GAR ROBINSON | Goes back-to-back with TA2 victory at Indianapolis Motor Speedway
Machavern, Lewis secure podiums as Trans Am closes out Indy weekend
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. [June 18, 2017] – Gar Robinson captured his second consecutive TA2 victory with a win at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in the Trans Am Series presented by Pirelli’s Indianapolis Muscle Car Challenge, Round 5 of the 2017 Trans Am Championship. Robinson endured a race-long battle with fellow championship contender Dillon Machavern and made a vital pass for the lead with eight of the 42 laps remaining to clinch the coveted Indy win in Trans Am’s first appearance on the legendary Indy track.
“This win is absolutely up there,” said Robinson. “I was watching the end of Le Mans this morning and that got me in the mood for today. A win at Indy, following a win at Detroit, I don’t think you can really top that. To do this with my crew, all the hard work they put in, and my father, all the help he gives—I don’t, and can’t, thank them enough. It’s such a great opportunity to come race here. There’s no way to really describe this, it’s Indy! We got a win at Indy!”
Robinson, in the No. 74 Pura Vida Tequila/ 74 Ranch Resort Chevrolet Camaro, began the race on pole of the 25-car field and held the position until a full course caution on lap 19 for debris on course. The field would restart on lap 24, with Dillon Machavern, in the No. 24 Heritage Motorsports Ford Mustang, overtaking Robinson through turn one. The two would continue nose-to-tail through lap 34 before Robinson finally made his move on the back of the Indy course, capturing first position and successfully defending it through the checkered flag. The move would later be named the COOLSHIRT Systems Cool Move of the Race.
“That really was a harebrained idea,” said Robinson. “I was following him around, trying to discover where I could make a move. I felt like we had a faster car, having pulled ahead for a little bit earlier on, I just hunkered down and threw the No. 74 in there—and the crew gave me the car to make it happen. Dillon ran really hard today; I’m always happy to race him.”
Machavern would undergo one more battle over the final laps of the race, this time with Robinson’s teammate Shane Lewis, in the No. 72 Pura Vida Tequila/ 74 Ranch Racing Chevrolet Camaro. Lewis began the race from the back of the field, coming off a penalty from the previous round at Detroit, and proceeded to charge through the field, gaining six positions on the first lap and claiming fourth position on the 17th.
Over the final stretches of the race, Machavern and Lewis would go side-by-side multiple times, including the final lap with Machavern just edging Lewis before entering the front straight and taking the checkered for second position. The finishes marked the fourth podium of the year for both Machavern and Lewis. Machavern would also set the fast lap of the race, a 1:31.557 around the 2.439-mile Grand Prix course.
Fourth place would be captured by Lawrence Loshak, in the No. 5 Pennzoil/ ETE Reman Chevrolet Camaro—tying his best finish of the year. Loshak would start fifth, and climb as high as third. Fifth place was secured by Cameron Lawrence, No. 19 Class Auto Centers Chevrolet Camaro, after a 35th lap pass on Adam Andretti, in the No. 44 ECC/ Anchor Bolt & Screw Dodge Challenger.
For their efforts in repairing the No. 19 after heavy damage in Round 4 at Detroit, the first-year Class Auto team was awarded the PitBoxes.com Crew of the Race; while Crew Chief Wesley Sumen took home TraqGear Crew Chief of the Weekend.
The TA2 top ten was completed by Adam Andretti, Curt Vogt, John Atwell, Keith Prociuk and Matt Parent. The seventh place finish marked a career high for Vogt in his seventh TA2 appearance.
One day prior, the Trans Am Series held an additional 102.6 mile, 42-lap competition, the Trans Am Speedway Showdown, featuring the TA, TA3 and TA4 classes with 34 entries participating. Ernie Francis, Jr., claimed his fourth consecutive TA class win; while Mark Boden secured a TA3 victory and debutant Andrew Entwistle won TA4.
The Trans Am Series was joined on the weekend by the Sportscar Vintage Racing Association holding their Brickyard Vintage Racing Invitational, including the Indy Legends Pro-Am as well as the Global Mazda MX-5 Cup series
The Trans Am Series will now head north to Brainerd International Raceway for the Ryan Companies Independence Day Classic, Round 5 of the 2017 Trans Am Championship.
Broadcast: This weekend's event will be broadcast, tape delayed, on CBS Sports Network.
Trans Am Speedway Showdown (TA, TA3, TA4) – Jul 08, 12:00p.m. ET
Indianapolis Muscle Car Challenge (TA2) – Jul 15, 12:00p.m. ET