Gar Robinson Scores His First Trans Am Win at Mid-Ohio, Earning His Fifth Podium Finish in Seven Races
August 19, 2015
Shane Lewis Rallies from 12th to Finish Second, Setting a New Track Record
Team Press Release Gar Robinson earned the first win of his Trans Am career in Round 7 of the 2015 season, at the challenging Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. Gar piloted the #74 Chevrolet Camaro to victory lane in the FirstEnergy Muscle Car Challenge presented by 3-Dimensional Services Group on Friday. Putting on quite the show for race fans, the TA2 Class competitors battled intensely during the breathtaking, oftentimes nail-biting, 45-lap race.
During Friday morning’s qualifying session, Gar Robinson placed third, .10 behind the pole, with his teammate Shane Lewis in the #72 Chevrolet Camaro securing a second place spot, just .055 behind the pole. The green flag dropped at 4:45 pm ET on Friday with a field of 32 competitors in the TA2 Class, consisting exclusively of American muscle cars: Chevrolet Camaros, Ford Mustangs and Dodge Challengers.
In the late afternoon race, Lewis quickly overtook the pole sitter, as he set the pace in the first lap and led five laps. In lap 22, he lost the lead after spinning out in oil and fell just outside the top 10. This gave Gar the opportunity to vie for the top spot, among the combative front-runners putting it all on the line for a victory. Some doubted he would even have tires left at the end, given the frenzied pace of the race. Crews and spectators alike were fixated on the mobile television screen facing the front straight and pit lane, as Gar maintained the lead role in the pony wars for 22 laps and took the checkered flag.
"This win will be something I will remember for the rest of my life," reflected Gar Robinson. "Being able to have challengers racing as hard as we do in Trans Am makes the victory so much sweeter."
In the fevered quest to recover from 12th in lap 22, Lewis set a new track record at Mid-Ohio in the TA2 Class with a lap time of 1:27.929. He vigorously charged up the field, picking off cars one by one, and eventually finishing on the podium alongside Gar Robinson. Lewis led a total of 10 laps in the race and finished in second.
"This was epic road racing at its best!" said Lewis. "Yes, I am really disappointed to lose the lead, but I had more fun coming back than anyone else on track! Combine that with being one-two at the finish for the team, and well, it was awesome, just awesome."
Friday’s Mid-Ohio race confirmed that Trans Am wins indeed run in the Robinson family. Gar’s father and team owner, George Robinson scored his Trans Am victory in 1991 at the Des Moines Grand Prix, a street course in downtown Des Moines, Iowa.
“Seeing Gar drive to his first victory in Trans Am was a great experience,” said George Robinson. “When, as a father, you see your son so happy after accomplishing something this personal to both of us, it is the ultimate feeling! He was not handed that race; he earned it!”
A 20-year-old rookie from San Antonio, Texas, Gar Robinson began his Trans Am career last year in Robinson Racing’s #64 Chevrolet Camaro sponsored by 74 Ranch Resort. He competed in the last three races of the 2014 season held at Lime Rock Park, Virginia International Raceway and Daytona International Speedway; Gar placed fourth in all three events.
In 2015, Gar is driving the #74 Chevrolet Camaro sponsored by 74 Ranch Resort in all 12 events of the season. Gar’s win at Mid-Ohio resulted in his fifth trophy in 7 races held thus far in 2015. He had second place finishes in the season opener at Sebring International Raceway and also at New Jersey Motorsports Park. At both Road Atlanta and Brainerd International Raceway, Gar finished in third place.
At the helm of the #72 Chevrolet Camaro sponsored by 74 Ranch Resort, Shane Lewis is based in Jupiter, Florida. Although he has raced all over the world with victories at some of endurance racing’s most prestigious tracks, Lewis is deemed a rookie in the Trans Am Series. The second place finish at Mid-Ohio was his second visit to the Trans Am podium in 2015. At New Jersey Motorsports Park in June, Lewis claimed the third place trophy and also won the CoolShirt Systems Cool Move of the Race for the TA2 Class. Robinson Racing was awarded the Pitboxes.com Crew of the Race at New Jersey Motorsports Park as well.
After 7 rounds of the 2015 Chase for the Trigon Trophy, presented by 3-Dimensional Services Group, Robinson Racing has two TA2 Class drivers in the top 5 in points. Gar Robinson is in second with 166 points, 6 points behind the leader and 6 points ahead of third. Shane Lewis is in fifth with 151 points. In the 2015 TA2 Rookie of the Year standings, presented by Wilwood Disc Brakes, Gar Robinson is in first place, while Shane Lewis is in third. After 2 of 3 Rounds in the 2015 3-Dimensional Services Group TA2 Triple Crown Standings, Shane Lewis is in second with 49 points, a tie with Adam Andretti, while Gar Robinson is in fifth with 41 points.
The TA2 race at Mid-Ohio will be televised on the CBS Sports Network on Saturday, September 5, 2015, at 10:00 am ET. After the airing, the segment will be posted on Trans Am’s YouTube channel for continued fan enjoyment.
"Winning this race is just what the team needed at this point of the season," said Jimmy Fraser, Robinson Racing's Team Manager. "The win just verifies what we already know. We have good cars and good drivers with a group of guys behind them that supports them. I can't say enough about George letting us do our thing and guiding us."
To celebrate their one-two finish, Gar and Shane indulged in Ohio’s premiere attraction: Cedar Point, the roller coaster capital of the world.
"This victory was also really good for team morale going into Road America and the start to the end of the season," noted Gar Robinson.
"This puts us in a state of mind needed to be winners and to carry this fight to Road America. It won't be easy there, but then again, none of them have been," said Fraser.
The next race will be held on Saturday, August 29, 2015, at Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin. The Next Dimension 100 presented by 3-Dimensional Services Group, Round 8 of the 2015 Trans Am Championship, marks the series’ 35th appearance at the legendary 4.048-mile, 14-turn circuit, established in 1955. Road America also hosts the NASCAR Xfinity Series’ 180 Fired Up by Johnsonville on the same day as the Trans Am race. The Next Dimension 100 is scheduled to air on the CBS Sports Network on Saturday, September 12, 2015, at 10:00 am ET.
"Road America is one of the crown jewels on the schedule," said Lewis. "Everyone loves this place and its history. It's fast, really fast! It's also a different type of track than we normally run. That will mean various cars and drivers may or may not be as competitive, and it's going to throw a whole new twist on the podium and the championship standings." Lewis' last event at Road America, a 2010 American Le Mans Series race in a Porsche, resulted in a third place finish with co-driver and longtime endurance race winner Vic Rice.
For more information and to view images from the Mid-Ohio race, visit www.GoTransAm.com and www.RobinsonRacingTeam.com.
Pictured Above at Mid-Ohio on Friday, August 14, 2015: Gar Robinson (left) and George Robinson (right)
About Robinson Racing
Robinson Racing is a motorsports organization based in Milford, Michigan, with two vehicles competing in the 2015 Trans Am Series and two drivers competing in the Mint 400 in Las Vegas, Nevada. In the TA2 Class of the Trans Am Series, Robinson Racing runs the No. 74 Chevrolet Camaro, sponsored by 74 Ranch Resort and driven by Gar Robinson. The team also runs the No. 72 Chevrolet Camaro, sponsored by 74 Ranch Resort and driven by renowned endurance champion Shane Lewis. The Team Owner and Gar Robinson's father, George Robinson is a former Trans Am driver, running in 46 races from 1988 to 1994 with one victory, eight top-five appearances and 24 top-ten showings. In addition to the Trans Am Series, George Robinson raced in IMSA, Grand Am, and ALMS, with 3 class wins at the 12 Hours of Sebring plus a Championship in the Ferrari Challenge. For more information, visit www.RobinsonRacingTeam.com.