Connor Harrington had a third-place race car.
That didn’t keep him from victory lane.
Harrington won the Minus 273 Grand Prix of Indianapolis with a thrilling pass of a damaged Sage Karam as the pair streaked towards the checkered flag on the final lap.
It was the first road course victory for Harrington, and his third of 2020 in the Lionheart IndyCar Series presented by First Medical Equipment.
“I’m in shock,” Harrington said. “I don’t know what happened, I don’t know if I’m dreaming. I can’t believe I won a road course race in the Lionheart series.”
Harrington was comfortably in third, several seconds behind Karam - who dominated the race - and defending series champion Adam Blocker.
But everything unraveled with 6 laps remaining.
As Karam lapped Lionheart debutante and eleven-time Formula 1 race winner Rubens Barrichello on the front straight, more lapped traffic loomed.
Karam collided with the slower Brandon Limkemann, who was also slowing down for cars in front of him. The contact caused Limkemann to flip, and broke the left side of Karam’s wing off.
By the time he got to turn three, Karam’s 1.7 second lead was gone and Blocker was wheel-to-wheel for the lead.
Remarkably, Karam fought back to the lead down the infield straight, leading to another overtake attempt by Blocker on the pit straight.
This time, Karam blocked hard to the pit wall, causing Blocker to lift or crash and jolt back to the left. The duo again fought wheel-to-wheel until turn 7, when Blocker lost control under power and spun out.
Barrichello arrived with nowhere to go, plowing Blocker and sending him flipping into the grass to a DNF.
That’s when Harrington began to smell blood.
“I was kinda just out riding in no man’s land, and things just happened,” Harrington said. “It was a crazy finish. I had two push to passes left, and used the first one coming to the white and couldn’t get him.”
Seven second back when the initial crash occurred, Harrington caught Karam on the penultimate lap but was unable to clear Karam on the front straight.
But Harrintgon kept the pressure on and as the duo exited the infield section for the final run to the line, Karam slipped wide and clipped the grass.
That was all Harrington needed. The Syracuse, New York native darted to the outside of Karam in the oval turn 1, and won the drag race back to the checkers.
“I was on the wrong side to make a move into one on the white flag lap,” Harrington said. “I think Karam was out of button presses on the last lap. I don’t even know how much I won by.”
Karam discussed the hard move on Blocker while battling in the chaotic final laps.
“Unfortunate, we had a great race going,” Karam said. “There was a damaged car and I thought they left a lane, and then they didn’t….and then Adam and I got into it on the front. I thought he’d know it was a no brainer that I’d block the wall there, and ended up hitting the wall there and bent the toe.”
Arjuna Kankipati was the beneficiary of Blocker’s wreck, capturing his first Lionheart podium finish.
“I definitely prefer the road courses,” Kankipati said. “Just a great race for us today.”
Andrew Kinsella and fromer series champion Jake Wright rounded out the top five.
The race was relatively clean until that point, with minor accidents eliminating the likes of Jason Galvin, Joe Branch, Joe Hassert and Josh Chin.
18 drivers finished on the lead lap.
41 cars took the green flag, a Lionheart Racing Series powered by HyperX record for a road course event, including five drivers with real world racing success: Karam, Barrichello, 2013 Indy 500 champion Tony Kanaan, and a pair of Mexican sports car champions, Adrian Fernandez (also of CART fame), and Luis Diaz.
Karam holds a 74-point advantage over Harrington, with Kinsella falling to third, 81 back of the lead. Blocker remains in fourth but now sits 118 points back of the lead.
Next up for the Lionheart IndyCar Series, the HyperX Indianapolis 500.
The race is set for Sunday, June 28 and can be seen live on the iRacing eSports Network with Global SimRacing Channel producing the broadcast, with a 4 p.m. EST start.
For nearly 6 years the Lionheart Racing Series powered by HyperX has qualified and raced on the same night. New for 2020 iRacing has implemented the ability to use lap averages vs fastest single lap for qualifying. In an effort to continue its quest to be as realistic as possible series officials have decided to hold qualifying on a separate night, where the field will be determined in the Indianapolis tradition of fastest 4 lap average.
42 drivers are expected to participate in the HyperX Race for the Pole Wednesday June 24th. Drivers have been randomly assigned a starting order as track conditions will likely change throughout the session. As luck would have it the order looks to provide quite a bit of excitement and drama as many of the leagues fastest drivers will be taking their runs towards the beginning, middle and end of the session.
New for this year is the ability for drivers to use several of the in-car adjustments such as the front and rear anti roll bars as well as the weight jacker. These tools allow a driver to adjust the handling of the car on the fly which they must master to gain the maximum speed necessary to achieve a higher spot on the grid.
HyperX has also initiated a product giveaway surrounding qualifying and the upcoming HyperX Indianapolis 500. Nearly $1000 dollars in gaming peripherals are being offered as prizes for a few lucky winners. For more information on the HyperX product giveaway visit www.lionheartracingseries.com/giveaway
The live qualifying broadcast can be seen on the iRacing eSports Network with coverage being brought by the Global Sim Racing Channel. Coverage begins at 9:35 PM CST.
Race Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LUOn-ofmNQE&feature=emb_title
The Lionheart Racing Series powered by HyperX announced today a first-time partnership with Snail Racing, a popular YouTube channel created by Larry and Annie Rabbets. The channel focuses on Annie’s journey from sim racing rookie to seasoned veteran racer.
Annie who started sim racing in August of 2019 after being convinced by Larry to try turning some laps on iRacing was immediately hooked. It was this excitement for sim racing that also helped spark the idea of not only creating her channel but also an online community for beginners and rookies to learn together in a fun and friendly environment.
“I have been a fan of Annie’s channel, Snail Racing for some time now and of the work that Larry and Annie are doing for the sim racing community,” said Lionheart founder Jorge Anzaldo. “Driver development has been on our radar for quite a while now and this presents the perfect opportunity to align ourselves with a great community who is dedicated to giving new drivers the tools needed for success. Lionheart is proud to support the Race to Learn Series and I’m excited to watch the progress of all the drivers involved.”
The Race to Learn Series created by Annie and Larry will take a group of 20 drivers through a 12-week program focusing on the fundamentals every sim racer needs for success. To the benefit of all drivers involved, the program goes beyond just traditional lessons such as car control or overtaking. Drivers will also learn about achieving the proper mindset, analyzing mistakes and crashes as well as anger management. At the end of each week’s lesson drivers will apply what they’ve learned in an official race.
“Jorge Anzaldo supported me from very early on in my sim racing career,” said Annie Rabbets of Snail Racing. “I am very excited that we can combine our efforts to create this joint venture which will allow less experienced sim racers to learn and progress with the support of well established drivers and organizations like the Lionheart Racing Series powered by HyperX.”
At the end of the program the top 15 drivers in points will be invited to a special broadcast championship race where all graduates will have the opportunity to showcase everything learned on a much bigger stage.
The Lionheart Racing Series powered by HyperX is known as one of the premier open wheel leagues on iRacing. Drivers of the series know that in order to be their absolute best it takes time, dedication and lots of practice.
“I love the work ethic and approach that the Snail Racing community puts towards improving their race craft,” Anzaldo said. “At Lionheart we preach practice every day and we’ve seen how its paid off for our most talented drivers. Competition. Commitment. Excitement. It’s the slogan of the league. I’m confident that Annie and Larry will deliver all three with their Race to Learn Series.”
For more information on how you can be a part of the Race to Learn Series as well as the Snail Racing community visit annieandlarry.com. You can also reach them via Facebook @SnailRacing005 as well as searching for Snail Racing on YouTube.
It took two laps for Connor Harrington to rocket to the front at Twin Ring Motegi. Once he did, hardly anyone could touch him.
Harrington held off challenges from a half-dozen drivers throughout the race to win the Global Electronic Technology 200, after a thrilling two-lap sprint to the finish and fierce charge from Sage Karam in the final corner.
“The late race yellow I really didn’t want to see,” whose 0.013 second margin of victory was the third closest in series history. “I was content up front, my teammate Nathan (Lewis) and (Jason) Galvin were controlling the pace. When the yellow came out, the chips kinda fall on the table and it works out how it works out. Just thrilled to get it done here at Motegi.”
The Alkentech Simulation NHR e-Sports driver led 112 of the 130 laps en route to his first Lionheart IndyCar Series presented by First Medical Equipment victory at the famed Japanese oval.
“Sage made a hell of a move going into turn three,” Harrington said. “Hats off to him, to not have us end up in the barriers. That was a great move.”
Karam, who leads the points in both Lionheart Racing Series powered by HyperX campaigns, was part of a group that took an extra pit stop, hoping fresher tires on the final run would allow a path around the otherwise unpassable Harrington.
The plan appeared to be on the ropes, as the group that also included Adam Blocker and Andrew Kinsella, among others, were two seconds behind the trio of Harrington, two-time Motegi winner Jason Galvin and rookie Nathan Lewis when the final caution flew with seven laps remaining.
That setup a furious dash for the trio with roughly 15 less laps on their tires.
“I think if we had one more corner or 100 feet longer we would have won that thing,” Karam said. “I’m very happy with second, and a good points day. It was good.”
Kinsella and Blocker were able to take advantage of a three-wide situation and get around Galvin in the final corner.
“I didn’t think I could get there unless I got the draft,” Kinsella said of the final lap. “If I had one more lap, I might’ve got there, but it was a great run, very happy with a third place finish.”
Lewis fell to sixth during the final scramble, with Brian Yaczik, Big Joe Hassert, early race contender Chris Stofer and James Krahula rounding out the top 10.
The race saw four cautions fly for 16 laps, but the biggest moment came during contact that did not result in the yellow laundry flying.
Damon Martinez made contact with his SKM teammate Josh Chin early on, sending Chin into the wall and out of the race on lap 45. Martinez - who captured his first Lionheart pole earlier in the day - was penalized for avoidable contact, and finished a lap down in 27th, while Chin was the second car out in 37th.
As a result, Chin plummeted three more spots in the standings to ninth, after appearing to be one of Karam’s biggest challengers for the championship early on.
As is, Karam holds a 70 point advantage over Kinsella, with Harrington and Blocker tied for third, 77 points out of the lead.
The Lionheart IndyCar Series presented by First Medical Equipment takes three weeks off before ramping up for its Month of May, June edition, starting with the Minus 273 Grand Prix of Indianapolis on the IMS road course on Wednesday, June 17. The race can be seen live on the iRacing eSports Network with Global SimRacing Channel producing the action at 10:35 p.m. EST.
One week later, on June 24, Lionheart plays host to the first ever HyperX Indianapolis 500 Race for the Pole, featuring authentic Indy 500-style qualifying, all to set the grid for the annual HyperX Indianapolis 500 on Sunday, June 28. That race, the crown jewel of the Lionheart season, can be seen live at 4 p.m. EST on the iRacing eSports Network.
Josh Chin and Adam Blocker took their shots. But nobody could land a solid blow to Sage Karam.
The NTT IndyCar Series driver outlasted a teammate, a series champion and two fellow IndyCar stars, including a former champion and Indianapolis 500 winner, to take the win in the Battle at Barber presented by HPP Simulation.
“That was definitely a tough race,” Karam said. “Barber in itself is a really difficult track, it’s easy to make a mistake here...you can never really get into a groove with lappers or people spinning in front of you.”
The win was Karam’s third of the season in the Lionheart IndyCar Series presented by First Medical Equipment, and came in one of the most anticipated races in Lionheart Racing Series powered by HyperX history.
The 53 lap race at the virtual version of Alabama’s Barber Motorsports Park featured the debut of 2004 IndyCar champion and 2013 Indianapolis 500 winner Tony Kanaan, as well as 2017 Freedom 100 winner and Kanaan’s former teammate at A.J. Foyt Enterprises, Matheus Leist.
But all eyes were on Karam, who extended his points lead in the Lionheart IndyCar Series, while also leading the way in the Lionheart Retro Series presented by DMLC Racing Channel.
“I’m just happy that one is over with,” Karam said. “I think Josh had better race pace than me. I was able to get the pole and I think that’s what did it for me.”
Karam beat Chin, his SKM teammate, by 0.609 seconds.
“I tried going off strategy, and it didn’t work out, I ended up in traffic,” Chin said. “Hat’s off to those guys, they were racing hard and I was there, too. I had that half-spin at the end and I think that didn’t help.”
Chin and two-time defending series champion Adam Blocker - who works for Ilmor Engineering in the NTT IndyCar Series - hounded Karam all race. Blocker even led two laps during pit cycles.
But Blocker made a rare mistake, a spin coming out of the carousel with six laps remaining, and contact with the wall hobbled his car, leaving the Adrenaline Motorsports driver to fall all the way to eleventh.
Leist capitalized, running a clean race in his Lionheart debut to finish third and claim the final spot on the podium.
Early season championship contender Connor Harrington rebounded from his lap nine crash at Michigan to finish fourth, and was happy to be back in the championship conversation.
“I was a little disappointed not being able to get third there,” Harrington said. “I lost five or six seconds behind lapped traffic. This is a tough track though, and to get out of here with the nose clean is good.”
Rookie Arjuna Kankipati captured his first career Lionheart top five with a fifth place finish.
Kanaan finished one lap down in 19th, after mid-race contact with Michael Goodman in the final corner sent the 19-year IndyCar veteran around.
30 of the 40 starters took the checkered flag, with 14 cars finishing on the lead lap.
Karam leads Goodman by 55 points, with Andrew Kinsella third, 63 out of the lead.
The Lionheart IndyCar Series presented by First Medical Equipment heads back to the oval side of things before the month of June, the designated Indy month for the series, with the Global Electronic Technology 200 at Twin Ring Motegi.
The race can be viewed live on the iRacing eSports Network with Global SimRacing Channel producing the action on Wednesday, May 20 at 10:35 p.m. EST.
For the third time in league history the Lionheart IndyCar Series presented by First Medical equipment heads to Birmingham, Alabama’s Barber Motorsports Park. Opened in 2003 the 16-turn, 2.38-mile road course has had its share of exciting moments in both the real world and virtual.
The inaugural event in Lionheart took place back in Season 3 and saw a dramatic battle between series defending champion Jesse Vincent and Jake Wright. There was a total of just 3 lead changes between the two, but the pivotal moment of the race would be where Vincent and Wright exited pit road side by side down the narrow lane with Vincent taking the advantage into turn 2. Vincent would go on to win the event by 0.907 seconds over polesitter Wright. It was certainly an iconic moment in league history.
This season Barber enters the 2020 Season as the 2nd road course on the schedule and will test the best that Lionheart has to offer. Sage Karam fresh off his 500-mile victory at Michigan also comes in as the points leader moving up 5 positions in the standings. Karam who also won at Watkins Glen currently leads the standings in the 2020 Road Championship presented by SimXperience.
The standings remain tight through the first 5 rounds with the top 5 separated by no more than 40 points. Defending series champion Adam Blocker also moved up into the 5th spot overall after a slow start to the season. Blocker is also the defending race winner and he’s shown that he knows his way around Barber after putting on a clinic last season with a margin of victory of 52.390 over runner up Dan Geren.
HPP Simulation will also enjoy its second title sponsor race of the 2020 Season. HPP has recently unveiled its new 3P-JBV pedal set. Known for their superior durability and industry leading hydraulic braking system HPP Simulation continues to deliver outstanding quality and innovation to the sim racing community.
The Battle at Barber presented by HPP Simulation will take place on May 6th 2020 live on the iRacing eSports Network courtesy of the Global Sim Racing Channel. Race coverage begins at 9:35 PM CST
For more information on the Lionheart Racing Series powered by HyperX visit www.lionheartracingseries.com
For more information on HPP Simulation and their full line of products visit www.hppsimulation.com
Race Link: https://youtu.be/hOuIdvSjfUo
The Lionheart Racing Series powered by Hyper X announced today its partnership with Asher’s Racing Channel, the popular motorsports show headlined by its star reporter Asher who just happens to be 7 years old.
Asher discovered his love for IndyCar early on in life.
At the age of 3, he ran into IndyCar driver Charlie Kimball during Indy 500 qualifying and had a full conversation with him. From that point on he was hooked.
In 2019, on the way to 500 qualifying day Asher decided to try to interview some drivers. His parents told him he could try and see if he could at least interview 2 drivers. He ended up interviewing 7 drivers that day. Asher later went on to interview over 20 drivers at various events that season, and also met Doug Boles and Roger Penske, who lifted him up and set him in the cockpit of Josef Newgarden’s championship winning car. It was a special moment for the young reporter from Indiana.
Asher was even invited by IndyCar to attend the 2019 end of season Victory Lap Banquet.
Over the winter Asher was asked by Arrow McLaren SP to help Oliver Askew and Pato O’Ward unveil the new livery for this upcoming season. He has been on the local news and papers. Asher can’t wait to see where the future takes him, with the ultimate goal to one day be either a professional racing reporter or driver.
“Asher may be young in age, but you can see right away that his is wise beyond his years.” Lionheart founder Jorge Anzaldo said. “Asher has a real love and excitement for IndyCar and you can see it in each and every one of his interviews. He really gets into it and it mirrors the passion that our drivers have for American open wheel racing both in the real world and virtual. It was this mutual interest that made me want to associate our brand with theirs.”
It was Asher’s interview with real life NTT Data IndyCar driver Sage Karam that first brought the channel into Lionheart’s radar after Karam won the round 1 iRacing IndyCar Challenge Series event at Watkins Glen. Asher knocked it out of the park and went on to have additional interviews with Indy 500 winner Will Power, Alexander Rossi and defending IndyCar Champion Joseph Newgarden.
With the recent corona pandemic effecting motorsports, Asher saw an opportunity to extend his channels reach by covering esports events like the IndyCar iRacing Challenge as well as the Lionheart Racing Series powered by HyperX. Very soon fans of the show will begin to see Lionheart drivers being interviewed during their weekly Sunday show.
For more information on Asher’s Racing Channel visit www.ashersracingchannel.com
Follow Asher’s Racing Channel on Twitter @AsherRacing Instagram and Facebook @ashersracingchannel
For more information on the Lionheart Racing Series powered by HyperX visit www.lionheartracingseries.com
Sage Karam became the first driver to strike twice in the Lionheart IndyCar Series presented by First Medical Equipment, and in the process took over the points lead.
The NTT IndyCar Series driver led 23 laps, stretching his fuel while others had to pit late, to win the ButtKicker U.S. 500 at Michigan International Speedway.
“That was probably the coolest sim race I’ve ever done, and the best sim win of my life,” Karam said. “I started saving fuel on that first stint and went four laps longer than anyone else. I think that’s what won it for us. I ran out of fuel about 20 feet before the line.”
Karam spent most of the race conserving fuel in a four-car pack, while Loud Pedal Motorsports teammates Brian Yaczik and Joe Hassert exchanged the lead.
But the duo, along with frontrunner Chris Stofer, all had to pit in the final laps, while Karam conserved just enough to edge Andrew Kinsella - who also made it to the end - for the win.
“I knew when I was in that pack of four, they were all stopping before I was, so I knew I was in the best shape in that group,” Karam said. “So that was challenging, trying to manage the gap back to the other cars on my strategy and still save fuel.”
Kinsella and his Adrenaline Motorsports teammate Adam Blocker both focused on fuel conservation after early race mishaps; Kinsella botched his first green-flag pit stop while Blocker, the two-time defending series champion, qualified near the back.
“I was just cruising for the first little while, and on my first stop I overslid the box,” said Kinsella, who also captured his first Lionheart pole. “From there it was just managing the fuel strategy, and it worked out.”
Both drivers were incredibly close on fuel, with Blocker even running out in the final few hundred feet.
“I intentionally started near the back because I thought it was going to be a pretty pack-filled race with a lot of yellows,” Blocker said. “Obviously that didn’t work out...I just had to go to super saving, and that made it super close for me at the end. I ran out of fuel off four on the last lap.”
Yaczik led the second-most laps (53), but had to settle for seventh, one spot ahead of Hassert.
Tony Showen joined his Adrenaline teammates in successfully managing fuel over the final run, coming home fourth, while James Brant started fourth and finished fifth, one of the best runs of his Lionheart career.
Stofer, who led a race-high 106 laps, fell back to 16th, one lap down, after stopping on lap 206 and incurring a speeding penalty.
The race was not expected to be one of fuel strategy, but an early caution ended up being the lone yellow during the race.
On lap 9, Darin Gangi squeezed between Connor Harrington, who entered the race as the points leader, and Jason Galvin.
But the rookie Lionheart driver failed to check up for turn 1, plowing into Harrington, and leaving Galvin with nowhere to go.
The trio, along with Nathan Lewis, all retired after the crash. Ken Hacker also received damage and retired a short time later.
Other drivers ran into issues throughout the event, including championship hopeful Josh Chin, and had to retire early, leaving just 27 cars running at the end despite the single caution.
As a result of the issues for Harrington and Chin, Karam now leads Michael Goodman by 22 points. Kinsella sits third, 4 behind Goodman.
Harrington slipped to ninth, while Chin sits 10th, mostly due to the double-points implications of the three Triple Crown events.
Karam also leads the Lionheart Retro Series presented by DMLC Racing Channel points. Adam Blocker is the only driver to win both Lionheart Racing Series powered by HyperX championships in the same season, doing so in 2018.
The Lionheart IndyCar Series presented by First Medical Equipment returns to making right turns with its next stop. The Battle at Barber presented by HPP Simulation is scheduled for Wednesday, May 6 and can be seen live on the iRacing eSports Network with Global SimRacing Channel producing the broadcast, with a 10:35 p.m. EST start.
Michigan International Speedway is a track that has had a rich tradition within the Lionheart Racing Series powered by HyperX. The 2-mile superspeedway was home to the very first Lionheart race which took place on July 3rd 2014. Utilizing the Dallara DW12, the series with its initial popularity had more drivers than grid positions. Two races at MIS were ran, as series organizers created splits to handle the volume of drivers wanting to participate in the league. This created two “first time” winners with Michael Chinn winning in race 1 with a field of 31 drivers and Danno Brookins winning race 2 in a field of 27. This practice continued through the first 5 rounds until the league made the decision to no longer utilize splits for its championship seasons.
Michigan remained as the season opener for Lionheart through the first two seasons before being replaced by Homestead. Despite having its rotation on the schedule changed Michigan has earned the prestige of being only 1 of 6 tracks to have made an appearance in each of the 8 IndyCar seasons. Each season Michigan has produced some exciting racing as well as heartbreak.
Super speedways like Michigan create a pack racing type of environment which leaves no room for error when going wheel to wheel at over 230mph. Lionheart has proven that it has what it takes to race on the big ovals having gone caution free in Season 3 when the race was 200 miles in length. Seasons 5 through 7 also have produced no more than 4 cations and went twice with just 2 in Seasons 5 and 6.
The 2020 campaign has seen 4 different winners so far this season and we could very well see a 5th different winner by the time the checkered flag flies at MIS. In each of the previous running’s at the speedway there has never been a two-time winner. There are only 3 active drivers with a shot of becoming the first driver to achieve this goal, Hassert, Stofer and Yaczik.
Big Joe as he is known around the paddock returns as the defending race winner over Yaczik. It was a reversal from the Season 6 race which saw Yaczik claim victory by just 0.015 seconds over Hassert. The finish would be recorded as the 4th closest finish in league history.
With this race providing double points as well as the likelihood of attrition each driver will have to perform at their absolute best to hold on to or increase their positions in the standings.
The Lionheart U.S. 500 presented by ButtKicker kicks of live Sunday, April 26th 2020 at 3 PM CST courtesy the Global Sim Racing Channel.
Race Link: https://youtu.be/SUieAT9bEb0
The Lionheart Racing Series powered by HyperX has developed a reputation for being the toughest fixed IndyCar league in iRacing.
Wednesday night might have proven that this year, the competition has soared to unimaginable heights.
Chris Stofer held off furious charges from Michael Goodman and Jason Galvin to win the Oma’s Kentucky 200 at the virtual Kentucky Speedway, marking the fourth different winner in four events this season in the Lionheart IndyCar Series presented by First Medical Equipment.
“I just kinda got lucky in a way of picking the right line at the right time,” Stofer said, who won for the fifth time in his Lionheart career. “I tried to run where others weren’t running, keep that clean air on the nose. It paid off in the end.”
Stofer roared to the front of the field after starting 28th, bringing 19th starting Galvin with him, and by mid-race, the duo had launched an assault on Goodman for the lead.
After a flurry of late-race cautions, Stofer held off Goodman and Galvin’s repeated attacks until a final yellow on lap 132 caused the race to end behind the pace car.
“That was a lot of fun driving up through the field like that,” Stofer said. “I had a terrible qualifying effort and started in the back, and just wanted to avoid any wrecks. I was happy with the way everything worked out tonight.”
The race ran caution-free for the opening 113 laps, allowing Goodman to pace the field early and battle for the lead once Stofer and Galvin arrived. But the wrecks at the end of the race hampered any shot Goodman had at getting back around Stofer.
“As you could tell, I was pretty fast, just a lot of stuff going on at one time,” Goodman said. “Just to be able to finish the race and finish where I did, I’m definitely pleased with it.”
Galvin made quick work of the field early, and by the end of the first pit cycle found himself battling for the lead. The California driver said he was too willing to give up the lead to Stofer, assuming the race would run clean to the finish, and was just in the wrong spot at the end of the race.
“I knew from practice we’d be good, and last year we led a bunch here and got wrecked near the end,” Galvin said. “So I felt good about tonight. There’s one moment I’d like to have back, but it all worked out in the end.”
NTT IndyCar Series driver Sage Karam finished fourth, while Connor Harrington reclaimed the points lead with a fifth-place finish.
The first caution of the race came on lap 113, and eliminated two of the best cars in the race - and had potentially devastating championship implications - when then third place Goodman was late to slow for pit road, causing Joe Hassert to crash into Adam Blocker.
Both cars careened off the wall, flipping back towards the grass off turn four. After running in the top-five all event, the duo finished 37th and 38th, the last two cars in the field.
The wreck could be especially bad news for Blocker, who missed the season-opener at Homestead-Miami Speedway while attending the since-cancelled IndyCar event at St. Petersburg, Fla. The two-time defending series champion has now essentially used both of his drop weeks, just 20 percent into the season.
Following the wreck between Hassert and Blocker, the field failed to gain any momentum again.
On the ensuing restart on lao 118, Josh Chin - who entered the night as the points leader - tried to squeeze three-wide with Ken Hacker and Joe Branch. Hacker and Chin touched wheels, and Hacker crashed into Brian Beard to bring out the second yellow.
With 10 laps remaining, the third caution flag flew when Scott Holmes encountered connection issues, causing him to be hit by several other cars and crash.
The race-ending caution flew with three laps remaining, when teammates Andrew Kinsella and Tony Showen got together while running in fourth and fifth. Kinsella spun into Brandon Limkemann, ending strong runs for both drivers.
The race featured 25 lead changes among seven drivers, with Goodman leading a race-high 69 laps from the pole.
27 drivers finished on the lead lap.
Harrington’s third top-five of the season gives him a two point advantage over Goodman. Stofer jumped to third in the standings, while Chin slid to fourth, still just seven points out of the lead.
The Lionheart IndyCar Series presented by First Medical Equipment is set to take three weeks off before returning for its first triple crown event of the season on Sunday, April 26 at Michigan Speedway.
The Lionheart Michigan 500 presented by ButtKicker is set for a 6 p.m. EST green flag, and the event can be seen live on the iRacing eSports Network with Global SimRacing Channel producing the action.