By Justin Prince
In the wildest road course race in Lionheart Racing Series competition in 2021 so far, Adam Blocker has won the Minus 273 Grand Prix of Indianapolis.
Several Lionheart IndyCar Series championship contenders, including PRIVATE LABEL Team Hype drivers Connor Harrington and Joshua Chin, were involved in race-changing incidents and mistakes which helped give Blocker a lead as large as 11 seconds during the race.
Chin, Henry Bennett, Matt Taylor and Brian Beard rounded out the top five.
It is the first time in the event’s history the pole sitter has taken the checkered flag.
Blocker also has become the first three-time winner in the series this season.
“The first stint, I felt like I had a little bit better pace than Connor at least,” said Blocker from HyperX Victory Lane. “I think Connor was hanging with me, but was probably burning a couple push-to-passes to do it, so I wasn’t super worried. I started gapping him late in the first stint and Josh passed him. I think it was going to be close between Josh and I. Then Connor had an incident, then Josh made a mistake that I think made it a little bit easier. Without that, Josh and I would have been pretty close.
The trouble arose for Harrington on Lap 22 when he had closed the gap between him and Blocker to under five car lengths.
Blocker and Harrington were passing the lapped car of Tony Showen when Harrington made hard contact with him into Turn 8. Showen had gone straight heading into the corner while Harrington was arching for the apex.
The incident immediately destroyed the chassis and sidepod of the PRIVATE LABEL Team Hype car in the process.
Showen was given a drive through penalty for the incident while Harrington went on to finish in 24th position, six laps down.
Then six laps later, Chin was going through Turn 9 when he clipped the grass on the apex. That would cause his car to snap around and half-spin into the grass, costing Chin seven seconds of time on the track. He had been running on the black-walled tires at the time.
“Overall, it was a good points day. I still lost ground to Adam, which kind of sucks,” said Chin. “The car just didn’t work for me on the primary tires at all and it showed in the whole stint. It was a big struggle and finally had that little half-spin … I think ultimately it was what cost me a shot at the win and finishing second. I think I probably wouldn’t have gotten him even with that time, but it would have been nice to have a shot and see what would have happened at the end.”
Several other drivers were caught off guard by Turns 8 and 9 in practice and in the race.
Competitors such as Lionel Calisto had major issues with either spins or crashes. On Lap 21, Calisto had been battling with Andrew Kinsella when he tried to go later on the brakes. He then wobbled on entry, sending him sliding right into a retaining wall, shearing off his right side tires immediately.
Calisto then flipped over several times before coming to a rest outside the groove in Turn 8. He had been up nine positions before the incident.
Overall, four cars did not finish the race.
Next week, the Lionheart IndyCar Series and its drivers will take part in the HyperX Indianapolis 500 Race for the Pole. Coverage starts at 10:35 p.m. ET on RaceSpot TV and ESTV on June 23rd.
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