DYSON TAKES SECOND STRAIGHT TRANS AM WIN AT INDY
August 6, 2019
POUGHKEEPSIE, NY (August 5, 2019) — The Trans Am by Pirelli series ended its mid-summer break the same way it started, with Chris Dyson and his #20 Plaid Ford Mustang sweeping victorious under the checkered flag. With a decisive 23-second victory at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway over reigning series champion Ernie Francis, Jr. on Saturday, Dyson backed up his Memorial Day win at Lime Rock Park and extended his lead in the championship points standings.
“A win at Indy is special,” Dyson said, following the race. “This place is bigger than all of us. Think about all the history here — it’s a milestone day for the team and it means so much to me. It still has not quite sunk in yet, but this one I will cherish. My family has been coming to the Speedway since the early 1960s; nearly 60 years. I came here for the first time to see the '500 in 1993 and have been enthralled with the place ever since. My family has a deep connection to the Speedway and a love for this place. It's hallowed ground to any racer. So to see our car parked in the Winner's Circle, and then to be standing on top of the podium, celebrating with the guys was just an incredible moment."
There was more drama for the winning team over the course of the race weekend than the eventual margin of victory might suggest. Powertrain issues Friday meant the CD Racing crew had a lot of work in order to ensure the Plaid Mustang would be in top shape for Saturday’s race. A precautionary engine change made early Saturday cost Dyson the first practice, and when he circulated on a hardship lap, an odd driveline malady appeared. The team sprung into action and managed to get Dyson out for the final moments of Qualifying. He rewarded their efforts with a front-row starting position.
“I know how capable my crew is,” Dyson said. "And they told me not to worry. So I just focused on whatever laps we were going to get in qualifying. Then the race was a whole new day, and I figured we'd be right up there battling for the win. It all worked out. So I honestly couldn’t be happier for the guys. My crew was head and shoulders above the rest this weekend. This win is for them.”
From the wave of the green flag it was clear the 100-mile race was between front-row starters Dyson and Francis, Jr. The pair exchanged the lead during the early laps before Francis’s Mustang was hindered with a mechanical issue, allowing Dyson to extend his lead. Francis, Jr. did eventually finish second, followed by Adam Andretti.
“I always enjoy racing with Ernie,” Dyson said. “He races hard but clean, so I’m sorry his car lost its edge. It would have been great to race hard to the finish. I know what it feels like when through no fault of your own things go bad. Last year here at Indy we were on our way to the podium when I got taken out lapping a slower car. But today we were the beneficiary of good fortune, and luck and timing is a bigger part of the game than most of us ever admit. Today was just our day.”
Indy marked the start of a run of three Trans Am races in four weeks. This weekend the series is at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.
"I look forward this weekend to continuing the battle with Ernie and the rest of the strong Trans Am field,” Dyson said, “I can’t predict the finish, but I can promise a hard-fought and exciting race. Trans Am is still the most exciting, all-out sprint road racing in North America.”
Dyson continued, “And we will also have some exciting news coming for next weekend. Stay tuned.”
Trans Am TA-class practice sessions at Mid-Ohio take place Thursday and Friday, August 8-9, with the 20-minute qualifying session commencing at 12:35 p.m. Friday. The FIRSTENERGY 100 feature race takes the green flag Saturday at 9:00 a.m.
Headquartered in Atlanta, Plaid Enterprises, Inc. is one of the world's largest, most diverse manufacturers of creative do-it-yourself products. Plaid’s product innovation and dedication to the ever-changing needs of consumers have made the Plaid family of products among the most recognized and desired brands worldwide.
Founded in 1976, Plaid began as a publisher of how-to craft books. The company soon expanded into manufacturing, with paint becoming the primary focus. Today, Plaid is the industry's leading small batch paint manufacturer, proudly producing paint in its facilities located outside of Atlanta, GA.
Notable brands in Plaid's portfolio include FolkArt, Apple Barrel, Delta, Bucilla, Martha Stewart Crafts, and one of the industry's best known, Mod Podge, a favorite since 1967.