Nitro Motorsports Wins with Rafa Matos at NOLA Motorsports Park

April 15, 2024

Nitro Motorsports Wins with Rafa Matos at NOLA Motorsports Park

Ben Maier shows speed as Thomas Annunziata  remains consistent with top-five finish

April 15, 2024 – A trip to NOLA Motorsports Park in Avondale, Louisiana was a winning one for Nitro Motorsports as they claimed stake to take their first win of the season. Dominating the weekend and leading both test sessions, the only practice session, earning the pole position, and then taking the race win, Nitro Motorsports put two drivers in the top-ten including one on the top step of the podium. 

Leading the test sessions on Friday with drivers Rafa Matos and current point leader Tyler Gonzalez, Nitro Motorsports continued their roll on Saturday morning with Matos again taking the top position in the final practice session before qualifying.

“It was a great start to the weekend, but test sessions and practice do not award points and trophies, so we need to continue pushing forward,” explained Nitro Motorsports’ Nick Tucker. “We have qualifying later today, and with our pace, anything less than a pole position from one of our drivers would be a disappointment.”

Saturday afternoon saw Nitro Motorsports ahead of the time charts yet again as Rafa Matos continued his presence at the front of the field nabbing the pole position and inside front-row starting position for Sunday afternoon’s wheel-to-wheel action. Tyler Gonzalez clocked the fourth fastest lap time of the session to qualify on the outside of row two while Ben Maier and Thomas Annunziata earned the fifth and sixth fastest laps to lockout row three as all four Nitro Motorsports drivers qualified in the top-six.

Returning to the track Sunday for the feature race of the weekend, Matos led the field to the green but fell to the second position early on. Point leader Tyler Gonzalez suffered an array of issues including a broken sway bar and a flat tire after a first lap crash, that forced him to pit lane and several laps behind the leader. Matos would make his bid for the lead around lap ten, securing the point as his Nitro Motorsports teammates battled hard in the top-ten. Ben Maier had made up a few positions and settled into third, as he put consistent pressure on the second-place driver for several laps showing his pace and determination to get by all while keeping a seasoned veteran behind him. Thomas Annunziata fell back to seventh early on but with less than ten laps remaining had muscled his way back into the top-five as he aimed to take what he could get from the weekend. 

Matos was on a mission out front and pulled away lap-after-lap controlling the pace of the race and never looked back. Sweeping the weekend with the pole position and race win, Matos quickly clawed himself back into the championship battle with his performance. Additionally, this was Rafa’s 21st win in the series as he now becomes the winningest driver in Trans Am history. 15-year-old Ben Maier looked poised to take his first podium result of the season but suddenly slowed on the final circuit and was forced to pull off the track and watch his competitors’ stream by. Despite scoring the fastest lap of the race and an award for his efforts, it was a disappointing outcome for the youngster. 

Benefiting from Maier's misfortune was teammate Thomas Annunziata who gained another position on the final lap to finish fourth and his third top-ten result of the season bringing himself into championship contention with Maier and Gonzalez eventually classified in 13th and 15th respectively.

“It took a long time to get the 21st win but a huge thank to Nitro Motorsports for all of their hard work,” explained Matos as he exited the car. “Hats off to the entire team for all of their efforts, and we will continue to push hard for the championship.”

Nitro Motorsports competitors will enjoy a month off before a trip to the WorldWide Technology Raceway in East St. Louis over the May 10-11 weekend. Stay tuned to the Nitro Motorsports social media pages for news, information, photos, and results from all event weekends.

For more information on Nitro Motorsports, please visit them online or contact Nick Tucker via email HERE or visit them online at

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