California Gold

May 1, 2019

California Gold

Monterey, Calif.–After a 15-year absence, The Trans Am Presented by Pirelli will return to the scenic WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca this weekend, May 4-5. The storied California circuit is located in the rolling hills above Monterey and only a few minutes from Highway 1, Big Sur, and Pebble Beach. The track,  known as “Laguna Seca”  for most of its history, features one of the most famous corners in all of motor sport —  “the corkscrew.”

“We could not be more excited to be a part of the historic return of the Trans Am series to WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca,” Stevens-Miller Racing’s (SMR) Team Owner Joseph Stevens said. “Having Laguna Seca on the schedule is really exciting and I feel having a national race out west is key to the long term growth of the series. We’re bringing our entire five car team and I can’t wait to hear the sound of our American V8s echoing through the California hills.”

Fresh off a double podium at Road Atlanta, SMR drivers are positioned to make a move on the championship. “Because not all of the national touring teams are making the trip, this a great opportunity for our team and our drivers,” Stevens said. “Like they said during the gold rush, “There’s gold in them-thar hills,” and we’re ready to take some home.”

Marc Miller, driver of the No. 40 SMR Prefix Dodge Challenger, currently sits second in points and is eager to return to where he made his GT car debut. “I am really looking forward to Laguna Seca. Sitting 2nd in the championship, I’m hungry to leave Laguna with maximum points, but I can’t take too many chances as the track isn’t very forgiving. I ran my first-ever GT race here in 2015 in a Dodge Viper and have raced here many times over the past 10 years, but the TA2 is a different animal and it will be a real challenge to get the win this weekend.”

Fifth in points and driver of the No.77 SMR Liqui Moly Prefix powered Ford Mustang, Dillon Machavern said, “I’m really looking forward to representing Liqui Moly at their home track and with some luck take some of that California gold home with me. Finishing on the podium at Road Atlanta was exactly what we needed to join the championship hunt. Since Road Atlanta, we tested at VIR and we learned a lot about how the car reacts to changes. SMR has a great game plan focusing our efforts on getting the set up right which will be crucial as Laguna is notoriously low grip and very different from most of the tracks we visit.”

SMR’s third full-time driver, Brian Swank, will once again be behind the wheel of the over-the-top Berryman Products, Prefix powered, Chevrolet Camaro. Brian comes into the third round continuing to improve behind the wheel and gaining confidence with every lap. 

Swank said,  “It’s pretty cool to be able to run Trans Am at Laguna. I remember seeing the Trans Am coverage in the magazines in the ’70s and the photos of the cars going down the corkscrew. I thought then that one day that could be me. Well, it only took me 40 some years, but, I made it — and I’m thrilled.

“I can’t say enough about Joe and the entire SMR team and our sponsors Berryman, Liqui Moly and Prefix,” Swank continued. “The new  hospitality area has made a huge difference for myself, my friends and family. It’s great to be part of such a professional team.”

Also racing out of the SMR tent will be Alex Wright and SVRA regular Shannon Ivey. After two tough races that ended in the barriers during the final minutes, Wright is ready for his next challenge. “I’m loving racing with SMR and TA2. The only change I’d make is have the races only last an hour,” Wright said, laughing. “My car has been running perfect, I’m getting better and now I just need to bring it home.” 

Shannon Ivey will be making his first trip to WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca, but he has plenty of experience as a regular SVRA competitor in his 1967 Historic Trans Am (HTA) Camaro and his previous TA2 start with SMR in 2017. Ivey said, “Besides the HTA class, I’ve run the ProAm class and I’ve had the pleasure to have racing greats Jacques Lazier, Johnny Unser and Davey Jones as co-drivers. SVRA is planning on having a Vintage Race of Champions (VROC) at Laguna next year and jumping into a SMR TA2 car is a great place to start. A true ‘bucket list’ track for many, including myself. I can’t wait to race on the historic facility.” 

About Stevens-Miller Racing
Stevens-Miller Racing (SMR) over its history has one of the highest winning percentages in Trans Am’s TA2 category. SMR’s staff has earned 25+ podiums, two championships, multiple Hard Charger Awards, Rookie of the Year, and more. The team’s focus is achieving the driver’s desired goals. Whether that’d be just having fun, developing driver skill, or winning championships, SMR does it all and has the winning history to back it up.

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