Amy Ruman takes first career Trans Am pole
June 1, 2014
After qualifying concluded at New Jersey Motorsports Park today, June 1, 2014, it was Amy Ruman, in the #23 McNichols Company Chevrolet Corvette, who had claimed pole position for this afternoon’s 101.5 mile Trans Am race, the RacingJunk.com 100, Round 5 of the 2014 Trans Am Championship.
Ruman’s lap, a 1:16.622, just edged the 1:16.670 of Doug Peterson, in the #87 3Dimensional.com Chevrolet Corvette, and solidified her first ever Trans Am pole.
“The season has been quite exciting so far this year,” said Ruman. “Doug and I have been running really close together in qualifying; he’s been squeezing me out the past couple times, which has been extremely frustrating. We’re just excited to have come out on top today and to have my first Trans Am pole. “
The 2.25-mile course seems to have brought out the best in Ruman, who has led every session so far this weekend and won Trans Am’s last race here in 2012.
“This track brings me back a bit to my autocross days,” said Ruman. “It’s a little tight, and I’m used to some Ohio tracks that have a lot of carousels. I think we are really comfortable here, my dad gave me a great setup on the car—yet at the same time this track can be tricky, it’s different every time you go out there, each session has been different so far this weekend, and hopefully we’ll have a good car for the last 20-15 laps, that’s where today’s race is going to be won.”
Ruman is in third place in the TA class point standings, but only eight off of Peterson, the current points leader, who will start in second position, alongside Ruman, come race time this afternoon.
“The TA class is really coming on strong this year; it’s exciting for us and exciting for the fans,” said Ruman. “We’re all really competitive, and it’s great for the Series. I’m ready for a great race and hopefully we’ll get a repeat win here at NJMP.”
Simon Gregg, in the #59 Derhaag Motorsports Chevrolet Corvette, will start in third position, with John Baucom, in the #86 Baucom Motorsports/ Roadraceparts.com Ford Mustang, and Jim McAleese, in the #03 McAleese & Associates/Jetco Chevrolet Corvette, rounding out the top five for the TA class.
In TA2, Trans Am rookie Adam Andretti captured his third consecutive pole in the TA2 class, setting a track record lap time of 1:21.326 behind the wheel of the #44 ECC Motorsports Chevrolet Camaro.
Andretti, who has three podiums and one win on the year, will look to keep his momentum going in this afternoon’s race where he’ll be faced with stern competition in the form of former two-time TA2 Champion Bob Stretch, in the #98 FixRim Mobile Wheel Repair Chevrolet Camaro, who will start in second position for the class after logging a time of 1:21.411 during qualifying.
Another Trans Am rookie, Kevin Poitras, in the #73 Mike Cope Racing Camaro, will start third, the result of his 1:21.438. Poitras is also building on momentum from his outing at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park where he finished a career high second place, enough to propel him to fourth in the TA2 points and only one off of Andretti.
Tom West, in the #56 Limerick Machine Company/ Treelaine Consulting Chevrolet Camaro, and Andretti’s teammate AJ Henriksen, in the #73 ECC Motorsports Chevrolet Camaro, will round out the top five of the TA2 class.
Defending Champion Cameron Lawrence, in the #1 Trick Titanium Chevrolet Camaro, will start in seventh position the result of mechanical issues during qualifying, but is well known for his ability to work up through the field and is sure to play a part in the outcome of the race.
In TA3, Jason Berkeley once again led the way for the International Group, behind the wheel of the #67 BMG Management Chevrolet Corvette, with a time of 1:24.844. He was followed by Joe Aquilante, in the #32 Phoenix Performance Chevrolet Corvette, and Preston Calvert, in the #77 Phoenix Performance Chevrolet Corvette, with times of 1:25.855 and 1:25.888, respectively, as they both make their first Trans Am starts.
The American Muscle Group of TA3 was led by 16 year-old Ernie Francis, Jr., in the #9 Breathless Performance Chevrolet Camaro, with a time of 1:26.695. He was followed by two-time defending Champion Chuck Cassaro, in the #76 StackData/ Aeromotive/ Metallica Ford Mustang, and Rob Bodle, in the #16 Caribbean Food Delights Ford Mustang, with times of 1:29.160 and 1:29.447.
Trans Am will take to the track here at New Jersey Motorsports Park at 4:00 pm EDT for Round 5 of the 2014 Trans Am Championship, the RacingJunk.com 100, as drivers put it all on the line once more in pursuit of a Trans Am Championship.
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