Sometimes in racing, circumstances out of a driver's control can severely shape the outcome of an event. The same is true in sim racing. But for every driver who misses out on an opportunity, another stands ready to seize the moment, and that’s exactly what Adm Blocker did en route to winning the Road America 100 presented by DewarsCandy.com in the Lionheart Retro Series Thursday night.
“I kinda lucked into that, Ryan (Otis) definitely deserved it more than anyone else,” Blocker said. “But I’ll take it, I don’t luck into many wins so we’ll take it.”
Otis dominated the race from the pole until lap eleven. As green flag pit stops began, several drivers experienced connection issues. Otis and second place Jake Wright were both kicked from the server, as well as Joe Branch and Marc Aumick. Others also suffered connection issues, but in following the Lionheart rule book, league admins decided the race was close enough to official and not enough drivers dropped out to postpone the event.
Blocker capitalized to take the lead, only relinquishing it on his own pit stop.
“It would’ve been a fun race with Jake,” Blocker said. “I got boxed out on the start and Jake and Jason (Galvin) got around me. I was able to get back by Jason pretty quickly, and then I started running down Jake. Pit stops would’ve made it interesting.”
Dustin Wardlow used a quick stop to get around Galvin and away from David Altman, settling into second while leading two laps during the pit cycle. It was the fifth top 5 of the season for Wardlow, who closed in on Galvin for third in points.
“I had a death grip on the wheel, it was insanity for the first few laps,” Wardlow said. “We were slowing each other up and letting people get away that we would have competed with, so we decided to cruise around and try to catch them.”
The start of the race was filled with action. Galvin jumped from sixth to third in the first two corners, before Blocker came back around on lap two. Wardlow, Altman, Michael Goodman, Andrew Kinsella and Travis Jegerlehner swapped spots behind the top four, battling until pit stops with unrelenting pace.
After the lone stop of the race, Altman reeled in Galvin. The two battled fiercely for five laps until Galvin slid sideways out of the final corner with three laps remaining. That allowed Altman to secure a podium, with Jegerlehner also getting around for fourth and Galvin sliding to fifth.
“It was an incredible race,” Altman said. “It was basically running qualifying laps every lap, from racing Dustin early and then Jason and Travis late. That’s probably the most fun I’ve had in two years.”
Wright and Otis both returned to finish 17th and 18th, disappointing nights for the top two in points.
Kinsella, Goodman, Chris Stofer, Scott Bolster and Dylan McKenna rounded out the top 10, as 12 cars finished on the lead lap.
Wright leads Otis by 46 points, remarkable considering Otis has missed an event. Galvin sits 58 back of Otis, with Wardlow another 18 in tow.
The event was the first for the Retro Series since the unexpected death of Patrick Taylor. The 35-year-old league admin and racer died from a medical emergency in his hometown of Kamloops, British Columbia, Canada two weeks ago. The series is collecting funds to donate to his family. Teammate and fellow Canadian Robert Blouin is driving a blacked out car in honor of Taylor for the remainder of the season.
The Lionheart Retro Series heads to Iowa Speedway for the Iowa 150 next Thursday night. You can see that race live on the Global SimRacing Channel at 7:40 p.m. EST.
For more information on the Lionheart Retro Series, head to www.LionheartRacingSeries.com.