2022 Track to the Title: Chris Dyson Wins Second-Consecutive Championship in TA Class in Dominant Fashion
December 30, 2022
After winning his first-career Trans Am Championship in the TA class last year, Chris Dyson established himself and his CD Racing team as a threat for 2022 title right out of the gate. Winning the pole and season-opening race at Sebring International Raceway, Dyson kicked off what would be another incredible season for the No. 20 GYM WEED/ALTWELL CBD Ford Mustang. Ultimately, the Poughkeepsie, N.Y. native, won six of the season’s 11 rounds, and held the lead in the standings from the first race until the last.
At Road Atlanta in March, Dyson kicked off a four-race streak of winning both the pole and the race, establishing his dominance and opening up a points lead that his other competitors simply couldn’t touch. One of those wins was at his home track, Lime Rock Park, which was arguably one of his most meaningful wins of the season.
“This place meant the world to me growing up, coming out here with my family and watching my dad race,” said Dyson after capturing the checkered flag. “It really planted the seed of my love for this sport. Now, to come back here and have success, a 20-year career, I’m very fortunate. I have a sense of perspective that I obviously didn’t have as a kid, but I have the same sense of love for this place.”
When his four-race winning streak was finally broken at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in June, it was by his own CD Racing teammate, Matthew Brabham. With podiums at Mid-Ohio and Road America, Dyson, who has raced in Trans Am since 2017, clinched his second-consecutive championship with a second-place finish at Watkins Glen International with two events remaining in the season.
“We’ve had a lot of good days here, and today was certainly one of the more exciting ones,” said Dyson. “I’m proud to be here and proud to be a champion.”
Dyson’s season was not without its challenges. A blown tire at the Charlotte Motor Speedway ROVAL in Round 2 resulted in a crash that relegated him to a season-low eighth-place finish, which was matched at VIRginia International Raceway in the penultimate race when damage from contact with another competitor rendered him unable to continue. However, Dyson persisted, and was able to close out the year with a final victory in the season finale at Circuit of The Americas (COTA).
“I’ve been wanting to win here for years, and I finally got it done,” said Dyson in Victory Lane. “I have to say thanks to my CD Racing team for the support all year. The talent here in Trans Am is fantastic. These cars are the most fun cars I’ve ever driven. We’ve had a lot of success and I’m looking forward to building on it. I just want to say thanks to everybody who has made this season possible for us.”
The 44-year-old is on track for another stellar season in 2023, debuting a new state-of-the-art Ave-Riley AR3 chassis for the last two races of the year, which he drove to Victory Lane at COTA. The new chassis was designed with both safety and performance in mind, and is expected to be a gamechanger in the TA class.
“I’m so thrilled with the team’s success,” reflected the champion. “I’m really honored to give Riley Technologies their debut win with the new chassis; I think it’s going to be the first of many.”
Dyson also had the opportunity to reconnect with his family’s racing roots, claiming the No. 16 when it became available in the series in those final two races. The two-time champ said that changing to the No. 16 full time in 2023 is a possibility for him.
“The No. 16 has been our family’s traditional racing number since 1985. I’ve raced with it, and it’s been the team’s primary number along with No. 20. It wasn’t available when I first joined the Trans Am Series, and when it was offered up as an option when CD Racing ran three cars, we jumped all over it. It’s just fantastic to be up front with the No. 16 car.”
Regardless of the car number, there is no doubt that Dyson will once again be a title contender next season. The level of competition is only expected to increase in the TA class in 2023, with a number of new chassis being introduced and new drivers joining the series full time. But no matter how formidable the competition, to earn the title, they’re going to have to go through Dyson.