Much like Motegi, Texas has a long history with the real-life Indycar series that dates back to 1997. That inaugural event may still be the most famous open-wheel race held at the track, mostly thanks to the controversial ending. A.J. Foyt Racing’s Billy Boat seemingly won the race, but Arie Luyendyk arrived in victory lane claiming that he was the rightful winner. A scuffle ensued, and A.J. Foyt infamously slapped Luyendyk during the altercation. Luyendyk was eventually declared the rightful winner, but A.J. never returned the original winner’s trophy. Finally, in 2015, Texas Motor Speedway president Eddie Gossage officially conceded the trophy to Foyt as a gift for his 80th birthday.
It was Dan Geren who found his way to Texas victory lane in last season’s virtual Lionheart race – and there was no disputing his dominant win. Geren started on the pole and led 86 of 100 laps for his lone victory of the season. The Team #NailedIt driver will undoubtedly be looking to defend his win, and he is in great position to do so. Geren currently sits fifth in the overall standings, and he’s finished inside the top ten in each of his last four starts. Should he remain incident-free and make the right moves strategically, there’s every reason to believe Dan Geren can earn another undisputed win at Texas.
The biggest threat to Geren’s victory may be his own teammates, as Jonathan Goke, Michael Gray and Ian Adams are all capable of getting to the front. Two-time winner Goke has shown speed on every oval thus far in 2016, and Texas should be no different. Gray has enjoyed a quietly consistent season and could find his way to a top finish again this week. Meanwhile, Ian Adams may be struggling of late, but he did finish second at Texas last season, and he will be looking to turn things around at a track where he’s achieved success before.
AGR Motorsports earned their first-ever Lionheart win at Motegi thanks to Jason Galvin, but the team’s success went well beyond the win. Jason Robarge came second, while newcomer Brian Neff and Jorge Anzaldo also had solid runs. With momentum on their side, AGR could easily find their way to victory lane again. Jason Robarge finished a solid fifth at Texas last season, and he may lead the charge for AGR this week. He’s impressively finished inside the top ten in five of his seven starts in 2016, and it seems like only a matter of time before he gets to victory lane again.
After enduring recent struggles, it would be easy to overlook both No Name Racing and Dragonfly Racing this week. However, both teams have drivers on their rosters that excel in fuel strategy races. No Name’s James Krahula made the call at Kentucky that ultimately carried his team to a podium sweep, while Dragonfly’s Robert Blouin outlasted the field at Chicago last season to claim his first career win. Texas is very similar to both tracks, and if the winner is determined by strategy this week, either No Name or Dragonfly could be celebrating when the checkered flag flies.
The race will be broadcast on the Global Sim Racing Channel (GSRC) and Iracing Live beginning at 10:35PM ET. For more information about the Lionheart Indycar Series Presented by First Medical Equipment, please visitwww.lionheartracingseries.com.