Adam Blocker was the definition of perfect Wednesday night, opening up his points lead with a clinical performance, winning the LOC Precision Grand Prix of Road America.
In doing so, Blocker led every lap and collected bonus points for the pole and an incident-free race. The win marked Blocker’s league-leading ninth victory.
“I found that needing to save fuel on one run made me more consistent,” Blocker said. “It was a good race. Now we try to finish it at Auto Club.”
Dan Geren limited the damage, also driving a clean race and working his way from fifth to second, his best road course race of the season. Geren sits third in the championship hunt, 39 back of Blocker and one point behind fourth place finisher Andrew Kinsella, who picked up a speeding in the pits penalty.
“I just wanted to focus on doing the best I could. I was hoping for fifth or better,” Geren said. “Then guys started having issues. Connor (Harrington), Dustin (Wardlow) and (Stephen) Laarkamp all spun. Justin Weaver had to pit. Next thing I knew I was in second.”
Geren was aided by a Stephen Laarkamp spin on the final lap, a five point swing which could be pivotal as the Lionheart IndyCar Series presented by First Medical Equipment heads to Auto Club Speedway and the season finale (Wednesday, 10:35 p.m. EST).
Geren is the defending race winner in Fontana.
“I thought the race was going to be more interesting,” Blocker said. “Justin Weaver was right there with me and I thought he was going to push me a little but he had a bit of a spin on like lap eight. I thought Andrew would then finish second so points would also be closer. But that penalty cost him, so I have a bit of a bigger lead than I anticipated.”
The trio will battle for the championship with many outcomes on the table.
A fourth place finish assures Blocker his first Lionheart IndyCar Series championship. The South Carolina driver has already captured the Lionheart Retro Series presented by HPP Simulation title this year.
If Geren wins the race, Blocker can slip to fifth. Neither of those results are contingent on bonus points, however.
Bonus points are also doubled for this race, with two points for a clean race, leading a lap, leading the most lap and the pole, allowing for eight maximum possible points.
For bonus points to not matter, Blocker would have to finish tenth or worse, with Geren or Kinsella winning the event.
Because of the one point separation, Geren and Kinsella’s positions relative to each other should be easy to follow.
The Grey Matters 300 (supporting brain cancer awareness) is the final leg of the Lionheart Triple Crown, meaning double points are on the line. The car that finishes ahead of the other should also do so in points, although there are scenarios where Geren could jump Kinsella based on bonus points while finishing one spot behind the Canadian.
Adrenaline Motorsports, led by Blocker and Kinsella along with Chris Stofer, Joe Branch and Tony Showen, secured their first team championship as well.
The LOC Precision Grand Prix was an uneventful race for most of the race.
Laarkamp gathered up the car after his spin on the final lap and finished third.
“I got a bit too greedy on the last lap,” Laarkamp said. “But overall I’m third, I’m pretty happy with that. It was a solid night.”
Samuel Reiman and Joe Hassert collided after Hassert spun in Canada corner late in the race, ending both drivers day.
Isaiah Dupree and Marc Cohn ran into problems on lap one, as Dupree spun in the final corner and slid back across Cohn’s nose.
Connor Harrington spun from a podium position with 16 laps remaining, also ending his race.
Several cars struggled to make the race on two spots, leading to a mad dash in the closing laps in the middle of the field.
15 cars finished on the lead lap, with Jorge Anzaldo the final car across ahead of Blocker.
All eyes now turn to Southern California and the finale at Auto Club Speedway.
The Grey Matters 300 can be seen live on the iRacing eSports Network, presented by Global SimRacing Channel, Wednesday night at 10:35 p.m. EST.