Trans Am Team Looks to Prosper with Four-Car Lineup in TA2 Race
ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. (July 1, 2021) – TeamSLR has assembled an eclectic group of drivers for this weekend’s Trans Am Series presented by Pirelli event at Road America with the outfit fielding four cars in the TA2 race at the 4.048-mile, 14-turn road course in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin.
Connor Mosack is contesting the full TA2 schedule with TeamSLR and he comes into Road America fresh off his first career podium finish last Saturday at the Mid-Ohio Sportscar Course in Lexington. Sam Mayer, who has been a teammate of Mosack’s at four previous Trans Am events this season, rejoins TeamSLR at Road America for his final Trans Am race of the year. Austin Dillon and Austin Green are the two new faces at TeamSLR, and both are making their first career Trans Am starts in Saturday’s TA2 race.
While Dillon is new to TeamSLR and Trans Am, he is not new to racing. The 31-year-old grandson of NASCAR Hall of Famer Richard Childress is a veteran NASCAR driver with 500 total starts across the Cup Series, Xfinity Series and Camping World Truck Series. Dillon won the 2011 Truck Series championship and then the 2013 Xfinity Series title before joining the Cup Series fulltime in 2014. He is a three-time winner in Cup, with the 2018 Daytona 500 among his victories. The native of Lewisville, North Carolina, has two Xfinity Series starts at Road America with a best finish of 10th in 2013.
Green is in the nascent stages of his racing career, with the 20-year-old from Concord, North Carolina, seeking to round out his racing resume with some road-course experience. Green is the son of 1994 Xfinity Series champion David Green, and after winning Bandolero, Young Lion and Pro U.S. Legend Car championships, he moved up to Late Model stock cars, racing and winning for Lee Faulk Racing and Development.
Mayer has his eyes set on joining Dillon in the NASCAR Cup Series. Originally from Franklin, Wisconsin, Mayer relocated to NASCAR’s epicenter – Charlotte, North Carolina – to better serve his burgeoning NASCAR career. He is a two-time ARCA Menards Series East champion (2019-2020) and won his first Truck Series race in his just his seventh career start last September at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway. Shortly after turning 18 on June 26, Mayer made his Xfinity Series debut last Sunday at Pocono (Pa.) Raceway. He is now the fulltime driver of the No. 8 Chevrolet for JR Motorsports and he will pull double duty at Road America, competing in the TA2 race for TeamSLR and the Henry 180 Xfinity Series race for JR Motorsports. Road America will mark Mayer’s eighth career Trans Am start, with his last race being a fifth-place drive May 1 at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca in Monterey County, California.
Mosack is TeamSLR’s stalwart. The 22-year-old from Charlotte raced Late Model stock cars last year for JR Motorsports and has already made a name for himself in NASCAR’s development divisions, all the while juggling school and racing. He graduated from High Point (N.C.) University on May 8 with a degree in business entrepreneurship and yet his juggling act continues. He began fulltime work earlier this month at Interstate Foam & Supply, focusing on the company’s business development. Racing, however, remains Mosack’s main focus. Road America will be his 12th career Trans Am start and Mosack has augmented his road-racing curriculum with a continued presence in NASCAR. He wheeled a Super Late Model on June 4 at Five Flags Speedway in Pensacola, Florida, and prior to that, Mosack competed in the ARCA Menards East Series race at Dover (Del.) International Speedway, finishing seventh and completing all 125 laps. After Road America, Mosack will return to a Super Late Model on July 12 when he competes in the 55th annual Redbud 400 at Anderson (Ind.) Speedway.
All four drivers will be coached by veteran racer Scott Lagasse Jr. The 40-year-old from St. Augustine, Florida, has made more than 115 starts across the Xfinity Series, Truck Series and ARCA Menards Series. He is a two-time ARCA race winner who has been competing in TA2 since 2016.
“I feel young, and I feel like I can relate to all of these guys, at least when it comes to driving a racecar,” Lagasse said. “I’m still racing, but events like Road America give me the opportunity to give back and help these guys develop into the racers they want to be.
“And it’s not just me. My dad is right here with me. From 1985 through 1994 he competed in several sports car series, winning a bunch of SCCA national championships. He even raced stocks car in the mid- to late-90s, with some road-course races in 1993 and 1994.
“Collectively, we have a lot of knowledge and experience. We take a lot of pride in what we do and that’s why we’re really looking forward to this weekend.”
TeamSLR leverages its Trans Am involvement to highlight its driver development program as well as its car-building capabilities. TeamSLR is the exclusive representative of M1 Racecars, an official TA2 constructor. It builds rolling chassis and complete Chevrolet Camaros, Ford Mustangs and Dodge Challengers for Trans Am competition.
Sam Mayer, driver No. 8 Jagemann Stamping/QPS/M1 Racecars Chevrolet Camaro:
“Doing a lot of racing is always a good thing when you’re a driver who is trying to learn. Balancing the time, however, has been difficult purely because there is so much to do on the Xfinity side. However, I’m having a blast and I’m really excited for all the racing on the schedule.
“Racing at home is a really awesome vibe. Road America is one of the coolest racetracks in the country. I hope to get a win there in front of all my friends and family.
“Anytime you can get some practice and racing at a track that is as challenging as Road America is a good thing. I look forward to driving for TeamSLR and JR Motorsports this weekend because I know we can win both races if we have everything come together the right way.
“Road-course experience is very important because NASCAR is going to do a lot of road racing in the next couple of years. Anytime you can run a road-course race in any car it is valuable. Having as many Trans Am starts as I have right now is a big help in experience and expectations for me.”
Connor Mosack, driver No. 28 Nic Tailor Custom Fit Underwear/Interstate Foam & Supply Chevrolet Camaro:
“I definitely think having back-to-back weekends for us is better than having the long breaks, especially coming off a weekend with some momentum like we had at Mid-Ohio. We know exactly where the car’s at and have confidence in the speed it has.
“For sure, it will be good to go up against the NASCAR guys, both to learn from some of them but also to see how I match up against them. I’m sure the NASCAR teams will be watching, so for me this is a critical weekend to run well, and I’m really confident we’ll have a shot at the podium or a win.
“I think having someone like Austin Dillon to talk to will be very valuable. I’m sure we can all learn a lot looking at the data and seeing why he does certain things based on his experience.
“We’re a little behind in the points, so we really need podium finishes and wins to have a shot. For me, wins are more important than the championship at this point, and if the wins come, most likely the championship will too. Having bigger names in the race will make a good finish stand out that much more, but I think the usual guys we race every week will be just as tough to beat, as always.
“I know Road America is a big track and has really long straightaways. I do the same things to prepare for each new track we go to, usually sim time, in-car videos, and watching the TA2 races from years past. I have no real-life experience there.”
Austin Dillon, driver No. 92 K&L Ready Mix/M1 Racecars/Fields Racing Chevrolet Camaro:
“There aren’t a lot of us in the NASCAR Cup Series field with previous Road America experience but, truthfully, it’s been a minute for me. I barely remember my NASCAR Xfinity Series races at Road America because so many years have passed, and I’m sure the track has aged quite a bit. I’m looking forward to getting back there and having the opportunity to knock the dust off in Trans Am early in the weekend.
“I think any time that you can get some extra seat time it’s advantageous. With road courses so important on the NASCAR Cup Series schedule now, we spent a lot of time during the offseason preparing, whether that be through running in other series, getting on the simulator, or just studying notes. All of that experience is important, just like racing in the TA2 race with TeamSLR this weekend. I’m really thankful to Scott Lagasse and everyone at TeamSLR for this opportunity because I know it’s important and will be helpful in getting me up to speed for Sunday’s NASCAR Cup Series race.
“Any time you can get into a race car, it’s helpful. I’m just looking to get as much experience as possible prior to Sunday, and the TA2 race will definitely provide that and help me knock the dust off. I’ve also been leaning on my good friend and former RCR (Richard Childress Racing) teammate, Brendan Gaughan. He’s a former winner at Road America and he’s been giving me some really good tips. He even printed a map out for me with notes all over it.
“I’ve been in the simulator a lot this year, and I think it definitely helps. It’s not the same as the actual car, but it is definitely helpful and a good tool to have in our arsenal. Real-world experience is always best, though, so I’m excited to get back to Road America.”
Austin Green, driver No. 96 Jagemann Stamping/QPS/M1 Racecars Chevrolet Camaro:
“I raced Legend Cars for U.S. Legend Cars International on different road courses such as the Charlotte Roval during the Winter Heat series, and Dominion Raceway Road Course for the Road Course World Finals. Road America will be my first start in the Trans Am Series.
“With as much history as Trans Am and Road America have, I knew that I couldn’t turn down the opportunity when it presented itself. Road America has always been on my bucket list of tracks to race at, as well as driving a Trans Am car.
“Road-course racing is completely different from oval racing, and I believe that if you can be successful at both, you will definitely have an advantage over your competitors. Road-course racing, to me, has always been more driver rather than setup.
“The Trans Am TA2 series has always seemed like a neat series to be a part of, and whenever I was given the opportunity to drive a TA2 car for such a successful team like TeamSLR, I knew I couldn’t pass that up.
“It’s hard racing as a whole. A couple friends of mine have raced in the TA2 series and have said that these road-course drivers are the real deal. I’m excited to jump into the TA2 car this weekend and see what it’s all about.
“My dad is definitely great at giving advice with the experience in racing that he has. The main things he always tells me is to look at the long run. There’s no need to tear your stuff up in the beginning and then have nothing left to work with at the end when it really counts. Yet, you’ve also got to be competitive in the beginning so you’re right there in contention for the win at the end.”
Scott Lagasse, Jr., owner of TeamSLR and driver coach:
“Preparation in the shop is what is key to delivering four competitive cars on a race weekend. I’m confident in our group and know what we are sending to the racetrack. While running four cars adds more work, there are benefits if done properly, especially with a driver lineup like we have for this race. We strive to work as a team with all drivers benefitting from the acquired knowledge.
“We’ve been planning and preparing for this race and we expect challenges, so no surprises there. This is really about the guys that build our M1 Racecars, everyone at TeamSLR, the great group at Katech who build our engines, our transmissions from Andrews, shocks from JRI and the people that build all of the components we choose for our cars. We learn more and more every day, so we look at all challenges as opportunities to learn and improve.
“Fortunately, we’re surrounded by experienced people who want to help our drivers succeed. We have data systems and video cameras in the cars, along with experienced road-race drivers coaching them when needed. The less experienced drivers will learn from the more experienced, and we combine resources to help the fastest go even quicker every time on the track.
“I feel like the eyes of the NASCAR industry have been on us for some time now. I don’t think there’s anyone that can put more pressure on us than ourselves. We’re simply taking one step at a time as we build a solid foundation and team. We have a group of people that continuously want to be better in all aspects and are willing to work smart along the journey.
“Even though we have four cars at Road America, it’s not any different than any other week for us. We want to put fast, safe and competitive cars on the track and compete for wins. We only ran one car last week at Mid-Ohio because we were aware of the potential damage and the work it takes to optimize the performance of these cars. We have no doubt that our guys have the ability and potential to win this race.”