On This Day in Trans Am History: July 5, 2015
July 5, 2020
July 5, 2015
Amy Ruman added to her growing resume by winning the Ryan Companies Independence Day Classic at Brainerd International Raceway.
Actually, it was bigger news in 2015 when Ruman failed to win. Coming into the season with five career victories, Brainerd was the fifth triumph in six races for the driver of the No. 23 McNichols Company Corvette. She opened the campaign with victories at Sebring, Homestead and Road America. Ruman placed third at Lime Rock, and then won at New Jersey prior to her visit to central Minnesota.
Ruman qualified second, and needed only five laps to run down polesitter Doug Peterson’s No. 87 3Dimensional.com Corvette. Once out in front, the Ohio driver led the rest of the way.
“This McNichols 23 car has just been awesome all year long,” said Ruman after the race. “I just waited patiently and set Doug up for that pass, and we made it stick.”
Traffic nearly played a role in the outcoming, allowing Cliff Ebben to catch up in the No. 36 Stumpf Ford Mustang. Ruman stood up to the test, though, and won by 3.98 seconds.
“I thought Cliff had something for us at the end, but I just tried to focus and stay out front, and to God be the glory on this one, because they threw everything at us; it was hot, it was dirty, it was grimy, it was slick, and it was just a long race— but luckily we prevailed.”
Peterson finished third, followed by David Pintaric in the No. 57 Kryderacing Corvette and Kerry Hitt in the No. 19 Advance Composite Products Corvette. Rookie Dillon Machavern led the TA2® class in the No. 24 UniFirst/PPG Mustang, followed by the C3Controls Camaro of Minnesota’s Tommy Archer and rookie Gar Robinson in the No. 74 74 Ranch Resort Camaro.
Two woman made it to the top step of the podium. Cindi Lux won in TA3 International driving the No. 45 Lux Performance Group Dodge Viper. Jason Fichter led the TA3 American field in the No. 79 Turn 7 Motor Sports Camaro.
Ruman hit a rough stretch after the Brainerd event. She was 12th at Mid-Ohio, followed by sixth at Road America and fifth at Virginia International Raceway. She finished the season strong, ending the year with victories at New Orleans, Circuit of The Americas and Daytona to capture her first of two consecutive championships.