A week after a pit road incident prevented Dan Geren from earning win number one of the season, the team #nailedit driver was able to avoid disaster late in the race and hang on for his first win of the season in the U.S. Armed Forces 150 at Texas Motor Speedway.
"Oh man, that was incredible, I was telling the guys, I was shaking all race," Geren said from the virtual victory lane. "I was so happy just to get a pole last week at Kansas, then I backed it up with another pole this week, don’t know how I did it. Then to lead the most laps and get the win, I...I could...wow."
In a race of attrition, up front was the place to be Wednesday night, and that’s where Geren spent most of his night. The Iowa driver led 86 of 100 laps.
The biggest threat to Geren came on lap 93, when James Krahula, a winner last week at Kansas after Geren and Joe Hassert wrecked entering the pits, made a move off turn 2.
Krahula’s car went below the white line, and as he re-entered the racing surface, Krahula’s car made contact with Geren’s. The Texan went sliding on the apron before gathering his car just in front of a pack of four others.
Miraculously, nobody wrecked or suffered serious damage. Krahula was penalized after the race for aggressive driving, dropping him from sixth to 16. He is appealing that penalty.
Geren’s teammate, Ian Adams, finished a season-best second. Series point leader Jake Wright was third.
"To bring the car home second, it’s much better than we’ve been running," Adams said. "I’m real happy with this finish."
Several major accidents impacted the final results. Joe Hassert made early contact with the wall after starting from the rear, the result of a penalty. He retired on lap 9, and finished 30 in a 31 car field.
The first caution didn’t come out until Mark Nobert spun on lap 47. After pit stops, a restart on lap 51 saw the first big crash.
After Adams was slow to get going, Jason Galvin made a move to the outside, going from eighth to fifth. But exiting turn 4, Daniel Roeper tried to split Galvin and Dylan Lee. Roeper’s car pushed up into Galvin - Roeper said after the race he had a connection issue - and Galvin’s car careened off the outside wall, back into Tony Lurcock. Vincent Bluthenthal was also involved in the aftermath.
All three cars retired.
The biggest wreck came on lap 66, as tires wore and fuel loads lightened. Michel de Jonge pushed into the turn 2 wall while in an eight car pack. The seventh place car came down into Roeper, and the big one ensued.
When the smoke cleared, several fast cars were junk. Ricky Hardin, Korey Conner and Michael Gray joined de Jonge and Roeper in retirement. Tommy Rhyne was also involved.
The final caution flew on lap 84, as Mark Goodwin spun, setting up the final dash.
Ultimately though, nobody had anything for Geren.
Pierre Daigle and Jason Robarge rounded out the top five. After the Krahula penalty, sixth through 10 shook out as follows: Tony Showen, Tommy Rhyne, Brandon Limkemann, Ronald Hacker and Jorge Anzaldo.
The 55 minute race had five drivers swap the lead seven times. Four cautions slowed the pace for 16 laps.
Wright now leads Krahula by 155 points in the season standings, but that lead could grow if Krahula’s penalty is upheld. Joe Branch, Daigle and Geren round out the top five.
The iRacing.com-based virtual IndyCar Series take an autumn break before heading to Chicagoland Speedway on Wednesday, November 11th for The Big Joe Cam Anniversary 150. The race can be seen live on Global SimRacing Channel at 10:45 p.m. EST.
A flawless final pit stop pushed James Krahula to the lead and the Unacceptable Racing driver finally got over the hump to win the American Cancer Society Race for the Cure 150 presented by DrityBlinds.com at Kansas Speedway. The win marks the first for Krahula in his debut season in the Lionheart IndyCar Series.
"I’m back from the future!" Krahula exclaimed in victory lane after climbing from his virtual Back to the Future-themed car. "This was the most difficult race of the year...I couldn’t practice this week, I would get on the computer and I would feel dizzy. So I don’t know how I was able to come in here and come away with this win."
Krahula led a race-high 36 laps, including the final 22 laps after green flag pit stops. After several near misses, the Texan was able to hold off teammate Tommy Rhyne and No Chance Racing’s Jason Robarge to win by 0.628 seconds.
"These things are so aero-tight after you heat up the front tires, so you just have run where the other guy’s not," said Rhyne, who lost second in the final corner in the season opener at Homestead to a connection issue. "I don’t have a whole lot of time in this car, other than what I’ve done here. It’s a ton of fun."
Dan Geren dominated the early stage of the race from the pole. The defending race winner looked to be the heavy favorite, but an accident on lap 35 effectively ended both Geren’s and Joe Hassert’s chances of taking a win.
With Geren leading and Hassert in tow, the pair slowed off turn four to make their first pit stops. Hassert closed quickly and the two collided, damaging both entries.
Both drivers blamed the other, with Hassert criticizing Geren during the race. The Iowa native and Team #NailedIt leader threw the blame back at Hassert.
"I just looked at the replay, and it looked like he didn’t get slowed down enough," a dejected Geren said. "But it looked like a racing deal. We both got going again, and I rebounded up to 14th."
Hassert finished 12th.
The race featured two cautions. On lap four, Joe Branch, who entered the night second in points, made contact with Michael Gray. As Gray’s car slid across the track, Michel de Jonge, winner of the last two races in the iRacing.com-based series, ran out of room and collided with Gray. Brandon Limkemann and Krysta Nelson were also collected. Gray and Branch continued, but the other three cars retired.
On lap 38, Ian Adams, who led 10 laps early, made contact with the wall on the front stretch while running all alone. He finished 24th.
The win moves Krahula up to second in points, 129 back of Jake Wright. The series points leader struggled with his car in the draft but salvaged a fifth place finish. Chris Stofer came home fourth.
Tony Showen, Korey Conner, Jason Galvin, Ricky Hardin and Pierre Daigle rounded out the top ten.
Branch finished in 15th, dropping him to third in points. de Jonge finished 27th in the 28 car field and fell to fourth, while Daigle holds steady in fifth.
The 49 minute race saw eight drivers swap the lead 14 times, but many more lead changes occurred away from the stripe.
iRacing’s premier open-wheel series stays on the high-banked half-mile trend next week, as the IndyCar’s tackle Texas Motor Speedway for the U.S. Armed Forces 150 presented by Deadzone Racing. Race sponsor Jonathan Goke will miss the event while deployed in the United State Air Force. Goke was a winner at Michigan earlier in the year. The green flag drops at 10:50 EST on Wednesday, October 28 and can be seen live on Global SimRacing Channel.
For the second time in two weeks, Michel de Jonge found himself sipping on milk in victory lane at the virtual Indianapolis Motor Speedway, leading all but four laps en route to a near-perfect victory in the RaceCentre 93 for the Lionheart IndyCar Series on the road course at IMS.
"That was a really hard race, Jake (Wright, runner-up) made it really hard on me," the modest de Jonge said after the race.
The win marks the second of the season for de Jonge in the iRacing.com-based virtual IndyCar series, the top of its kind.
Wright led the four laps de Jonge did not, but only after de Jonge pitted. The dutchman took pole and seemingly never looked back after the green flag fell.
"I was keeping a close eye on the gap to Jake," de Jonge said. "It was kind of nerve-wrecking, if I made one slight mistake he would’ve been right there."
Wright finished 4.8 seconds behind de Jonge, who was also victorious in the iRace for Gage Indianapolis 500 two weeks ago. Wright was also the bridesmaid in that event.
"It didn’t start out very well, I hit the pit limiter instead of the push to pass at the start," Wright said of the beginning of the race, where he fell from second to third. "But I think we had a top three car for sure. (de Jonge) was just fast, I couldn’t keep up, but it was good."
James Krahula rallied from a lap five spin to finish third. Jason Galvin ran third most of the race and finished a career-best fourth, and Tommy Rhyne used a last-lap pass of Dan Geren to cap the top five.
The event saw just one major incident, as Ian Adams went off course and rolled his car in turn two as the final round of pit stops were nearing. Geren also went off course on the final lap, but recovered after losing several spots.
The day was all about de Jonge, who catapulted to third in points, despite missing three events. The series drops two races, which means de Jonge’s chances of catching series point leader Wright are much better than first look would suggest.
Wright’s 409 points lead Joe Branch, who had a quiet run from 15th to ninth on Wednesday night, by 119. de Jonge is 16 back of Branch, with Krahula in fourth and Joe Hassert dropping to fifth following a disappointing 16th place finish.
Pierre Daigle finished sixth, with Geren recovering from his spin to finish seventh. Chris Lanini was eighth, with Branch and Ronald Hacker the top 10.
20 of the 22 starters finished the event, with Adams and Pete Edwins the only cars retiring. Eleven cars finished on the lead lap.
The Lionheart IndyCar Series has eight events remaining in its third season. The series heads to the lightning fast Kansas Speedway next week for the American Cancer Society/Race for the Cure 150 presented by DirtyBlinds.com. Dan Geren is the defending event winner. The 100 lap event can be seen live on Global SimRacing Channel at 9:45 p.m. CST.
Michel de Jonge kept his nose clean in the opening 30 laps and settled in to dominate the inaugural iRace for Gage Indianapolis 500 at the famed Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Sunday.
de Jonge led a race-high 91 laps on his way to his first career victory in the iRacing.com-based Lionheart IndyCar Series.
“It means a lot,” de Jonge said in the virtual victory lane. “I’ve had some really bad luck in this series so far. It’s a great series, I’ve had a lot of fun, but finally today things went my way.”
de Jonge held off a late race charge by polesitter Ricky Hardin, who took the lead with six laps to go. But just two laps later, Hardin got into the outside wall, damaging his Dallara DW12. Hardin fell to ninth.
“My arms are hurting, my legs are hurting, but it was all worth it,” de Jonge said.
Series point leader Jake Wright ran a conservative race, but came home second. Wright leads third place finisher Joe Branch by 100 points.
The battle between de Jonge and Hardin followed 150 laps of back-and-forth action between de Jonge and Bradley Walters. Walters led 73 laps but overshot his pit stall late in the race and fell to 13th.
Hardin then set his sights on de Jonge, but after taking the lead in the closing laps, miscalculated his entry to turn three, ending his shot at a win.
“I got up too high going into three,” Hardin said. “I was just going to let Michel go and get behind him. I tried to let off and let him go and I think I got in a little too high on entry, and it just pushed and pushed and pushed until I hit the wall. I really felt like I was in the right spot and him and I were going to have a great battle to the end.”
Michael Gray rallied from midpack to finish fourth, with Chris Stofer rounding out the top five.
The opening 30 laps eliminated several race favorites.
On lap three, Ian Adams turned Jorge Anzaldo, damaging the Iowa winner’s car. Anzaldo finished six laps down in 19th.
The first yellow would fly on the next lap, as Tommy Rhyne pushed coming out of turn one, forcing Joe Hassert into the wall. Hassert couldn’t hold the car high, and the resulting spin collected Jason Galvin. Hassert and Galvin would finish 25th and 26th.
On lap 13, Korey Conner got into the wall, ending his day. Lap 22 saw leader Tony Lurcock hit the inside wall on the front straight while trying to break the draft. 15 laps later, Lurcock lost control of his damaged car, ending his day.
The race had just two yellows for six laps. Eight drivers swapped the lead 36 times.
Jason Robarge, James Karhula, Dan Geren, Hardin and Rhyne rounded out the top 10.
The Lionheart IndyCar Series returns to Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Wednesday, October 14, for the RaceCentre 93 on the IMS road course. The 36 lap event will be broadcast live on Global SimRacing Channel at 10:45 p.m. EST.