TeamSLR Ready for WWTR SpeedTour, Pro-Am Challenge Leader Barry Boes Joined by First-Time TA2 Competitor Jake Finch as M1 Racecars Team Heads to Round Four on the Outskirts of St. Louis

May 9, 2024

TeamSLR Ready for WWTR SpeedTour, Pro-Am Challenge Leader Barry Boes Joined by First-Time TA2 Competitor Jake Finch as M1 Racecars Team Heads to Round Four on the Outskirts of St. Louis

ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. (May 9, 2024) – Barry Boes brings the Pro-Am Challenge lead and welcomes another high-profile Cube 3 Architecture TA2 Series newcomer to the TeamSLR M1 Racecars fold for Saturday’s fourth round of the 2024 season at World Wide Technology Raceway in Madison, Illinois.

Saturday’s 63-lap, 75-minute race marks just the second time since 1985 that the Trans Am Series presented by Pirelli will race on the property that once was home to St. Louis International Raceway, just across the Mississippi River from downtown St. Louis. It is now home to the 1.6-mile, eight-turn circuit that utilizes roughly two-thirds of the facility’s 1.25-mile, egg-shaped oval that plays host to the NASCAR Cup Series and NTT IndyCar Series. In the series’ return visit last September, now fulltime NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series competitor Thad Moffitt led the way for TeamSLR with a fifth-place finish resulting from a bold call to pit for four fresh tires during a late-race caution. Moffitt restarted 16th with 10 laps to go but charged forward to claim fifth by the time the checkered flag waved.

Boes, the sixth-year TA2 competitor from Ooltewah, Tennessee, and driver of the No. 27 Accio Data/SLR-M1 Racecars Ford Mustang, brings an 18-point lead in the Pro-Am Challenge championship-within-the-TA2-championship after the first three rounds of the season. He finished tops among his Pro-Am competitors at the opening two rounds at Sebring (Fla.) International Raceway and Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta before an opening-lap incident led to his early exit just six laps into the most recent round April 14 at NOLA Motorsports Park in Avondale, Louisiana. Last September at WWTR, Boes was behind the wheel of a BC Race Cars entry that qualified and finished 16th.

Making his first career TA2 Series appearance this weekend will be 18-year-old Jake Finch of Lynn Haven, Florida. The son of longtime NASCAR team owner James Finch will take over the reins of the No. 17 Phoenix Construction/SLR-M1 Racecars entry as he looks to enhance his road-racing craft after finding success in stock cars on oval tracks in recent years. Since graduating to the hotly competitive ARCA Menards Series, Finch has competed in a dozen national series events, as well as seven in the East Series and two in the West Series. Last month, he dominated on the behemoth Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway oval, qualifying on the pole and leading all 76 race laps en route to his second career ARCA victory in a Venturini Motorsports Toyota. His first ARCA victory came in the April 2023 East Series race at Dover (Del.) Motor Speedway. At this year’s ARCA season opener at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway, Finch qualified third, led a race-high 65 of 84 laps, and was leading the final restart before getting turned into the outside wall on the penultimate lap. In the most recent ARCA event last Saturday at Kansas Speedway in Kansas City, Finch brought home a fifth-place finish after qualifying second.

Earlier this season, a pair of 16-year-olds – Gavan Boschele and Julian DaCosta – got their first tastes of TA2 racing in TeamSLR M1 Racecars equipment in the interests of developing their road-racing craft. Boschele drove the No. 28 SLR-M1 Racecars entry to finishes of 15th at Sebring, eighth at Road Atlanta and seventh at NOLA, while DaCosta’s TA2 debut resulted in a 10th-place finish from the ninth starting position at NOLA.

Riding along with this weekend’s TeamSLR drivers and their M1 Racecars, as it will all season long, is Nashville, Tennessee-based Franklin Road Apparel Company, which has been a longtime team supporter.

M1 Racecars was represented on the podium at 12 of the 13 TA2 rounds in 2023, highlighted by a pair of victories by two-time series champion Rafa Matos of Peterson Racing. Team SLR’s Dillon Machavern and Thad Moffitt both scored podium finishes, as did TeamSLR driver Connor Mosack at the season-opening event at Sebring, when he qualified on the pole and led the first 19 laps of the race before finishing third. At this year’s Sebring season opener, Austin Green of the two-car Peterson Racing contingent was the top-finishing M1 Racecars entry with his fifth-place result.

A pair of Friday-morning test sessions kick off this weekend’s on-track action at 8 and 10:25 a.m. CDT, followed by official practice 1:50 p.m. TA2 qualifying begins at 8:30 a.m. Saturday, with race time set for 12:35 p.m. 

Barry Boes, Driver, No. 27 Accio Data/SLR-M1 Racecars Ford Mustang:
You’re headed back to World Wide Technology Raceway for the second year in a row and your first visit with TeamSLR. What’s your outlook for the weekend?

“I’m just super excited because I know that the TeamSLR M1 Racecars do well when they run for a long time, and St. Louis is a place that really challenges cars to run well for a long time. I’m really excited that we’re going to have the longevity and the endurance that we’ll need because the cars don’t wear out the tires as much for whatever the reason, and it’s going to be a big deal there if you want to win the race. Last year, my car changed a lot during the race as the tires wore out, so I’m counting on having these M1 cars change a lot less.”

What are the key parts of the circuit when it comes to laying down a good lap there?
“You start out with a really big challenge when you come to turn one, which is very much like turn one at Homestead, where you’ve got to get your braking just right. The Carousel (turns six and seven) is a really important place to get right because the fastest line through there isn’t the racing line, but where the grip is, so in testing and practice you’ve got to find a really fast line or two that you can use for the race. Setting up for both the infield and the oval is another big challenge. It’s a relatively slow oval, you can’t keep it floored, you’ve got to feather it and feather it all the way through, so we’ll have to do some things to maximize our speed on the oval. We’re just going to work on a well-balanced car, we’re not going to play tricks with it.”

Despite your early incident at NOLA, you arrive at WWTR leading the Pro-Am Challenge after opening the season with your Pro-Am wins at Sebring and Road Atlanta. How do you feel about the progress you’ve made?
“I’m really excited about the Pro-Am championship. We won the first two races before we had the incident at NOLA, but we can throw away a few races, so I think we’re in good shape as we look toward the rest of the season. I always come in planning on finishing first in Pro-Am each weekend, and I feel like we’re getting closer and closer to getting on the overall podium. So far, so good.”

Jake Finch, Driver, No. 17 Phoenix Construction/SLR-M1 Racecars Chevrolet Camaro:
What brings you to TeamSLR and M1 Racecars for your first taste of TA2 racing this weekend?

“I tested a couple of times with the team at Kershaw and VIR and now we get to run our first race together. I’m basically just trying to get better so on the road-course races in NASCAR I can be just that much better, that’s the plan. Dad (James Finch) has such great connections with a bunch of people in motorsports and he just told me this is what we were going to do. We like the Lagasses and I’m really glad to be able to end up here. They’re great people and have done a great job so far. They really get the finer points down and help you perfect what you need to perfect. It’s been a big learning tool for me and those guys have been nothing but great to me, so I’m just excited to get with them this weekend in a race format and go out there and compete the best we can”

What were your impressions of driving a TA2 car in testing?
“They’re pretty similar to Late Models, I’d say, just with a road-course feel. They’re pretty fun, and they’re pretty challenging, as well. I’m interested to see how they’re going to do over the course of a race. Just testing is a little bit different, but I’m excited to get after it to see how it’s going to be this weekend.”

What have you been doing to prepare for your first visit to the circuit?
“I’ve been working on the sim, running laps, trying to get better, trying to learn the line and the racecraft around that place. I’m just excited to get there and race and have been doing the normal stuff I do before every race. I think it’s great. With the Charlotte Roval being on our schedule, and most of our road courses being pretty similar, except for COTA and places like that, I would say it’ll be a big help. I’m excited to get to a track I would call a roval, and I’m excited to see how it goes

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