The monkey is finally off Dan Geren’s back.
The preseason championship favorite finally found victory lane, dominating the FISCH Motors 200 at Charlotte Motor Speedway Wednesday night.
It was the first win of the season for Geren in the Lionheart IndyCar Series presented by First Medical Equipment.
“We got the monkey off the back,” said an energized Geren in victory lane. “I was never really comfortable out front. Late in the race, we had a little contact. It was a tough race for sure.”
Geren led 119 of the 133 laps after passing rookie pole sitter Connor Harrington early on.
Nobody had led more laps than Geren in 2018, but the Iowa native continued to find bad luck, be it in the form of other drivers mistakes, poorly timed cautions or his own undoings.
“Late in the race Brian stuck his nose in there,” Geren said. “That could’ve been a big moment, we made contact, but luckily we had no incident points or damage.”
Brian Yaczik challegend Geren late, but used up his tires trying to get around his adversary in the points standings.
Geren leads Yaczik by five points for third.
“It was a great race,” Yaczik said. “I was just going to ride early. Late in the race, I was trying to get Dan to burn his tires off but once he got away, he could just mirror drive. I’m happy for him, he was way overdue.”
Andrew Kinsella delivered the type of drive we’ve become accustomed to, rallying from 18th on the grid to finish third and close the championship gap to his teammate, Adam Blocker.
Blocker finished fifth, with Justin Weaver sandwiched between the teammates.
“It was a good run,” said Kinsella, who trails Blocker by 15 points. “We did what we had to do, just keep finishing ahead of Adam each week.”
In one of the cleanest races in Lionheart oval history, the race saw just three cautions for 12 total laps. The 200 mile event concluded in just one hour, five minutes.
The Lionheart IndyCar Series presented by First Medical Equipment loads up and ships overseas for its next race, and it’s one Geren should be excited for. The American Cancer Society Grand Prix of Phillip Island is slated for a 10:35 p.m. EST start on Wednesday, October 10. Geren is the defending winner of the event. The race can be seen live on the iRacing eSports Network, presented by the Global SimRacing Channel.
The Lionheart IndyCar Series continues its swing through the South Eastern United States this week, as they head to NASCAR country, Charlotte Motor Speedway, to show the fans in North Carolina what speed really looks like at the Fisch Motors 200. Fisch Motors of Walnut IL is the sponsor of the event. Visit www.fischmotors.com for further information about all the vehicles available.
Last week at Richmond, it was James Krahula working the fuel strategy to perfection to take the win over polesitter Dan Geren. Geren took the long way to second, after suffering a Roberto Guerrero-like start to the race. Leading the field to green, Geren shifted up into second and lost control of the rear of the car, spinning down onto the infield. He would complete lap 1 in 35th position. Justin Weaver continued his strong run of results, finishing 3rd, while the two Joe’s, Joe Branch and Joe Hassert, rounded out the top 5.
After Richmond, Adam Blocker has taken over the points lead after Andrew Kinsella was unfortunately caught up in an incident involving lapped traffic. Kinsella finished in 22nd place sitting 19 points from the lead. 3rd place in points, Brian Yaczik also had a tough night at Richmond and continues to sit P3 overall 100 points from Blocker. Biggest movers after Richmond are Matthew Mercer, climbing 4 spots and Tyler Graaf who climbed 3 spots. As a result of his win Krahula now sits 9th overall.
James Krahula also takes the lead in the cleanest driver standings. Krahula has just 15 incs this season for a 1.25 inc average per race. Ron Hacker continues to lead the Iron Man Standings with a total of close to 2,994.36 miles. Hacker has completed a total of 1,804 laps this season. Matt Mercer sits 2nd with Hassert, Krahula and Geren rounding out the top 5. Finally, in the Rookie of the Year chase, Stephen Laarkamp had a tough outing at Richmond getting caught up in an incident involving Greenlee. Laarkamp now sits just 24 points ahead of the charging Justin Weaver.
This will be the 3rd time that the Lionheart Series has visited Charlotte Motor Speedway. The last winner at Charlotte was Joe Hassert who led 66 laps on his way to victory. The Season 3 event was also the last time league organizer Jorge Anzaldo found himself on the podium after a 3rd place finish. The track is considered a sister track to Texas Motor Speedway, and is likely to produce some of the same tight racing that we saw at Texas.
Justin Weaver is coming off his first victory at Texas finished on the podium at Richmond. The 8 Ball Motorsports driver has had a great season so far sitting 8th overall in the championship. Weaver has 3 top 5’s and 8 top 10’s and 1 pole during his rookie year. Andrew Kinsella finished 2nd at Texas, and the Canadian driver will be looking to put on a performance after the heartbreak of Richmond.
As with other Lionheart seasons, there have been many winners throughout the season, proving again the diversity of talent in the series. The 2018 season has produced 7 different winners. In previous years the series has had 10 different winners. With 9 races still to go, there is a good chance that number could be exceeded as drivers like Dan Geren, Joe Branch, Stephen Laarkamp, Joe Hassert, and Michael Goodman all without wins on the season.
Catch all the Charlotte action this Wednesday, September 26th at 10:35pm Eastern only on the iRacing Esports Network with GSRC.
Whoever said you had to qualify up front to finish there, forgot to tell James Krahula.
The Texas native raced to his first win of the season with a dominating second-half performance in the ButtKicker 200 at Richmond Raceway.
“There was no strategy in that,” said Krahula, who led 172 laps after starting 32nd. “I didn’t want to qualify in the back, I hit the wall in qualifying. But that’s what allowed me to win the race.”
Krahula pitted early and often while several accidents - including three on the opening lap - slowed the action.
After an unexpected green flag run saw early leader Chris Lanini hit pit lane, most of the lead lap cars followed. But Krahula used the extra fuel from his early stops to inherit the lead on lap 93.
One lap later, Michael Gray spun in turn two, clipping Michael Goodman and clobbering the wall. Just five drivers were on the lead lap.
After pit cycles, just 12 cars remained on the lead lap, and Krahula only lost the lead during pit cycles.
“We went green, and everyone got stuck a lap down,” Krahula said. “I got up there in the lead, and the yellows just fell perfect. I’ve said this before, but I’d rather be lucky than good.”
Dan Geren rallied to finish second, a remarkable result given how his race started.
Starting on the pole, Geren spun before taking the green - a Roberto Guerrero moment as commentator Bill “Soup” Zahn called it - and by turn one was last of the 35 cars.
But a spin by Tony Showen on the back straight, followed by Brian Greenlee’s spin in turn three, brought out a caution and allowed Geren to also play the pit strategy game while working his way back through the field.
“I said I needed to be careful on the start, and what did I do? I stepped right no it,” Geren said of his first lap spin. “I just avoided everything after. My teammates called out a few for me...I tried to get around James at the end, but the dirty air was too much to deal with.”
Justin Weaver narrowly avoided multiple incidents, including the Gray spin, to finish third.
“The car was solid tonight, it felt really good on long runs,” Weaver said. “I was trying to keep as much clean air as possible on the wings. If you got stuck behind in that dirty air, you’d have some hairy situations out there. It was a lot of fun.”
Joe Branch and Joe Hassert rounded out the top five.
Adam Blocker looked to be a serious contender, and perhaps the only driver with the pace to get around Lanini in the early going. But Blocker was caught a lap down following the green flag stops and had to work his way back through the field after getting back on the lead lap.
Blocker came home seventh, just ahead of Lanini, but opened up an eleven point lead in the standings over his Adrenaline Motorsports teammate Andrew Kinsella.
Kinsella had worked his way into the top three and even led some laps before the most controversial moment of the night.
Ian Adams, who ran in the top five early but spent most of the race trying to get back on the lead lap, drove to the inside of Kinsella on lap 212. The lapped car of Adams pushed up the track, punting Kinsella and sending the points leader hard into the wall.
Brian Yaczik maintains third in the points, but Geren closed to within three points thanks to the Michigan drivers struggles exiting the pits. Yaczik did a half-spin, suffered some damage and finished two laps down in 14th.
The race was slowed by nine cautions for 46 laps, and just ten cars finished on the lead lap.
Krahula and Lanini were the only drivers to lead double digit laps in a race that never saw a green flag pass for the lead, outside of pit cycles.
The Lionheart IndyCar Series presented by First Medical Equipment heads to North Carolina next week for the FISCH Motors 200 at Charlotte Motor Speedway. The event can be seen live on the iRacing eSports Network, presented by Global SimRacing Channel, at 10:35 p.m. EST on September 26.
From one of the longest tracks on the calendar, to the shortest in under a week, the drivers of the Lionheart series will certainly have their versatility put to the test this week for the ButtKicker 200 from Richmond.
The ButtKicker brand of low frequency products by the Guitammer company is the official sponsor of the Lionheart Rookie of the Year and Lionheart Retro Series P1 awards. As a result, the top rookies in both the Lionheart IndyCar Series and Lionheart Retro Series and the drivers with the most poles and wins in the Retro Series will receive their choice of either a ButtKicker Gamer2 or ButtKicker Simulation Kit.
The ButtKicker Gamer2 attaches to center post chairs to provide gamers with immersive, realistic, tactile feedback. From racing and flying sims to shooters, the Gamer2 cranks out 90 watts of power into the chair, without disrupting the room with loud rumbles. The ButtKicker Simulation Kit is for gamers with a full rig without a round tubing to mount the Gamer2. Also powered by 90 watts, the Simulation Kit uses the bass (low frequency) within the game to deliver accurate gear shifts, crashes, flaps, turbulence, acceleration and more. “Guitammers’ ButtKicker line offers unique products that really bring the sim racing experience to the next level,” Anzaldo said. “Lionheart strives to bring a pair of realistic racing series to the sim world, and ButtKicker products allow sim racers to feel more immersed than ever before.” Lionheart drivers and viewers of race broadcasts will also receive 20 percent off their orders with the promo code LION20, valid through the end of the year.
Last time out at Spa, it was pure domination from Adam Blocker, who led every lap from pole on his way to victory. Andrew Kinsella pulled out an improbable 2nd place with a last lap pass of Stephen Laarkamp around the outside of Les Combes. The two battled the entire last lap and drag raced out of the final chicane with Canadian piping the rookie by a scant 0.02 seconds. Michael Goodman and Dan Geren rounded out the top 5. The start of the race was marred by several check-ups and collisions that saw some contenders take damage and others retire completely. Justin Weaver, Dan Geren, James Krahula, Brian Yaczik, and Jorge Anzaldo were just a few of the drivers who had their races effected.
The Points battle couldn’t be closer with 11 races remaining in the season. Kinsella and Blocker are tied on points when drop races are considered. In other words, from here there can be no quarter given between the teammates as they roar to the end of the season.
Brian Yaczik, after a devastating DNF at spa continues to hold on to P3 in the standings. The Michigan driver has lost a lot of ground to Blocker and Kinsella, sitting 88 points back when drop weeks are considered. Yaczik has 3 wins on the season, however his results of late have tailed off, and where he was once Kinsella’s primary challenger for the title, Yaczik must now cast a wary eye over his shoulder at Goodman, Geren, and rookie sensation Laarkamp.
The biggest mover after Spa would be Michael Goodman who gained 3 positions in the standings and now sits P6 overall. Goodman has had another of his trademark quietly consistent seasons to date, although I am sure that the New York driver would love to add a win before the season is out.
Samuel Reiman, coming off an impressive top 10 at Spa, moves up to P15. The GSRC announcer has shown some real talent this season and could potentially break into the top 10 before the season is over.
Ron Hacker leads the Iron Man Standings with 2,798.61 miles and 1,539 laps completed this season, Mercer sits behind Hacker by 50 miles. The cleanest driver standings is a tossup between Laarkamp and Krahula. Laarkamp has one missed race on the season and sits with 23 incs on the year. Krahula who has completed every race has a total of 28 across 14 rounds.
The Buttkicker 200 will be live once again on GSRC through the iRacing Esports Network and iRacing Live this Wednesday at 10:35pm Eastern. Be there for all the exciting action from Richmond!
There was no denying who the best driver was Wednesday night. Adam Blocker led every lap, from the pole, and was the only driver to complete all 29 laps without an incident point, as he captured the win in the HPP Simulation Grand Prix of Belgium.
It was the debut of the Lionheart IndyCar Series presented by First Medical Equipment at the legendary Circuit de Spa Francorchamps.
“It’s not very often you get a win like that,” said Blocker, celebrating his series-leading fifth win of the season. “The was definitely my best race of the season. That helps me a lot in the points, and one-two for Adrenaline.”
Blocker finished nearly 28 seconds ahead of teammate Andrew Kinsella, who passed Stephen Laarkamp on the final lap, and then held him off in a drag race to the finish. Kinsella beat Laarkamp to the line by .020 seconds.
“I was saving a little bit of fuel and tires,” said Kinsella, who is tied with Blocker, but behind on the total wins tiebreaker. “I wanted to be well within the safety zone for the two stop strategy. Somehow I was able to catch Stephen there, what a race at the end.”
Laarkamp was also the highest finishing rookie, and jumped to fourth in points with the podium.
“That was a fantastic battle,” Laarkamp said. “I’m kicking myself a little, I was held up by a lapped car a few laps before and that kinda brought him back to me. But I can’t be too bitter, that was a great race.”
Dan Geren and Justin Weaver looked to be the second and third best cars, but both suffered rear wing damage on an opening lap skirmish, causing delayed first pit stops. Both later struggled to hit the fuel number required to make it a two stop race.
Geren came home fifth, right behind Michael Goodman. Weaver was sixth.
Several cars, including championship contender Brian Yaczik and former race winner Bob Mikes, were eliminated before they got to turn one. Mikes made contact with Yaczik, while several others piled into each other at the chicane before the start/finish straight.
The race was otherwise fairly quiet, as drivers focused on keeping their IR18’s on track at a fast and difficult track.
With Blocker and Kinsella tied atop the standings, Yaczik dropped to 88 points back in third. Laarkamp and Goodman round out the top five.
The Lionheart IndyCar Series presented by First Medical Equipment returns to the states - and the ovals - this week, with the ButtKicker 200 at Richmond Raceway.
The event can be seen live on the iRacing eSports Network on Wednesday, September 19 at 10:35 p.m. EST. The Global SimRacing Channel will have the call.
The Lionheart Indycar Series has hit many famous tracks over the course of its 6 seasons, but never has it tackled the picturesque setting in the middle of the Ardennes forest that is home to the legendary circuit of Spa-Francorchamps. Never before, that is; because this week the drivers of the premier open wheel series on iRacing are changing that. Round 14 of the 2018 Season is the long overdue HPP Grand Prix of Belgium. Not only is the race sponsored by HPP Simulation, but HPP is awarding the season champion their top of the line HSW-F Sim wheel valued at $1490. HPP produces not just wheels but hydraulic pedals as well, and nothing that HPP does is designed to be 2nd best. To look at some of the finest wheels and pedals on the market today, go to www.hppsimulation.com.
Last week out in Texas it was Justin Weaver surviving a late race last lap restart to take his first ever Lionheart IndyCar win. Weaver was able to hold off Andrew Kinsella and Brian Yaczik to claim that win. While Weaver started on pole and was around the top 5 most of the day, Kinsella and Yaczik both faced tremendous adversity and were surprising to even be in the top 3 at the end of the night. Kinsella had a poor qualifying effort and a speeding penalty that saw him in 35th place after just 30 of the 133 laps.
Yaczik meanwhile was forced to take a rear wing replacement after some light contact on a late run. Both drivers were able to use some pit strategy and some fancy passing to get themselves back in contention. Rounding out the top 5 were Bob Mikes and Adam Blocker. Mikes had spent the majority of his day in the bottom half of the top 10, but use d a strong run at the end to inject himself into the top 5. Blocker meanwhile is left wondering what could have been, after a potentially large points pickup versus his teammate is left at a deficit. Blocker lead 6 laps, but faded late in the event.
From the high banks of Texas, to the forests of the Ardennes, this will be the first time that the Lionheart Series visits Spa. The event will be extremely challenging for the drivers as it is extremely easy to acquire incident points for off tracks. The series has a maximum allowed incident point total of 17 before drivers are disqualified.
After drop weeks Adam Blocker sits just 9 points back from the points leader Andrew Kinsella. If the Adrenaline Motorsports teammates continue this close battle down the stretch the championship could be decided at the finale at Auto Club Speedway.
Justin Weaver, coming off his first Lionheart IndyCar Series victory, sets his sights on the new circuit. Gaining 2 positions in the standings Weaver currently sits in 9th in points (with drop weeks considered). Weaver has shown promise on the road courses as well as the ovals, running in the top five at a few of the events so far. Can the rookie use his first win as a spring board to greater success as drivers like Adam Blocker, Andrew Kinsella and Brian Yaczik have before him?
Stephen Laarkamp jumped 3 positions in the standings after Round 13 and now sits in the top 5 overall. The Lionheart Rookie has enjoyed a quietly successful debut season. Rarely rocking the boat, but putting in those good solid performances that can bring home a championship in the future. Laarkamp is another that has shown he is fast on both road and oval. Will the long straights at Spa be to the rookies liking?
Yaczik, sitting in P3 overall, has not given up on his 2018 season. Yaczik aka "The Beard" is still within striking distance and sits 65 points back from Kinsella. Yaczik has shown he can hang with Kinsella on the road courses, but he will have to find a way to finish ahead of road ace of Adam Bocker to gain any ground on the leaders. Will this be the breakout road performance Yaczik needs to restart his championship?
Dan Geren continues his bad luck this year after being involved in an incident with Big Joe Hassert. Geren dominated much of the first half of the race, but was involved in an unfortunate incident when Hassert misjudged a move to the inside of the Synergy driver, as the two raced for the lead. The Iowa driver finished the race in 33rd and fell 4 spots to 8th overall (after drops). Will Spa be the breakthrough that Geren needs to get his season back on track? Despite his bad luck he sits just 115 points back of Kinsella for the championship lead, again when drop races are considered.
Team standings remain the same through the top 4 with Adrenaline Motorsport leading No Name Racing. Controlled Chaos gained 1 position and currently sits P5 in the Team Standings (after drops). The fight for 5th through 9th is where all the action is at the moment with the team championship, however if Blocker and Kinsella falter, will Adrenaline Motorsports be able to retain their lead?
The IndyCar Series has enjoyed its new relationship with the iRacing E Sports Network or iESN. The network will host its 3rd event broadcast by GSRC. To catch all the Lionheart action you can handle, tune into the HPP Grand Prix of Belgium only on GSRC, iESN and iRacing Live on Wednesday September 12th at 10:35pm EDT.