Tonight Lionheart went south to Homestead- Miami Speedway. 84 laps was the distance. We had some long runs at the start and at the end, with some mess in the middle.
Matt Kingsbury would take the pole with a 25.605 with Tony Lurcock and Joe Hassert rounding out the top 3. Matt and Joe would trade the lead back and forth until the first caution came out on lap 6 when Krista Nelson got rear ended by Peter Ramberg. 6 cars would stay out and Joe and Matt led the field back to green.
Joe and Matt would continue to swap for P1 and we got a good green flag run here. The field strung out and cars would stay single file for most of the green flag run. Matt took the lead by 2.6 seconds after a few flip flops with Joe, while Tony settled into 3rd. Matt gave up the lead needing green flag pit stops a few laps early since him and the leaders did not stop under yellow. Cars that pit on lap 6 would cycle to the front and Disaster struck on lap 36 when he missed pit road sliding up the track and collecting multiple cars.
The cars that were leading and pit got caught a lap down and would have to take a wave around putting Matt in 19th with Joe and Tony behind. Rick Music won the race off pit road and took the lead followed by Justin Laxton and Jesse Vincent.
Justin was able to take the lead on lap 43 over Rick and Jesse and Dan Geren would fight for 3rd. Yellow came out on lap 45 when Carl Burk slowed and got turned into the wall by Jack Bogan. Justin would lead the field into the pits with Jesse staying out and taking over the lead with Korey Connor and Jorge Anzaldo rounding out the top 3. On the restart Krista would come down into Pierre Daigle bringing out another caution also collecting Trevor Malone and Danno Brookins. Joe would make his final pit stop giving up 7th dropping to 13th which would help his cause later.
Jesse would take the green once more with Korey and Ian Adams in tow. Caution struck this time in turn 1 on the restart when Jack Bogan came down the track into Justin collecting a few more cars. This time Jesse would take the leaders down pit road, while Vincent Bluthenthal would stay out and try to stretch his fuel taking the lead with Chris Poole in 2nd and Joe working his way back to 3rd.
Vincent would lead the field back to green while Joe was able to get around Chris quickly and the final caution would fly when Dennis Nichol tried to make 3 wide work getting involved with Jesse and Korey. Vincent and Joe stayed out once more with the lapped car of Ray Kingsbury separating the two leaders.
Vincent led the field back green and Joe was able to pass for the lead when Ray passed Vincent and then was able to put Ray in his rear view and was able to gain separation with Ray behind him. Vincent had to pull off the track to pit as he was running out of fuel and Joe started to run away for the victory. Matt was able to run through the field making it 3 wide on lap 80 completing the pass on Chris to take over 2nd and Joe would take the checkers winning by 1.7 seconds with Matt in 2nd and Bradley Walters 3rd.
Jesse Vincent would keep the championship lead with Rick closing the gap to 34 points followed by Trevor. Matt and Joe are able to crack the top 5.
Lionheart goes back to oval racing this week at the 1.5 mile oval of Homestead-Miami Speedway. 84 laps for 125 miles is the full distance. Let's check in on the Championship leaders and who to watch for this week.
This will be the first week that the top 10 in points will be locked in due to this season so some of the veterans will find themselves on the outside looking in and will have to qualify in the LCQ. 23 cars are expected to advance to the main with a 35 car field. This puts Krista Nelson, Robert Blouin, and Vincent Bluthenthal in an unfamiliar position. Will they be able to put themselves back into the field?
Championship- Jesse Vincent leads Rick Music by 47 points. Both drivers posted top practice times, with Rick edging Jesse in qualifying runs and consistently running up front in the practice races. Jesse should keep his big lead, but will it start to dwindle?
Drivers to watch-
Bradley Walters- Bradley has been posting top qualifying speeds and running up front. Green flag pit stops may be a concern as he lost some time on pit road Tuesday. Bradley is 17th in points and will have to race his way in.
Trevor Malone- Trevor was able to post the fastest Q time of the week with a 25.609 but did find trouble with Rick while racing for the lead. Will his agressive style lead to glory or agony? Trevor is currently 3rd in the Championship.
Joe Hassert- Joe also found a pole this week but is finding himself in top 5 positions rather than the lead. Green flag pit stops favor him this week as he has been able to gain mass amounts of time and positions. 7th in the points, he hopes his pit crew can get him out front and get him closer to the championship race.
Pierre Daigle- Pierre was able to win a race this week and has been running up front. He will also have to race in and hopes to make a splash as he has some work to do in the points.
Jorge Anzaldo- Jorge got his own taste of Victory Lane as well in the final practice, will he be able to propel himself into the points race?
All these stories and more as Lionheart takes on the progressive banked oval in Miami, where tire wear and tight racing are the stories here. Who will be able to make their tires last the longest? With the tight racing, we should see some of the best racing of the season up front, as the leaders have a hard time being able to distance the field. There are many lines to run on this track and the driver that is able to find the best one, (possibly in turn 4 on the final lap) will find themselves glory this week.
Tune in on February 11 at 9:40 EST to GSRC to see who can tame the beast that NASCAR calls it's 'Championship Maker' as Lionheart Racing Series rolls into South Beach.
The first road race of the year was met with the largest field yet for a road course with 34 cars taking the green. Jesse Vincent qualified on the pole running a 1:01.454, and Matt Kingsbury rounding out the front row.
The green dropped and the turn 1 monster struck when Rick Music got into the back of Ray Kingsbury, collecting 4 cars, 3 of which were in the top 4 in points. Trevor Malone fell back to 33rd, but was able to rebound, finishing 8th. The field started to string out, Jesse gaining an early lead. Justin Laxton and Joe Hassert were early movers with Justin moving from 13th to 3rd, and Joe moving from 16th to 9th.
Jesse spent most of the race dodging bullets from lapped cars in front of him, but was able to keep his car clean while maintaining his lead over Matt.
Trouble at the top- Ray Kingsbury and Rick Music get the hard luck awards both finding trouble multiple times and after top 10 starting positions, neither driver would finish the race.
Jesse Vincent cruised to a 4.78 second victory over Matt with Michael Gray finishing 3rd. With Rick finishing 24th, Ray 25th, Jesse took over the points lead by a commanding margin of 47 points over Rick. Trevor takes over 3rd, 56 back. Matt, Joe, and Carl Burk all crack the top 10 in points with their strong finishes. Austin Espitee, who expects to be out for 4 races while finding a new steering wheel, drops to 9th. John Downing had trouble all day finishing 21st and falling to 11th in the championship.
Next up is Homestead, where Jesse won last season. Will someone step up and challenge the new points leader? Find out on February 11 at 940 cst on GSRC. Standings Results
This week Lionheart hits it's first road course of the season in Sonoma and Infineon Raceway. 1.99 miles means high speeds, quick laps and little room for error as we run 41 laps on the Cup course.
Jesse Vincent dominated the roads last season winning all but 1 road race due to pit road miscues, will his dominance continue? Statistics are saying yes. Jesse has been fastest in practices so far this week running in the 1:01 with Rick Music and Bradley Walters close behind. With Rick taking over the points lead last week, this race doesn't look to decide anything as the top two drivers in points look to have an intense battle on the track this week as well.
Tune in on Wednesday Feb 4 at 9:40 central on GSRC Live from Sonoma as round 4 of the Lionheart Indycar Series goes 'road'
There have been some short tempers and white knuckles early this season. So On this off week we want to give some guys a little stress relief. Announcing the Crash Jam spectacular II! 125 laps. 50 incs. unlimited resets. no rules. Bristol. Can you survive the mayhem and come out on top? The only race where p1 is a curse and everyone is trying to knock you off the mountain.
Last season started with Joe wrecking Keith the second the green dropped and came down to the final lap when Jesse ran down Joe from a huge lead as Joe was light on the gas peddle trying to avoid the wall of cars trying to take him out. 125 of the funnest laps you have ever run. The CJS. Wednesday 1-28 at 945 central.