Brent Crews Wins at Road America in First-Career TA Race

June 30, 2024

Brent Crews Wins at Road America in First-Career TA Race

Ricky Sanders Wins XGT, Lee Saunders Victorious in SGT, Chris Coffey Takes GT Once Again

ELKHART LAKE, Wis. (June 30, 2024) - The Trans Am Series presented by Pirelli race at Road America was one of attrition and consequences, with both mechanical failures and penalties ultimately affecting the outcome of the race. A four-time winner this year, Paul Menard led much of the 25-lap race after early contact took Chris Dyson out of contention. However, an avoidable-contact penalty moved Menard to second in the finishing order, resulting in 2023 CUBE 3 Architecture TA2 Series champion Brent Crews earning the victory, fighting back from engine issues and an eighth-place starting berth to win in his first-career TA start.

Dyson led the field to green in his No. 16 GYM WEED Ford Mustang after taking the pole position and got off to a great start, pulling ahead of both rows of traffic. Second-place starter Menard (No. 3 Menards/Masterforce Tools Ford Mustang) was quickly challenged by third-place Adam Andretti (No. 17 Top Liner/Go Share Chevrolet Camaro), but he maintained the second position and proceeded to chase the leader. By lap two, Menard had closed in on Dyson and dove to make the pass in Turn 8 and the two made contact, with Menard bumping Dyson’s left-rear, causing the three-time champion to spin. Dyson was able to get moving again, but he’d fallen all the way back to the eighth position.

While Menard led the field, Crews, who started in eighth place in his No. 2 Mobil 1/STEEL-IT Dodge Challenger after engine problems plagued him in qualifying, had already fought his way into the second position by lap three. Dyson, on a mission to return to the front of the field, began to pass his TA competitors, and by lap 11 he had driven up to fourth. However, Dyson faced even more adversity, as he lost voltage in his car on lap 13. Dyson pulled off the racing surface, and despite a tireless effort by CD Racing crew, he was unable to return and relegated to finishing last in the TA class.

A few laps later, the Camaro of third-place Andretti began to pour smoke due to a left-front tire rub. Andretti quickly came to pit road for a tire change, but his new tire also smoked. The team determined that a nose brace had broken, leading to bodywork causing the rub, and Andretti was forced to retire to the paddock. This led to Amy Ruman (No. 23 McNichols Co./Valley Automotive Chevrolet Corvette) taking over the third position, and behind her, Tomy Drissi (No. 8 Drissi Motorsports/Lucas/Mission Chevrolet Camaro) and teammate Don Yount (No. 7 Drissi Motorsports/Franklin Road Chevrolet Camaro) battled for the fourth position.

As the laps clicked down, Menard had opened an insurmountable lead over Crews, and he took the checkered flag in the first position. Crews and Ruman followed, with Yount ultimately taking fourth and Drissi finishing fifth. After the race, Menard was issued a 42-second penalty for avoidable contact, dropping him back to the second position, and Crews was awarded his first-career TA win.

“These TA cars [really are the most fun to drive],” said Crews in GYM WEED Winners Circle. “I just want to thank Pancho Weaver and all the guys over at Weaver Racing Concepts for getting this thing back on track. I don't know if everybody knows, but yesterday, we had a whole motor swap. The guys stayed up pretty much all night and then got up super early this morning to get this thing fixed up. So, I'm just happy to be here racing. I had a great time. I want to thank my dad for helping me be here; he did a great job spotting today. I just want to say thanks to all my sponsors. Thank you to Mobil 1 Racing and STEEL-IT and all the guys that are on that racecar. They did a great job. Thank you to everybody at Toyota Racing for helping me be here. I'm looking forward to the next one.”

Notes of Interest:
This was the first-career TA race and win for Brent Crews.
Crews has two previous victories at Road America in the CUBE 3 Architecture TA2 Series.
Crews’ first-career TA2 win came at Road America in 2022, when he became the youngest driver to win in series history at 14 years, three months and four days.
Amy Ruman scored her second podium of 2024. Her first came at Sebring in the season opener.

TA Top Five: (Revised Provisional)
1. Brent Crews, No. 2 Mobil 1/STEEL-IT Dodge Challenger
2. Paul Menard, No. 3 Menards/Masterforce Tools Ford Mustang
3. Amy Ruman, No. 23 McNichols Co./Valley Automotive Chevrolet Corvette
4. Don Yount, No. 7 Drissi Motorsports/Franklin Road Chevrolet Camaro
5. Tomy Drissi, No. 8 Drissi Motorsports/Lucas/Mission Chevrolet Camaro

The XGT race appeared to be in Danny Lowry’s hands, as he led nearly every lap in his No. 42 Bennett/BridgeHaul/ Mercedes AMG GT3. However, in the final laps, the plug on the steering wheel that allows the car to shift disconnected, and Lowry was stuck running in second gear. This allowed Ricky Sanders to pass Lowry in his No. 43 BridgeHaul/Bennett/ Mercedes AMG GT3 and secure the victory.

“This feels great; Road America is just an awesome facility,” said Sanders. “The first time I came here 10 or 12 years ago, I thought it was one of the best tracks in America. Every time we come back, it gets better and better. It's like, how can they keep improving it? And we come back and it's an even better facility. It's a beautiful place, with amazing workers here. It's just a joy to come here because everybody treats us so well. We really love coming up here, running with Trans Am, running at Road America.”

XGT Results:
1. Ricky Sanders, No. 43 BridgeHaul/Bennett/ Mercedes AMG GT3
2. Danny Lowry, No. 42 Bennett/BridgeHaul/ Mercedes AMG GT3

Joshua Carlson (No. 36 Enseva/TC Fab/Diercks Ltd. Ford Mustang) led the SGT field to the start, but experienced a mechanical issue on the first lap, smoking heavily and dropping fluid on the track. Once Carlson retired to the paddock, Lee Saunders (No. 84 LandSearch LLC Dodge Viper) took over the point position, opening up a large gap over his competitors. Behind him, Richard Forsythe (No. 58 GSpeed/Sambuca Restaurant Chevrolet Corvette) held second place for the first 10 laps, but on lap 11, Kaylee Bryson made the pass for second in her No. 02 Logical Systems Inc./Sam Pierce Chevrolet Corvette. While Saunders cruised to victory, Bryson and Forsythe ran close together, but Forsythe was unable retake the runner-up position.

“First of all, I'd like to thank God for this beautiful day in this great country we live in and the ability to come out here today,” said Saunders. “Thank you to the fans. Thank you to Trans Am for bringing us to world-class places like this. This is just fantastic. It's unfortunate that Josh [Carlson] had problems, because he was obviously really fast. I was looking forward to racing with him and just had a great time with everybody out here today. I can't thank my team, KSR, enough. We've got Eddie, CJ, Jameson, and they did a great job turning the car around. I'm just the idiot behind the wheel, they're the ones that make it fast. Thanks again for everybody coming out today and thank you to my wife, who's at home holding the fort down.”

SGT Results:
1. Lee Saunders, No. 84 LandSearch LLC Dodge Viper
2. Kaylee Bryson, No. 02 Logical Systems Inc./Sam Pierce Chevrolet Corvette
3. Richard Forsythe, No. 58 GSpeed/Sambuca Restaurant Chevrolet Corvette
4. Joshua Carlson, No. 36 Enseva/TC Fab/Diercks Ltd. Ford Mustang

Chris Coffey took the green flag from the first position in his No. 97 Norwood Auto Italia/Traffic Grafix Maserati MC GT4 and showed his raw speed from the start. On the first lap, a competitor in another class laid down fluid in Turn 5, briefly making the surface slippery. Coffey slowed through the affected area, allowing David Hampton to sail around his outside and take the lead. However, Coffey recovered quickly, reclaiming the lead before returning to the finish line. From there, Coffey was unmatched, leading every lap until the checkered flag. Hampton crossed the finish line second, followed by Colin Cohen in the No. 38 Norwood Auto Italia/Traffic Grafix Maserati MC GT4.

“Man, the race was pretty interesting,” said Coffey. “The track got covered in oil there right at the start, and so that made it really hairy. This guy [David Hampton] drove right around the outside of me, so I had to fight back for it. I'll tell you what, we've done four races in six weeks, and I couldn't have imagined it'd be as much work as it was. I couldn't have done it without David Rice and Xavier, and of course, I couldn't be here at all without Colin [Cohen]. Just want to thank my wife at home, who's been having to hold down the fort and take care of our four-year-old son all alone. I'm ready to get home now.”

GT Results:
1. Chris Coffey, No. 97 Norwood Auto Italia/Traffic Grafix Maserati MC GT4
2. David Hampton, No. 14 AR Motorsports/Porsche Cayman GT4 RS Clubsport
3. Colin Cohen, No. 38 Norwood Auto Italia/Traffic Grafix Maserati MC GT4

Final Details:
Revised provisional race results can be found here. Official results are pending while awaiting further technical inspections.

The highlight show of today’s race will air on MAVTV on Thursday, July 4 at 9:00 p.m. ET.

You can next see a select number of TA drivers such as Paul Menard, Amy Ruman and Boris Said at the SpeedTour All-Star Race at Lime Rock Park, July 19-20, where legendary drivers from all racing disciplines will pair up with the TA and CUBE 3 Architecture TA2 Series stars of today. Tickets can be purchased here.

The Trans Am Series TA/XGT/SGT/GT classes will next hit the track at Watkins Glen International for the Mission Foods Watkins Glen SpeedTour, August 21-25. Tickets can be purchased here.

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