Maier captures maiden Trans Am victory at WWTR ahead of Crews

Ben Maier bounced back from heartbreak at NOLA Motorsports Park by earning his first-career win in the Trans Am Series presented by Pirelli CUBE 3 Architecture TA2 Series race at World Wide Technology Raceway. After earning his first Trans Am pole in Saturday morning’s qualifying session, Maier went on to lead from green to checkers, holding off 2023 TA2 champion Brent Crews to visit GYM WEED Winners Circle.

Maier took the green flag in his No. 80 BOE Marine/Nitro Motorsports Ford Mustang, starting side-by-side with Nitro Motorsports teammate Rafa Matos (No. 60 Concord American Flagpole/Nitro Motorsports Ford Mustang). Unfortunately, Matos jumped the start and was required to serve a pass-through penalty, which dropped him back to 17th and opened the door for third-place Josh Hurley to take second in his No. 20 Greenlight Simulation/BCR Ford Mustang. Crews started eighth in the No. 70 Nitro Motorsports Ford Mustang, but by lap five, he had worked his way up to third.

The No. 80 quickly pulled out to an almost 2s advantage, but a full-course yellow bunched up the field on lap five. When racing resumed, the top three held steady until Crews was finally able to catch Josh Hurley on lap 27. Maier once again opened up a big advantage over second place during the long run, but it was diminished again by a yellow flag on lap 29.


Green-flag racing continued on lap 41 and Maier was able to get a clean start, but Crews was nipping at his heels. Meanwhile, Thomas Merrill (No. 26 HP Tuners/Cope Race Cars Ford Mustang) had taken over the fourth position and was challenging Hurley, and Matos had recovered from his early penalty to move into fifth. Despite competitive battles throughout the top five, the running order remained unchanged in the final 16 laps, and Maier crossed the finish line to earn his first-career victory. Crews and Hurley filled the remainder of the podium, while Merrill and Matos rounded out the top five.

“Brent Crews and I go all the way back; I remember racing with him at Trackhouse Motorplex, just duking it out in 4-strokes, and it was one of the most fun times I’ve had in my life,” said Maier of finishing on the podium next to his friend and teammate. “Now we’re back at it up here, and it feels amazing. Brad Parrott worked really hard at the shop to get this car so good; it felt great this whole weekend. Ron Otto and the other Brad on my crew helped dramatically to get the car where it is now. It felt amazing the whole race. To the whole Nitro crew: thanks for helping me this year. I knew Brent was right behind me the whole time. I was being told by my spotter, so I was just trying to keep that gap so there wouldn’t be any pressure, and ended up finishing the race in first.”

The CUBE 3 Architecture TA2 Series next hits the track at Lime Rock Park for the Memorial Day Classic, May 24-27.


Story originally appeared on Racer