JJ Haley leads MCRE charge at COTA, team now heads to Daytona for finale

November 10, 2015

JJ Haley leads MCRE charge at COTA, team now heads to Daytona for finale

MCRE leads qualifying efforts with Loshak on pole, Haley with track record and five of top ten qualifiers

Team Release: CLEARWATER, Fla. [November 10, 2015] – The Mike Cope Racing Enterprises (MCRE) left Circuit of The Americas, Round 11 of the 2015 Trans Am Championship, with cause to celebrate as JJ Haley, in his MCRE built and prepped Chevrolet Camaro, secured another podium for the MCRE “Arrive and Drive” program with a second place finish.

The podium placement was just one of many highlights for the 16-year-old JJ Haley and the MCRE team in an event that saw Haley set a new track record, a 2:15.684 lap around the 3.418 in second chance qualifying, and Travis Cope make his Trans Am Series debut. In total, eight MCRE built cars participated, as the team and MCRE platform showcased its speed on the COTA track in both qualifying and the race.

“We’re ecstatic for JJ,” said Mike Cope, Owner of MCRE. “The improvement he’s made this year has been nothing short of remarkable. He came to Trans Am to improve his road racing skills on a TA2 platform that is remarkably similar to what you find throughout the ranks in NASCAR. Now as we approach the end of the year, we’re seeing that experience really start to pay off. His second chance qualifying lap was absolutely outstanding, and he was well deserving of the track record; then to top it off with a second place finish was fantastic … all in all it was a fantastic weekend for him, and in turn, MCRE.”

Haley was not the only MCRE “Arrive and Drive” member to showcase his talents in qualifying; as Lawrence Loshak, in his MCRE prepped Ford Mustang, set the pole in “Fast Five” qualifying with a 2:16.000 lap. In turn, Dillon Machavern, Kevin Poitras and Travis Cope all qualified in the top ten within the 28-car TA2 field, with Machavern and Poitras securing their positions in “Fast Five” and Cope in second chance.

“The first qualifying session was greatly abbreviated,” said Cope. “Still, Lawrence, Dillon and Kevin all turned remarkable times in the shortened session, which were logged on what was essentially their first hot laps. Others on our team or using our cars in the paddock weren’t so lucky—fortunately we were able to use the second chance to qualify to amend that and create what was a really strong combined qualifying for our drivers, team and cars.”

The race proved to be a challenging one for MCRE as it was shortened by multiple yellows and ended several laps short of its 30-lap goal—still Haley was able to secure second position and cap a strong charge up from his sixth starting position.

“JJ’s success was great to see, but I’m confident that we had a lot more to offer too,” said Cope. “Lawrence was contacted by a car from another class under yellow, pushing him off track and knocking him out of the lead. It was unfortunate to see, but Lawrence is determined to get back up towards the front—his first TA2 win is coming sooner than later.”

Travis Cope made his TA2 class debut this weekend at COTA; as the talented late model racer, and MCRE Crew Chief, took his shot at turning both left and right while assisting in the MCRE platform development.

“While Travis’ race ended earlier than we’d liked with engine issues,” said Cope, “We were successful in gathering some crucial knowledge towards our setup and platform that will continue to pay dividends throughout the offseason and into next year. He had a strong run out there, but unfortunately these things happen. We all look forward to seeing him back behind the wheel next year where he’ll about around half the year.”

Dillon Machavern, in an MCRE built Ford Mustang, captured yet another top ten finish; while Matt Parent, in an MCRE built and prepped Ford Mustang, finished 18th in only his second TA2 appearance.

“Dillon did a great job navigating what quickly became a survivor’s race out there,” said Cope. “You always expect him to finish towards the front, that’s just the quality that this young man has. Matt is gaining great experience and is already bringing home some solid finishes. We’re going to keep working to help him improve, and we look forward to seeing what he can do with more time under his belt in these cars.”

Kevin Poitras finished 18th while Keith Procuik finished 23, as both drivers fell victim to some poor luck of their own.

“Both Kevin and Keith will be ready to move on to the next race,” said Cope. “Kevin was contacted off early on in the race and he spent the rest of it successfully working his way back up the field. Keith is learning more and more with every race. He had a bit of contact with a car at the end of the race that shortened his day, but he’s getting better all the time. He came to TA2 to really cut his teeth, to learn with some of the best, and he’s doing just that. He’s a guy who sets the bar high and demands a lot of himself; for those reasons I expect to see great things from him going forward.”

MCRE will now head south to familiar territory as the Trans Am Series wraps up the 2015 Trans Am Championship at Daytona International Speedway this coming weekend at Bullet Liner Championship Weekend and Round 12 of the 2015 Trans Am Championship on November 14th. In total 33 TA2 cars are expected to compete, as MCRE prepares to close out the year with a bang.

“Obviously Daytona is a track we know plenty about,” said Cope. “We had a strong showing there last year, but we definitely have our eyes set a little higher this year. It’s going to be a quick turn getting everything turned around, but our crew is up to the task. We’re going in with the same mindset as always—supplying our drivers the cars that give them the best chance possible of winning. 2015 has been a good year for us; we’ve had a lot of success and built something special—still, we’ve left a lot on the table. We always strive to improve, that’s the only way you can get ahead in a class with competition levels like TA2.”

The Mike Cope Racing Enterprises “Hard Charger” Award will also be presented at the year-end banquet on Sunday, November 15th—given to the TA2 driver who moved up the most positions from start to finish over the course of the 2015 season.

In addition to preparing for Round 12 of the 2015 Trans Am Championship at Daytona, MCRE is now making plans for the 2016 Trans Am Championship. Parties interested in TA2 “Arrive and Drive” opportunities or purchasing MCRE built TA2 cars should contact MCRE directly at 352-585-2810 or email Mike Cope at Mike@mikecoperacecars.com.

Heading into Round 12 of the 2015 Trans Am Championship, MCRE “Arrive and Drive” members and MCRE built cars control four of the top ten spots in the TA2 Championship points standings, and seven of the top 15.

The MCRE team and all MCRE built cars will take to the track in several Trans Am sessions throughout the weekend at Daytona, all times Eastern:

Thursday, November 12, 2015
11:00 AM – 11:30 AM Practice 1
4:55 PM – 5:15 PM TA2 “Fast Five” Qualifying

Friday, November 13, 2015
12:30 PM – 12:50 PM Practice 2
12:55 PM – 1:10 PM Second Chance to Qualify

Saturday, November 14, 2015
10:30 AM Trans Am Race – 103.24 miles/29 laps/ 75 mins

Fans can keep up with MCRE throughout the weekend on Twitter at @MikeCopeRacing, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/mikecoperacecars, and keep track of each session at www.gotransam.com/live-timing or on Race Monitor.

 

Results for MCRE built cars at Circuit of the Americas:

 

No

Name

Car

Finish

Best Time

Qualified

Q. Time

99

JJ Haley*

Chevrolet Camaro

2

02:17.054

6

02:15.684

7

Dillon Machavern

Ford Mustang

7

02:18.388

8

02:16.885

5

Lawrence Loshak*

Ford Mustang

13

02:17.826

1

02:16.000

34

Matt Parent*

Ford Mustang

18

02:23.560

23

02:22.402

73

Kevin Poitras*

Ford Mustang

19

02:22.490

9

02:16.951

9

Keith Prociuk*

Chevrolet Camaro

23

02:20.606

19

02:19.935

70

Tony Ave

Ford Mustang

24

02:19.294

14

02:18.622

26

Travis Cope*

Ford Mustang

26

02:18.768

10

02:17.040

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



*MCRE “Arrive and Drive Member”

About Mike Cope Racing Enterprises:

Perhaps no other team has worked so diligently to achieve success over the course of 30 years as MCRE. Over the years, they have successfully launched corporate sponsorships in national series, developed short track and SCCA Road race champions and mentored young upcoming drivers. Lead by Mike Cope, he brings the same enthusiasm, dedication and knowledge to his race team that made him victorious in his own racing career.

MCRE offers a variety of services for drivers interested in the Trans Am Series’ TA2 program, including custom builds, arrive and drive programs, maintenance programs, consulting, driver mentoring, set-up and shock dyno. Learn more at www.mikecoperacecars.com.

Mike Cope Racing Enterprises is based in Clearwater, Florida.

Mike Cope Racing Enterprises partners include: Quarter Master, Hawk Performance, Schoenfeld Headers, Wilwood, Port City Racecars, ButlerBuilt, Integra Shocks and Keyser Manufacturing.

MCRE Sponsors:

Bestline Superior Lubricants, www.bestlinelubricants.com

Since its incorporation, BestLine has developed a new line of full synthetic lubricants and lubricant additives that dramatically reduce friction, heat and mechanical wear to an extent never before seen or tested. BestLine refers to its proprietary technology as "Micro Lubrication Technology, (TM)" or "MLT."

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