Lopez Rules Hometown Trans-Am Show
For the first time ever, the TA2 class was split off into its own race, taking the green flag earlier in the day at 1:30 p.m. In total, 19 cars participated in the race, starting with Cameron Lawrence on pole. Next to him was Adam Andretti, followed by Ron Keithand Tommy Archer.
As the race began, Lawrence quickly pulled ahead of the pack with Andretti in pursuit, albeit a few car lengths behind. Ron Keith and Tommy Archer immediately found themselves in a battle for position; Keith led the first two laps with Archer on his tail until Archer overtook Keith going into turn two on the third lap. Keith and Archer traded positions two more times on the lap until Archer asserted himself in the coveted third position.
The front of the pack stayed in a similar order for the early half of the race until the 19th lap of the race when the track went under a full course yellow to remove oil from the surface and remove debris from the course. The course went green on lap 24; shortly thereafter Archer began to slow down, allowing Keith to move up into the third position.
While most of the pack jostled for position, Lawrence remained fairly unchallenged until the 39th lap of the race as smoke was spotted from the right front tire of his car, the result of tire rub after incidental contact with lapped traffic. Despite the aftereffects Lawrence was able to right the car for the rest of the race and finished first over all, his ninth straight TA2 victory.
“We have a great car from Miller Racing,” said Lawrence. “Our day came down to being consistent, saving our tires and being able to run hard the whole race. We had a bit of trouble in the back with traffic, but that’s just something you have to deal with in racing. I probably could have been a bit smarter in going for the pass, but with a guy like Adam (Andretti) behind you, you never want to slow down—it’s just something that happens in racing, and fortunately not too much came of it.”
Andretti would close the gap during the final stages of the race, but not by enough; as he crossed the line in second, followed by Ron Keith, who claimed his second consecutive third place finish.
Bob Stretch finished fourth while Kevin Poitras, Keith’s teammate, came in third.
TA3 accompanied the TA class out on track for the later session of the day, and began with Russ Snow starting up front, representing the International Group, with Dean Martin alongside for the American Muscle Group.
The TA3 class’ top three for each group was a revolving door throughout the race, with multiple drivers staking their claim to the top three including: Ernie Francis Jr., Mark Klenin and Todd Napieralski.
At the end of the day, Martin once again conquered the American Muscle Group, his second straight victory, while Trans Am newcomer Michael Camus overcame the field to win the International Group.
Martin was followed in the American Muscle Group by Steve Kent Jr. in second and 2013 TA3 American Muscle Champion Chuck Cassaro in third.
Camus’ teammate, David Tuaty, placed second in the International Group, while Tim Gray placed third.