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Trans Am rolls to Road America

The Trans Am Series presented by Pirelli is on its way to Road America for the Road America SpeedTour, coming straight from last week’s event at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. The Mid-Ohio/Road America pairing is the first of two back-to-back combos this season, with another coming up in August when the series hosts back-to-back weekends at Watkins Glen International and Canadian Tire Motorsport Park.

Schedule:

Qualifying:

Saturday, June 29

3:20-3:55 p.m. CT

Race:

Sunday, June 30

1:05-2:20 p.m. CT

Race Length: 25 Laps/75 Minutes

TV Broadcast:

LIVE on MAVTV

Highlights Show:

MAVTV

Thursday, July 4

9:00 p.m. ET

 

Qualifying:

Friday, June 28

3:30-4:05 p.m. CT

Race:

Saturday, June 29

12:05-1:20 p.m. CT

Race Length: 25 Laps/75 Minutes

TV Broadcast:

LIVE on MAVTV Select

MAVTV Broadcast: 4:00 p.m. ET

Highlights Show:

MAVTV

Thursday, July 4

8:00 p.m. ET

The Trans Am Series has made more starts at Road America than any other track, with 63 events held at the 4.048-mile road course in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin since the series made its first appearance there in 1970. This weekend’s event will kick off the second half of the season for TA/XGT/SGT/GT competitors and will serve as Round 8 for the CUBE 3 Architecture TA2 Series.

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MAVTV launches new website
Trans Am broadcast partner MAVTV recently launched the new MAVTV.com. The redesigned website includes a dedicated page with details of how to watch MAVTV and its FAST Channel, MAVTV Select, in your area. It also includes a new racer page, with bios and statistics for TA and TA2 drivers.

Past Road America victors
Five drivers in this weekend’s field have taken the checkered flag at Road America before.

TA
Chris Dyson, No. 16 GYM WEED Ford Mustang: 2021, 2020

XGT
Danny Lowry, No. 42 Bennett/BridgeHaul/Pitboxes.com Mercedes AMG GT3: 2023, 2022

SGT
Lee Saunders, No. 84 LandSearch LLC Dodge Viper: 2023, 2020

TA2
Brent Crews, No. 1 Mike Birdsell Special Ford Mustang: 2023, 2022
Rafa Matos, No. 60 Concord American Flagpole/Nitro Motorsports Ford Mustang: 2019
Doug Peterson, No. 87 3-Dimensional Services Group Ford Mustang: 2013 (TA), 2014 (TA)

Only one driver entered in this weekend’s race, Paul Menard, hails from the state of Wisconsin, while two drivers, Keith Prociuk, and Bruce Nesbitt, come from a few hours south of Elkhart Lake, Wis. in Illinois.

TA
Paul Menard, No. 3 Menards/Masterforce Tools Ford Mustang (Eau Claire, Wis.)

TA2
Keith Prociuk, No. 9 HP Tuners/Mike Cope Race Cars Ford Mustang (Buffalo Grove, Ill.)
Bruce Nesbitt, No. 50 Orion Motorsports/BrakeOMeter Ford Mustang (Chicago, Ill.)

Going for four
Paul Menard (No. 3 Menards/Masterforce Tools Ford Mustang) continued his winning streak last weekend, earning his third-consecutive victory and fourth win of the season at a rainy Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. As the winningest driver in the class this year, Menard is the TA points leader, holding a 34-point advantage over three-time champion Chris Dyson. Hailing from Eau Claire, Wis., Menard comes into this weekend’s pursuit of a fourth-consecutive win with two previous Trans Am starts at Road America, and a best result of second achieved in 2022. He also has two starts at the track in the NASCAR Xfinity Series, including one victory in 2015.

Dyson looking for comeback
Chris Dyson (No. 16 GYM WEED Ford Mustang) is still hoping to turn his luck around after yet another frustrating race at Mid-Ohio, where Dyson had the strategy to beat but suffered an early crash in the rain, taking him out of contention for the win. The three-time champion knows what it takes to stand atop the podium at Road America, with two Trans Am wins in 2020 and 2021 under his belt, and a 2015 Pirelli World Challenge victory at the track. Dyson has made six TA starts at the 4.048-mile road course and has finished on the podium in his last four visits to the track. Success at the 69-year-old facility goes back a long way with his family’s team, Dyson Racing, which has been fielding entries at Road America since the early 1980s, earning IMSA wins there in 1985, 1987 and 2003.

Hampton a national winner
Last weekend at Mid-Ohio, David Hampton drove his No. 14 AR Motorsports Porsche Cayman GT4 RS Clubsport to GYM WEED Winners Circle in the GT class, earning his first-career Trans Am National Championship win in only his second start. Hampton has made a name for himself in Trans Am’s Western Championship, where he has been competing since last season. On the West Coast, Hampton has earned eight wins in just 12 starts and has stood on the top step of the podium in every race so far this year, making him the current points leader in GT’s Western Championship.

A familiar number
A competitor in the SGT class, Joshua Carlson, has a racing pedigree that is familiar to Wisconsin race fans. Carlson is the grandson of Joe Shear, a Midwest short-track racing legend who won an estimated 350 races in his career. Carlson’s Enseva/TC Fab/Diercks Ltd. Ford Mustang carries a memorable family number: No. 36. Carlson currently sits third in the SGT standings, chasing leader Richard Forsythe (No. 58 GSpeed/Sambuca Restaurant Chevrolet Corvette) and second-place Kaylee Bryson (No. 02 Logical Systems Inc./Sam Pierce Chevrolet Corvette).

Recent experience
TA competitor Richard Grant (No. 30 Grant Racing Chevrolet Camaro) competed at Road America this past weekend in the SCCA June Sprints, driving in the GT1 class. Grant earned a best finish of eighth in Race 2.

CUBE 3 Architecture TA2 Series

Brent Crews back on the road
16-year-old Brent Crews is back to his winning ways in the CUBE 3 Architecture TA2 Series, earning his first victory of the season in last weekend’s race at Mid-Ohio in just his second start of the year. The 2023 champion earned the first win of his career at Road America in 2022, becoming the youngest race winner in Trans Am history at 14 years, three months and four days old, in addition to becoming the series’ youngest pole winner the day before. Crews is going to be running this weekend with a different number on the side of the car. His No. 1 Mike Birdsell Special Ford Mustang will honor Mike Birdsell, a four-time national karting champion with more than 60 years of continuous racing experience.

Nitro continues streak
When Brent Crews took the checkered flag last weekend at Mid-Ohio, he scored Nitro Motorsports its fifth-straight win. So far this season, Nitro Motorsports has claimed 13 of 21 possible podium spots and has scored five victories with three different drivers. Rafa Matos (No. 60 Concord American Flagpole/Nitro Motorsports Ford Mustang) currently leads the point standings by an enormous 118-point margin over second-place Thomas Merrill (No. 26 HP Tuners/Cope Race Cars Ford Mustang) following victories at NOLA Motorsports Park, Lime Rock Park and Pitt Race. Nitro driver Thomas Annunziata (No. 90 Bayshore Mortgage/The Decorators Unlimited Ford Mustang) currently sits third in the points, followed by teammate and World Wide Technology Raceway winner Ben Maier (No. 80 BOE Marine/Nitro Motorsports Ford Mustang) in fourth, giving Nitro three of the top four positions in the standings.

Michele Abbate’s comeback
This weekend, Michele Abbate returns to Road America in her No. 30 GHOST/Nitro Motorsports Ford Mustang for the first time since her major accident at the track in 2023. Last year, Abbate experienced a brake failure in opening practice, resulting in a crash that broke the driver’s ankle. Amazingly, Abbate returned to racing just two months after the incident. This year, Abbate is competing in the Pro/Am Challenge driving for Nitro Motorsports.

“I am really excited about this race; I’m excited to face my fears, get back on track with confidence, and hopefully do well this weekend,” said Abbate.

Brad McAllister returns
2019 Trans Am TA2 Western Championship title winner Brad McAllister (No. 24 Straumann and Zimbis Ford Mustang) returns to the National Championship for just his third start. McAllister, who has been racing in the Western Championship since its inception in 2017, made his National Championship debut at Road America in 2020, earning a fifth-place finish.

McAllister, who hails from Sherwood, Oregon, also has some recent experience at the track, as he participated in SCCA’s June Sprints at Road America last weekend, winning Race 1 in the GT2 class and finishing third in Race 2.

Other TA2 drivers who participated in June Sprints last weekend include:
Barry Boes, No. 27 Team SLR-M1 Racecars Ford Mustang (GT2)
Patrick Paul, No. 34 Paul Racing Enterprises Ford Mustang (GT2)
Patrick Utt, No. 49 RaceQuip Safety/Driven Racing Oil Chevrolet Camaro (GT2)
Bruce Nesbitt, No. 50 Orion Motorsports/BrakeOMeter Ford Mustang (GT2)

Largest Pro/Am field
This weekend at Road America will see 15 entrants competing in the CUBE 3 Architecture TA2 Series Pro/Am Challenge, the largest field for the class since the introduction of the new points structure. In addition to the previous Pick Six Challenge format run in years past, TA2 competitors now have an option to compete based on their top-nine finishes, utilizing the same points structure as the National Championship, which makes it a more competitive and desirable option for drivers who are competing full time in the series. Barry Boes currently leads the standings by 109 points over Tom Sheehan, who is followed closely by Keith Prociuk. This weekend’s Pro/Am competitors are:

Thomas Ellis, No. 8 Team SLR-M1 Racecars Ford Mustang (Pick Six Challenge)

Keith Prociuk, No. 9 HP Tuners/Cope Race Cars Ford Mustang

John Weisberg, No. 11 Iron Smoke/Red Line Oil/Carbotech Chevrolet Camaro

Jim Gallaugher, No. 16 Regulator by Waypointe Ford Mustang

Ty Young, No. 22 Ty J Young Wealth Management Ford Mustang

Brad McAllister, No. 24 Straumann and Zimbis Ford Mustang

Barry Boes, No. 27 Team SLR-M1 Racecars Ford Mustang

Michele Abbate, No. 30 GHOST/Nitro Motorsports Ford Mustang

Patrick Paul, No. 34 Paul Racing Enterprises Ford Mustang

Patrick Utt, No. RaceQuip Safety/Driven Racing Oil Chevrolet Camaro

Bruce Nesbitt, No. 50 Orion Motorsports/BrakeOMeter Ford Mustang

Matt Gray, No. 64 Ryan Companies Ford Mustang

Tom Sheehan, No. 97 Vixen Cycle Co/LTK Insulation Ford Mustang

Doug Winston, No. 98 Bring Back The Trades/D&M Electrical Ford Mustang

Jared Odrick, No. 00 Nitro Motorsports Ford Mustang

Story originally appeared on Racer