It didn’t take long for the stars of the Lionheart IndyCar Series presented by First Medical Equipment to shake off the winter break rust. Korey ‘Tiger’ Connor emerged from a pack of contenders to earn a surprise win in the First Medical Equipment All-Star race on Wednesday night, in one of the most competitive races in series history.
“It feels great to start the season like this,” said Connor, who went winless last season. “I know up high is usually the prefered line at Michigan, but with pack racing it was easier to defend my position on the lower line...so I decided to run that line and see how it worked out, and before the last caution came out I determined it was the line to keep for the last five laps.”
Connor beat former All-Star race winner Joe Hassert by half a car length. Jonathan Goke and Jason Galvin followed closely in a race that was up for grabs throughout the 75 lap feature.
“It was fun, I had a lot of fun, I might’ve had a heart attack, maybe a stroke, I can still feel my blood pressure up right now,” Hassert said. “I was waiting for Goke to pop out on the outside and he never did….got the run down the backstretch, popped out and (Korey) pushed up a little bit, and it scrubbed too much speed. I gave him too much room. I thought I had him.”
The 17-car field, comprised of 14 race winners and pole sitters from season three, as well as series sponsor Brandon Limkemann and the top three from an earlier transfer race, put on a show for fans watching on Global SimRacing Channel from flag to flag.
The 75-lap race took 53 minutes to complete. Four caution for 12 laps slowed the pace. Six drivers swapped the lead 20 times, with Connor leading the most laps at 33. His teammate, Dan Geren, led 24 laps before a late wreck with James Krahula took both out of the running.
Galvin finished second in the transfer race, then shocked the field with a blistering 32.167 lap to set the pole for the main event. Galvin led 10 laps, with Hassert, Tony Lurcock and Jake Wright also leading at times.
Pierre Daigle rallied to finish fifth after losing his nose early in the race and nearly losing a lap. Transfer race winner Chris Stofer, Lurcock, Joe Branch, defending series champion Wright and Robert Blouin rounded out the top ten.
The Lionheart IndyCar Series presented by First Medical Equipment kicks off its 22 event fourth season next Wednesday, March 16, with the Adrenaline Motorsports 200 from Homestead-Miami Speedway. The race can be seen live on GSRC at 10:35 p.m. EST.