Robinson Racing Takes the Third and Fourth Spots in the Trans Am Race at NJMP
June 16, 2016
In the Hank Sauce Weekend of Thunder presented by MPT Industries at New Jersey Motorsports Park (NJMP), Gar Robinson finished on the podium in third, his third top-3 finish in a row, while Shane Lewis crossed the finish line in fourth.
Coming off a third place finish at Watkins Glen International and a second place finish in Dual 2 of the Motor City 100 in the Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix held just the week prior, Robinson had established momentum going into the race weekend at NJMP in Millville. He had also set a track record for the fastest lap at Belle Isle, in his new No. 74 Pura Vida Tequila / 74 Ranch Resort Chevrolet Camaro in the TA2 Class.
The freshly wrapped No. 72 Pura Vida Tequila / 74 Ranch Resort Chevrolet Camaro, driven by Lewis, made its debut at NJMP with a livery to match his teammate’s Camaro, featuring Pura Vida Spirits, Billy F. Gibbons of ZZ Top, Sully Erna of Godsmack, and bevRAGE.
The weekend at NJMP began with three testing sessions last Friday. In the first practice session on Saturday morning, Lewis and Robinson were fourth and sixth respectively. Almost half the 16-car field were within one second of each other in lap times. Later that afternoon, Robinson qualified in fourth with Lewis in seventh. To round out the day, the TA2 cars took to the track once more for a second practice session. Lewis topped the charts with the best practice time while Robinson remained in fourth.
The next morning, fans were invited to walk the grid along pit lane, getting pictures with race cars and driver autographs on limited-edition Trans Am Series posters. Then, the green flag dropped at 11:30 am for the 45-lap TA2 Race Powered by AEM Performance Electronics.
“I knew going into New Jersey it was going to be very hot conditions and a fast-paced race. Every competitor here is 99.9% on every lap. But I also knew that if I didn’t save just a little of the tires, I wouldn’t have anything at the end,” noted Lewis. “About half way into the race, the front group pulled slightly away from me, and I thought, oh no, I saved too much. But with the last few laps left, they came right back to me.”
“Being from Texas, I never thought anything would surpass racing the Legend cars in Fort Worth at Texas Motor Speedway. New Jersey proved me wrong. It was the hottest race I’ve ever done,” said Robinson. “I do find joy in the fact that Shane’s cooling system stopped working so he could share in the experience.”
The top 5 shuffled often in the final laps, and Lewis got his second 4th-place finish of the season.
“I didn’t have the pace to win the event, but I had the smarts to be there at the end,” noted Lewis. “I would have rather been on the podium, but I will settle with fourth, knowing my teammate got third and valuable points toward the championship. I bet some of the hot dogs in the front wish they would have thought it through a little more. Yes, Trans am is flat out racing. But you have to be smart as well.”
In last year’s race at NJMP, Robinson earned his third podium in five races, with a second place finish in the TA2 race. Lewis also claimed a spot on the podium, for the first time in his 2015 season as a rookie in Trans Am, with a third place finish.
Although Robinson finished second in the Detroit Grand Prix earlier this month, the results from that invitational race did not affect the points in the 2016 Championship. With Round 4 completed, Robinson is now tied with Tony Buffomante for the lead in the points standings. Lewis is sixth in the points, with two top-5 finishes and two top-10 finishes in four races.
The Trans Am Series heads to Brainerd International Raceway (BIR) in Brainerd, Minnesota, for Round 5 of the 2016 season. The 30th Annual PleasureLand RV Show & Go is a Fourth of July tradition for race fans, featuring drag racing, road racing, a classic car show, fireworks, and live music. In last year’s event at BIR, Robinson finished on the podium in third while Lewis finished sixth.
“I’m excited to return to the track where I bonded with friends and fellow racers,” said Robinson. “Celebrating Independence Day again with them will cement our friendships further and strengthen new friendships. I’m excited to perform at Brainerd again, to see what kind of a show I can put on and regain my points lead.”
Trans Am is on track Friday, July 1 for a day of testing sessions; practice and qualifying on Saturday, July 2; and two races on Sunday, July 3. The Ryan Companies Independence Day Classic TA2 Race Powered by AEM Performance Electronics will be held at 1 pm CT while the Ryan Companies Independence Day Classic TA / TA3 / TA4 / TA5 Race starts at 3:10 pm CT.
On Saturday, July 2 at 12 pm ET, CBS Sports Network will air a 90-minute special featuring the invitational Trans Am races in the Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix.
About Robinson Racing
Robinson Racing is a motorsports organization based in Milford, Michigan, with two Camaros competing in the 2016 Trans Am Series. In the TA2 Class, Robinson Racing runs the No. 74 Pura Vida Tequila / 74 Ranch Resort Chevrolet Camaro, driven by Gar Robinson, winner of the 2015 Trans Am TA2 Championship and 2015 Rookie of the Year. The team also campaigns the No. 72 Pura Vida Tequila / 74 Ranch Resort Chevrolet Camaro in the Trans Am Series, driven by renowned endurance champion Shane Lewis. For more information, visit www.RobinsonRacingTeam.com.