Tonight Lionheart racing series makes stop 3 on the season at the 1.5 mile Chicagoland Speedway. Matt Kingsbury took the pole for the 2nd time of the season and led the field to green in what would turn out to be an action-packed race.
Matt took off with the lead and Korey Connor goes flipping on lap 1 but the green flag stayed out. Trevor Malone tried for the lead early and takes the lead on the outside on lap 7. The first caution flew on lap 9 when Ian Adams hit the wall in turn 4 collecting Jason Robarge.
The field comes down to pit road with Matt winning the race but Ray Kingsbury stayed out to assume the lead. Matt took the lead from Ray quickly as Ray started to fade on older tires. After a few laps Korey hit the wall again bringing out a caution this time on lap 20.
Joe Hassert skips the pits to lead a lap and leads the field to green with Tony Lurcock in 2nd. Joe tried to run away from the field, but Tony kept him within reach where they would run in order until the 3rd caution hit when Bradley Walters hit the wall in turn 4 on lap 30 collecting Vern Wigant. The leaders would stay out and Joe would keep the lead. The race goes back green with Joe catching the field with their collective pants down getting out to a big lead but Tony was able to reel him back in but kept it conservative settling into 2nd. The race was just couldnt gain any momentum with another caution when Matt got into Daniel Benefield in turn two and Daniel couldn't save it collecting multiple cars.
Dan Geren stays out this time with the leaders pitting and takes his first lead of the race. Austin Espitee took over the lead with a pass on lap 47 and the top 5 spots were occupied by the teammates of Last Lap Motorsports. The field finally got some green laps going but Daniel Benefield spun to bring out another caution.
Pit strategy was key with the leaders coming down the pit lane and Chris Lanini taking the lead with Jorge Anzaldo following in the fuel strategy game. The front of the field would stay pretty calm with Chris in the lead but chaos would be king in the middle of the pack with cars weaving and going 3 wide in places and yet another caution would hit as Michael Gray clips points leader Jesse Vincent in turn 4 on lap 68. The leaders stay out once more as Chris tries to hang on with the older tires and hoping to save enough fuel to finish with Austin Espitee breathing down his neck. The 7th caution came out quick with Daniel rear ending Bradley Walters on the restart. This gave Chris enough fuel to finish the race if he could hang on to the lead.
Chris takes the field to the final restart of the night on lap 79 with Austin and Matt in tow. Austin tried to find room to make the pass for the lead, but Matt takes control and would find room to pass both of them with Chris unable to hold on with worn tires and Matt would take the win with the final caution coming out bringing the race to end when Drew Motz slides through the grass and back up the track collecting multiple cars. Austin Espitee takes home 2nd and Ray Kingsbury rounding off the podium for a Team LLM sweep.
8 cautions- 30 laps
8 lead changes
Rick Music takes the points lead from Jesse Vincent by 1 point. Ray Kingsbury is 13 points back. Next week is an off week and we return with the first road race of the season at Infineon Raceway on 2-4.
Tonight the Lionheart series headed to Iowa for 125 miles of short track racing. Ray Kingsbury won the qualifying race as 18 cars advanced to the main along with 12 locked in cars, with 30 cars taking the grid.
Rick Music took the pole and led early, but caution hits on lap 5 collecting Tony Lurcock, Nick Guenther and Matt Kingsbury. After the restart Rick got out to a big lead and started putting cars laps down quickly. The field spread out nicely until trouble struck on lap 35 When Nick and Martijn N got into eachother bringing out the 2nd caution.
Rick led the field back to green grabbing a quick lead over Ray and Big Joe. Joe got shuffled back to 5th and Austin E took over the 3rd spot. Dan Geren slid up into Matt on lap 62 collecting Aaron Malerich as well. Ray took over the lead after a quick pit stop.
After going green Rick and Ray battled for a short while with Rick getting back to the lead as he began to pull away again. Dennis hits the wall on lap 74 and Joe and Danno Brookins get into eachother trying to avoid the wreck, sending 2 top 5 cars to 20th and 21st.
No changes at the front as we head back to green. Rick leading the race was the theme of this night. 2 more cautions happen shaking up the middle of the pack, but in the end, Rick cruises to his first win of the season. Austin 2nd. Ray 3rd.
Jesse keeps his lead in the points by 7 over Rick Music, with Ray in 3rd, 34 points back.
Next week the series heads to Chicago, where tire wear will be key. As the championship starts to take shape, who will be next to make their case as a contender? Find out on January 22 at 845 central only on Global Sim Racing Channel.
This week the Lionheart series heads to the 7/8 mile Iowa Speedway, the house that Rusty Wallace built, for 125 miles. Jesse Vincent looks to continue his momentum from last week cashing in on double points at Michigan. New rules pave the way for an unpredictable field. This race is also going to be broadcast by GSRC!
Last season featured two splits with Chris Lanini and Richard Behr getting the wins. Chris will have to race his way in this season, however Richard is locked in due to his top 10 points finish last season. Rick Music has been the car to beat at practice, and has been qualifying pole in the mock runs.
The new qualifying format looks to shake up the field as well as the Top 10 drivers from last season's points will all be locked in to the field. This includes series champion Jesse Vincent, and last week's runner up Anthony Lurcock. Multiple drivers from this group missed last week's race due to not being able to sign up fast enough, so this week's field looks to be even stronger!
Who will come out on top this week? Will Jesse win his 2nd race of the season? Will Anthony get that first win? Will Chris or Richard defend? Will Rick continue his dominance? Or, will a new face emerge as a contender? Find out by tuning in Wednesday, Jan 14 at 10:35EST only on Global Sim Racing Channel.
Michigan 250 Results Standings
Matt Kingsbury led the field to the first green flag of the season. Matt and Randy Crossno battled it out early. Racing was pretty clean through lap 15 when the first caution flew. Matt wins the race off pit road, Brent Cummings stays out and takes over the lead.
The old tires were not enough, however and Matt took over pretty easily. Matt was checking out as Brent on old tires fell back and bunched up the field and the 2nd caution flew. Matt wins the pit road battle again, but cars stayed out, and Martin N. takes over. Martin and John Downing were pulling away from the field, when Doyle Lawerence hit the wall but no caution. A few laps later Austin Espitee flipped over when he hit Ian Adams on the backstretch. The caution parade then began as Rudy Avalon clips Niall McBride, then in the next two restarts, Matt and Joe Hassert get caught up in restart incidents twice in a row. Both cars were able to get fixed using their resets, staying on the lead lap.
Korey Connor had the lead as the grid finally got back to green flag racing. At lap 66 the leaders needed to hit the pits as they had stayed out prior to the cautions and after going a lap down, caution strikes and they all have to take wave arounds and go to the back. Nick Gunther took over the lead, but quickly lost it while there was a 4 car battle for the lead.
Trevor Malone and Korey battled back and forth for the next stretch of laps with Korey leading a majority of the laps and getting the bonus point for leading the most laps. Trevor Malone hits the wall lap 86 and Andrew Hess goes flying and we get our 8th caution. Korey keeps the lead until the final caution hits when Michael Chinn clips Gabriel Borba.
The entire field pits except for Drew Motz who assumes the lead. Drew pulled away from the field while Joe and Korey get into each other battling for 2nd but the track stays green. Drew Motz has to pit while not having enough fuel to finish. Jesse Vincent was the recipient and rode the final laps to the checkers.
The inaugural season of the Lionheart Racing Series was filled with plenty of excitement, expectations, trial and error, and drama. The first season started July 3, 2014 at Michigan with 2 winners in Michael Chinn and Danno Brookins, and finished at Auto Club on November 12 with Jesse Vincent taking the checkers and championship by 1 point over Richard Behr. From starting the season with errors in room setup, trying to figure out qualifying, to coming up with a 2 room setup, moving to a top and bottom split, creating a last chance qualifier, finally moving to a one room setup, we thank each and every member for hanging in there with us while we grew as a league, racers, and friends.
This season we look forward to growing the league even more, and to keep trying new things, like the new points system, to bigger race rooms and beyond, we appreciate all of you and it’s not the admins, it’s the racers, that keep the league going. Our member count is currently at 92, and this season assures to be very tough, with some top racers returning from last season and new racers from the high ranks of the official Indy Car series. Here is a preview/ recap of top drivers from last season.
Champion- Jesse Vincent- Jesse started the season strong with a win at the 2nd race of the season at Homestead, continued by dominating the road courses winning at Mid-Ohio, Watkins Glen, and Laguna Seca. He also won 2/3 of the Triple Crown at Pocono and Auto Club. Those 6 wins, 9 top 5, and 11 top 10, Jesse has been strong in the offseason as well, and is the top contender to repeat as champion.
Richard Behr- Richard took 2nd in the points with 4 wins, 10 top 5’s and 12 top 10’s. The turning point in the campaign may have been at Chicago, when Richard was issued a 10 point penalty for illegal pit entry. Instead of derailing his season, he fought back, narrowly missing the top spot after strategy in the final race may have done him in, when staying clean, he allowed a couple cars to pass him in the final laps taking a 6th place finish, which allowed Jesse to claim the Championship. Richard no doubt will look to get his revenge and claim the throne that he feels is rightfully his.
Rick Music- Rick was solid all season, claiming a top 10 in all 14 races along with 8 top 5’s and 2 wins early in the season at Homestead and the Indy 250. Consistency throughout the season didn’t quite payoff for Rick, however, finishing 3rd in points. Rick looks to keep that going for 2015.
Danno Brookins- Danno started the season strong and contended all year for the points lead, winning at Michigan. Had some issues in the final two races of the season finishing outside the top 10 in each race, leading to his demise. 10 top 10’s and 6 top 5’s, Danno looks to be strong again this season.
Anthony Lurcock- Anthony lurked in the shadows all season, starting with some top 5 runs, but struggled during the meat of the schedule, and bookended the schedule with 2 top 5’s and a win at Kentucky. Anthony looks for more consistency, and is looking strong in preseason testing.
Joe Hassert- The theme of Joe’s season was errors. Running up front with strong qualifying runs but some bad pit strategy and getting caught up in crashes were the ultimate demise. At Charlotte, he was caught in a wreck, got his car reset drove out of the pits and hit a landmine, ending his race. At Motegi, he led 60 laps and got a speeding penalty. The pit road errors added up along with some impatience leading to some walls needing some fresh paint, Joe finished 11th in the standings. He has rebounded in the offseason winning the week 13 challenge and the Offseason Short Series picking up 5 wins. He looks to continue his offseason momentum. Joe is currently 2nd overall in the Indy fixed iRacing series and 1st in division 2.
Notables Returning, Trevor Malone, Robert Blouin, John Downing, Vincent Bluthenthal, Krista Nelson- all finished in the top 10 last season. Vincent is the only driver with a win in this group, proving that consistency was key. Jorge Anzaldo is currently 19th overall Indy Car fixed series and finished 2nd in the Week 13 Challenge. Drew Motz took 3rd in the Week 13 Challenge.
Mid-season Pickups- Vern Hawkins, Michael Gray, Tim Doyle, and Korey Connor all ran part time last season running up front consistently. Michael picked up a win at Indy, and Tim made an immediate impact winning his first two races in the league. Korey is currently 25th overall Indy Car fixed.
Notable Newbies- This season has some notable newcomers from the Indy car community including Jon Goke, Ryan Norton, Matt Kingsbury, Ray Kingsbury, Dan Geren, Austin Espitee, Martijn Nagelkerken, Vick Caudill, Jake Gualano and Bud Weissert. Jon is the season 4 Indy Car Fixed iRacing Champion, and leads the current season standings, Matt took 2nd overall season 4 Indy Car open series, Ryan 3rd. Ryan currently leads the Indy Car open Series, Vick 3rd. Dan is currently 7th overall in fixed.
With the strong returning field, the mid- season pickups running a full season, and the strength of the newcomers, this season looks to test even the most seasoned racers. There will be excitement and heartbreak as only 1 can be crowned champion.
We are 24 hours away from season 2 of the Lionheart Indy car Series! Buckle up, you don’t want to miss this!
The final preseason race took place tonight. 28 racers filled the field with Matt Kingsbury leading the grid to green with an astonishing qualifying lap of 32.553. The early part of the race saw a parade of yellows before the grid started to spread out for the final long green flag run. Anthony Lurcock was seeing checkers but came up 8 laps short on fuel and had to pit. Matt ran down Andrew Hess from 1.8 seconds with only 10 laps left caught and passed him for the lead on the final lap, both drivers hitting the outside wall in the process, but able to finish the race with Matt taking the checkers. Andrew 2nd. Trevor Malone 3rd.
The Michigan 250 presented by Global Sim Racing Channel will be tomorrow night. Practice at 915 central. Broadcast starts at 935. Race at 950.
Lionheart racing series hosted a mock Michigan race tonight and Korey takes the checkered flag. Tony Lurcock won the pole and ran up front most of the race. After the first round of pitstops a wreck brought the first caution. That restart Martijn Nagelkerken spun into the outstide wall while in 12th causing every car behind him to get black flagged and taken out of early contention. The race was then mostly dominated by Korey, Jesse Vincent, and Trevor Malone. With a big lead, Korey slid through his pit box allowing Jesse to catch up and they dualed it out until ultimately Jesse's tires wore off and Korey pulled away for the win.
The offseason short series finished up with the final 2 races at Gateway and Michigan. Big Joe won the points championship by 26 over Chris Lanini. Jesse Vincent 3rd. Congratulations Joe!
Gateway found late race drama as Rick Music takes pole and is leaving the field in his wake as a caution with 15 to go brings the field to pit row, but one small problem, Rick passed the pace car on the pit entrace road, drawing a black flag, ending his chance at victory. The good luck recipient? None other than Big Joe who took over as leader and cruised to the win.
The Finale was switched to Michigan as Auto Club was unavailable for racing and again Rick Music was on pole. Big Joe again took the lead and led most of the way due to fast pit stops. But this race was not without late race drama. A late yellow brings out caution just as Joe and Michael Gray take pit stops but manage to stay on the lead lap placing them behind the top 3 cars, who streched fuel and tires to finish the race. On the fresh rubbers Joe and Michael carved through the field and as Joe was passing for the lead Anthony Lurcock washed up the track causing a major pileup ending Joe's run at the final night sweep. The good luck recipient this time? None other than Chris Lanini, who took the final laps under yellow to get the win.
3rd Place went to Joe, which was enough to lock up the Championship. Final Standings
Join us Jan 1 as we ring in the new year with the Mock Michigan 250! Practice opens at 9:15pm CST with Race at 9:45.