On this Day in Trans Am History: July 24, 1993

July 24, 2020

On this Day in Trans Am History: July 24, 1993

July 24, 1993 Lime Rock

Tommy Archer scored his second-career Trans Am Series presented by Pirelli victory, winning the New England Dodge Dealers Trans Am at Lime Rock Park.

Racing without the benefit of a crew chief, Archer started fourth in the No. 3 Shellzone Dodge Daytona. Ron Fellows won the pole in the No. 4 AER/Mackenzie Ford Mustang Cobra, and was joined on the front row by Jack Baldwin in the No. 1 Mattel Hot Wheels Chevy Camaro. Third went to Scott Sharp in the No. 33 Rain-X Chevy Camaro.

“We had a new piece in the car that day, and it helped in the acceleration,” Archer recalled. “I had to win the race without a crew chief. My crew was all worried, but I told them, ‘We’re just going to pay attention to the car and give it whatever she wants.’ And we won!”

Fellows took the lead at the start at the first lap. Archer was still fourth – but not for long, as he got a payback forPhoto Photo  an incident involving Paul Newman from early in his career.

“It was a funny thing, because when we won the National Championship in 1980 at Road Atlanta, I kind of lost the championship because of Paul Newman,” Archer explained. “He walked into our pits, and the crew turned around and they missed us going by. When it came down to one lap to go, my crew gave us two to go. I wasn’t going to pass my brother [Bobby] until the last lap, so I lost the championship because of Paul Newman.

“Well, at Lime Rock in 1993 , Paul Newman went off on the inside of Turn 1 on the first lap and dragged signs up on the track. When we came by on lap two, I got up to third, and as I came up on Turn 1 both Sharp and Fellows swerved in the sand. I went down on the bottom and passed them both, and led every lap from there.”

Still, in typical Lime Rock fashion, it was not an easy victory.

“My engine builder was all worried the whole race. We had won the race at Detroit the year before, but ’93 was another new engine, and that was the first win for that engine as well.”

Bobby Archer finished fourth. The brothers had separate crews for either car.

“I was both driver and crew chief that weekend,” Tommy said.

“We remember we were doing 51-second laps,” Archer said. “It was fast and furious. You had to plan out your passes almost a lap in advance. I could slow everybody down in places where they were faster than me, and I could speed up. My brother Mike was the crew chief for Bobby, but he would call and see if everything was OK. I said, ‘We’re just fine.’”

The race came down to the wire, with Tommy beating Fellows by .355-seconds, followed closely by Sharp.

“Going into Turn 1 on the last lap both Fellows and Sharp were making a charge,” Archer recalled. “I could hear their exhaust. I just stood on the throttle and stayed ahead of them. It was a fun race. It was definitely right to the wire, no question.”

Baldwin finished fifth, followed by Greg Pickett in the No. 6 Cytomax Camaro.

In addition to Bobby Archer, other “first generation” Trans Am drivers included George Robinson, ninth, and Scott Lagasse, 12th.

NFL legend Walter Payton placed 21st in the No. 34 NFL Team 34/Budweiser Mustang.

Tommy Archer was the Flowmaster Mufflers Star of the Race. Michael Dingman was the Champion Hard-Charger, while Jeff Purner was the Raybestos Rising Star of the Race.

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