The 7/8 of mile speedway located in Newton, Iowa has become a fan and driver favorite on iRacing. The real-life track opened in 2006 and hast hosted an IndyCar Series race since 2007. Drivers who have won a race at Iowa include: Dario Franchitti, Dan Wheldon, Tony Kanaan, Marco Andretti, Ryan Hunter-Reay, and James Hinchliffe.
Tuesday’s final practice race saw 10 cautions for 50 of the 143 laps, with just seven of the 22 cars that started the race still running at the end, even after the series admins provided drivers with two resets (there will be no resets available for Wednesday’s race). Tony Lurcock, who won three races at Iowa earlier in the iRacing Indy Fixed Series, edged-out No Name Racing teammate Jake Wright to win by 0.070s. James Krahula from Unacceptable Racing finished third, with Chris Stofer in fourth and Goin’ Broke Racing’s Justin Laxton finishing fifth. Series points leader Rick Music was taken out in an early incident, finishing 21st.
Lurcock led just four laps, taking the lead for the final time with three laps to go. Pierre Daigle, also from No Name Racing, led the most laps (53). Jake Wright, who started from the pole, led 52 laps of sim racing. Other lap leaders included: Justin Laxton (22), Chris Stofer (five), Jack Bogan (five), and James Krahula (two).
If Tuesday’s practice race is any indication, tonight’s Birky Trucking 125 will be a survival of the fittest, allowing for virtually anyone to win. Certainly Tony Lurcock, Jake Wright, and James Krahula (both Wright and Krahula must qualify in the LCQ) will be driver’s to watch contend for the win.
Here are some other sim racers to watch as the night unfolds:
Daigle led the most laps, and was working pit strategy to his advantage, when a late race caution allowed everyone to pit, with Daigle stuck on old tires and needing to conserve just two laps of fuel. Perhaps lady luck will be on his side when it counts most.
Dan qualified third and ran in the top 5 virtually all night, before an incident with about 50 laps to go knocked him out of the race, relegating him to a 10th place finish. Geren will hope to continue his good qualifying effort and will look to be in contention for the win at his home track.
Adams is riding a wave of confidence coming off a second place finish last week, a third place qualifying effort in the practice race and was even voted into the league’s Power Rankings this past week. He’ll look to rebound from his 20th place finish in the practice race.
Sleeper Pick: Chris Stofer
Stofer had a great showing in Tuesday’s practice race finishing 4th after contending for the win. He currently sits 38th in points after missing the field last week. Assuming Stofer makes the race, he should be a driver who can contend for a top 10 and certainly the win.
The Birky Trucking 125 will mark the third race of the season, meaning drivers have just two more weeks to make their way in to the top 20 in points to be locked in to the field after Sonoma. Series veterans such as Pierre Daigle, Michael Gray and Anthony Lurcock currently find themselves just inside the top 20, with Jorge Anzaldo (16th place), Dan Geren (23rd place), and Alfred Shepperd (25th place) currently outside the top 20. With all drivers separated by only 72 points, at this point everyone has the mathematical chance to work their way in to the top 20.
Tune in to the Global SimRacing Channel at 10:40pm for the live flag-to-flag broadcast of the Lionheart IndyCar Series presented by Overdrive Graphics.
Other Series News
This week the series announced that it will begin running a consolation race for drivers who do not qualify for the main race. The consolation race will begin with qualifying at 10:50 eastern time and will run 75 laps.