Canadian Andrew Kinsella roared to his third win of the season in the Lionheart IndyCar Series presented by First Medical Equipment, using the tow off a restart with eleven laps remaining to win the DirtyBlinds.com 300 at Pocono Raceway Wednesday night.
It was the sixth win of Kinsella’s career.
“I was fortunate to be able to hold off Adam (Blocker) there at the end,” Kinsella said. “He had a really fast car all race. It’s good to be able to bring it home there at the end.”
Kinsella used the draft to go around the outside of Jason Galvin entering turn two at the tricky triangle, as Adrenaline Motorsports teammate Adam Blocker went low to make it three wide.
“That was a fun restart there,” Kinsella said. “I knew we were on old tires, so I had a lap and a half or two to make that move on Jason, and we made it stick.”
The teammates came out in front and worked together to keep the hard-charging Galvin far enough behind.
Blocker, who led a race-high 63 laps, was unable to complete any attempts to get around his teammate in the final laps.
“I wish it went green and we didn’t get that last little group of yellows,” Blocker said. “I felt like I had a nice little lead and could’ve won. That was definitely my best oval race. I played it kinda cautious at the end, but I’ll definitely take second.”
It was Kinsella’s second win in a Triple Crown event, after his victory at the season finale at Auto Club Speedway last season.
Kinsella opened up a full race lead over Brian Yaczik in the points standings, up 51 points on the Michigan driver.
Galvin sits third in the points, five back of Yaczik, after fading to fourth following contact with Adrenaline's Tony Showen.
The duo was racing with Joe Hassert, Galvin’s teammate at No Name Racing, when Galvin pushed exiting turn one. In an effort to keep the car off the wall, Galvin slowed considerably, and then threw what appeared to be a block on Showen.
“I know what it looked like, and I feel awful, but I didn’t even know it was Tony,” said Galvin, who led five laps late in the race after starting 17th. “I was honestly shocked I didn’t hit the wall off one, and then I realized Joe and Tony were going to be coming hard.
“I turned left to get out of the racing line and immediately regretted it. I actually thought I wrecked my teammate, but when I looked at my mirrors, I realized it was Tony. It was my fault, and that was not a smart move.”
Front wing damage dropped Showen to 10th. He declined comment but indicated he would protest the move by Galvin.
Hassert capitalized on the incident, coming home third.
“I think I had a little damage from the first wreck of the race, either Ian (Adams) or Joe (Flanagan) hit my sidepod as they were spinning,” Hassert said. “Then when I got past Jason, he came back and raced me pretty hard even though he was a little hurt. (Kinsella and Blocker) just pulled away. But third is a great run, I think I have more top five finishes this season already than I did all of last year.”
The race was slowed by seven cautions for 20 laps, but it was a non-yellow that turned the race upside down.
Dan Geren continued his pole streak, having qualified quickest at all five races this season. But on lap 19, an internet malfunction caused Geren to drop from the race. At the time, Geren had nearly a full second lead on Blocker.
Geren would lose three laps as his pit crew worked to get him back on track. A valiant effort to get back to the lead lap came up short, and Geren finished one lap down in 23rd.
The series runner-up in 2017, Geren sits a remarkable 14th, 131 points back of Kinsella, after five races, and the Iowa driver has yet to finish in the top ten, despite leading more laps than any driver in the league.
The first wreck, and the one Hassert thought caused him damage, came on lap four, when Australian Michael Gray pushed exiting turn two and knocked Joe Flanagan into the wall. Neither driver would continue.
Five laps late, on lap nine, a three-wide battle ended poorly for Ken Hacker.
As Hacker entered turn one, Chris Stofer went low and Vince Bluthenthal went high. Hacker and Bluthenthal first rubbed wings, and Stofer, running a normal exit line, hit Hacker, who was still gathering his car from the initial contact. Hacker careened into the wall, ending his race early.
Michael Goodman looked poised to capture a podium, if not compete for his first Lionheart win, before a crash that did not bring out the caution.
On lap 78, Goodman pushed up exiting turn three. After smacking the outside wall, Goodman’s car went dead left, and crashed into the pits. The race stayed green, but Goodman retired to 32nd.
The final caution setup the dash to the finish, when Ian Adams hit the wall on lap 106 of 120. Adams tried to keep the car going straight, but the open wheels of his IR18 grabbed the wall and looped him, bringing out the last yellow flag.
Ron Hacker capitalized on Showen’s misfortune to cap a quiet, but solid day. The Synergy Motorsports driver never fell out of the top ten, pit cycles aside, and finished fifth, his first top five of the season.
Hacker sits fifth in points, with Blocker catapulting five sports to fourth.
The Lionheart IndyCar Series presented by First Medical Equipment loads up their virtual pit boxes and head overseas for the first of three consecutive international races.
The Global Electronic Technology 200 at Twin Ring Motegi’s oval is set for Wednesday night. The race can be seen live on the Global SimRacing Channel at 10:35 p.m. EST.
For more information on the Lionheart IndyCar Series presented by First Medical Equipment, visit www.LionheartRacingSeries.com.