From the sun and fun down-under to the golden cornfields of Iowa, the Lionheart series trades a rolling road course for the most exciting short oval on the schedule for the Iowa 200 Presented by Birky Trucking. Tom Birkenstock owner of Birky Trucking operates his company out of Burlington Iowa, and has been a proud supporter of Lionheart for several seasons. Iowa has become a special place for the Lionheart Series as it has run every season at the bullring since being formed in July of 2014. The short track also has played host to the annual Lionheart league meet up. Each season, lionheart members have converged to the Iowa Speedway for a weekend of tail gaiting, fun and shared stories of all the exciting action members have experienced over the years. The members also watch the real-world IndyCar Series drivers compete in the Iowa Corn 300.
Last time out at Philip Island, it was another strong road performance from Adam Blocker that brought the Carolina driver the win. Blocker got the fuel mileage right and fended off strong challenges from Michael Goodman, and Sage Karam. Goodman lead for 14 laps, however the 3 stop strategy he opted for did not pan out as he had hopped, relegating the New York driver to a 5th place finish after he could not pass Andrew Kinsella in a thrilling duel over the final 6 laps of the race. Sage Karam meanwhile rebounded from a 7th place qualifying in his Lionheart debut to race at the front all day, even leading a couple of laps. Fuel would ultimately undue Karam’s race as well, as he had to save fuel over his final stint, allowing Dan Geren to pass him for 2nd. Adam Blocker extended his lead to 31 points over Kinsella via his victory at Phillip Island. Dan Geren leap frogged Brian Yaczik, who finished 7th, to take 3rd, 105 points back of Blocker. With 7 races remaining it’s still anyone’s championship.
Jake Wright was last seasons race winner who will not be present to defend his win. Wright has focused his attention to defending his Retro Championship while working with another former Lionheart IndyCar Series Champion, Jesse Vincent, in Race Control for the IndyCar.
After 17 Rounds Ron Hacker leads the Iron Man standings with 3,315 miles and 1,981 laps completed the Illinois driver who is a previous Cleanest Driver of the Year winner has been consistent all year with 3 top 10 finishes and a single top 5 on the year currently sits in P15. Consistency is a big part of Iowa as the short track has produced much excitement in the past. Will Hacker’s consistency earn him a trip to victory lane this week?
The Rookie of the Year battle is tighter than ever with Weaver and Laarkamp being separated by just 1 point. The duo has been contenders for not only the Rookie honors but combined have 20 top 10’s and 8 top 5’s and Weaver has found victory lane this year.
Dan Geren, coming off of a podium finish at Phillip Island, returns to his home track in search of his second victory of the season. Geren has showed pace at the short track securing the Pole Position last year and had a podium finish in Season 3.
Will we have a new first-time winner at Iowa? Iowa has been the home to several first-time winners. Jorge Anzaldo found his one and only Lionheart victory and Ian Adams also found his first Win at the Iowa Speedway. Sage Karam made his Lionheart debut on the road course last week and finished 3rd, will he be able to repeat that type of performance on the short oval of Iowa?
Adrenaline has dominated the team championship fight however the battle has now shifted to which team will take the 2nd spot in the standings. No name leads Synergy Motorsports by just 20 points, while 4th through 7th is separated by less than 150 points.
The Iowa 200 Presented by Birky Trucking will go off Wednesday October 17th at 10:35pm eastern only on the iRacing eSports Network presented by GSRC.
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