Brad McAllister Drives from Last to First in Portland Race of Attrition
July 23, 2023
Hampton Goes Back-to-Back in GT, Rodgers First in XGT, Goldman Wins TA
PORTLAND, Ore. (July 23, 2023) – Portland-area native Brad McAllister drove from last to first in a wild, attrition-filled Race 2 at Portland International Raceway. After several competitors experienced issues early in the Trans Am Series presented by Pirelli Western Championship's second event of a doubleheader weekend, McAllister rebounded from a last-place starting spot to win his first Big Machine Vodka SPIKED Coolers TA2 Series race of 2023.
Notes of Interest
- Brad McAllister is a native of Sherwood, Oregon, just 35 minutes away from the track. This was McAllister’s first win of 2023.
- McAllister’s last win came at Circuit of The Americas in 2019, the year he won the Western Championship TA2 title on the strength of four victories, including one in Portland.
- McAllister started last today after an ignition switch failure resulted in a DNS in yesterday’s Race 1.
- Both races in this weekend’s doubleheader were won overall by a competitor starting in last place.
- David Hampton swept the Portland doubleheader, winning both events in the GT class.
Big Machine Vodka SPIKED Coolers TA2 Series:
In the Big Machine Vodka SPIKED Coolers TA2 Series, several championship contenders who were expected to perform well today faced adversity that prematurely ended their runs. Second-place TA2 starter Ken Sutherland (No. 68 Kallberg Racing Chevrolet Camaro) was caught up in a multi-car crash just after the initial green flag and was forced to retire before completing the first lap.
Yesterday’s race winner Brody Goble (No. 69 Brown Bros. Ford/Cortex Performance Ford Mustang) got off to a strong start to today’s event after taking the green flag first in his class and overtaking first-place overall starter Michelle Nagai in XGT, but a flagging miscue ended the day for both Goble and Nagai, as well as another front-running competitor. On the lap-seven restart, a local flagger mistakenly threw the green flag outside of the expected restart zone where Goble, as the leader, would control the start. With some cars accelerating and others not, the chaotic start led to Goble, Nagai and Michael Fine (No. 66 Architectural Glass Systems Inc. Camaro) getting hit by those around them, putting an end to their day.
Adversity for some led to opportunities for others, leading to an exceptional comeback by the eventual race winner. Following a disappointing DNS in yesterday’s Race 1, Brad McAllister was relegated to a last-place starting position in his Nitro Motorsports-prepared No. 24 Straumann and Zimbis Ford Mustang. After the green flag waved, it only took McAllister eight laps to work his way up to sixth in class, and by lap 10, he had taken over the fourth position. On lap 23, McAllister took over first in class following a hard battle with points leader Greg Tolson in the No. 70 GT Auto Lounge Ford Mustang. Once McAllister had taken the class lead, there was no turning back. He captured the overall race lead on lap 28 and was followed by Tolson until the Californian experienced a suspension problem that took him out of contention for the win. After that, McAllister was able to cruise to victory, besting Tim Lynn (No. 17 RoofOptions Ford Mustang) and Troy Ermish (No. 33 Earmish-Racing.com/DIG Motorsports Ford Mustang), who rounded out the podium.
“Winning at home is fantastic, it’s really special to get the victory here,” said McAllister in Victory Lane. “We won here in 2019, but I’ve really struggled here ever since. I got the pole the year after that, but got a DNF, and then the year after that, we were running strong in practice, then we crashed and didn’t start the race. Same thing yesterday; we didn’t get to start the race. It seems like we either win or DNF. The car was strong right until the very end. I just maintained the gap. Greg [Tolson] was closing a little bit, so I started picking up the pace. If anybody else would have closed in on us, we could have increased the pace again. I think we had it under control; the car was so strong. My business, Periodontal Associates, keeps me super busy and we just didn’t have the bandwidth to get the car where we wanted, so having a professional team like Nitro Motorsports makes all the difference. They are outstanding with the mechanical business, and they keep the car running strong so I can focus on the driving and have fun.”
“Today was disappointing, to say the least,” said Goble, who came into today’s race second in the championship standings. “It’s unfortunate that a flagging mistake outside of the drivers’ and series’ control could have such a detrimental effect on the race outcome. After missing the first race of the season, we had the opportunity to leave Portland with the points lead, which would have been a huge accomplishment for this team. I hate it for this Brown Bros. Racing team that we had this kind of setback after they put in so much work to give me such an incredible car this weekend. This certainly has a negative impact on our championship run, but hopefully it’s one we can overcome in the final two races of the season.”
Big Machine Vodka SPIKED Coolers TA2 Series Top Five:
1. Brad McAllister, No. 24 Straumann and Zimbis Ford Mustang
2. Tim Lynn, No. 17 RoofOptions Ford Mustang
3. Troy Ermish, No. 33 Ermish-Racing.com/DIG Motorsports Ford Mustang
4. Tim Carroll, No. 46 Carroll Racing Development Dodge Challenger
5. John Schweitzer, No. 00 Superior Builders Inc. Ford Mustang
Today was a challenging day for all three XGT competitors, as each faced unique issues that ended their day prematurely. Kevin Roggenbuck (No. 45 Union Marine Audi R8 LMS) lost power on the initial race start, and while he was able to get the car started again, he quickly retired. Yesterday’s overall race winner, Michelle Nagai, was taken out on lap seven due to a flagging miscue on the restart. Meanwhile, Will Rodgers in the No. 32 Chris Evans Race Cars Ford Mustang, who started last because he did not compete in yesterday’s event, was ridiculously fast, coming from the back to lead the field overall by lap 12. Laying down lap times as fast as 1:12.681, Rodgers appeared to be unstoppable. Unfortunately, he was stymied by a brake failure on lap 26, which ended his day. However, as the last driver standing in XGT, he captured his third class win of the season.
“Those were some crazy restarts today,” Rodgers said. “My Ford Mustang was really fun to drive. It’s a badass vehicle that Chris Evans and Jeff Jefferson are developing. They’re making it available for everybody to take it out on the racetrack and haul ass like I did. I’m very thankful to those guys for the opportunity. I think we’re going to have one more race this year in that car, which is great, I’m looking forward to it. It’s too bad it ended that way with the brake failure and we didn’t get to do all the laps, but that happens sometimes.”
1. Will Rodgers, No. 32 Chris Evans Race Cars Ford Mustang
2. Michelle Nagai, No. 72 Nagai Racing/Berkeley Jet Drive Chevrolet Camaro
3. Kevin Roggenbuck, No. 45 Union Marine Audi R8 LMS
Salem, Oregon’s David Hampton in the No. 14 AR Motorsports Porsche Cayman GT4 CS swept Portland International Raceway, winning both GT races in this weekend’s doubleheader event. After starting third in class, Hampton jumped up into second place by lap two, where he fought closely with first-place starter Kevin Michaels in the No. 98 Killer Shrimp Restaurant Corvette ahead of him and JC Meynet in the No. 28 Killer Shrimp Racing Corvette behind him. He and Meynet continued to swap second and third until Michaels had a mechanical failure, forcing his return to the paddock. With Hampton now leading the class, he was able to hold onto the point position for the remainder of the race. Behind him, Meynet battled Larry Luck in the No. 16 Luck Services BMW M3, who did manage to get past Meynet, but surrendered the position on lap 32. Meynet and Luck crossed the finish line together behind Hampton to claim the podium. Meanwhile, Martin Sarukhanyan in the No. 11 Cobalt Brakes Mazda Miata finished fourth.
“This is absolutely amazing; this is not what I had anticipated for the weekend, but I’m really happy to have gotten it done,” said Hampton on the podium. “There was so much activity out there, so many cars going all over the place. It just seemed like I was divinely moved where I needed to be and just missed everything. I’m very happy to get it done and thrilled to be in this series. It’s been a lot of fun. I just drove a really consistent race today and kept hitting my marks and braking where I was supposed to. I throttled up and just kept on going. My times were actually coming down later in the race, and that’s what you’re supposed to do. I’m really happy to have gotten it done.”
1. David Hampton, No. 14 AR Motorsports Porsche Cayman GT4 CS
2. JC Meynet, No. 28 Killer Shrimp Racing Chevrolet Corvette
3. Larry Luck, No. 16 Luck Services BMW M3
4. Martin Sarukhanyan, No. 11 Cobalt Brakes Mazda Miata
5: Kevin Michaels, No. 98 Killer Shrimp Restaurant Chevrolet Corvette
Steve Goldman in the No. 13 LIG Racing Chevrolet Corvette was the only TA class competitor in the field for today’s event. Goldman started sixth overall but stalled after restarting from the black flag. While he was able to get a push start, he quickly experienced a mechanical failure and was forced to retire.
1. Steve Goldman, No. 13 LIG Racing Chevrolet Corvette
Final Details:Full official race results can be found here.
The Western Championship takes a late-summer hiatus before returning to the track at Spring Mountain Motorsports Ranch October 20-22.