Adam Blocker was nearly heartbroken.
The rookie Lionheart Retro Series driver was in command of the Barber 100, leading the first 41 laps. But a hard charge by Ryan Otis setup a thrilling final lap, with Blocker beating Otis by a nose for his third win in seven Retro starts.
“I’m ecstatic after that one,” said Blocker, who won by 0.085 seconds, the closest finish in Retro Series history. “Me, Jake (Wright) and Otis were...it was so close. That’s one of my best wins in a while...I had probably the best person in this car, in this league, finish second.”
Otis closed in on Blocker in the final section, and used a great run out of the final corner to pull along the leader.
“I was probably a little more cautious than I should’ve been on the last lap,” Blocker said. “He just ran out of time to pass me.”
Otis appeared to have a shot in a drag race, but said he topped out fourth gear.
“He drove such an excellent race, same with Jake, he was on my tail the whole way,” Otis said. “It’s a tough place to pass. I tried to get a wheel in here and there. I just couldn’t.”
Wright settled for third, 0.433 seconds behind Blocker.
“This was a tough race,” Wright said. “Right at the end of practice I found a bunch of time...but it wasn’t enough to get ahead of Adam and Ryan.”
There were no major incidents, but several solo or small crashes eliminated top competitors. Third in points Jason Galvin, fifth place Travis Jegerlehner, Joe Branch, Dan Geren and Tony Showen all experienced incidents.
Dustin Wardlow capitalized on Galvin and Jegerlehner’s misfortunes with a fourth place run. David Altman finished fifth, with Samuel Reiman in sixth, the last car on the lead lap.
Jesse Vincent finished seventh, Jegerlehner limped home to eighth, with Jorge Anzaldo and Bob Mikes finishing the top ten.
Wright’s points lead sits at 71 with three races to go. Galvin fell to 32 points back of Otis, with Wardlow 18 back of Galvin and Jegerlehner fifth in points.
The Lionheart Retro Series heads to Dover International Speedway, the Monster Mile, for the Race for the Cure 150. The race can be seen live on the Global SimRacing Channel at 10:40 p.m. EST October 5.
For more information on the Lionheart Racing Series, visit www.LionheartRacingSeries.com.