Tough Circumstances at Road America Fail to Break Iron Man Sheehan 

August 11, 2020

Tough Circumstances at Road America Fail to Break Iron Man Sheehan 

Elkhart Lake, WI - August 10, 2020 - A dramatic race at Road America for Round 4 of the 2020 Trans Am presented by Pirelli Championship season in the TA2 Class was ended prematurely following a multi-car incident in the “kink”. The resulting red flag ended Sheehan’s charge with a finishing position of P15 out of 28 starters. The No. 97 TA2 Cope Ford Mustang was put to the rear for the start of the TA2 powered by AEM race after the team was forced to unload a new car following an engine failure in qualifying. Sheehan originally qualified P10 after posting a time of 2:14:568 in the session and nevertheless represented a tremendous effort for the New Hampshire driver in difficult circumstances.

The No. 97 LTK Insulation Technologies Damon Racing Ford Mustang with Iron Man Tom behind the wheel was a highly creditable contender. Only two laps into qualifying a mechanical issue with the engine left the team with no option other than unloading a new zero lap Mike Cope racing machine for the main event - but the regulations negate the qualifying pace. The No. 97 Ford Mustang would start the race itself in the second car from the back of the grid.

The race on Saturday afternoon was then delayed by more than two hours after rain and lightning backed up the scheduled start. When The TA2 feature got underway, Tom made rapid progress up the field. By Lap 7 he had made it into the top ten. The feature race included multiple cautions before the multi-car incident in the high-speed kink which red-flagged the TA2 Class race with 16-minutes still on the clock. Stewards determined the cleanup required time in excess of the time left in the race and the race was not restarted. The finishing order was determined by the last green flag lap completed. Tom's fastest lap of 2:19:720 was limited by traffic and battles through the 28 car field.

“It's hard to keep swallowing lackluster results," stated Sheehan after the race. "The Mike Cope car we unloaded had zero laps, We worked from the back and stayed patient. The car was fast from the start and we had a charge going with plenty of time to go. We made it through the big one pretty much unscathed. It certainly could have ended different - a lot better."

Sheehan continued, "My guys are the best there is, I am proud to race with them. Jamie, Jeff and Oliver fought hard all weekend. Mike Cope Racing had a garage full of fast cars. The support is super, Mike, Jason and Travis build a great car. We just had a deal on track that was out of our hands but MCR was loaded for bear - Koury power and Bulldog rear-end support at the track. We were fortunate to have that technical support, we took advantage of all of that over the weekend. Without a lot of help the team could have had a lot worse weekend. I need to stay grateful, a lot of hard work from a great racing organization kept us in the hunt."

"I was feeling pretty sporty with the laps remaining that I could race for the front, we had a car to do it. The boys were on the gas and the race was coming to us - we just didn’t get the break. It's kind of a reoccurring frustration. Right now, I am feeling it. I have to stay focused on what we accomplished and just forget what wasn’t.”

Tom nevertheless picked up 11 points for the journey to Wisconsin, enough to keep him in the top ten of the TA2 Class Drivers' Championship. The positive take out for the Damon Racing team is undoubtedly the pace shown before fate intervened in qualifying. It was a rough caution marred race, Tom and his dedicated crew are doubtless. Chasing redemption when racing resumes, as we hope it will, September 11 to 13 at Watkins Glen.


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