Trans Am Series Event Preview: NOLA Motorsports Park 2024

April 10, 2024

Trans Am Series Event Preview: NOLA Motorsports Park 2024

NOLA SpeedTour
Buy Tickets Here

Track Facts:
Opened: 2011
Length: 2.75 Miles
Layout: 16-Turn Road Course
Entry List: View

Friday, April 12
2:50-3:25 p.m. CT

Saturday, April 13
1:10-2:25 p.m. CT
Race Length: 37 Laps/75 Minutes

TV Broadcast:

Highlights Show:
Thursday, April 18
9:00 p.m. ET

Saturday, April 13
3:55-4:30 p.m. CT

Sunday, April 14
12:05-1:20 p.m. CT
Race Length: 37 Laps/75 Minutes

TV Broadcast:

Highlights Show:
Thursday, April 18
8:00 p.m. ET

Round 3 in the Big Easy
The Trans Am Series presented by Pirelli heads to NOLA Motorsports Park for the NOLA SpeedTour and Round 3 of the 2024 season. The first two events of the year have already brought plenty of drama, with surprise entries like seven-time Trans Am champion Ernie Francis Jr., an incredibly tight points race, and uncharacteristic struggles for defending champion Chris Dyson in the TA class, while the CUBE 3 Architecture TA2 Series is once again an exciting battle between Young Guns like Thomas Annunziata and Tyler Gonzalez and experienced champions like Thomas Merrill and Rafa Matos. With no repeat winners yet in TA, TA2 or SGT, the championships are still wide open.

NOLA = Championship?
This weekend will be the fourth time that Trans Am has visited the Big Easy, but a trend has seemed to emerged at the Louisiana track. Of the 13 race winners between all of the series’ classes in the first three visits to NOLA Motorsports Park, more than half have gone on to win the championship that year. Will the trend continue with this year’s victors? Below are the NOLA winners who went on to capture the title later that year:

Amy Ruman: TA. 2015
Gar Robinson: TA2, 2015
Ernie Francis Jr.: TA3-A, 2015
Tony Buffomante: TA2, 2016
Chris Dyson: TA, 2023
Brent Crews: TA2, 2023
Michael Attaway: GT, 2023

John Clagett Says Goodbye
After more than 31 years with the Trans Am Series, John Clagett will work his final event this weekend at NOLA Motorsports Park. Clagett has served as President and CEO of Trans Am Race Company for 13 years and has been affiliated with the Trans Am Series for 31-plus years, previously holding the role of Vice President of SCCA Pro Racing and liaison to the Trans Am Council, and as the series’ Executive Director through two ownership transitions. Under Clagett’s leadership, the Trans Am Race Company has generated a 10-fold increase in revenue over the past decade, while upgrading the series’ race operations, marketing, broadcast and social media outreach. 2023 accomplishments include the successful integration of the Flagtronics electronic marshalling platform, and a robust and growing broadcast package with MAVTV which includes live broadcasts, highlight coverage and a Trans Am docuseries.

“My goodness, it seems like yesterday when I became an employee of SCCA, and just a moment ago when I started to form the re-makings of the Trans Am Series with Trans Am Race Company,” reflected Clagett. “It all flew by because I loved what I did, and it never felt like work. But at the same time, my time with the series has been all-consuming. I care so much about the success of Trans Am that I put everything into it. That came at the cost of working nonstop for all these years. I’m grateful that I’ve been able to accomplish all that I have and that I’ve had an amazing team around me. I’m at the point where I can look at the culmination of all that hard work and see how the series has flourished. I’m confident that now is the time that I can step back, turn my focus towards an advisory role, and leave Trans Am in capable hands.”

Young Anthem Singers Will Shine at NOLA
This weekend’s Trans Am races will be kicked off with singing by two exceptional young talents. Ayvah Johnson, an 11-year-old New Orleans phenom with 2.2 million likes and over 237,000 followers on social media, will deliver the National Anthem before Saturday’s TA/XGT/SGT/GT race. On Sunday, it will be performed by 14-year-old Ella Grace Francis. Francis is best known for performing the National Anthem at an NFL game between the New Orleans Saints and Carolina Panthers at the Superdome in front of 70,000 attendees and millions watching the nationally-televised game.

EMCO Awarding Lap Leaders
Through a new partnership with EMCO Gears, the TA class will celebrate the driver who leads the most laps of each race, naming them the EMCO Gears Lap Leader. The TA driver who leads the most laps throughout the 2024 season will be presented with the EMCO Gears Lap Leader award at the year-end awards gala, earning a $2,500 prize to use towards EMCO Gears products.

Past Winners at NOLA
Out of the three past Trans Am events at NOLA Motorsports Park, there are only two past winners who have returned for this weekend’s races:

Chris Dyson, No. 16 GYM WEED Ford Mustang: 2023
Amy Ruman, No. 23 McNichols Co. Chevrolet Corvette: 2015


Dyson’s Bad Luck Continues
Looking at the top five in the TA standings, there is one very familiar name that is surprisingly missing: Chris Dyson. The three-time champion has not had the smoothest start to the 2024 season, running into trouble in his No. 16 GYM WEED Ford Mustang at Sebring International Raceway, where a crash on lap one took him out of the race, and Road Atlanta, where a spin through a competitor’s oil sent him to the back of the pack, forcing him to fight his way back for a second-place finish. Despite the podium finish at Road Atlanta, the Sebring crash set him back far enough in the points that he currently sits sixth in the standings. Fortunately, the points battle in TA is extremely tight, with only 17 points separating him and leader Paul Menard in the No. 3 Menards/Master Force Tools Ford Mustang. Dyson also heads into Saturday’s race as one of only two competitors in the field who have stood on the top step of the podium at NOLA, and he had a successful test at the track during the off-season, where his car showed both long and short-run speed.

Andretti Wins in Burtin’s New Chassis
Last year at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Burtin Racing debuted a brand-new TA-class chassis following three years of design and development. In just its second start, Martin Ragginger drove the car to a second-place finish at VIRginia International Raceway. In Trans Am’s last outing at Road Atlanta, the No. 17 Top Liner/Go Share Chevrolet Camaro made it to GYM WEED Winners Circle in just its fourth event, driven by Adam Andretti in a wild race culminating in a photo finish with Chris Dyson in the No. 16 GYM WEED Ford Mustang. Burtin called the chassis a “lifelong dream,” and Andretti, who captured his first TA win since 2019, said that the special win was “everyone in our group living out their dream.”

Kaylee Bryson a NOLA Winner
Although she is a relative newcomer in the Trans Am Series, PMH Powering Diversity Scholarship recipient and SGT competitor Kaylee Bryson may have a slight advantage in this weekend’s event at NOLA, as she has recent experience winning at the 2.75-mile track. The driver of the No. 02 Logical Systems Inc./Sam Pierce Chevrolet Corvette competed in the National Auto Sport Association weekend at NOLA in March, where she won two of her four races in the Super Unlimited class and finished second in other two.

SGT Battle Heating Up
The SGT class is currently experiencing one of its most competitive seasons to date, with more competitors than ever entered in the class and a close points battle. With a win and a second-place finish, Richard Forsythe in the No. 58 GSpeed/Sambuca Restaurant Chevrolet currently leads the point standings over Joshua Carlson in the No. 36 Enseva/TC Fab/Diercks Ltd. Ford Mustang and Kaylee Bryson. This weekend will see six entrants, twice as many as last year’s event at NOLA. One of this weekend’s competitors is Don McMillon in the No. 51 Salasko Racing Chevrolet Corvette, who returns to the class for the first time since 2022. He has recent experience at NOLA, competing in the GT2 class in the SCCA Super Tour event in February.


1. Paul Menard (184)
2. Keith Grant (180)
3. Adam Andretti (179)
4. Amy Ruman (177)
5. Tomy Drissi (169)

1. Danny Lowry (120)

1. Richard Forsythe (165)
2. Joshua Carlson (142)
3. Kaylee Bryson (126)
4. Milton Grant (83)
5. Lee Saunders (82)

1. Chris Coffey (157)
2. Joey DaSilva (83)

TA Pick 6
1. Richard Grant (152)
2. John DeGaynor (80)
3. Billy Griffin (72)

XGT Pick 6
1. Shannon Herford (63)
2. Ricky Sanders (57)

SGT Pick 6
1. Jenn Krpata (63)

GT Pick 6
1. Jeff Lindstrom (126)
2. Colin Cohen (73)
3. Todd Napieralski (62)

Complete Standings: View


Nitro Dominating the Podium
With two races complete for the CUBE 3 Architecture TA2 Series, one thing is for certain: Nitro Motorsports is dominating. The team has occupied four of a possible six podium spots in the first two events, and currently sits first, second and fourth in the point standings with Tyler Gonzalez (No. 40 Nitro Motorsports Ford Mustang), Thomas Annunziata (No. 90 Nitro Motorsports Ford Mustang) and Rafa Matos (No. 60 Concord American Flagpole Ford Mustang), respectively.

Gonzalez Leads the Pack
Rookie and Young Gun Tyler Gonzalez has had a phenomenal start to the 2024 season as the only driver to earn podium finishes at both Sebring and Road Atlanta. Currently leading the overall TA2 point standings, the Rookie-of-the-Year standings and the Young Gun Award standings, Gonzalez also enters this weekend with previous experience at NOLA. The 19-year-old GR Cup Champion ran at the track last year in an SRO GT4 car.

Annunziata ‘On The Rise’
Second in the standings, Thomas Annunziata is another young Nitro Motorsports driver experiencing a strong start to the season with a fourth-place finish at Sebring and a second-place finish at Road Atlanta. The future star is going to be featured in an upcoming episode of the MAVTV series On The Rise, which he is filming this weekend at NOLA. Annunziata experienced both highs and lows last year in New Orleans, winning his first-career Pole Award, but starting 29th after his car lost power before hitting the track for the green flag. He ultimately fought his way back to the front, finishing in the top five. Showing why he is currently ‘on the rise,’ in addition to his full-time Trans Am effort, next weekend, the 18-year-old will be making his second-career start in the ARCA Racing Series. He finished second in his ARCA debut at Daytona International Speedway in February.

DaCosta Debut
The CUBE 3 Architecture TA2 Series will have a new face in the paddock this weekend with 16-year-old Julian DaCosta in the No. 17 Team SLR-M1 Racecars Chevrolet Camaro. The young driver joins Trans Am with experience in both the Mazda MX-5 Cup and SCCA’s Spec Miatas.

Boes Knows NOLA
Barry Boes in the No. 27 Team SLR-M1 Racecars Ford Mustang continues to sit atop the TA2 Pro/Am Challenge standings after earning his second-consecutive win at Road Atlanta. Boes has a chance to expand his lead this weekend at NOLA, where he experienced success earlier this year. Competing in the SCCA Super Tour event at the track back in February, Boes won both Race 1 and Race 2 in the GT2 class.


1. Tyler Gonzalez (194)
2. Thomas Annunziata (186)
3. Thomas Merrill (185)
4. Rafa Matos (155)
5. Caleb Bacon (144)
5. Adrian Wlostowski (144)

1. Tyler Gonzalez (194)
2. Thomas Annunziata (186)
3. Caleb Bacon (144)
4. Ben Maier (126)
5. Gavan Boschele (120)

1. Tyler Gonzalez (194)
2. Josh Hurley (138)
3. Gavan Boschele (120)
4. Ethan Barker (42)
5. Gio Ruggiero (36)

TA2 Pro/Am
1. Barry Boes (214)
2. Roberto Sabato (191)
3. Keith Prociuk (166)
4. Chris Durbin (164)
5. Cale Phillips (152)

TA2 Pick 6
1. Thomas Ellis (117)

Complete Standings: View

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