Adam Blocker knew he needed to stay clean and finish up front to secure his first Lionheart IndyCar Series presented by First Medical Equipment championship.
The South Carolina native did just that.
Blocker led 18 laps from the pole and settled in during long green flag runs, refusing to push the issue and coming home fourth, enough to secure his first championship on the Indy side in the Grey Matters 300 at Auto Club Speedway. The championship comes just weeks after Blocker captured the Lionheart Retro Series presented by HPP Simulation title at the same track.
“I want to thank Andrew and Dan,” Blocker said. “We never had any dustups, it was a clean championship all year. I can’t thank them enough for that. I also want to thank the league organisers.”
Blocker watched as Dan Geren dominated the back half of the event, leading a race-high 79 laps on his way to his fourth win of the season, ahead of Connor Harrington. But it was not enough, as Blocker captured the title by 13 points.
“I came in kinda hot early and got a speeding penalty,” Geren said. “I was like eleven seconds back after that. I was just about to pit when the final caution came out. I got lucky.
“I got some excellent runs on the restart, and used the high side. Connor left the bottom open and I got past and just ran the laps at the end. It all worked out in the end. Congratulations to Adam though.”
Blocker’s Adrenaline Motorsports teammate, Andrew Kinsella, came home third in points, slipping behind Geren after being caught up in the biggest wreck of the race on lap 10.
The Canadian continued, but finished eleven laps down in 23rd.
Blocker faced closing pressure from Michael Goodman and a hard charging Isaiah Dupree in the closing laps, but was able to stay in front of the duo by about two seconds, a comfortable margin over the closing laps.
As a result of his championship, Blocker received a new HPP Simulation HSW-F Steering Wheel, a custom trophy from Plasma Tracks and several other awards.
Geren was named the Dan Wheldon Driver of the Year presented by First Medical Equipment. The most prestigious award in the series, Geren received the accolades from the Lionheart admin team for his dedication to the league and to helping others improve.
Geren catapulted to the lead of the Gre Matters 300 after a restart on lap 83, and never looked back.
That caution came via a Joe Branch spin on lap 79. The Indiana native lost control while running the low line on low fuel, spinning into the wall and overturning.
Several cars were eliminated during the first caution of the night.
Ken Hacker turned Joe Hassert exiting turn two, leading to a melee. When the dust settled, Kinsella was damaged, Hassert was out and Jorge Anzaldo, Brian Greenlee, Joe Flanagan, Chris Stofer and Tony Showen were either finished or severely wounded.
Blocker was the only member of his team to avoid issues, but it mattered not, as Adrenaline Motorsports had already locked up the Team Championship presented by HPP Simulation.
Blocker, Kinsella, Branch, Showen and Stofer were the team to beat from the beginning of the season, capturing 13 total wins, led by Blocker’s league-high nine.
Justin Weaver finished third at Auto Club, capping an excellent freshman campaign that saw the Tennessee driver pickup the ButtKicker Rookie of the Year award, as well as a ButtKicker Gamer2 or Sim Kit of his choice. Weaver finished fifth in points, just behind teammate Michael Goodman.
James Krahula captured the Cleanest Driver presented by LOC Precision. The Texan is looking forward to reaching for the stars with his new rocket from Dave Barber’s Wisconsin-based propulsion company.
The Lionheart IndyCar Series immediately announced its 24 race 2019 schedule, set to air on the iRacing eSport Network on Wednesday night’s at 10:35 p.m. EST, with coverage provided once again by Global SimRacing Channel.
The series will host its annual All-Star event February 27 at Rockingham Speedway. The season opener returns to Homestead-Miami Speedway March 6, and the season finale once again hits the high banks of Auto Club Speedway December 18.
The Indianapolis 500 is set for Saturday, July 13.
For more information on the Lionheart IndyCar Series presented by First Medical Equipment, visit www.LionheartRacingSeries.com