July 22, 2021
Brainerd, Minn. – Adrian Wlostowski — driving his No. 3, Hawk Performance, F.A.S.T. Auto Racing, Howe Racing Enterprises, Camaro — keeps pushing to the front of the Trans Am presented by Pirelli’s TA2 category. Brainerd’s combined field of TA and TA2 cars made for exciting racing as several of the ultra-fast TA cars started at the back of the pack, including the overall winner Ernie Francis Jr.
“I’m happy we brought it home in fifth today,” Wlostowski said. “We had an off in practice that took a lot to repair so we were not quite right in qualifying. But come race time, the car was good, and I was on my game.
“Although we’ve not reached the first group yet, it’s coming. But I can tell you that the group of us battling just off the back of the TA2 leaders are fighting just as hard as the front runners. It’s intense every lap, one small mistake will drop you from fifth to eleventh. We’re on the edge every lap, and I’m loving it! It was great racing with Connor Mosack, Tylor Kicera, and Michael Self, all past winners and pole setters in TA2 and NASCAR’s Xfinity series. I’m thrilled our program has brought us this far in our first season, and I know there is more to come.”
The Brainerd event provided several challenges for the TA2 field. TA cars, yellow flags, restarts, tire degradation, and attrition all played a role in the end.
“It was a bit hectic with the TA cars mixed in with us. They are super quick in a straight line and at times they were in the middle of our fight. We had a couple of cautions and with the TA cars mixed in, making the restarts were pretty wild.
“The Brainerd surface is quite hard on our tires, and as the race went on, we began losing front grip. Connor Mosack and I had a great battle over the last half of the race. Once he got by me, I could pressure him, but when I got close, I’d lose air on my splitter, and I’d get some understeer. TA2 has a great group of drivers, and we have a lot of respect for each other. The cars are super-fast and without respect things can go wrong in a big way.
“Attrition is part of it, and always plays a role. Our preparation continues to get better as we get more experience and understand what parts are being punished. We drive these cars hard; it’s ‘elbows out’ for the entire race, so preparation is incredibly important, and my guys do a great job.”
2021 has seen some of the biggest fields in the history of TA2. Thirty-five cars started Road America and 45 cars are pre-entered at the next event “The Music City Grand Prix” to be held on the streets of Nashville, Tenn.
“We’re racing in front of some huge crowds this season, and it’s so cool!” Wlostowski said. “Road America was sold out setting all-time attendance records. It looks like the first-ever Nashville event will be the same – just massive. It’s great for Trans Am and especially TA2. More and more TA2 is being recognized by the fans, the media, and sponsors. The racing is great, and we’ve got the coolest Camaros, Mustangs and Dodge Challengers on the planet. We could not be more excited to be part of The Music City Grand Prix along with IndyCar.”
Photos by Chris Clark
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