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CANDYMAN VICTORIOUS AT NEW HAMPSHIRE

New Hampshire Motor Speedway might as well be renamed Candyland.

Dustin Wardlow took the lead with 20 laps to go and held off early race favorite Marc Cohn to win the Tower Rentals 175 Thursday night.

It was the second consecutive win for Wardlow at NHMS in the Lionheart Retro Series presented by ButtKicker.

“Cross your fingers and stay off the wall,” Wardlow joked when asked why he’s been so good at the Magic Mile. “I don’t know, but I’m liking it, whatever it is.”

Known as the Candy Man – after his longtime sponsor Dewar’s Candy – the Bakersfield, Calif. driver spent most of the race chasing Cohn, who led a race-high 118 laps from the pole.

But after green flag stops, and while battling back through off-strategy cars, Wardlow took advantage of Cohn’s mistake exiting turn two and rocketed past on lap 138. Wardlow inherited the lead when the caution flew with 21 laps remaining and the leaders hit pit lane for fuel.

“That whole race was about trying to stay within half a second,” Wardlow said. “And then everything just kinda broke my way again with the traffic.”

Cohn couldn’t help but feel dejected despite his second-place finish and strong points night.

“I did everything I could with lapped traffic,” Cohn said. “I got held up for a while and it was costing me time, I made a mistake forcing the move and went high and that ultimately cost me the lead. Driver error.”

Big Joe Hassert sliced his way through the field over the final 40 laps, moving up from outside the top five to the podium in the final 40 laps.

“I got a little happy on the loud pedal (on the final restart),” Hassert said. “I tried to time out Dustin and swung and missed. All the sudden, there was Aaron. It was a good battle.”

Aaron Morgan and Scott Holmes rounded out the top five.

The race saw the caution flag fly seven times for 25 laps, including the final yellow with three laps remaining. The race-ending wreck had major championship implications.

Ryan Otis, the points leader and on a run of seven consecutive top five finishes, went tumbling down the front straight after Holmes pushed up the track and into him in a battle for fifth.

Otis finished 19th, his worst effort of the season.

As a result, the championship battle tightened up.

Otis leads Wardlow by 100 points. Sage Karam, who missed the event while racing in the NTT IndyCar Series event in Toronto, sits third, just four points behind Wardlow. Cohn jumped up to fourth, another five behind Karam.

The Lionheart Retro Series presented by ButtKicker heads back to the road and a doubleheader week with its sister series, the Lionheart IndyCar Series presented by First Medical Equipment, in the rolling hills of Alabama.

The Minus 273 Grand Prix of Barber is scheduled for Thursday, July 25 and can be seen live on the iRacing eSports Network at 10:35 p.m. EST, with Global SimRacing Channel on the call.

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LIONHEART ROLLS INTO BARBER FOR THE MINUS 273 GRAND PRIX

The Milk has been drunk. Andrew Kinsella is a Lionheart Indy 500 champion. The Brats have been cooked. The annual Lionheart meetup at the real-life Iowa IndyCar race produced some amazing memories. Now it is time to drive once again. The Minus 273 Grand Prix of Barber is the next challenge for the warriors of the Lionheart IndyCar Series.

Last time at the Indy 500, it all came down to a 3-lap shootout. Points leader Adam Blocker, who started the race in 28th, but worked his way into the lead, and looked to hold off the gaggle of cars behind him. Michael Goodman, Justin Weaver and Tony Showen all took runs at him. Blocker hugged the white line and held them off, but Andrew Kinsella, restarting 4th, shadowed Blocker for 2 laps before making his move. Using Blocker’s draft off of turn 4 with 1 lap to go, Kinsella lead at the line and went side-by-side with his teammate through the first 2 turns. Entering 3, Blocker edged ahead and Kinsella fell in behind again. It turns out that was exactly what Kinsella hoped for. Just like the lap before, Kinsella used Blockers draft to sling shot passed Blocker to take the win at the line by a scant 0.021 seconds. Weaver held off a charging Big Joe Hassert for 4th, while Tony Showen rounded out the top 5. Some early hopefuls met with an early end to their days. Dan Geren was strong for the first half of the race, but some caution flags shuffled him back in the order and as he was moving back through the field, he got tangled with Joe Branch, who had also been strong all day long. Chris Stofer brought out the final caution of the race after leading 27 laps. Stofer was recovering from a penalty when a check-up saw Stofer and Greenlee get together on the front stretch in a spectacular crash.

In other news, this past weekend saw Lionheart’s Iowa meetup at the IndyCar race. Between 45-50 Lionheart drivers, friends and family members all gathered at the IndyCar race to watch Lionheart regular Sage Karam take on the best the NTT IndyCar Series had to offer, and create memories to last a life time.

Now the IndyCar Series drivers shift focus to a brand-new challenge. Barber is back on the IndyCar schedule after it was last run back in season 3. The tight and technical track will be a challenge for all the drivers this week. Precise braking combined with the right mix of bravery and caution will be needed as sweeping multi apex corners give way to tight hairpins.

Coming off his first win in more then a season Andrew Kinsella will be looking to keep the momentum going with a strong showing at Barber. While the Canadian has never been the fastest driver on a road course full stop, he has proven time and again to be able to get a car home in one piece. The adrenaline driver’s foible, however, always seems to be his qualifying run. With passing notoriously difficult at Barber, this will have to change if Kinsella is to have a shot at the podium or a win.

Adam Blocker will be the one he will need to go through, however. Blocker is having a season for the ages, which is saying something with the stacks of talent in Lionheart this year. Karam, Geren, Kinsella, Goodman, Weaver, and Hassert have all shown speed, but the remarkable consistency the Carolina driver has shown simply hasn’t been matched. 11 finishes of 4th or better in 12 races says all that needs to be said. It will take some mistakes and some bad luck for anyone but Blocker to win the title as the season swings to the 2nd half this week.

Speaking of Karam, the Pennsylvania driver has been away from Lionheart the past 2 weeks while driving a real IndyCar. His status for this Wednesday’s race is unknown, but if he is able to make it, look for Karam to be a driver to seriously challenge Blocker for the win.

For another epic Lionheart race, tune into the Minus273 Grand Prix of Barber this Wednesday, July 24th at 10:35pm eastern only on the iRacing eSports Network present by GSRC.

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​Dan Geren was not going to be denied.

The Iowa native took on all challengers and never backed down – rarely even giving up a lap – leading a race-high 102 laps from the pole and capturing the LPM 200 at Texas Motor Speedway Wednesday night.

It was the third win of the season for the Synergy Motorsports driver in the Lionheart IndyCar Series presented by First Medical Equipment.

“Clean air was king,” Geren said after leading 102 of 134 laps. “If you could hold the bottom, after about 15 laps the aero wash behind was too hard to deal with.”

Geren held off challenges all race long. Lap after lap, drivers lined up to stake a shot at Geren: Brian Beard, Sage Karam, Connor Harrington, Jason Galvin, Brandon Limkemann, Brian Yaczik and more. Only twice did Geren truly get passed for the lead, and he rocketed back to the front shortly after each time.

“I knew I had to do something after Adam Blocker had issues,” Geren said. “We’re trying to make a move in the points.”

Karam survived a scramble to the finish to hang on for second. A caution with two laps remaining prevent Galvin from making a late charge.

“I knew clean air was everything, so I wanted to be first or second knowing you could run both lanes here,” Karam said. “Happy to come home in second. I just didn’t have the tire to get under Dan at the end.”

Galvin captured third, after nearly wrecking when Damon Martinez forced the Milwaukee winner onto the apron in turn three. The Loud Pedal Motorsports driver charged back to a podium spot using the outside lane late in the race.

“I backed off at one point,” Galvin said. “I had zero faith the front cars were going to make it to the end. I got lucky I was able to battle back to third at the end. That race was insane.”

Joe Branch and Joe Hassert completed the top five.

The race ended under caution when Harrington squeezed four wide entering turn three. The lapped car of Bart Workman was up against the wall, and Harrington came down to make slight contact with Hassert.

While gathering the car, Isaiah Dupree attempted to pass Harrington. Contact between the two shoved Harrington back up into Workman, who hit the wall to bring out the race ending caution.

Dupree held on for seventh, just behind Michael Goodman. Harrington slipped to tenth.

The championship battle regained some intrigue with Geren’s maximum points night (pole, most laps led and no incident points combined with a win).

Defending series champion Adam Blocker was twice swept up in crashes not of his doing.

First, on lap 20, Karam pushed up the hill exiting turn two. Chris Stofer was making his move on the high side and ended up in the wall, with Brandon Limkemann left with nowhere to go.

As Limkemann spun down the track, Blocker plowed into him. Limkemann and Stofer were both unable to continue. Blocker’s pit crew went to work replacing the front wing and trying to salvage a good points finish.

Then, on lap 58, the big one struck. Tyler Graaf pushed exiting turn two, tagging the wall. The ensuing crash took out Blocker, George Sandman, Dustin Wardlow and Marc Cohn.

As a result, Blocker’s lead over Geren shrunk to 122 points. That’s even more important with the double points Indy 500 up next.

The Thumbs Up, Cancer Down Indianapolis 500 presented by Dewar’s Candy is set for Saturday, July 13 at 4:00 p.m. EST. The race can be seen live on the iRacing eSports Network with presentation by Global SimRacing Channel.

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 JASON GALVIN WINS THRILLER AFTER BIZARRE NIGHT AT MILWAUKEE

In the end, it all worked out like it should. At least, that’s what Jason Galvin thought. The Bakersfield, Calif. driver led the most laps in a mostly dominating victory in the Simpit 200 at the virtual Milwaukee Mile Wednesday night.

But the race was not without its oddball moments and featured a thrilling finish on the tight one-mile oval.

“The last ten laps were like hold on for dear life,” Galvin said. “The car was light on fuel, the track was hot, the tires were old. I thought I was wrecked in turn one on the final lap. But it all worked out.”

The win was the fifth of his career for Galvin in the Lionheart IndyCar Series presented by First Medical Equipment.

After capturing his first career pole, Galvin jumped out to an early lead before the race was red flagged following the opening caution on lap five. A race session error caused officials to call for a complete restart, including qualifying.

Over the final 15 laps, Blocker closed the gap to Galvin and made multiple attempts to complete a pass on the outside to no avail.

On the final lap, Galvin’s car pushed wide in turn two, allowing Blocker to get a run down the back straight. After popping to the outside and even taking the lead by a nose in the final corner, Galvin powered back in front on the bottom and won by a half-car length.

The final margin of victory: 0.062 seconds.

“Adam and I have had our moments in the past,” Galvin said. “But we’ve raced so well together this year in the few times we’ve been able to. I respect him so much. He ran clean all night.”

Blocker said he did everything he could to get around Galvin, but ran out of laps.

“As Jason said, I kinda screwed up the strategy a little bit,” Blocker said. “I guess it could’ve gone either way depending on how cautions went. Then we had a incident on the next pit stop, there was a checkup and I hit (Dustin) Wardlow. It was enough to give him a rear wing change and me a front. That put me back.

“Just slowly over the green runs made up track position, taking advantage of others’ mistakes in traffic. The last stint, I knew Jason would pit early. I figured he would come out in front of me but I’m not in a position to risk short-pitting because of the points. It worked out because Galvin caught some traffic and I had much better tires, and it really allowed me to attack. Good race to Galvin, that was fun. We raced clean.”

Galvin said he didn’t disagree with the call to form a new session, but was nonetheless selfishly disappointed. In the second session, Galvin qualified third behind championship leader Adam Blocker and Justin Weaver.

Blocker’s decision to pit on a lap 27 caution ultimately may have been the difference in the race.

Galvin stayed out – along with several other top ten cars – and inherited a lead that he would only lose during pit cycles.

“I knew track position was important, I wanted to be out front,” Galvin said. “I don’t think I was the fastest car. I think Adam and Justin and even Mike were all better than me honestly. But track position was everything.”

Michael Goodman came home third, having run in the top five the entire race.

“I had a great night,” Goodman said. “I made a mistake early on and lost some confidence. Then I almost lost the car. I wanna apologize to Justin, it probably ruined his race. But it just feels good to have all the hard work, and see some good results.”

Goodman was part of the biggest scare amongst contenders. On lap 132, the top four of Galvin, Goodman, Weaver and Blocker overtook then-leader Samuel Reiman, who was on the tail end of his fuel run.

As Goodman exited turn two, behind the dirty air of Galvin, the car stepped out. Justin Weaver nearly clobbered Goodman, and Blocker made an evasive move to the inside to jump from fourth to second.

Weaver would pit under a caution two laps later, banking on more wrecks that would allow the Nashville driver to get to the end on fuel.

But the lap 134 caution for Isaiah Dupree’s spin proved to be the final of seven yellow flags.

Weaver inherited the lead for a few laps late in the event, but had to hit pit road with 10 laps remaining for a splash of fuel. Weaver settled for fifth, right behind Dan Geren. Big Joe Hassert was sixth after starting 25th, the biggest mover in the race.

Weaver’s fuel stop setup the dramatic dash to the end between Galvin and Blocker, leading to the closest finish in Milwaukee history in the Lionheart series.

The 2019 running of the Simpit 200 was much cleaner than last year’s event. After a record 17 cautions in 2018, the seven yellow flags this year were seen as a surprise.

19 of the 34 starters finished the race. 12 cars finished on the lead lap.

Blocker’s points lead improved to 172 over Geren. Andrew Kinsella missed the event, falling to eighth in points. As a result, Michael Goodman jumped to third, a stark 71 points behind Geren.

The Lionheart IndyCar Series presented by First Medical Equipment returns this week. The LPM 200 at Texas Motor Speedway is set for Wednesday, July 3 at 10:35 p.m. EST. The race can be seen live on the iRacing eSports Network with Global SimRacing Channel producing the action. Justin Weaver is the defending winner of the event.

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OTIS DOMINATES IMOLA FOR FIRST RETRO WIN OF 2019


All it took was one mistake, and Ryan Otis never looked back.

The points leader inherited the lead when rookie Dave Walsh crashed on lap eleven, and pulled away to a dominating 55 second victory in the Sam Maxwell Customs Grand Prix of Imola.

The win was the first of the year for Otis, the points leader in the Lionheart Retro Series presented by ButtKicker.

“It seemed like a really big win, but I was actually worried the entire time about Sage (Karam),” Otis said. “I did a lot of testing saving fuel and a few laps in I started saving fuel and Sage was catching me. Up until he pit late, I was worried he was doing an amazing job of saving fuel and was going to get me.”

Otis qualified second behind Walsh, and appeared to have similar pace early on. But Walsh made an unforced error in the tricky Alta chicane at the legendary Autodromo Internazionale Enzo e Dino Ferrari.

After Walsh wrecked, Otis went into attack mode, trying to gap the field in anticipation that championship adversary Sage Karam would try to make the race on just one fuel stop.

But Karam needed a second stop – and incurred a speeding penalty that knocked him off the podium – allowing Otis to win by a margin rarely seen in the fiercely competitive Lionheart series.

“When I saw Sage catching me when I attempted to do some fuel saving, I just went for it,” Otis said. “You had to be incredibly disciplined.”

Joshua Gayman spent the entire race in an incredible battle with J.P. Windschitl. Gayman was able to overtake Windschitl with six laps remaining, and then got around the only driver to one-stop the race – Travis Jegerlehner –  on the final lap to take home a career best second.

“We finally had one car that had just enough speed to stay ahead, and I got a really good exit out of the hairpin,” Gayman said of his pass on Windschitl. “When we got the next corner, I just held it down and got to the throttle as quick I could.”

Jegerlehner held off Windschitl on the final lap, running out of fuel as the car crossed the finish line.

“I can certainly say I didn’t do it on talent,” Jegerlehner joked. “I knew it would be tough to get a top ten on pace, but in practice I could save fuel and almost make race distance. I was determined to make a one stopper work and I ran out coming to the line.”

Windschitl finished fourth, but earned the respect of his peers and fans after a thrilling battle with Gayman that was featured prominently on the race broadcast.

“I was playing defense so hard,” Windschitl said. “That was the most fun I’ve ever had in a race, period.”

The only major multi-car incident occurred on the opening lap when James Paulson went wide and ran into Marc Cohn in the final corner. Cohn’s car went airborne and suffered too much damage to continue.

Paulson was penalized for an avoidable contact, and also suffered wing damage, slowing to finish one lap down in 17th.

Cohn, a championship contender, finished 27th in the 28 car field.

The race was run in honor of Cohn’s sponsor, Sam Maxwell Customs, and its namesake. Sam Maxwell lost his father just days before the event. A tribute to Sam Maxwell, Sr., opened the broadcast.

Otis leads Karam by 77 points. George Sandman missed the event and drops to third, 114 out of the lead.

The Lionheart Retro Series presented by ButtKicker heads back to America and the Magic Mile, New Hampshire Motor Speedway, for some short track Retro action in its next event. The Tower Rentals 175 is scheduled for Thursday, July 11 at 10:35 p.m. EST. The race can be seen live on the iRacing eSports Network with Global SimRacing Channel producing the show. Dustin Wardlow is the defending race winner.

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​LIONHEART RACING SERIES CELEBRATES ITS 5TH YEAR OF OPERATION 7/1/19

July 1, 2014 is the day where an idea was put into motion and became reality. This idea simply came from the desire to compete against friends and take IndyCar racing on iRacing to the next level. After several months of careful planning the Lionheart Racing Series league was officially created.

July 3, 2014 hosted the very first Lionheart races at Michigan International Speedway. The response to the league was so overwhelming especially with the recent release of the DW12. 67 drivers showed up to the inaugural event and as a result splits were created. Michael Chinn won Race 1 over Marc Melcher. Race 2 saw Danno Brookins win over Kouichi kitamura. Lionheart was not the first IndyCar league on iRacing but it was certainly one of the first to utilize the new Dallara. Dan Wheldon himself had the honor of being the first to test drive the new car. Even more fitting that the league would be used as a means to pay homage to the fallen Indy 500 Champion.

Speaking of friends, I began my journey on iRacing alone with the sole purpose of competing in the virtual IndyCar Series. I was invited to a private chat server by a fellow iRacer Justin Lane who was friendly and welcoming. It was through this chat server that I met many of the original members of Lionheart many of which are still racing with us today. Who knows if I hadn’t stumbled upon and met Justin perhaps, I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to have met so many of the people that helped make Lionheart a reality back in year one?

An idea alone would not be enough to push the league forward and gain the momentum that it would need to continue expanding each and every year into what it is today. To the “founding fathers” of Lionheart who were there in the early days helping me take this dream of mine and set it on the right path I owe you my sincerest gratitude. Joe Hassert, Drew Motz and Robert Blouin are a few of those that were there at the beginning brainstorming, planning and discussing all of the “what if’s” which were instrumental in creating our rulebook and overall strategy in how we would run the league.

We also cannot forget Ryan Lewis, friend and fellow iRacer who was there in the beginning as we searched and struggled for a name? Boy did we go through so many different possible names! Ryan who seemed to just come out of nowhere uttered the words “Why don’t we call it Lionheart?” Being the huge Dan Wheldon fan that he was it made sense that he came up with that idea. From there we decided that yes, Lionheart was a perfect name and the league would be a perfect platform to honor him.

Over the years I have had the pleasure of working with some amazing people. All of which have given their time and shared their talents so generously to the league. The Lionheart Administration team and its support staff have supported me and this league through the last 5 years I would like to thank the following individuals for their efforts in making Lionheart what it has become. Patrick Taylor, Joe Hassert, Drew Motz, Robert Blouin, Pierre-Alexandre Daigle, David Korty, Andrew Kinsella, Tyler Graaf, Alex Saunders, Jason Galvin. Thank you all and everyone that has sacrificed their personal time to help keep the league running in the manner it has been over the last 7 seasons.

I would also like to give thanks to all the drivers past and present who have competed in Lionheart. Without our drivers there is no league. The admin team has worked tirelessly to provide the best racing and atmosphere for its members. Our members have responded with a level of dedication any league owner would be proud of. They respond week in and week out providing some of the most exciting Sim Racing on the iRacing service. My hat goes off to you all as it has been an absolute honor racing with you all over the past 5 years. I look forward to all the battles and stories that will be told as we look ahead to the next 5 years.

Lionheart has also had the pleasure of having nearly all of its races broadcast since the finale of Season 1 at Auto Club Speedway. To all the staff at Global SimRacing Channel thank you for your professionalism and service to our series, its members and fans. All that you do blends perfectly into one amazing incredible production. One that has helped grow the popularity of the league each and every season. Sean Ambrose thank you for your friendship and guidance in the early years and for being a part of so many of our broadcasts. Amjed and Joe Peak your work keeping everything running smoothly, Dougie with the best cameras in Sim Racing. Soup thank you for continuing to work with us and Richie for coming on board adding that extra element to the commentary. Big thanks as well to Adam Young, Jason Galvin, Brian Yaczik and all the others who have been a part of a Lionheart broadcast.

I wanted to take the time to give thanks to all our sponsors. It is because of you that this league has grown the way it has and allowed us to provide some of the most amazing prizes to our drivers. I thank you for putting your trust in Lionheart to represent your brands with integrity and honor. Big thanks to all our season sponsor’s First Medical Equipment, SimXperience Racing Simulators, The ButtKicker, SMC and Sam Maxwell, Scott Rhea with Plasma-Tracks Race Track Wall Art and Motorsports Trophies, Minus273, Scott MacKenzie with Clipping That Apex, IracingIflag, Turn Racing, Shaun Cole at The Simpit, Tyler Graaf with GRAAFix, all the guys over at Guys Games and Beer, the The DMLC Racing Channel, Scott Rupp with Midwest Simulations, Jennifer Harrington with Viva Motorsport, and Trak Racer.

Thank you to all of the Lionheart members who have sponsored races each and every season. It is so very much appreciated and we cannot thank you enough!
Dustin Wardlow, Loud Pedal Motorsports, Brian Greenlee, Marc Lavry Cohn, Marc Aumick, Patrick Taylor Family, Bob Mikes, Scott Johnson, and each and every member who has sponsored a race. Thank you so very much.

Brandon Limkemann and all the family and First Medical Equipment,I wanted to personally thank you for being the title sponsor of our Lionheart IndyCar Series for the past 4 seasons and for your friendship. Your support has been pivotal in providing all of the operating and logistical services for its drivers. Everyone at Lionheart owes you a great deal of gratitude.

I want to thank our Series Champions. Jesse Vincent IndyCar Series Seasons 1 &2. Jake Wright IndyCar Series Seasons 3,4 and 5. Adam Blocker Season 6. Jake Wright Retro Series Season 1. Adam Blocker Retro Series Season 2. Congratulations on your accomplishments.

Let’s see what the next 5 years will bring?

HAPPY BIRTHDAY LIONHEART!