The monkey is finally off Dan Geren’s back.
The preseason championship favorite finally found victory lane, dominating the FISCH Motors 200 at Charlotte Motor Speedway Wednesday night.
It was the first win of the season for Geren in the Lionheart IndyCar Series presented by First Medical Equipment.
“We got the monkey off the back,” said an energized Geren in victory lane. “I was never really comfortable out front. Late in the race, we had a little contact. It was a tough race for sure.”
Geren led 119 of the 133 laps after passing rookie pole sitter Connor Harrington early on.
Nobody had led more laps than Geren in 2018, but the Iowa native continued to find bad luck, be it in the form of other drivers mistakes, poorly timed cautions or his own undoings.
“Late in the race Brian stuck his nose in there,” Geren said. “That could’ve been a big moment, we made contact, but luckily we had no incident points or damage.”
Brian Yaczik challegend Geren late, but used up his tires trying to get around his adversary in the points standings.
Geren leads Yaczik by five points for third.
“It was a great race,” Yaczik said. “I was just going to ride early. Late in the race, I was trying to get Dan to burn his tires off but once he got away, he could just mirror drive. I’m happy for him, he was way overdue.”
Andrew Kinsella delivered the type of drive we’ve become accustomed to, rallying from 18th on the grid to finish third and close the championship gap to his teammate, Adam Blocker.
Blocker finished fifth, with Justin Weaver sandwiched between the teammates.
“It was a good run,” said Kinsella, who trails Blocker by 15 points. “We did what we had to do, just keep finishing ahead of Adam each week.”
In one of the cleanest races in Lionheart oval history, the race saw just three cautions for 12 total laps. The 200 mile event concluded in just one hour, five minutes.
The Lionheart IndyCar Series presented by First Medical Equipment loads up and ships overseas for its next race, and it’s one Geren should be excited for. The American Cancer Society Grand Prix of Phillip Island is slated for a 10:35 p.m. EST start on Wednesday, October 10. Geren is the defending winner of the event. The race can be seen live on the iRacing eSports Network, presented by the Global SimRacing Channel.