Dyson's Ferocious Charge From Pits Yields Road America Trans Am Podium

July 3, 2022

Dyson's Ferocious Charge From Pits Yields Road America Trans Am Podium

Defending series and race champion Chris Dyson emerged from this weekend’s Road America round of the Trans Am by Pirelli series with a third-place finish and an expanded lead in this year’s title chase.

But a podium finish wasn’t the result the defending race champion sought. After being judged to have jumped the start from his qualifying position on the outside of the front row (polesitter and eventual race winner Kaz Grala easily won the drag race to the first turn) Dyson served a drive-through penalty, departing the pits in his #20 ALTWELL Ford Mustang 30 seconds off the lead.

Once clear of slower mid-field traffic Dyson vaulted all the rear of the field and fought back into second place. Then, during a bit of uncertainty about a full-course yellow, NASCAR veteran and 2022 Charlotte Trans Am winner Paul Menard slipped by Dyson with three laps remaining. Heavy rain falling on the four-mile circuit slowed lap times by 20 seconds and essentially froze the field in place as drivers tiptoed to the checkered flag.

“The car was flying – it was absolutely brilliant to drive, especially as the runs went on,” Dyson said following the race. “We set the fastest lap, caught back up, and we got another shot at the win with the yellows. I think things would have been a little different without the penalty and the weather conditions. I think we would have been right up there with Kaz fighting until the end. Congratulations to Paul and Kaz; we had a great battle throughout.”

Strong Run by Merrill Brings Fourth-Place For CD Racing

TA2 standout Thomas Merrill finished a strong fourth for CD Racing, subbing for Humaid Masaood in the #21 allgram Ford Mustang. Hounding Grala and Menard early in the race, Merrill set his fastest lap, less than three-tenths of a second slower than Dyson’s race-best standard.

“Thomas did a really solid job,” Dyson said. “There weren't many laps for him in practice due to an unfortunate engine change. But he managed a quick lap in qualifying, and Thomas just got faster and faster as the race went on. He did that fastest lap just before the rain came.”

Dyson said that despite his disappointment with his third-place finish in what he viewed as a winnable race, the team enters the season’s two-month mid-summer hiatus with a healthy points lead headed for September’s race at Watkins Glen International. “We’re going to work hard during this break to make sure that we carry that momentum with us to Watkins Glen.”


Dyson also contested the NASCAR Xfinity Henry 180, driving Emerling-Gase Motorsports’ #35 Concord American Flagpole entry, his second-ever start in the series and first since 2019. Dyson’s 29th-place qualifying effort put him ahead of 14 other cars. In the race Dyson ran as high as 13th place before a brake problem at Canada Corner during the race's final Stage led to a crash and a 28th-place finish.

“It was too bad,” Dyson said during the one-hour interlude between the end of the Xfinity race and the green flag for the Trans Am sprint. “I think we had a top-20 car this afternoon if we hadn’t had that issue. I was really in a good rhythm with the car and just running my pace consistently when that happened without any warning. But overall it was a good experience and I thank the team for putting me in their car. And I look forward to future opportunities in the Xfinity series.”

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