68 and Counting
March 11, 2022
Columbia City, IN. – Sebring International was a very successful event for the Stevens-Miller Racing outfit and together with its partners was able to secure OR AMASS a total of 68 points in the National Championship amongst its five drivers. Leading SMR’s charge to the front was no other than Evan Slater of New Hampshire. “I was excited to represent CUBE3 Architecture at Sebring International Raceway for the 2022 Trans Am season opener with Stevens-Miller Racing. Joe, Josh, and team put together a fast, well-built car in record time. While most might have been nervous shaking down car during a race weekend, I had every confidence in their ability to execute. After a challenging start, I kept my head down and tried to minimize mistakes during what proved to be a chaotic race and ended up with a good result for CUBE 3 and SMR.
Only fractions of a second behind the young gun was LIQUI MOLY driver Tyler Kicera who finish 7th. Suffering contact early in the race sent Tyler, who was 5th, all the way back to 17th. Contact early in the race dropped Kicera, who had made it to the top-five, down to seventeenth. “We definitely deserved a better finish than seventh,” said Kicera. “We missed it a bit in qualifying and had to start further back than we would have liked. After marching forward to the top-five early in the race, I got hit from behind and punted off under braking in turn-ten. I had to be so aggressive on the restarts. I got by Slater on that last one and found myself in a battle for fourth. In the end, I had just burned my stuff up and was hanging on those last couple of laps. Hats off to SMR for building me a great car, LIQUI MOLY and Turn14. We’ll be seeking redemption at Charlotte in a couple of weeks.”
Trans Am TA2 Rookie, Jeff Sexton, crossed the line in 14th with a perfectly clean car for his first race of the season. Without any TA2 racing experience Jeff managed a solid performance, stating; “I am quite pleased with the result of my first TA2 race considering I’ve had roughly 3 hours in a TA2 car ever. The main goal was to survive and get through the race without any contact and work my way up. On lap 5 I had a moment that took me back to the 34th position and I had to put my head down and work my way back from that. I was able to methodically work my way up through the field and miss multiple big crashes that occurred right in front of me. To bring it home 14th without a scratch on the car felt like a solid accomplishment. The Stevens-Miller Racing guys did an amazing job all weekend with the set up. I also owe a huge Thank you to Marc Miller, our IMSA driver coach, for helping me adjust my driving style throughout the weekend to maximize the potential of my #12 Horse Soldier Bourbon Stevens-Miller Racing Ford Mustang. We had amazing support from the Horse Soldier Bourbon team and guests all weekend and I am looking forward to our next race in Charlotte.
And just behind HSB Ford Mustang was the only Dodge Challenger in the field driven by the 2021 Rookie of the Year, Rhett Barkau. “We had a really fast early lap car, but the balance didn’t last for the long run. Overall, the weekend was very successful and I’m eager to keep learning the NO. 01 NAPA/MPEC Berryman Products, Barkaucar.com Dodge Challenger.
Rounding out the SMR driver Line-up was Marc Austin who will run a partial effort with SMR assistance along the way. Marc finished 20th of 48 cars surviving what is always one of the more crazy races of the year.
SMR owner, Joe Stevens, couldn’t be more thrilled with the new team’s first outing. “What we’ve managed to do in the off season is no doubt incredible.” said Joe as he refers to the unbelievable amount of work and effort, he and his crew excreted in this season pre-Sebring preparation. “Big thumbs up to our drivers that truly gave it everything to race smart and hard. But I’m equally as appreciative of my full and part-time staff that make all this possible. These men and women worked 16-hour days for three weeks in preparation for the season opener and had just an incredible reliability at the event. Following the event, I’m reminded that the work never stops, and we must get better. Within just a few races I’m very confident we’ll have multiple drivers that are podium capable.”
Photo by Jack Shanlin.
About Stevens-Miller Racing:
Stevens-Miller Racing (SMR) has one of the highest winning percentages in Trans Am’s TA2 category. SMR’s staff has earned 40-plus podiums, three championships, multiple Hard Charger Awards, Rookie of the Year, and more. The team’s focus is achieving the driver’s desired goals. SMR has what drivers need, be it GT2, SVRA Group Six, or TA2. Whether it’s to have fun, develop your driving ability, or win a championship, SMR does it all and has the winning history to back it up. See www.stevensmillerracing.com for more details about our programs and Arrive & Drive and car prep opportunities.
- Stevens-Miller Racing PR