Tony Showen avoided numerous wrecks at the front of the field and fended off a challenge on a late restart to earn his first career Lionheart Retro Series win Thursday night in the Iowa 150.
“Those last several laps there I just made sure I was really smooth in the turns so the rear end didn’t snap on me,” Showen said after the race.
After leader Andrew Kinsella spun on his own, collecting the other dominant car in Michael Goodman with under 10 laps to go, Showen inherited the lead and held off Scott Bolster’s last lap charge.
“I knew if I just got a great jump on the start I’d be alright,” Showen said. “When Scott got to my wing, I just made it as wide as it could be.”
Dylan McKenna and Bolster made contact racing for second in the final corner, allowing Matthew Mercer and Jason Galvin to slip by and onto the podium.
It was a career-best finish for Mercer.
“I was going through three and four and expecting those guys to push up,” Mercer said. “I was basically a dear in the headlights from there on out.”
Galvin’s podium was especially impressive, if not incredibly lucky. Midway through the race, as Joe Branch and Showen headed for pit road, Joe Hassert inherited the lead with Galvin in tow. As both cars entered turn three, both spun simultaneously, in identical spots. Hassert was hit by several other drivers, but Galvin managed to escape with minimal rear wing damage.
The slower car eliminated the risk of the low-fuel spin, and Galvin limped around until attrition took its toll and finished third, closing in on the championship leaders.
“I don’t know how I finished third,” Galvin said. “I made a mistake, and I thought that was it, the season was over. Somehow I looked up at the end of the race, and I’m on the podium and it’s a great points night. It was all luck, but I’ll take it.”
Championship leader Jake Wright’s night ended when Dustin Wardlow also suffered from a spin while low on fuel. Adam Blocker was also collected, and all three were in the top five and competing for the win.
Through the attrition, Travis Jegerlehner came home fourth, with Robert Blouin fifth.
With championship contender Ryan Otis missing another race, Wright opened his lead to 76 points on second. Galvin closed the gap though, now just 8 back of Otis and within striking distance of Wright with four races remaining.
Wardlow leads Jegerlehner by a single point for fourth.
The Lionheart Retro Series heads to its final road course of the inaugural season, Barber Motorsports Park. The Barber 100 is set for Thursday, September 28 and can be seen live on the Global SimRacing Channel at 10:40 p.m. EST.
For more information on the Lionheart Retro Series, visit www.LionheartRacingSeries.com.