Lionheart IndyCar Series iRacing Pocono Raceway Report

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Lionheart IndyCar Series iRacing Pocono Raceway Report.

The Lionheart IndyCar Series in iRacing recently visited Pocono Raceway for round 4 of the series, here we have the race report.

As the cars and drivers of the Lionheart IndyCar Series got ready for the race ahead at Pocono raceway, the iRacing series was all set for round 4. The ButtKicker Pocono 500 Presented by Next Level Racing was set for the green light. But before we get to the race action, who started on pole and the top 5.

Written by Darren B of simrace247.com

Top 5 On The Grid

  1. #88 Brophy: 41.560
  2. #5 Beard: +0.005
  3. #91 Maleczka: +0.007
  4. #56 Pinheiroo: +0.010
  5. #44 Harrington: +0.013

Race time for the ButtKicker Pocono 500 Presented by Next Level Racing 

Another great sized grid lined up behind the safety car as 38 cars and drivers formed for the rolling start as 200 laps awaited.  Pace car pulls in and we are away. A clean start by all on the opening lap and Harington takes the lead with Brophy applying pressure, Pinheiroo has dropped to twelfth at the opening stages. Lap 5 sees the first incident of the race as Hacker gets squeezed in T3 between Graaf and Chin, sending him into a high speed spin, fortunately, no one collides with the car. we see some cars drop into pit road to grab a splash of fuel under yellow.

The pace car pulls in at the end of lap 8 and we green flag racing once again. we are starting to see the top 5 bridge a gap to those behind as Harrington leads and Brophy continues to hound him. Newsome continues to make good progress through the pack, she is currently P8 by lap 13. The top 5 are really pulling away and seem to be working together exchanging draft duties. Harrington, Brophy, Maleczka, Blocker and Kraus are in that bunch.

Graaf clips the wall at the final turn bringing out the yellow, the dirty air from the cars in front of him unsettled his car as he kisses the wall and sends his car spinning across the track and clipping the pit wall. By the end of lap 19, the majority of the field comes down pit road for fuel and tires. The green flag resumes at the start of lap 22, with aggressive restarts from many as they battle for position, Kinsella leads. Maleczka is firing on all cylinders as he takes the lead, that car is looking slick.

Lap 30 Top 10

  1. Maleczka
  2. Kinsella
  3. Showen
  4. Van De Sandt
  5. Harrington
  6. O’Brien
  7. Brophy
  8. Kraus
  9. Jenkins
  10. Blocker

Van De Sandt moves up to P3 as Maleczka and Kinsella are up the road, Van De Sandt starts to charge and close the gap on the two up front. Brophy has moved up to P5 with Harrington falling to P7.  Phil Kraus is applying pressure to Brophy and takes P5.  Fowler has entered the top 10 by lap 39, Maleczka and Kinsella are still out front. we start to see drivers come into pit road by lap 42, Kinsella is one of them from P2. Earlier, we had seen cars boxing under the yellow flag sessions earlier, mixing up the strategies.

Lap 50 clicks by and we are seeing the cars stretched out with different bunches of drivers in their own battles. Maleczka boxes and we start to see a bunch of other drivers come in at the end of lap 51, with others coming in at lap 52, the pit stop shuffle begins as the leaderboard mixes up. After all of that, we see Maleczka and Kinsella resuming out front, Van De Sandt is closer and sitting 0.8 behind. Callisto and Wardlow bring out the yellow on lap 55, we see the cars make contact coming out of T3 with an aero display.

Lionheart IndyCar Series iRacing

The start of lap 59 gets us underway with racing again, Brophy takes the lead, but Maleczka regains, the pair are working together to breach a gap to those behind, Blocker is going with them and making the most of the tactics, 3 wide through T3, these guys are flying, Blocker takes the lead, Maleczka fights back. Brophy seems happy to have the popcorn seat in P3 but Harrington is closing in. Blocker and Maleczka  are pulling away from Brophy by a second.

Pinheiroo and Chin collide at T1 bringing out the yellow at lap 72, the car of Chin rides up the track on the banking and slams into the side of Pinheiroo. We see a mass of cars come into pit road under yellow, the start of lap 77 gets us under the green flag again, with Jenkins leading, and being the only car that did not pit in.

Lap 80 Top 10

  1. Jenkins
  2. Blocker
  3. Maleczka
  4. Brophy
  5. Harrington
  6. Taylor
  7. Van De Sandt
  8. P.Kraus
  9. Kinsella
  10. Rolph

The top 4 are starting to pull away up front, but Jenkins pits in at lap 90, Blocker leads, with Brophy and Maleczka in the leading trio.  Brophy and Blocker are setting a hot pace up front as they start to create a gap over Maleczka. The halfway marker clicks by and Maleczka knows he must stay in touch with the front 2, the last thing he will want is to be a lone runner with no draft. We are in a great phase of the race where many are spread out and the laps are clicking by. We start to see some of the drivers in the midpack coming into pit road on lap 107, with the front runners coming in at the end of that lap, with the rest of the field coming in, the leaderboard shuffle begins once again. Jenkins is back in the lead.

The pitstops had worked well for some of the drivers as it has closed the gap in the top 6, Blocker takes the lead and Maleczka, Brophy, Harrington, Van De Sandt and Kraus make the pass, the older tires of Jenkins are starting to give up. Meanwhile, 4 wide for the lead of the race on lap 116. Brophy fights for the lead and holds station, is this the time to get the gloves off or work together? The later seems to be the best idea, at the moment.

Van De Sandt goes for the move and skims the car of Harrington, fortunately, they do not wreck, but Van De Sandt drops a few places. Maleczka takes the lead and Harrington moves up to P3, P.Kraus is making some great moves and moves up to P4. Harrington takes the lead, as the front three work together to keep great momentum. Brophy takes point at the sharp end, Harrington fights back, these guys need to work together or the drives behind will reel them in, Kraus moves up to P3.

Brophy and Harrington come into the pits on lap 141 as they are side by side, as the majority of the field comes in, Harrington gets a penalty for speeding in the pitlane and the leaderboard shuffles up. P.Kraus now leads the pack but Brophy reclaims the position, as they switch it up multiple times and make the most of each others draft with a lead of 2.7 seconds over P3.

Lap 150 Top 10

  1. P.Kraus
  2. Brophy
  3. Van De Sandt
  4. Maleczka
  5. Blocker
  6. Benci
  7. Fowler
  8. Rolph
  9. Rasimas
  10. M.Kraus

50 to go and the field is really stretched out, P.Kraus is opening up a gap over Brophy by 1 second, every race we see Kraus race in, he always nears the front at a certain point of the race and this race is no different. Van de Sandt, Maleczka and Blocker are a chasing trio but cannot seem to close the gap up to Brophy in P2. Can Kraus keep up this pace, will Brophy close him down, or will the chasing trio pounce at the later stages. As the old saying goes ” It does not matter which lap you lead on, as long as it is the last one”.

Blocker starts to close in on Brophy, he has opted to break the trio of Van de Sandt and Maleczka and hunt down the P2 driver. Brophy responds and gains on Kraus and makes the pass to take the lead, Blocker is in the mix with them. 30 to go and it has bunched up at the front as Van de Sandt and Maleczka pit in with a bunch of other drivers coming in. By the end of that lap the leaders come in, HAS KRAUS BROKE THE SPEED LIMIT COMING INTO PIT ROAD? Nope it was absolute perfection as he hauled the anchor to slow the car down, classy stuff. That could have changed everything, after all the pitstops he rubs salt into the wounds of others by taking top spot again as service resumes, that is what we call a hungry driver who wants this victory. 25 to go and things can still change, lets recap on the top 10.

Lap 175 Top 10

  1. P. Kraus
  2. Brophy
  3. Van de Sandt
  4. Blocker
  5. Maleczka
  6. Rolph
  7. Rasimas
  8. Benci
  9. Fowler
  10. Jenkins

As we enter the closing stages, stamina and focus will be needed more than ever. Kraus is leading the way, with Brophy and Van de Sandt slowly closing, is Kraus just managing his fuel and tires for now. Van de Sandt passes Brophy, who fights back, will they hold each other up? We are closing in on 10 laps to go as Fowler skims the wall as he is caught up in the aero wash, no yellow as he saves the car, Van de Sandt also brushes the wall, they are using every inch of the track. Kraus is stabilizing the gap over Brophy by 1.5 seconds, Blocker moves up to P3.

Lionheart IndyCar Series iRacing

Victory at the ButtKicker Pocono 500 Presented by Next Level Racing 

After an absolute masterclass drive, Phil Kraus has taken victory, once again we see him rise to the top step as he dominated in the last half of the race. Speaking in HyperX victory lane “It was a calculated risk and full send on pit road entry” as he talks really calmly over that pit road haul up that could have seen a speeding penalty. Kraus is so laid back you would have not thought he has started the race yet. Superb stuff and what a drive ” It has been an amazing start to this season” Kraus goes on to mention.

ROUND 4 – Pocono Raceway – Triple Crown #1

Finish

Team

Driver

Start

Laps

Interval

Laps Led

Inc

Pts

Bonuses/Penalties

1 #19-PRIVATE LABEL Team Hype
 Philip Kraus
7 200 59 0 124
(+2) Led a lap
(+2) 0 or less Incidents
2 #88-PRIVATE LABEL Team Hype
 Jason Brophy
1 200 -2.506 41 0 116
(+2) Start on overall pole
(+2) Led a lap
(+2) 0 or less Incidents
3 #1-Powerslide Adrenaline
 Adam Blocker
6 200 -4.524 21 0 104
(+2) Led a lap
(+2) 0 or less Incidents
4 #96-Powerslide Adrenaline
 Alexander van de Sandt
11 200 -5.020 0 0 96
(+2) 0 or less Incidents
5 #91-Powerslide Ignition
 Robert Maleczka III
3 200 -8.178 34 0 94
(+2) Led a lap
(+2) 0 or less Incidents
6 #33-Ascari Autosport
 Barrett Rolph
35 200 -16.689 0 0 88
(+2) 0 or less Incidents
7 #29-Team RaceVerse
 Caleb Benci
12 200 -19.103 0 0 84
(+2) 0 or less Incidents
8 #68-Thumbs Up, Cancer Down LPM
 Mike Rasimas
36 200 -21.711 0 0 80
(+2) 0 or less Incidents
9 #09-Ascari Autosport
 Mitchell Riggs
38 200 -30.615 0 0 76
(+2) 0 or less Incidents
10 #63-Alkentech NHR
 Andrew Marquez
31 200 -32.408 0 0 72
(+2) 0 or less Incidents

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