Date: Sept. 10, 2023
Event: Watkins Glen SpeedTour (Round 10 of 13)
Series: Trans Am Series presented by Pirelli
Division: Big Machine Vodka Spiked Coolers TA2 Series
Location: Watkins Glen (N.Y.) International
Layout: 3.4-mile, 11-turn road course
Format: 30 laps or 75 minutes
Weather: Cloudy, mid-60s
Winner: Brent Crews of Nitro Motorsports
Dillon Machavern – Started 15th, Finished 3rd (Running, completed 28/28 laps)
Thad Moffitt – Started 36th, Finished 5th (Running, completed 28/28 laps)
* Moffitt was credited with 31 positions gained from the initial green flag to the checkered flag to earn the Bassett Hard Charger of the Race award.
* With today’s second-place finish by Austin Green of Peterson Racing and third-place finish by Machavern, two-time series champion Rafa Matos of Peterson Racing, M1 Racecars has been represented on the podium at all 10 races this season. Green’s Peterson Racing teammate and two-time series champion Rafa Matos finished third at the previous round Aug. 5 on the downtown streets of Nashville, Tennessee. Jade Buford of Big Machine Racing earned a third-place finish July 9 at Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin. Matos led all 45 laps June 25 at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington to give M1 Racecars its second win of the season and third pole position. Machavern joined Matos on the Mid-Ohio podium with his third-place-finish there. M1 Racecars swept the podium at the season-opening race at Sebring (Fla.) International Raceway Feb. 26 with the race-winning Matos, runner-up Green, and TeamSLR’s Connor Mosack finishing third after qualifying on the pole and leading 20 of the 27 race laps. Matos scored back-to-back third-place finishes in rounds two and three at NOLA Motorsports Park in Avondale, Louisiana (March 11), and Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta (March 26), respectively, also earning the pole at the latter event. Mike Skeen drove his Peterson Racing entry to a runner-up finish May 27 at Lime Rock Park in Lakeville, Connecticut. At the Detroit street-race doubleheader June 3-4, Matos scored the runner-up finish in the Saturday race while Moffitt finished second in the Sunday race.
Dillon Machavern, Driver No. 17 Heritage Automotive/Unifirst SLR-M1 Racecars Ford Mustang:
“I think all in all it was a good effort from the TeamSLR guys. It was unfortunate that we weren’t able to qualify yesterday, but the M1 Racecars, Heritage Automotive Mustang was fast today, especially in drying conditions. I thought we were really hitting our stride. Ultimately, we were a little bit tight in the dry conditions, but it was kind of expected. We kind of tried to ride the line between a dry and a wet setup, so we weren’t biased to either one. Consequently, it wasn’t ideal in the wet and it wasn’t ideal in the dry. We gambled a little bit there, but ultimately you can’t complain about a top-five that turned into a podium (after postrace inspection). It was a really good effort from the guys today. The second-to-last restart, I actually thought I had pace on the guys in front of me, but unfortunately it didn’t last long enough to really get anything done. On the last restart, the two cars in front of me were side-by-side up the esses and it looked like they both almost got into the wall, so I kind of had to back up a little bit. And then it was just defending from the car behind, so I really wasn’t able to dig in and look forward because I just was just trying to maintain that top-five.”
Thad Moffitt, Driver No. 43 Safety-Kleen/Victory Impact Chevrolet Camaro:
“It was an eventful day. I think we were really fast. At the start of the race, you’re kind of handicapped when it’s so wet on slick tires. You’ve got to run the pace that the guys around you are running because they’re in the dry line. So we lost a lot of track position there. And as it started to dry, we just passed them one at a time. From 36th to an eventual top-five is not too bad of a day, I don’t think. Today was one of those days I really felt like we had a car that was capable of the podium. But when you start so far back, you’re never going to get there even though we tried. It was a different kind of race, it was wet, the first seven or eight laps, you’re kind of handicapped. Still, I can’t hang my head after passing 29 cars. Happy with the progress of my team and I’m ready to get these last three races going.”
The Trans Am Series presented by Pirelli returns to the outskirts of St. Louis for the first time since 1985 for the SpeedTour Grand Prix Festival Sept. 22-24 at World Wide Technology Raceway in Madison, Illinois. For the competitors of the Big Machine Vodka Spiked Coolers TA2 Series, the weekend marks the 11th round on the 2023 calendar, beginning Friday, Sept. 22, with a pair of early morning test sessions, followed by official practice that afternoon. TA2 qualifying on the 2-mile, 12-turn road course takes place Saturday morning, Sept. 23, followed by the 63-lap, 75-minute TA2 race at 1 p.m. CDT/2 p.m. EDT. Live television coverage will be provided by MAVTV, augmented by live-streaming video coverage by the Trans Am Series and SpeedTourTV channels on YouTube.