For two drivers, Trans Am history awaits at Road Atlanta
October 5, 2012
Donohue. Pruett. Follmer. Gregg. Tullius. Those are just a few of the names etched into the Trans Am history books. They’re among the legends. The Trans Am Series Champions. The series has seen more than its fair share of champions, more than its fair share of talented drivers. However, for Trans Am that’s simply not enough.
On November 4th at Road Atlanta two more names will join that legendary list and ascend into Trans Am history. Two more drivers will follow in the steps of greatness, but they’ll have to run the gauntlet to do it.
Like the prior race weekend at Brainerd International Raceway, Road Atlanta weekend finale will involve two separate races putting the final 20 percent of all available points towards the championship on the line—providing plenty of opportunity for drivers to move up and down in the standings.
In the TA class Simon Gregg is the current points leader. He and the #59 Gregg Motorsports Chevrolet Corvette are yet to miss a podium this year and their consistency has paid off in the points standings—which he has led since the third race at Mid-Ohio. However, with a good showing at Road Atlanta he has a chance to follow in Peter Gregg’s, his father’s, footsteps and become a Trans Am Champion.
Amy Ruman is hot on Gregg’s tail though. With 202 points to Gregg’s 217, Ruman is currently second in the points standings and is coming off a win in the second race at Brainerd International. She and the #23 McNichols/Goodyear/Cenweld Chevrolet Corvette were also the victors at last year’s race at Road Atlanta.
Currently in third is two-time defending champion Tony Ave. Ave’s year began with an unprecedented streak of mechanical failures, forcing him to take a back seat for the first half of the season. Since then Ave and his new #4 Lamers/PME Engines/RPX Chevrolet Corvette have come back with a vengeance, quickly rattling off victories at Road America and the first leg of Brainerd only to fall short in the second leg due to tire trouble. Despite an eventful season, the champ is still within striking distance.
Following Ave are other Trans Am mainstays, such as teammate Doug Peterson in the #87 3Dimensional.com Chevrolet Corvette, Denny Lamers with his #66 McMahon Group/Stumpf Ford/Lamers Racing Ford Mustang and Trans Am veteran David Jans in the #70 World Information Systems Ford Mustang.
The race is on for the TA2 championship as well. Defending champion Bob Stretch has a large lead in the points standings with 233 points. Stretch and his #06 Fix Rim Mobile Wheel Repair Chevrolet Camaro have claimed four victories this year, the most recent being the second leg at Brainerd International Raceway. On top of that he has only missed the podium twice this year. A second consecutive championship may be in the cards for Stretch if he is able to hold off the competition for two more races.
Currently second in the points for TA2 is Trans Am veteran Pete Halsmer. Halsmer has won three races so far this year and, while he is down 34 points from Stretch in the standings, it is not improbable for Halsmer to challenge in each of the races, and perhaps, with a bit of luck, the championship. Halsmer and the #12 Ctek Battery Chargers Motorstate Allstar Chevrolet Camaro have plenty to prove as they look to continue their winning ways for Miller Racing.
Third is Trans Am rookie Michael Wilson. Hailing from Blairstown, New Jersey, Wilson has made a habit of racing his way onto the podium despite a bevy of mechanical issues and even having to resort to a replacement car. He and the #00 Wilson’s Carpet Pontiac Grand Prix most recently came in third in the second race at Brainerd International.
Wilson leads a pack of TA2 rookies that currently have claim to positions three through nine in the points standings, illustrating the growth and competitive nature of the class.
For more on the Road Atlanta race be sure to check our forthcoming Road Atlanta Race Preview on www.gotransam.com, keep up with the action on Facebook at www.facebook.com/gotransam and follow the Series on Twitter at @gotransam.
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