By Justin Prince
For the first time at iRacing’s World Wide Technology Raceway, the pole sitter has won in the Lionheart IndyCar Series Presented by ButtKicker.
Adam Blocker of Adrenaline Powerslide dominated the 2021 edition of the Asher's Racing Channel 200 at Gateway on June 2 by leading 152 of 160 laps. He became just the second driver this season to win multiple races with the other being Sage Karam.
Connor Harrington, Damon Martinez, Jay Brant and Ryan Otis completed the top five.
Just one caution came out during the event.
“It feels good to win. It’s been a few races,” said Blocker from HyperX Victory Lane in his first victory since Homestead-Miami Speedway. “It’s always good to get a win.”
Blocker led by more than four seconds over Martinez and Harrington. In the closing stages however, after Harrington passed Martinez in the final pit stop sequence, Blocker reached lapped traffic. Harrington closed the gap to within 1.1 seconds in the final five laps, but could not reach Blocker.
Harrington was not happy with Martinez after the race.
“I spent 80 laps trapped behind Damon (Martinez) just losing a ton of time. I don’t know how you’re unable to stay with somebody when there’s just one car in front of you,” said Harrington. “I just couldn’t make the pass on Damon to get by and had to wait for the pit stop cycle. The first cycle we got him, then we were running Adam down … It would have been interesting to see if we would have got there.”
Blocker said the race to him was pretty straight forward.
The race’s only caution came out after Adam Frazier and Matt Taylor both spun out entering the pit lane in Turn 3. The yellow flag had significantly swapped the positions for multiple drivers. One driver, last round’s race winner Joshua Chin, went from the top five to the back half of the field as a result of the caution.
“I was able to gap the guys behind me and I never had to worry about the pit cycles,” said Blocker. “I was just trying to save a little bit of fuel to make sure I didn’t get trapped down a lap by a yellow during the pit cycle, which paid off during that first caution. If I hadn’t been saving a little bit, I would have (been trapped).”
Several other competitors struggled with the pit entry throughout the race.
Chris Fowler, who was on an undercut strategy, spun into the grass at the halfway mark of the race after overshooting the access road.
Luis Gonzalez Nuñez destroyed his car after checking up for Frazier on a pit stop as well. He locked up his brakes, sending his NEKI Racing Team car into the outside wall, immediately damaging the suspension.
Next time out, the Lionheart IndyCar Series heads to the Brickyard for the Minus 273 Grand Prix of Indianapolis on June 16. Coverage starts at 10:35 p.m. ET on RaceSpot TV and ESTV.