The Milk has been drunk. Andrew Kinsella is a Lionheart Indy 500 champion. The Brats have been cooked. The annual Lionheart meetup at the real-life Iowa IndyCar race produced some amazing memories. Now it is time to drive once again. The Minus 273 Grand Prix of Barber is the next challenge for the warriors of the Lionheart IndyCar Series.
Last time at the Indy 500, it all came down to a 3-lap shootout. Points leader Adam Blocker, who started the race in 28th, but worked his way into the lead, and looked to hold off the gaggle of cars behind him. Michael Goodman, Justin Weaver and Tony Showen all took runs at him. Blocker hugged the white line and held them off, but Andrew Kinsella, restarting 4th, shadowed Blocker for 2 laps before making his move. Using Blocker’s draft off of turn 4 with 1 lap to go, Kinsella lead at the line and went side-by-side with his teammate through the first 2 turns. Entering 3, Blocker edged ahead and Kinsella fell in behind again. It turns out that was exactly what Kinsella hoped for. Just like the lap before, Kinsella used Blockers draft to sling shot passed Blocker to take the win at the line by a scant 0.021 seconds. Weaver held off a charging Big Joe Hassert for 4th, while Tony Showen rounded out the top 5. Some early hopefuls met with an early end to their days. Dan Geren was strong for the first half of the race, but some caution flags shuffled him back in the order and as he was moving back through the field, he got tangled with Joe Branch, who had also been strong all day long. Chris Stofer brought out the final caution of the race after leading 27 laps. Stofer was recovering from a penalty when a check-up saw Stofer and Greenlee get together on the front stretch in a spectacular crash.
In other news, this past weekend saw Lionheart’s Iowa meetup at the IndyCar race. Between 45-50 Lionheart drivers, friends and family members all gathered at the IndyCar race to watch Lionheart regular Sage Karam take on the best the NTT IndyCar Series had to offer, and create memories to last a life time.
Now the IndyCar Series drivers shift focus to a brand-new challenge. Barber is back on the IndyCar schedule after it was last run back in season 3. The tight and technical track will be a challenge for all the drivers this week. Precise braking combined with the right mix of bravery and caution will be needed as sweeping multi apex corners give way to tight hairpins.
Coming off his first win in more then a season Andrew Kinsella will be looking to keep the momentum going with a strong showing at Barber. While the Canadian has never been the fastest driver on a road course full stop, he has proven time and again to be able to get a car home in one piece. The adrenaline driver’s foible, however, always seems to be his qualifying run. With passing notoriously difficult at Barber, this will have to change if Kinsella is to have a shot at the podium or a win.
Adam Blocker will be the one he will need to go through, however. Blocker is having a season for the ages, which is saying something with the stacks of talent in Lionheart this year. Karam, Geren, Kinsella, Goodman, Weaver, and Hassert have all shown speed, but the remarkable consistency the Carolina driver has shown simply hasn’t been matched. 11 finishes of 4th or better in 12 races says all that needs to be said. It will take some mistakes and some bad luck for anyone but Blocker to win the title as the season swings to the 2nd half this week.
Speaking of Karam, the Pennsylvania driver has been away from Lionheart the past 2 weeks while driving a real IndyCar. His status for this Wednesday’s race is unknown, but if he is able to make it, look for Karam to be a driver to seriously challenge Blocker for the win.
For another epic Lionheart race, tune into the Minus273 Grand Prix of Barber this Wednesday, July 24th at 10:35pm eastern only on the iRacing eSports Network present by GSRC.