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.