This week the Retro Series heads back to The Milwaukee Mile for the Turf Monkey 200. Turf Monkey is owned and operated by Lionheart league member Marty Davis out of Racine Wisconsin. Turf Monkey specializes in fertilization, weed control, aeration and dethatching, over seeding, snow removal and mowing. Don’t monkey around in your yard this season! Their slogan “We’ll make your lawn look bananas!” Visit www.facebook.com/turfmonkey for more information. New for 2018 the Retro Series has an increased distance at Milwaukee for a total of 200 miles.
Last week at Motegi, it was Alex Saunders who took his 3rd win of the season at Motegi, and first on an oval. Saunders has emerged in the Retro Series as a favorite to win the championship if he continues this pace. He currently sits P3 overall, just 6 points back from Dustin Wardlow for 2nd. Wardlow had a round to forget at Motegi, after getting damaged early in the race finishing 1 lap down in 24th. The win for Saunders did not, however, get him much closer to the point lead. Adam Blocker finished right behind Saunders in 2nd, limiting the damage as much as possible. Blocker currently leads Wardlow by 62 points, and Saunders by 68. Finishing 3rd in the race was “Big” Joe Hassert, who improved from an 18th starting spot to finish 3rd. The final 2 spots saw a pitched battle for the final laps, when Andrew Kinsella barely edged out Jake Wright for 4th place at the finish. Kinsella had to battle back from a mid-race penalty that saw the Canadian in 26th place at the mid-way point in the race. Wright meanwhile chose not to qualify, starting from the back and using pit strategy to bting himself to the sharp end of the grid. The result saw the defending champion move up to 5th in the championship, while Kinsella moved up to 11th. Both have missed 1 race so far this year. In fact, a number of drivers have missed 1 or more races. The retro series sees drivers worst 2 results dropped from their point total. Once factored in, these drop weeks will certainly paint a fuller picture of the championship standings. Look for those to be scored later in the season.
Bob Mikes was the winner last year at Milwaukee. Reports from the paddock are that Mikes will unfortunately not be defending his win this season as he will be unavailable on race night. This leaves the field rather wide-open for this weeks race. Blocker, Saunders and Wardlow will be among the favorites this year, as all 3 look to cement their candidacy for champion this year. All 3 will be looking over their shoulder however, as defending champion Jake Wright slowly creeps into view. Wright has had a relatively slow start to the year, however, the 5th place in Motegi might just be the result Wright needs to jump start his season. If it is, the others in the top 5 should look out.
10 different drivers led laps at Milwaukee in the S1 inaugural event. 33 drivers took the green flag with 22 running at the end. Only 14 drivers finished on the lead lap. 1 of those drivers was David Altman. Altman recently returned to Lionheart competition and after shaking of the rust at Motegi, could be a driver to watch at Milwaukee.
Short-track racing often produces unexpected results. One person who has had a good amount of success in Lionheart competition at short tracks over the years is Joe Branch. The soft-spoken Indiana driver has a knack for coming up big on short-track. Will Milwaukee be Branch’s coming out party in the Retro Series.
Jorge Anzaldo, still trying to break into the championship, is without a top 10 finish so far this season. The Raven Motorsports driver certainly has had some shining moments this season only to fall short from driver errors or gambles on fuel strategy not paying off. Last season at Milwaukee, Anzaldo qualified on the front row, led the most laps and finished P4. Could we see another strong drive this year at the Milwaukee Mile?
Raven Motorsports continues to lead the team standings for another week just -24 ahead of Adrenaline who scored the most points of any team after Motegi. 8 Ball sits in P3 in the team standings despite having a tough outing last week. The team championship is still wide-open for the taking. Who will help their team to one of the most hotly contested crowns in Lionheart history?
The Turf Monkey 200 can be seen live on Thursday, June 14th at 10:35pm Eastern, only on GSRC and iRacing Live.