On this Day in Trans Am History: August 19, 1984
August 19, 2020
August 19, 1984
Photo: Kathie Meredith, International Motor Racing Research Center
Willy T. Ribbs won in the return of the Trans Am Series Presented by Pirelli to Watkins Glen, driving a Roush Protofab Mercury Capri to victory at an average speed of 94.22 mph.
Trans Am last raced at the Glen in 1980. The track went bankrupt the following year, but returned in 1984 as Watkins Glen International – a partnership between Corning Enterprises and International Speedway Corporation.
Rideless for the opening four rounds of the season, Ribbs joined forces with Jack Roush’s rookie team at Detroit, finishing second. He won the next two rounds at Daytona and Brainerd, but placed 36th at Road America, the event leading up to Watkins Glen.
Bob Lobenberg won the pole with a lap of 107.923 mph in the Huffaker Pontiac Trans-Am, but Ribbs jumped to the lead at the drop of the green flag and led all the way. Tom Gloy finished second in a Capri, followed by David Hobbs in a Corvette.
Wally Dallenbach Jr., son of the Indy car veteran, matched his then-career best finish by taking fourth in the Colorado Connection. The rookie also set the fastest lap of the race, 106.269 mph.
Paul Newman qualified ninth in Bob Sharp’s Diet Coke Nissan 300ZXT, but went out early with a broken bolt.
The race started in a downpour, but the track dried out during the event.
To watch history be made, download the Trans Am by Pirelli Racing App https://nagrasports.app.link/