On This Day in Trans Am History: April 9, 2017
April 9, 2020
April 9, 2017
Homestead-Miami Speedway proved to be “home sweet home for Ernie Francis Jr., with the 19-year-old South Floridian capturing his first overall victory in the Trans Am Series presented by Pirelli.
Riding a streak of three consecutive championships – along with 23 class triumphs – Francis was making his second start in the lead TA category. He led most of the race driving the No. 98 Buoniconti Fund/Beta Tools Ford Mustang in the season opener at Sebring, only to drop out with a mechanical issue.
Francis started on the outside of the front row and quickly grabbed the lead, turning a track-record lap of 1:17.496-seconds while building an advantage of nearly eight seconds.
Two caution periods allowed the field to close, with RJ Lopez finishing second in the No. 06 Republica Brewing/ACP Corvette, nearly five seconds in arrears. Daniel Urrutia Jr. took third in the Republica Brewing/ACP Corvette for an all-South Florida podium.
Gar Robinson won the 102.15-mile TA2® race, while Randy Kinsland won in TA3 and Brian Kleeman captured his second consecutive victory in TA4.
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