
A massive wreck with 61 laps remaining eliminated Andrew Kinsella, Jorge Anzaldo and George Adams amongst others.
The Lionheart Retro Series presented by HPP Simulation hits another oval this week, with the Mental Health Awareness 200 at Gateway Motorsports Park. Blocker won the inaugural race in 2017, putting extra pressure on Saunders to turn in a strong performance.
The race can be viewed live on the iRacing eSports Network with the broadcast provided by the Global SimRacing Channel at 10:35 p.m. EST on Thursday, October 4.
In the highly anticipated debut of the Lionheart Retro Series presented by HPP Simulation on the iRacing eSports Network, it was Alex Saunders reaffirming to the world that he has the Lotus 79 to beat, winning the Headwaters Alpacas 125 at Circuit Zolder, the debut of the Lionheart Racing Series at the historic Belgium road course.
Saunders beat his championship rival Adam Blocker by just over three seconds, as the duo set a torrid pace, lapping all but third place Justin Weaver.
“Adam was coming fast in the second segment there, I was worried,” Saunders said. “I think I might’ve had a little damage, but I was hoping he just short-filled and had less fuel. But it was a good race.”
Saunders led all but two laps after starting on the pole, and kept Blocker at arms length throughout the event.
“This was the first road course race where we had to make two stops, so it changed the strategy a little,” Blocker said. “I decided to take tires the first time because I figured it wouldn’t cost me time, and I hate the first few laps on old tires. I did short-fill a little, but I was able to go an extra lap and lead. It was an interesting race.”
Saunders leads Blocker by 37 points with five races remaining. The points do not factor drop weeks, which removes the two worst point races for each driver in the series.
Weaver was over a minute behind, nearly lapped himself, and cruised to an unchallenged third.
“Pretty excited to get a podium on a tough little road circuit,” Weaver said. “Pretty fun track to run by yourself, but it gets tight when you have to pass somebody. Your goal the whole lap is to avoid the bumps in the corners there.”
The finish jumped weaver up to sixth in points. Dustin Wardlow remains third in the standings, but his sixth place finish at Zolder dropped him to 79 points out of the lead.
18 of the 23 drivers to start the race finished the event, which aired on the iRacing eSports Network with coverage from the Global SimRacing Channel. It marked the debut for the newer Lionheart series on the network, a partnership that is expected to continue through the end of the 2018 season, the second season for the classic grand prix cars campaigned on both ovals and road courses in a tribute to the glory days of open wheel racing.
The Lionheart Retro Series presented by HPP Simulation returns to the states, and an oval, with the American Cancer Society 150 at Iowa Speedway. That event is set for Thursday, September 27, and can be seen live at 10:25 p.m. EST on the iRacing eSports Network, with the call coming from the Global SimRacing Channel.
The Retro Series heads to Zolder for the first time in league history for the Headwater Alpacas 125. Often overshadowed by its big brother, Spa-Francorchamps, which played host to the IndyCar series this past week, Zolder has hosted both F1 and IndyCar races over the course of its existence.
Headwaters Alpacas is a huacaya alpaca breeder located in Becida, MN. owned and operated by league member Scott Johnson. Alpacas are known for their warm luxurious fiber. Alpaca fiber is warmer and softer than wool, and you won’t have to deal with the itchiness that is often times associated with wool products. Alpaca fiber is also hypoallergenic. If you are looking for a special gift for someone, having a hard time thinking of something different to buy for someone, or just looking for something nice for yourself alpaca socks, scarves, mittens, yarn or even teddy bears are a great gift choice. Check out the Headwaters Alpacas store at www.headwatersalpacas.com to see the various alpaca products available for sale. Should you have any questions about alpaca products or raising alpacas feel free to give us a call, at 218-407-7016 or to place your order. Headwaters Alpacas is a proud sponsor of the Skid Mark Motorsports race team.
A wild ending at Indy saw the then points leader Adam Blocker collected by Jason Galvin, resulting in a disappointing 15th place finish. Blocker and Galvin were racing wheel-to-wheel with Alex Saunders for the top 3 with just 2 laps to go when disaster struck. Galvin got high in 2 and lost control sending his car down into Blocker, who was an innocent bystander. Saunders would go on to win, while Andrew Kinsella and Dustin Wardlow slipped under the spinning pair to claim the rest of the podium. Dan Geren, who had led over a third of the race was also collected in the mayhem. Rounding out the top 5 were Brian Beard and Ron Hacker.
This season is shaping up to be a fight all the way to the finish. Based on the Indy results, Saunders now has a 30-point advantage over Adam Blocker with just 6 races left, once drops are taken into consideration. The pair of Blocker and Saunders have accounted for ¾ of the wins so far this season and have dueled across several road events this season. With 3 remaining road courses along with 3 ovals, dominance on the twisty circuits could be a major factor in winning this year’s championship. Saunders has held the upper hand on the road so far, but Blocker was able to get the better of Saunders last time out at Mid-Ohio.
Not to be forgotten in this points battle, Dustin Wardlow coming off an impressive podium at Indy is sitting P3 in the championship, just 59 points behind Saunders. Still more then within striking distance of Saunders and Blocker. If the California driver can continue to stay consistent and secure a few more podiums there is a strong chance we could see Wardlow as a champion at the end of the season.
The biggest movers from the double points event at Indy: Brian Beard gained 10 positions in the standings and has moved up to P17. Ron Hacker and Marc Aumick have moved 6 spots and now sit P14 & P19. If those 3 can continue the strong momentum, they could easily crack the top 10 by the end of the season.
Speaking of the top 10 in points, positions 5 through 10 in points right now are close…really close. Just 46 points separate 5th place Brian Yaczik from 10th place James Krahula with drop races considered. Yazczik, Krahula, Kinsella, Galvin, Jake Wright and Justin Waever all have a shot at the final spot in the top 5 in points come season end. They have 6 races to separate themselves from the rest, who will be able to pull it out?
New Rookies will be tested for the first time on the tough chicane filled Zolder circuit. Wenzen, Eldred, Dudley, Walker, Cohn, Lawler and Adamson will take their Lotus79 machines against some of the fastest drivers in the league.
Samuel Reiman continues to lead the series in the Cleanest Driver standings with a total of 13 incs and a 1.18 inc average per race.
The team championship has just heated back up. Raven Motorsports who enjoyed the top spot for some time with a healthy lead over Adrenaline now has a new challenger. 8 Ball Motorsports has moved up one spot and now sits P2 in the team championship standings. Sitting now 84 points back from Raven Motorsports this team championship is far from over.
The Headwater Alpacas 125 can be seen Thursday September 20th at 10:35pm Eastern only on GSRC and iRacing Live.
33 drivers took the green flag in the HPP Simulation 200 at Michigan International Speedway. Only 21 took the checkers, but nobody seemed upset after the race.
Instead, a host of drivers lined up to congratulate Michael Goodman after one of the most popular wins in Lionheart Retro Series presented by HPP Simulation history.
The New York driver held off rookie Aaron Morgan and Joe Hassert in a scramble to the finish after late pit stops.
“I knew everyone was going to need to pit, you could only run about 30 laps flat out,” Goodman said. “I was hoping they would have to pit at least.”
It was the first win for Goodman in either Lionheart Racing Series league, despite showing constant pace in both leagues and finishing high in the points last season.
“I knew exactly what I was doing with my pit stops,” Goodman said. “I had the fuel calculated to the lap. Fortunately for that last series of stops and what not, the yellow didn’t come out. It worked perfectly.”
Morgan impressed in just his second league start, nearly stealing the win on the final lap, while also holding off Hassert.
“I did not expect this at all,” Morgan said. “I knew I had to make a stop. I knew we’d come out racing Goodman, but I thought I’d race Adam (Blocker) at the end, too. I just wanted to stick with him.”
Hassert, who runs part-time in the Retro series, was content with third.
“I thought I was in the wall seven or eight times,” Hassert said. “I didn’t even know I had a chance for the win until there was three to go. When I had to pit I thought my race was over.”
Points leader Adam Blocker finished fourth, with Jason Galvin in fifth.
Alex Saunders ended up 21st, two laps down, after early contact between Galvin, Dan Geren and Woody Mahan. The trio were three wide and Geren drifted up into Galvin entering turn one, setting off a chain of events that led to Saunders spinning and slowing with damage.
Blocker now holds a 78 point lead over Saunders, with Dustin Warlow eleven points back in third.
The Lionheart Retro Series hits the road for the PSP Insurance 125 at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course on Thursday, July 26. The race can be seen live on the Global SimRacing Channel at 10:25 p.m. EST.
For more on the Lionheart Retro Series presented by HPP Simulation, visit www.LionheartRacingSeries.com
2 weeks ago it was the Lionheart IndyCars tackling Michigan International Speedway, but this week, it is the Retro Series presented by HPP Simulation making the high banks sing once again with the sweet sounds of Cosworth engines in the HPP Simulation 200. HPP Simulation makes top of the line Sim-racing equipment. HPP will not only be the presenting sponsor for the event at Michigan, but the series as a whole. HPP is awarding the season champion with their top of the line 3 pedal set. If you are looking for the best pedals available, check out www.hppsimulation.com.
Last week at Barber it was Alex Saunders putting on yet another clinic on a road course, only relinquishing the lead on the pit cycle en-route to another win. Saunders appears to have picked up right where Jake Wright left off on road courses, lodging his 3rd win in 3 tries on a road course. 2nd place belonged once again to Adam Blocker. This is the 3rd straight result where Saunders and Blocker came home 1-2 and 4th time overall. Blocker has 2 wins and five 2nd place finishes this year, meaning out of 8 rounds, Blocker has finished outside the top 2 only once, at the 2nd round at Watkins Glen, where a spin took him out of fighting for the lead. This is a duel that appears to be destined to go down to the wire with Blocker unwilling to concede any ground in the championship to the charging Saunders. Brian Yaczik brought his car home 3rd, while Dustin Wardlow and Jason Galvin rounded out the top 5. Another strong top 5 keeps Dustin Wardlow in the championship hunt as well. Wardlow may be the only driver remaining who has a legitimate shot to challenge Blocker and Saunders for the championship. Adam Blocker continues to lead the championship standings after 8 rounds. Alex Saunders who currently is sitting 53 points back continues to chip away at the points leader. Coming off another victory at Barber, Saunders will need to show dominance on the 2 mile oval if he looks to get closer to Blocker in the points.
From the rollercoaster that is Barber Motorsports Park to the high-banked high-speed Michigan international speedway, the change in venues could not be more dramatic. The series will use the same setup from last season which is expected to produce some very close and exciting racing. Last season saw Bob Mikes win the inaugural event. Bobby led just 3 laps but it was enough to take the win over Chris Stofer. Joe Hassert finished in P3. All 3 should be factors on Thursday night, as they excel at draft style oval racing.
The biggest mover after Barber is Jason Galvin. The Raven Motorsports driver climbed 8 spots after a solid top 5 at Barber Motorsports Park. Galvin, who is the only driver not named Saunders or Blocker to win a race this season, is certainly a driving factor for Raven’s performance in the Team Championship standings.
Newcomer to the series Rookie Aaron Morgan had a solid run in his Lionheart debut at Barber. Morgan running for Avatar Auto Racing finished P8 with only 2 incident points.
Participation has been a real factor this season with many drivers having to miss anywhere between 1-3 races. For those drivers their season certainly has had added pressure. With their 2 drop races now being used they will have to remain consistent to avoid DNF’s. Only 7 drivers have run all 9 races this season. Andrew Kinsella fell 6 spots after missing his 2nd race of the season, although being on vacation and getting engaged to his long-time girlfriend is definitely a good excuse to miss a sim-race.
After the battle at Barber, Raven Motorsports continues to lead the Team Championship standings. Raven now sits 62 points ahead of Adrenaline who had several drivers miss the last round at Barber. It seems that this fight may continue all season long as 8 ball sits 132 points from the leaders.
The Lionheart just recently celebrated its 4th year anniversary. The very first race was held July 3rd 2014 at Michigan with the DW12 Indycar. Michigan has been a special place for Lionheart having hosted several races over the past 4 years, so it is fitting that the first Lionheart race after the anniversary be at Michigan.
The winner at Michigan will be the driver who can exhibit the right mix of bravery, speed and tactical know-how on the high banked super speedway. Will that driver be the same old suspects, or will someone new step-up and give us a 4th winner before the calendar turns to the 2nd half of the season?
The HPP Simulation 200 can be seen on Thursday July 12th at 10:35pm eastern only on GSRC and iRacing Live.
Sometimes in auto racing, a driver is so good, nothing can stop him, and words don’t describe the perfection of his performance.
Alex Saunders had one of those nights Thursday. The Lionheart Retro Series presented by HPP Simulation rookie ran a flawless race, losing the lead only during the lone pit cycle and lapping all but the podium en route to his fifth win of the season in the Plasma-Tracks Grand Prix of Barber.
“I was really hoping to keep Adam (Blocker) from leading any laps, but he got great mileage,” Saunders said. “Barber is a really tough track to begin with...I know I struggled a little with the setup later in the stint...Adam is real fast, it’s fun racing with him, looking forward to Michigan next time out.”
Saunders closed the gap on runner-up Adam Blocker in the points, down to 53 despite missing the season opener.
Blocker led two laps when Saunders hit pit road, but relinquished the lead after stopping himself.
The second-year driver finished 7.9 seconds behind Saunders.
“Kinda disappointed a little bit, I think I could’ve done better in qualifying and I matched Alex in the second stint,” Blocker said. “I just didn’t put it all together.”
Brian Yaczik cruised to a third place finish, narrowly avoiding being lapped by Saunders himself.
“I passed Dustin Wardlow and I outbreaked Jake Wright, that’s probably the highlight of my career right there,” Yaczik said. “We had a decent effort tonight. I never really got comfortable with the car in testing, so it was one of those situations where you take the hand that you’re dealt and we made no mistakes and came home third, I’ll take that.”
Dustin Wardlow beat teammate Jason Galvin to round out the top five, and Travis Jegerlehner came home sixth, helping Raven Motorsports extend its points lead over Adrenaline Motorsports in the team standings.
A light field of 20 cars tok the green, with 16 finishing.
The Lionheart Retro Series presented by HPP Simulation takes some time off for the annual Lionheart Meetup at the Iowa IndyCar event.
The Retro Series returns to the track on July 12 at Michigan International Speedway for the HPP Simulation 200. That race can be seen live on the Global SimRacing Channel at 10:35 p.m. EST.
For more information on the Lionheart Retro Series presented by HPP Simulation, visit www.LionheartRacingSeries.com.
This week the Retro Series heads back to The Milwaukee Mile for the Turf Monkey 200. Turf Monkey is owned and operated by Lionheart league member Marty Davis out of Racine Wisconsin. Turf Monkey specializes in fertilization, weed control, aeration and dethatching, over seeding, snow removal and mowing. Don’t monkey around in your yard this season! Their slogan “We’ll make your lawn look bananas!” Visit www.facebook.com/turfmonkey for more information. New for 2018 the Retro Series has an increased distance at Milwaukee for a total of 200 miles.
Last week at Motegi, it was Alex Saunders who took his 3rd win of the season at Motegi, and first on an oval. Saunders has emerged in the Retro Series as a favorite to win the championship if he continues this pace. He currently sits P3 overall, just 6 points back from Dustin Wardlow for 2nd. Wardlow had a round to forget at Motegi, after getting damaged early in the race finishing 1 lap down in 24th. The win for Saunders did not, however, get him much closer to the point lead. Adam Blocker finished right behind Saunders in 2nd, limiting the damage as much as possible. Blocker currently leads Wardlow by 62 points, and Saunders by 68. Finishing 3rd in the race was “Big” Joe Hassert, who improved from an 18th starting spot to finish 3rd. The final 2 spots saw a pitched battle for the final laps, when Andrew Kinsella barely edged out Jake Wright for 4th place at the finish. Kinsella had to battle back from a mid-race penalty that saw the Canadian in 26th place at the mid-way point in the race. Wright meanwhile chose not to qualify, starting from the back and using pit strategy to bting himself to the sharp end of the grid. The result saw the defending champion move up to 5th in the championship, while Kinsella moved up to 11th. Both have missed 1 race so far this year. In fact, a number of drivers have missed 1 or more races. The retro series sees drivers worst 2 results dropped from their point total. Once factored in, these drop weeks will certainly paint a fuller picture of the championship standings. Look for those to be scored later in the season.
Bob Mikes was the winner last year at Milwaukee. Reports from the paddock are that Mikes will unfortunately not be defending his win this season as he will be unavailable on race night. This leaves the field rather wide-open for this weeks race. Blocker, Saunders and Wardlow will be among the favorites this year, as all 3 look to cement their candidacy for champion this year. All 3 will be looking over their shoulder however, as defending champion Jake Wright slowly creeps into view. Wright has had a relatively slow start to the year, however, the 5th place in Motegi might just be the result Wright needs to jump start his season. If it is, the others in the top 5 should look out.
10 different drivers led laps at Milwaukee in the S1 inaugural event. 33 drivers took the green flag with 22 running at the end. Only 14 drivers finished on the lead lap. 1 of those drivers was David Altman. Altman recently returned to Lionheart competition and after shaking of the rust at Motegi, could be a driver to watch at Milwaukee.
Short-track racing often produces unexpected results. One person who has had a good amount of success in Lionheart competition at short tracks over the years is Joe Branch. The soft-spoken Indiana driver has a knack for coming up big on short-track. Will Milwaukee be Branch’s coming out party in the Retro Series.
Jorge Anzaldo, still trying to break into the championship, is without a top 10 finish so far this season. The Raven Motorsports driver certainly has had some shining moments this season only to fall short from driver errors or gambles on fuel strategy not paying off. Last season at Milwaukee, Anzaldo qualified on the front row, led the most laps and finished P4. Could we see another strong drive this year at the Milwaukee Mile?
Raven Motorsports continues to lead the team standings for another week just -24 ahead of Adrenaline who scored the most points of any team after Motegi. 8 Ball sits in P3 in the team standings despite having a tough outing last week. The team championship is still wide-open for the taking. Who will help their team to one of the most hotly contested crowns in Lionheart history?
The Turf Monkey 200 can be seen live on Thursday, June 14th at 10:35pm Eastern, only on GSRC and iRacing Live.