Father's Day Thoughts from Trans Am Drivers
June 15, 2023
In honor of Father’s Day this weekend, a handful of drivers offered their thoughts about their dads and how they influenced their racing careers:
Chris Dyson, No. 16 GYM WEED Ford Mustang:
“Watching Dad go racing as a boy was inspirational. He was winning races and building amazing businesses. He was (and still is) an absolute dynamo. But more than anything, he absolutely loved being a dad. When I wanted to go racing, he was the opposite of a ‘Little League dad.’ He wanted to make sure I was doing it for myself and not to impress him. He had enjoyed a great driving career and didn't need to live through me. I also started racing a lot later because I was mainly playing baseball, so he pushed me to sort out a lot of my early karting and club racing on my own. He knew that was the way I would understand if I really wanted to do this. I appreciate his approach to it even more now.
“Dad's priority as a driver and as a team owner was getting the basics right. He always focused on putting resources into the right people and the right equipment and carved his own path. He built relationships with people who shared his outlook and wanted to succeed. He saw potential where others might not. And then he gave his people freedom and empowered them to do great things. We have been able to build on the foundation of the team he created and enjoy a lot of success together. It's an honor to carry on his legacy. Happy Father's Day, Dad!”
Amy Ruman, No. 23 McNichols Co. Chevrolet Corvette:
“What a fitting way to spend Father’s Day weekend – at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, the Racing Capital of the World. I can’t thank my father enough for being such a great role model and inspiration to me throughout my life. I am fortunate to have worked side-by-side with my dad in business and in racing. His love of the Trans Am Series, Corvettes, and racing set the tone for where I wanted to be. I have learned so much from him and can’t thank him enough for his tireless efforts, from working on the car, data, engineering, coaching, and even body work. Without his unconditional love, encouragement, and support, I wouldn’t be a Champion!”
Tomy Drissi, No. 8 Lucas Oil Chevrolet Camaro:
“My dad raced bikes in Morocco; he loved racing bikes and he loved cars. My dad was always supportive of my racing and was the first one to have a bag packed for a race. My career started in vintage racing, and he was a fixture at the racetrack. He couldn’t believe it when I started racing pro. Everyone at the track knew him and loved him. If he wasn’t able to make it to the race, everyone would say ‘Where is your dad?’ before they even said hi to me. When I won my first Trans Am race, the Long Beach Grand Prix, everybody had him come up on stage and he took the mic. I was excited, but I think he was even more excited. I don’t know where my racing career would be without his love and support. I think he enjoyed it more than me sometimes. I love you, Papa!”
Matthew Brabham, No. 20 GYM WEED Ford Mustang:
“I grew up listening to incredible racing stories shared around the dinner table between my Dad and Grandpa. I would sit there in absolute awe, and it really inspired my decision to go racing myself. Dad was fully on board and supported me a great deal throughout my life and racing. We have so many fond memories driving all across Australia in a van and going to kart races together. We developed such a strong and emotional connection through all the success and hardships. When it comes to racing, we almost always know what each other is thinking without even having to say it.
“When we finally got to race together through the SVRA Pro/Am and historic racing, it was certainly exciting! Racing hard for the lead, swapping positions and out-braking each other was just incredible. It created some even more fond memories that I will cherish forever. I'm really looking forward to this weekend as we will both be racing again on the same weekend and creating more of those awesome moments together.”