Chris Dyson Makes Indianapolis Motor Speedway Debut
June 14, 2018
POUGHKEEPSIE, NY (June 14, 2018) – When they are on the grid, waiting to roll out for the start, that race on that day is the most important one for a racer. But for Chris Dyson this weekend’s fourth round of the 2018 Trans Am Championship series is also special because of the venue, the road course of the world’s most famous motorsports facility, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. It marks the first time in his two-decade racing career that Dyson will be racing at IMS.
“I’ve been coming to The Speedway since I was a kid,” Dyson said, explaining that his father, noted sports car racer and team owner Rob Dyson, first took him to see the Indy 500 in 1993. “And my grandfather first took Dad to see the 500 in 1962. The Speedway has been important to our family for half a century, and while Rob and I have both done demonstration laps in vintage Indy cars on the 500 weekend, this will be my first time racing there. It’s hard to put into words what that means to me.”
Dyson comes to the Trans Am’s Indy round second in points to four-time series champion Ernie Francis, Jr. The pair traded victories and runner-up finishes in the first two rounds before avoidable contact by another competitor set Dyson back to a fifth-place finish at in the most recent race at Homestead-Miami Speedway in April.
“Because we took delivery of the car about a week before the season started and there were three races in six weeks, we basically had no time for testing, and had to just race the car as it was,” Dyson said. “That we were able to be competitive speaks to how good the basic package is. Other than the incident at Homestead, I’m pretty happy with how the season has gone so far.”
According to Dyson, the six-week break between the most recent race and the race at Indy means the team has finally had a chance to do some development on both the chassis and the engine. “The cars at the front of the grid are all pretty closely matched, so even small gains can be important.
“The road course at Indy is pretty technical,” Dyson said noting that its 2.4-mile length incorporated 14 corners. “You spend a lot of the lap braking and turning, so having the car just right is important. That we’ve got three practice sessions for a total of an hour and 40 minutes plus a 40-minutes qualifying session means we will have more time to dial in the car than on the previous Trans Am weekends. That’s going to matter. I'm excited to get back to work in the Mustang.”
Dyson’s Dirt-Track Season
While this weekend’s Trans Am race is Dyson’s first at the Speedway, it’s not his first time racing in the city of Indianapolis. On the other side of town at the Indianapolis State Fairgrounds on the one-mile dirt oval just three weeks ago, Dyson raised more than a few eyebrows when he qualified eighth in the 32-car USAC Silver Crown field for the classic open-wheel Hoosier 100. Driving his own CD Racing Beast-Kistler Champ Car, Dyson finished a more than creditable 16th in the 100-mile race.
With Dyson committed to racing his Plaid Ford Mustang this weekend, sprint car veteran Thomas Meseraull will take the wheel of CD Racing’s new #20 sprint car for the six-race USAC Eastern Storm series that begins Thursday evening at Grandview Speedway in Bechtelsville, PA and runs for the next five evenings in eastern Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Upstate New York.
“It didn’t make sense to do the first Eastern Storm race, skip the next three and then do the last two” Dyson said. “Last year Sean Michael, who prepares my sprint, midget and Silver Crown cars, ran Thomas in the Eastern Storm and they won a race, had a second place and ran well in the other three races.
“I spoke with Sean and we both thought it would make sense to have Thomas drive our car in the Eastern Storm this year. We were pleased that he was available,” Dyson said. "This was a great way to kick-start the sprint car part of CD Racing." Dyson plans to contest various sprint car races in addition to Champ Car and midget races later this summer and into the fall, whenever CD Racing's full-time Trans Am Series racing schedule allows.
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