28 Days Later
It’s been 28 days since Sage Karam put on a dominating display at the SimXperience Grand Prix at the Glen. While the movie of the same name was a horror film, the 28 days the rest of the field had to practice their road course game was sorely needed as Karam dominated the Glen race. Ryan Otis, one of the strongest road drivers in Lionheart finished the 37 lap event 24 seconds back. George Sandman, a rookie with a large amount of road racing experience finished 36 seconds back. Overall only 10 cars finished on the lead lap. The Lionheart Retro field is hoping that the horror of the Glen will give rise to a new day at Round 3, the Plasma-Tracks Grand Prix of Sebring.
Based on last round’s display, it would be difficult to look at contenders beyond Karam, however 2 that can’t be overlooked are Alex Saunders and Ryan Otis. Word in the paddock is that Saunders has another commitment that may keep him from racing. He made an uncharacteristic mistake at the Glen, so if he can make the race look for it to be a very motivated Alex Saunders. Otis meanwhile had a solid display and ran with Karam for a little while. Where the Glen was smooth and flowing, Sebring will be tight and bumpy. Will this play into Otis’ hand?
Three rookies to look out for on Thursday night are J.P. Windschitl, Richie Hearn, and Lionel Calisto. Windschitl has been fast in practice, while Richie Hearn was fast at Watkins Glen before running into some issues and retiring. Calisto, meanwhile, was able to recover from his mistake, albeit 3 laps down due to a tow. Despite this fact, he was setting lap times that would have put him in the top 10. If these 3 can make it through the full event, look for them to be at or near the front.
Speaking of making it through events, so far only 2 drivers not named Sage Karam have managed to finish in the top 10 in both races so far. Dustin Wardlow and Chris Lanini are both names readers and viewers of the Lionheart series should recognize. Both well understand the value of finishing a race above all else, and find themselves 3rd and 8th respectively in the points because of this. As some of the rookies learn this lesson the hard way, Wardlow and Lanini are already off to excellent starts to the season.
In the team standings, Raven Motorsports Black is off to very strong start to the season thank to the efforts of Otis, Wardlow and James Paulson, who are 2nd, 3rd and 6th in the main championship with 2 races down. Already 74 points back is NLR Sim Racing, while Raven Motorports Silver is a further 28 points back. From there down, however, things get crowded, as 3rd through 16th are separated by less the 100 points. All it will take is a couple bad races for the Raven Black team, and this could easily turn into any teams championship.
This Lionheart Retro Series season is just a couple rounds old, and already plenty of intrigue is developing. So far the veterans are dominating, but with so many rookies in the field, that won’t last forever. Sebring will be a tough test for rookies and veteran alike, as this is the first time the Retro series has raced on the track. The long bumpy airport runways and the tight twisty road sections will both test these L79 drivers in equal measure.
Who will be triumphant at the end? Will it be Karam, Otis or Saunders? Or will it be a rookie, staking his claim on the Retro Series. Tune in Thursday April 18th at 10:35pm eastern to find out, only on the iRacing eSports Network presented by GSRC.
Despite a record number of rookies in the field, it was 2 wily veterans of the Lionheart Retro series who were battling wheel to wheel for the win last week at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Alex Saunders and Ryan Otis, the two most decorated Retro Series presented by ButtKicker drivers in the field, found themselves at the pointy end of the field in the closing stages. Wheel to wheel they raced for laps on end, until, with just 5 laps to go, they touched wheels and Otis was spinning down into the apron. For a minute it looked like the race would stay green, however the caution did fly, and Alex Saunders started the 2019 season exactly where he ended the 2018 season; in victory lane. 2nd went to rookie Nathan Lewis, a very strong debut for the 10-50 Barbanera Racing driver, while Lionheart founder Jorge Anzaldo go his season off to the right start with his first ever Retro podium in 3rd. Ken Hacker and Sage Karam rounded out the top 5.
It’s a short turn around for the Retro drivers, as round 2 comes just one week later. From last weeks high speed oval, the Retro series now travel to one of the fastest road courses on the schedule; Watkins Glen. The SimXperience Grand Prix at the Glen sees Alex Saunders return to the scene of his maiden Retro victory one year ago.
This year might be tougher sledding for the road course ace, however. True, arch nemesis Adam Blocker is no longer in the series, however there are no shortage of strong road course drivers waiting to take his place.
We have already witnessed what Sage Karam can do on a road courses as he beat both Blocker and Saunders on the streets of Montreal. The glen is much different beast, however, as the tight chicanes are replaced by fast sweeping corners. Similarly, the Charlotte roval, site of Karam’s all-star domination is a tight slow course. Will Sage be able to build on his top 5 in Round 1 and his All-Star race victory, or will the nature of the course play into the hands of others?
Some of the drivers looking to hit the reset button early in the season are Justin Kirby, Josh Gayman and George Sandman. All 3 finished outside the top 20 in Homestead, however all 3 also know that they can do much better, particularly as the series shift to the first road course race of the season. Noted road racers all, they know that one race won’t define their season, however an improvement this round is vital to keep the championship in arms reach.
Veterens Ryan Otis, Travis Jegerlehner and Dustin Wardlow will also be looking to the Glen to re-affirm that just because the Retro series has a lot of talented rookies doesn’t mean that the old guard will be going anywhere. Look for these 3 to be fighting for the top 5, and possibly even the win.
Then there is Marc Cohn. Cohn fell victim to a poor pit strategy call at Homestead after spending the majority of the race at or near the front. The 2019 Challenge Series winner, Cohn has demonstrated himself a steady road course driver, who is able to hit his marks when it counts. With calamity on the first lap a definite possibility, look for the NLR Sim Racing driver to be at the sharp end of the finishing order this week.
The real question coming into week 2 for the Retro Series is, with all the rookies, will we have another veterne winner, or will one of these rookies break through and notify the established drivers that this season belongs to the rookies?
Tune in on Thursday March 21st to find out. The SimXperience Grand Prix at the Glen will go live at 10:35pm eastern, only on the iRacing eSports Network presented by GSRC.
Alex Saunders began his pursuit of a championship in the best way possible, winning the Sam Maxwell Customs Miami 200 at Homestead-Miami Speedway Thursday night.
“This is a great start to the season,” Saunders said. “It sucks that Adam (Blocker) isn’t around to defend his title, but this field is pretty stacked still. It won’t be easy. This was fun.”
Saunders dominated the event, leading a race-high 57 laps, and helping put to bed some of the bad memories from the season finale in 2018. Saunders lost the championship by a single point to Adam Blocker, who did not return for the 2019 season.
“It got really hectic there, and I hate it for Ryan (Otis) that the race ended that way,” Saunders said.
The race finished under caution after Ryan Otis - the championship runner-up in 2017 - pushed up into Saunders as the cars exited turn four with six laps to go. Otis spun low, and avoided the wall. But the caution flew as he rejoined the field, with another pack charging forward.
By that point, only five laps remained, and the race never restarted.
Rookie Nathan Lewis was just ahead of Jorge Anzaldo in a great battle for second and third.
The podium was a strong statement from Anzaldo, who spent much of the evening in the lead pack.
“This is my first Retro podium,” Anzaldo said. “What a race, that was awesome. I just didn’t have enough to get up there at the end.”
Ken Hacker and pole winner Sage Karam rounded out the top five.
The race was slowed six times for cautions, but none had a bigger impact than the final.
In 2017, Ryan Otis gave Jake Wright all he could handle in the inaugural season of the Lionheart Retro Series presented by ButtKicker.
After a season off, all of the preseason talk has centered on Otis and Saunders, and they didn’t disappoint Thursday night.
Otis was able to get going and salvage a 12th place finish after the spin.
Attention will no doubt once again be on these two as the Lionheart Retro Series presented by ButtKicker heads to the winding roads of Watkins Glen and the Classic Boot layout for round two.
The SimXperiance Grand Prix at the Glen can be seen live on the iRacing eSports Network with coverage from Global SimRacing Channel at 10:35 p.m. EST on Thursday, March 21.
What’s old is new again for the Retro Series this year. New rules, new drivers, same sweet classic car. The Lotus 79’s of the Lionheart Retro Series kicks off their season at the Sam Maxwell Customs Miami 200 form Homestead-Miami Speedway.
The first change to over this year is the team structure. In years past, each team scored points with up to 5 drivers. This year, it is down to 3 drivers per team maximum. Never fear for some of the powerhouse teams though, a new “organization” championship allows 2 teams to team up and earn points towards a separate prize.
It might be easier to say who is coming back then go over all the new faces in the Retro Series this season. One thing is for sure, this is undoubtedly the deepest Retro field in Lionheart history, despite all the rookies.
Raven Motorsports is back, with Jorge Anzaldo, Dustin Wardlow, Travis Jegerlehner, Ron Hacker Ryan Otis and James Paulson. Anzaldo, Wardlow and Hacker will be Raven Silver, while Jegerlehner, Otis and Paulson will be on Raven Black.
NLR Sim Racing also returns with Tyler Graaf, Marc Cohn and rookie Finian Dcunha, and Cody Eldred, Dylan McKenna and Joe Hassert on the other.
The final organization is Dragonfly Motorsports with Robert Blouin and Ryan Cornes will be with Dragonfly Racing, while Frank Bieser, David Altman and Chris Lanini will be on Firefly Racing.
Skidmark Motorports returns with Paul Jenkins, Nighthawk is also back with Alex Saunders and Greg West. Finally, No Limit Racing is back with Kris Walker.
Now for the new teams and drivers; and boy there are a lot of them! Bombshell Motorsports will have Eric Micke driving. Ridin Shotgun will have a 3 car team of Lionel Calisto, Taft Baldwin and Adam Young. Fat Dog Racing will have Mike Rigney and Justin Kirby. iRacing Today Motorsports will have Dean Moll and Chad Dalton. Total Downforce Racing will have Steven Schlacher, 10-50 Barbanera will have Nathan Lewis and SimPit Racing will be represent by David Clymer. Mitchell Mohler, Eric Block, George Sandman, Joshua Gayman, and Hacker will start the season as independents.
Finally, Former real-world IndyCar driver Richie Hearn brings his Elite West Racing and teammate Michael B Thompson to the series, while current IndyCar driver Sage Karam returns to the Retro Series this time with Coanda Sim Sport.
Notably absent from this list is 2018 champion Adam Blocker, who has chosen to focus solely on the IndyCar series this season, as the competition has also picked up in that series.
Early drivers to watch for round 1 will include last years championship runner-up Alex Saunders, and multiple race Sage Karam. These two drivers clashed a number of times during the season, and will look to renew their rivalry this season as each try to take hold of the championship from the beginning.
Richie Hearn, George Sandman, Joshua Gayman and Justin Kirby all showed speed throughout the all-star festivities, and will be looking to spoil the party up to of the standings.
And let’s not forget the oval specialists. Big Joe Hassert, Dustin Wardlow and Chris Lanini all showed speed in 2018 and could very easily sneak up on the title contenders to be a part of the championship hunt 18 long races from now.
Lionel Calisto, Steven Schlacher, Taft Baldwin. The list of fast rookies in the Retro Series is almost endless, and there will doubtlessly shocks and surprises at every turn this season. So many that you can’t afford to miss a single round, starting with Round 1 this Thursday, March 14th, 2019 at 10:35pm Eastern only on the iRacing eSports Network brought to you by GSRC.
The Lionheart Retro Series presented by ButtKicker kicked off its 2019 season with a celebratory feel and a true all-star in victory lane.
Sage Karam dominated the event, leading all 34 laps of the Lionheart Retro All-Star Race presented by ButtKicker, the new title sponsor for the Lotus L79 series.
“I got out to a comfortable lead, but for some reason I never told myself to slow down,” Karam said. “I’m a competitor, I just wanted to keep going faster.”
Karam - a five-time Indianapolis 500 starter - took the lead from pole winner Ryan Otis on the start, using a crossover move in the final chicane at the Charlotte Motor Speedway Roval course and outbreaking the former series runner-up into turn one.
By the end of lap one, Karam had opened up nearly a second advantage, breaking the draft of the other cars. He never looked back.
“On the start, I didn’t know that was going to happen,” Karam said. “I knew he’d get on it before the chicane, and he did. It looked like he might’ve clipped the chicane a bit and got loose, and I kinda over-under him and got on the inside.
Otis bobbled entering turn one, and dropped back to fifth before recovering to finish third.
“Talk about all-time worst starts,” Otis said. “I felt like I was lucky to keep it out of the wall. Sage got a great start on me. I got a little lose on the curb, and we got side-by-side and I got in the dust. That was pretty much it for me.”
Newcomer George Sandman earned a spot in the main event with a dominating win in the All-Star Open, a sprint race that saw 12 cars transfer to the main event. He then maneuvered his way into second early on and held the spot for the rest of the race.
“I think they need to check Sage’s car for rocket fuel or something,” Sandman said jokingly. “I just wanted to make sure I didn’t make any mistakes, kept my laps nice and clean.”
The event was marred by issue for some of the top Lionheart drivers.
Richie Hearn - himself a Indy Racing League race winner, and analyst for the Lionheart IndyCar Series race broadcast - was running in third when connection issues caused him to pull over and retire.
Lionheart winner Justin Weaver was in position to earn a podium when he lost control in the first part of the infield road course, collecting the wall and ending his race.
Dustin Wardlow, a winner in both IndyCar and Retro events last season, started sixth but crashed in the bus stop on the opening lap.
As a result, the field thinned out, with just five cars finishing on the lead lap, capped by Andrew Kinsella and rookie Stefan Schlacher..
The Lionheart Retro Series presented by ButtKicker now prepares for the races that count. The season kicks off at Homestead-Miami Speedway with the Homestead 200. The event, like all Lionheart Racing Series events, can be seen live on the iRacing eSports Network with presentation from Global SimRacing Channel, on Thursday, March 14 at 10:35 p.m. EST.
Before the meal gets underway, there is the appetizer. Before we look ahead to this year’s action, we pay homage to last year’s excitement. For Lionheart, that means it is time for their annual All-Star festivities starting with The Lionheart Retro Series presented by ButtKicker. The All-Star race for the sister Lionheart IndyCar Series presented by First Medical Equipment will take place next week.
A non-championship race, the all-star race is a fun way for the Lionheart drivers to gather back together after a long off-season. Nothing but pride is on the line for these drivers as the compete for the win in this unique format.
This year’s race will be at the brand new Charlotte Roval. With a tight and twisty infield section mated to a flat out, high-banked oval, the Roval is a perfect representation of the challenge the drivers will be facing this season in the L79.
The festivities consist of 3 races; a 34 lap main event, an 11 lap transfer race and the 11 lap shoot-out. In order to qualify directly for the main event, you must have; finished in the top 10 in points, been a race or pole winner in 2018, been named rookie of the year or driver of the year in 2018, been the cleanest driver in 2018, or previously won an all-star race or a championship. This list number 17 drivers for 2019. The remaining 3 spots will be filled with the podium from transfer race, which will kick off Thursday‘s broadcast. These final 3 drivers will bring the all-star main event up to an even 20 drivers.
The field for the transfer race will be made up of the top 3 from the shootout, which takes place the night before, as well as anyone 11th-20th in points not already locked in through other criteria, and any race sponsors for season 3.
The shoot-out will take place the day before the main all-star races, and is for everyone not eligible for the transfer race or main event, and will not be broadcast.
All this means that we will have 20 of the best drivers Lionheart has to offer going head to head. Will one of this year’s new driver be able to go all the way from shoot-out to all-star glory? Or will it be one of the series veterans, the best that last season had to offer taking the crown?
The Lionheart Series certainly wasn’t idle during the 2 month hiatus between season 2 and season 3 either. Eagle-eyed readers may already have noticed that ButtKicker by the Guitammer Company has taken over from HPP as the presenting sponsor of the Retro Series. HPP made the difficult decision to step back from sponsoring the Retro Series this year as the they look to focus on production of their excellent pedals and wheels. The Lionheart Series would like to thank HPP for their support over the last 2 years.
In their place, is a name familiar to Retro viewers, as ButtKicker was our rookie of the year award sponsor last season. ButtKicker products provide sim racers the world over with that missing driver to track connection. Their products work for office chairs and sim rigs alike, and function by moving actual mass producing a haptic emersion experience like no other. The Lionheart Series is very excited to be working with such a fantastic partner as ButtKicker.
As with any off season, their are a lot of new faces, as well as old faces in new place. Look for a full run down of all the latest driver news after the All-Star race.
The 2019 Lionheart Retro Series All-Star Race presented by Buttkicker will start of the Retro season this Thursday, February 21st, 2019 at 10:35pm Eastern, only on the iRacing eSports Network with GSRC.
Another season draws to a close and another championship shall be decided at Auto Club in the Lionheart Championship 250 presented by Dewars Candy . The 2 mile super speedway has been home to the Lionheart Series finale since the league was formed back in 2014. Jesse Vincent won the first ever Lionheart Season championship back in 2014 in the DW12 over Richard Behr by just a single point. Last year, in the inaugural Retro Series season, it was Jake Wright, closing things out with a 4th place finish to take the championship over Ryan Otis.
This season is much closer than last. The 2 contenders this season are Adam Blocker and Alex Saunders, and are separated by just 9 points. Saunders has found victory lane 8 times in 2018 to Blocker’s 5, but Blocker has 14 top 5’s to Saunders’ 11, giving the Carolina driver a slight edge heading into the finale. Blocker has been a fierce competitor all season and has capitalized in those instances where Saunders has made mistakes. Its moments like this that differentiates drivers from champions. Saunders will do anything but laydown when it comes to fighting for the championship. Blocker and Saunders have been on the podium together for a total of 7 races, and it is highly likely that a win will be needed to secure the championship one way or the other, with double points on the line for the final leg of the Triple Crown.
They are fighting for prize fit for a king, with HPP awarding the season champion their top of the line 3P-PRX-SE hydraulic pedal set valued at nearly $1400 dollars.
Meanwhile, other story lines continue to fascinate. While they have no chance at the title, just 91 points separate 5th place Justin Weaver from 14th Scott Johnson. With prizes paying down to 10th, these drivers will have everything to race for, and could prove to be a foil in the championship as they race for their own prizes.
The team championship will also come down to the final event. Currently Raven Motorsports leads by 88 over 8 Ball Motorsports. Raven dominated the team championship standings all season until 8 Ball had an impressive running at Indy putting the pressure on Raven and tightening the championship down the stretch. If 8 Ball can capitalize on the double points at Auto Club they certainly would have an opportunity to steal the championship from Raven. Adrenaline does still have a mathematical chance at the championship, but will need a significant swing in fortunes for both 8 Ball and Raven.
The cleanest driver will also come down to the finale with Lanini and Reiman being separated by just 4 incident points. One crash either way could be all it takes to flip this award and the prizes that go with it.
Iron Man standings going into the finale are being led by Adam Blocker with a total of 2,765.90 miles completed on the season.
The full 2019 schedule will be released at the end of the finale. The Series will be looking to add new drivers in the off season as many of the drivers from the 2018 season are looking to run exclusively in the IR-18 for 2019.
The Challenge Series will again be running during the off season. Each year the series brings new cars and tracks together in a 10-race series to give the members a “challenge” while also using it as a tool to gauge new drivers looking for roster spots for the upcoming season. This season the series will use the Nissan GTP-ZXT and have its opener on 12-27 at ISM Raceway.
Many changes are arriving to Lionheart in the off season. New rules package for 2019 along with a confirmed new series. New for 2019 the Lionheart Renault Series featuring the FR 2.0 will be home to 15 rounds and be used as part of the leagues new ladder system being established to keep drivers active as they work towards an eventual seat in IR-18.
Tune in to see who will be crowned champion on Thursday November 29th at 10:35pm eastern only on the iRacing Esports Network presented by GSRC.
Two rounds remain, two chances, two drivers locked in one of the tightest most exciting championship battles in lionheart history will face off at Road America and the finale at Auto Club Speedway. What a fitting end to an exciting second Retro Series season. The first of the two rounds will be on the greatest road course in the US; Road America, for the LPM Grand Prix at Road America. This is fitting as our two championship leaders have dueled this season to assert their road course dominance. However, the championship will be settled and won by the driver who dominates both road and oval disciplines. So far, Adam Blocker has proven to be the oval master, while Saunders has had the edge on the road.
Last time out in Montreal was the first time this season that someone not named Blocker or Saunders won the race, with real-world IndyCar driver capitalizing on a mistake by Alex Saunders in the last 10 laps en-route to a victory in only his second league start. Saunders would come home 2nd, with Adam Blocker 3rd. Andrew Kinsella was the only lead lap driver to run a 1-stop strategy, and used it to vault 3 places in the final standings to finish 4th. Marc Cohn came home an impressive 5th. With 2 races to go, the results in Montreal leave Saunders 18 points behind Blocker.
This fight certainly brings back memories of the S1 Lionheart championship which saw Jesse Vincent win the title over Richard Behr by just one point. A lot has changed since the Lionheart Racing Series was formed back in 2014. Back then, the only thing that was won was bragging rights, however, now the champions not only are winning the respect of their fellow drivers but now earn some serious prizes as well. This year the Retro Series Champion will win a set of HPP Simulation top of the line pedals valued at over $1300.
Four drivers still have a mathematical shot at winning the championship with over 180 points yet to be decided thanks to the finale being double points. Dustin Wardlow and Michael Goodman sit 3rd and 4th and will need a lot of help in order to make it happen. They’re not out of it yet and are sure to give it everything they have to win this championship, but will need a lot of help, starting with the round at Road America.
Sage Karam has had a strong start to his first few races in the Lionheart Series. Winning at Montreal over Alex Saunders. Certainly, if Blocker or Saunders want the championship title they will have to contend with Karam for every point, and Karam could be the wild card that decides this championship one way or the other.
James Brant has had a strong season in the Retro Series with 3 top 5 finishes and 7 top 10’s. After last round, he has gained 3 positions in the standings and is now 12th overall. Brant is certainly a driver to watch over the remaining two races. If Brant continues this seasons success he certainly can finish within the top 10 in points for 2018. Rumors around the paddock are that Brant will be moving over the IR-18 series full time for 2019.
The team championship has taken a swing after Montreal with Raven Motorsports gaining much needed ground over their closest rival 8 Ball Motorsports. The difference is 100 points currently and Road America will be the final road event where each team can make up or lose ground before heading into the finale where a strong running can be a nail in the coffin for the other team. Adrenaline Motorsports sits 150 points back, and still have a shot at the title as well.
Last year at Road America, Adam Blocker was victorious over Wardlow by 4.5 seconds. David Altman rounded out the podium, while Travis Jegerlehner and Jason Galvin rounded out the top 5.
The 2019 season schedule has been finalized by league officials it is confirmed that 18 rounds will once again make up the season schedule. The Lionheart series is happy to be officially announcing the inaugural running of both Imola and Sebring for season 3. Tune in to the season finale for more details .
But first, we have the penultimate round to get through. Tune in on Thursday November 1st, 2018 at 10:35pm eastern for all the fabulous Retro action only on the iRacing eSports Network and iRacing Live, presented by GSRC.
Sage Karam has spent the better part of five season working towards his first win in the Verizon IndyCar Series.
It took two weeks to capture his first win in the Lionheart Racing Series.
Karam took advantage of a late race pit stop by Alex Saunders, capturing the lead with three laps remaining and winning the Skidmark Motorsports Grand Prix of Canada Thursday night in the Lionheart Retro Series presented by HPP Simulation.
“Alex went off the track towards the end, and that was all I needed,” Karam said. “I saw that and figured I’d pit early for clear track, and it worked out. I was able to close the gap and get out in front after the last stop.”
Karam, the five-time Indianapolis 500 starter, battled in his series debut at Gateway Motorsports Park before being eliminated in a mid-race wreck.
But on the streets of Montreal, Karam was avoided trouble and was flawless, keeping the pressure on Saunders and Adam Blocker throughout the event.
When the championship contenders hit pit road with four laps remaining, Karam turned on the jets, sneaking past Saunders and holding the road course ace off over the final three laps at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve.
“That was definitely a fun race,” Karam said. “I learned I need to practice more. I maybe did ten laps before qualifying, but as the race went on I figured out the track a lot more. I put my best lap in at the end of the race.”
Saunders felt like he let one get away, and declined a post race interview.
Blocker was a distant third, finishing ten seconds back after the final stop.
“I made a mistake and cut the chicane, and Sage dive bombed me at one point,” Blocker said. “Alex made that error which minimized a bad day for me, so it’s still a good day in the points.”
Andrew Kinsella came home fourth, with Marc Cohn capturing his first series top five in fifth.
Blocker’s lead slipped to 18 points with two races remaining in the season. Dustin Wardlow fell to 101 points out of the lead following a disappointing sixth place finish after early damage.
The pass for the lead was the only change up front, as 15 of the 21 starters finished the event.
The penultimate race of the season is set to take place Thursday, November 1, at Road America. The LPM Grand Prix of Road America can be seen live on the iRacing eSports Network presented by Global SimRacing Channel at 10:35 p.m. EST.
One step forward, two steps back. That must be how the two drivers competing for the championship in the Lionheart Retro Series presented by HPP Simulation feel after every oval race. The American Cancer Society 150 at Iowa Speedway was no different Thursday night.
Adam Blocker picked up a huge win, despite picking up damage in a late-race wreck, when his championship rival Alex Saunders was swept up by a spinning Michael Goodman.
Goodman had dominated the event, leading 167 of the 172 laps, but Blocker led the three most important.
“I knew anytime someone went low and was pinched on the tighter line, there was a likelihood of a spin,” said Blocker after getting out of his damaged car. “But obviously I wasn’t expecting it from Goodman. He dominated this race.”
Goodman recovered to finish fourth, but Saunders car was too injured and finished 17th.
The championship lead for Saunders sits at just seven points with four races remaining.
It was a reversal of fortunes for the title contenders, after Blocker was involved in a nearly identical wreck at Indianapolis, when Jason Galvin spun on his own with two laps remaining. Saunders would win that race.
“That was obviously the best thing I could’ve hoped for,” Blocker said. “You never hope for that, but it was the best situation for my championship hopes.”
Bob Mikes ended up second, after running near the front all race and avoiding the chaos at the end.
“I was so far back that I didn’t even see who all was involved,” Mikes said. “As I was catching the pace car, I thought I might’ve won this thing. But then when we caught the pac car, I saw Blocker a little bit ahead. It was a funny moment.”
Dan Geren picked up a podium in third, helping his 8 Ball Motorsports team close in on Raven Motorsports for the team championship. The lead is down to seven points.
“I feel bad for my teammate Goodman, it sucks he wrecked,” Geren said. “But I’ll take third any day.”
The race was slowed by six cautions for 27 laps, including the one that ended the race.
Championship hopeful Dustin Wardlow was eliminated after James Krahula early on.
A massive wreck with 61 laps remaining eliminated Andrew Kinsella, Jorge Anzaldo and George Adams amongst others.
The Lionheart Retro Series presented by HPP Simulation hits another oval this week, with the Mental Health Awareness 200 at Gateway Motorsports Park. Blocker won the inaugural race in 2017, putting extra pressure on Saunders to turn in a strong performance.
The race can be viewed live on the iRacing eSports Network with the broadcast provided by the Global SimRacing Channel at 10:35 p.m. EST on Thursday, October 4.