33 drivers took the green flag in the HPP Simulation 200 at Michigan International Speedway. Only 21 took the checkers, but nobody seemed upset after the race.
Instead, a host of drivers lined up to congratulate Michael Goodman after one of the most popular wins in Lionheart Retro Series presented by HPP Simulation history.
The New York driver held off rookie Aaron Morgan and Joe Hassert in a scramble to the finish after late pit stops.
“I knew everyone was going to need to pit, you could only run about 30 laps flat out,” Goodman said. “I was hoping they would have to pit at least.”
It was the first win for Goodman in either Lionheart Racing Series league, despite showing constant pace in both leagues and finishing high in the points last season.
“I knew exactly what I was doing with my pit stops,” Goodman said. “I had the fuel calculated to the lap. Fortunately for that last series of stops and what not, the yellow didn’t come out. It worked perfectly.”
Morgan impressed in just his second league start, nearly stealing the win on the final lap, while also holding off Hassert.
“I did not expect this at all,” Morgan said. “I knew I had to make a stop. I knew we’d come out racing Goodman, but I thought I’d race Adam (Blocker) at the end, too. I just wanted to stick with him.”
Hassert, who runs part-time in the Retro series, was content with third.
“I thought I was in the wall seven or eight times,” Hassert said. “I didn’t even know I had a chance for the win until there was three to go. When I had to pit I thought my race was over.”
Points leader Adam Blocker finished fourth, with Jason Galvin in fifth.
Alex Saunders ended up 21st, two laps down, after early contact between Galvin, Dan Geren and Woody Mahan. The trio were three wide and Geren drifted up into Galvin entering turn one, setting off a chain of events that led to Saunders spinning and slowing with damage.
Blocker now holds a 78 point lead over Saunders, with Dustin Warlow eleven points back in third.
The Lionheart Retro Series hits the road for the PSP Insurance 125 at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course on Thursday, July 26. The race can be seen live on the Global SimRacing Channel at 10:25 p.m. EST.
For more on the Lionheart Retro Series presented by HPP Simulation, visit www.LionheartRacingSeries.com