The adage ‘good things come to those who wait’ has perhaps never been more fitting in the Lionheart Racing Series powered by HyperX.
Tony Showen finally broke through for his first career win in the premier Lionheart IndyCar Series presented by First Medical Equipment Wednesday night, holding off Joshua Chin in a thrilling photo finish in the Fisch Motors 200 at Chicagoland Speedway.
The landmark victory for the Adrenaline Motorsports driver came in his 114th career IndyCar series start. Shown has one win in the Lionheart Retro Series.
“I was looking at the stats today actually,” Showen said in victory lane. “And I said to myself ‘good god, what a loser.’...I have no idea what just happened. I ended up in the back because my fuel didn’t fill, and from there on it was road rage mode.”
Showen held off Chin after the race was turned upside down by a caution with eight laps remaining, trapping a contingent of cars that had dominated the race a lap down, and assuring the alternate strategy cars could make it to the finish.
Jorge Anzaldo, battling to get laps back after having to pit for fuel, ducked onto the apron on the front straight after approaching a group of cars in fuel saving mode. When he got to turn one, Anzaldo lost control, and slid up the track into the middle of the pack that had led most of the race.
Jason Galvin, Connor Harrington, Joe Branch and others were taken out in the ensuing melee, which also trapped Brian Yazik (race high 41 laps led) and Adam Blocker (30 laps led) a lap down.
That setup a two lap sprint to the finish. Showen jumped out in front, allowing Chin to make a big running as the final lap began.
Chin even nosed ahead down the back straight, but Showen ducked to the apron exiting turn four and held on to win by 0.025 seconds.
“I knew if you were on the bottom you were golden,” Showen said. “You could just hold it down there and have the short way around. It was just a matter of staying out of his draft.”
The second place finish for Chin marked his sixth top five finish of the year, and catapulted him back into the championship race.
“It was more possible in one and two to get around people up top,” Chin said. “In three and four, it was pretty much impossible. The bottom was just too good. You needed the other driver to make a mistake.”
Scott Holmes was the surprising third place finished, a career best finish for the rookie. Bart Workman finished fourth, just ahead of Mike Rasimas in his series debut.
13 cars finished on the lead lap, thanks mostly to the final caution. The yellow flag flew seven times, while 12 drivers swapped the lead a total of 19 times.
Two major incidents caused a massive points shakeup.
Sage Karam was involved in a lap nine crash, ending his night in dead last. Karam still leads the championship standings, but by just 19 over a surging Andrew Kinsella.
Then, on lap 77, Harrington stayed out on old tires and immediately pushed up into Joe Hassert, an early race favorite, causing a crash. Hassert’s night was over, and Harrington struggled until being involved again in the final caution.
As a result, Harrington fell to fourth in points, with Adam Blocker third. The top four are separated by a mere 37 points with seven races remaining.
The Lionheart IndyCar Series enters its home stretch and returns to the road course side of action with round 14, the HyperX Grand Prix of Phillip Island. The race can be seen live on the iRacing eSports Network and Global SimRacing Channel on Wednesday, October 7 at 10:35 p.m. EST.