The final leg of the Lionheart IndyCar Series’ Midwest swing finds the series returning to Gateway Motorsports Park for the Platidipgarage.com 150. The swing has meant 3 races in as many weeks for the Lionheart Series drivers, and fatigue could be an issue on the tricky egg-shaped oval. The wall off turn two is a cruel mistress; exit the corner to high and your race can end with suspension damage. Exit to low, and your race could end against the inside guardrail as the back of the car rotates around. The drivers who fight through the fatigue and are precise lap after lap will be the drivers who come out ahead.
Last week at Chicagoland it was Dan Geren who immerged victorious, fending off challenges from Jake Wright, Chris Stofer, Adam Blocker, and Big Joe Hassert among others. This allowed Geren to close up on Championship leader Jake Wright, who finished third. Wright’s lead now stands at 47 points with 4 races remaining. Andrew Kinsella finished 5th at Chicagoland, leaving the Canadian rookie 112 points back of Wright. With another top ten finish for Wright, the cut-off for being in the hunt before the finale remains 92 points, leaving Kinsella 20 points to make up over the next 3 races to join Geren for a shot at Wright in the finale. It was a fine day for Adrenaline Motorsports at Chicagoland. In addition to Kinsella’s 5th, Chris Stofer came home 2nd, Adam Blocker - 4th, and Tony Showen - 7th. Kinsella stretched his lead in the rookie of the year standings over Michael Goodman to 94 points, while Wright continues to lead the sim money standings.
If Geren is looking to keep his momentum going and the pressure on Wright, their might not be a better track in the service for him to it on. Geren is the defending race winner from Season 4, and will surely be looking for another strong finish to keep narrowing the gap to Wright. Another Gateway win would go along way.
Wright, however, is on a roll of his own. It has been 5 straight races that Wright has found himself on the podium, with two 2nd place finishes, two wins, and a 3rd since a 6th place finish in round 16 in Atlanta. Wright has seemingly been able to succeed at any type of track, and while Gateway has a somewhat unique layout, that doesn’t seem to be a hurdle for the 2-time defending champ.
Jason Galvin has shown speed on high downforce short tracks so far this season, while Andrew Kinsella has a win at New Hampshire. Galvin is locked in a battle with James Krahula for the final spot in the top 5 in points, while Kinsella is looking for any ray of hope to keep his championship dreams alive, while simultaneously looking to lock down rookie-of-the-year honors. With plastidipgarage.com sponsoring not only the race but the cars of Galvin and Kinsella, look for the pair of them to be near the front come the end of Wednesday’s race.
With patience a virtue, Joe Branch and Brian Yazick are two more names that spring to the front of the discussion of possible winners. The gentlemanly Branch loves short track racing, and has the ability to stretch his fuel tank further then most others in the league. Yaczik meanwhile has had some of his best runs on short tracks this season, finishing 3rd two races ago in Iowa, and leading in New Hampshire before wing damage saw him spin out of the race.
2 rookies to watch out for are Adam Blocker and Scott Bolster. Blocker has 4 top 5’s in 8 starts, while Bolster has been strong on short ovals, with an 8th place at Dover.
The plastidipgarage.com 150 can be seen at 10.35 EDT on Wednesday October 25th on GSRC and iRacing Live.