They say everything is bigger in Texas, and Lionheart Indycar Series races in Texas are no exception, as the drivers take to the high-banks for the USMC Wounded Warrior 200. In the past there have been thrills, spills, and multiple different winners at Texas. The high-banked oval on iRacing may not have the newly configured turns 1 and 2 from real life, but this will be the first time the Lionheart drivers travel to one of the “cookie-cutter” 1.5-mile tracks this season. Texas, along with Atlanta and Charlotte have a unique “D-shape that, along with steep banking create high speeds and high drama.
Last time out at Sonoma, Adam Blocker as a result of his win now sits just 8 points back from Andrew Kinsella. The Adrenaline Motorsports teammates are starting to put some distance on the rest of the field. Who will we see crowned champion when the second half of the season is complete? Strong drives from Michael Goodman and rookie Stephen Laarkamp saw them round out the podium. Kinsella barely retains the points lead after Round 12, however, Sonoma could have been so much worse for the Canadian driver. After suffering heavy damage from contact with Dan Geren, Kinsella limped around with damage to the rear wing and engine cowling. Kinsella managed to keep it on track for 4 laps in order to hit his pit window, got new parts on his car and, after exiting the pits in 15th, rebounded to finish 4th. James Krahula rounded out the top 5. Brian Yaczik had a bad night at Sonoma, finishing 33rd, and finds himself now sitting 3rd in points, losing a spot to Blocker. The biggest movers after Sonoma were Scott Bolster and Dustin Wardlow. The pair gained 4 positions each, and with a strong second half, could break into the top 10 in the standings. Jorge Anzaldo and Brandon Limkemann lost the most positions after Sonoma; the Synergy Motorsports drivers both missed Round 12 and lost 4 and 5 positions respectively in the standings.
Texas Motor Speedway has been on the Lionheart Schedule for many seasons and has always been the home for some exciting racing. Which driver will come home victorious in the new IR-18? Last year saw Jason Galvin win at Texas leading 28 laps en route to his victory. Big Joe Hassert, who led a race high 78 laps finished a disappointing P28. James Krahula and Bob Mikes rounded out last year’s podium. Galvin, Hassert, and Krahula are all still very much in the championship fight and will be looking for strong results at Texas to close the gap on Kinsella and Blocker at the front.
The hard-luck season continued for Dan Geren in Sonoma, as Geren was caught up in a number of incidents that ultimately ended his day. In addition to the contact with Kinsella, a self-spin and contact with Justin Weaver made for a tough day at the office. Geren leads the league with 6 poles from 12 races, but is yet to convert those poles to a win. Despite this, Geren still sits 4th in the championship 66 points back of the lead.
Stephen Laarkamp is leading the cleanest driver standings through 11 rounds. With just 15 incident points over 11 races and an avg of 1.36 per race, he’s clearly the favorite at this moment. Michael Goodman is close in P2 with just 19 incident points on the season. One area this season where Stephen has been far from clean, however, is on pit-lane. The rookie has yet to adjust to Lionhearts strict rules about pit lane etiquette, and has accumulated 19 penalty points from these incidents. Without these points, Laarkamp would move from 7th to 4th in the overall standings.
Ron Hacker leading the Iron Man standings for most miles completed over Matt Mercer. He sits tied with Mercer in laps completed at 1,383 but it’s the miles that will determine the winner. Hacker leads the league with 2,481.81 miles run at the halfway point in the season.
On the team front, New Lunar Republic has merged with No Lift Motorsports. The teams have combined under the NLR banner and will race together for the remainder of the season. This puts them in the thick of a battle with 8 Ball Motorsports and Skidmark Motorsports for 7th, 8th and 9th in the team standings. Meanwhile upfront, Adrenaline continues to run away with the Team Championship leading No Name Racing by 152 points, helped in no small part by Kinsella and Blocker’s 7 combined wins. Synergy remains 3rd.
Finally, news from the paddock is that the league may create a new developmental series similar to Indy Lights for new members looking to enter Lionheart officially in the IR-18. Stay tuned for more information on this front as we progress towards the close of the season.
The USMC Wounded Warrior 200 can be seen live Wednesday August 29th at 10:35pm EDT, on GSRC, iRacing live and NOW the iRacing Esports Network.