Greg Pickett Captures Trans Am West Win at Portland International Raceway
Pickett now holds a Trans Am win in each of five decades, Lewis, Streimer and Brown grab class wins
PORTLAND, Ore. [July 30, 2017] – On May 21, 1978, Greg Pickett claimed his first career Trans Am victory at Sonoma Raceway, then entitled Sears Pointe Raceway. Today, July 30, 2017, some 39 years later, Pickett, in the No. 68 Pickett Racing Ford Mustang, replicated that feat at Portland International Raceway in Trans Am West Coast Championship presented by Pirelli action— the first appearance by Trans Am cars on the West Coast and at Portland since 2009.
For Pickett, the TA class win stands as the 18th of his career in his 183rd start and adds to a now unparalleled career in Trans Am, with wins coming in five consecutive decades: the 70s, 80s, 90s, 2000s, and 2010s. The victory also puts Pickett, the 1978 Trans Am Category II Champion, in the TA points lead for the Trans Am West Coast Championship which will conclude this fall at Circuit of The Americas alongside Trans Am’s primary championship, as it holds its penultimate round.
Pickett, who began the race on pole, showcased a dominate performance en route to victory setting the fast lap, a 1:13.935, and finishing the race with a lap advantage over runner up Ken Davis, in the No. 64 Davis Stone Chevrolet Corvette.
For Pickett the milestone encompassed a career in Trans Am, decades in pursuit of his passion and love of racing.
“This means an awful lot,” said Pickett. “It’s a heck of an accomplishment; to be successful in anything it takes a lot of commitment, passion, drive, stick-to-itiveness— all those old-fashioned sayings that all happen to be true. But then to have sustained it, and to do something really well over a long period of time, to say nothing about five decades, that just comes down to me trying to take care of myself and being blessed with an incredibly supportive family, my wife in particular, and my children, most of whom are here today.”
“I raced all the Trans Am greats over the years,” continued Pickett. “There’s just too many for me to mention… having my old teammate Willy T. Ribbs here as the master of ceremonies this weekend is really special to me. All the names that I’ve worked with, Charlie Selix, Jack Roush, my competitors: Tommy Kendall, Dorsey Schroeder, Ron Fellows, Scotty Pruett, you can go on and on. It’s always been my real honor, and still is, to be out here competing in a professional series. Trans Am is growing. I think the future is incredibly bright, and it’s a future I hope to be a part of. I’m just honored to be able to do this—to call myself a Trans Am Champion—it’s been a long time now, but to be back in victory circle after all this time, it’s just incredible. I’m just so very thrilled. “
Joining Pickett and Davis on the TA class podium was Brian Richards, in the No. 12 Canned Heat/ Amantii Chevrolet Camaro in his first Trans Am appearance since 1994.
In TA2, Shane Lewis, in the No. 92 Turnkey Industries Chevrolet Camaro, endured a second half battle with Chris Cook, in the No. 21 Shockwave Suspension Seating Chevrolet Camaro, swapping the lead multiple times before a late spin by Cook cut the battle short. Cook would recover to finish second and turned the fast lap for TA2, a 1:16.684.
Lewis, driving for Napoleon Motorsports on the West Coast, now takes the TA2 class points lead in the four race championship—setting up a Round 4 showdown at COTA with Portland native and third place finisher Brad McAllister, in the No. 24 PortlandImplantDentistry.com Ford Mustang.
“It was such a huge effort by Napoleon Motorsport to get three cars here,” said Lewis. “My goal was to have all three of us on the podium; unfortunately that didn’t happen. But for Joe to win Fontana, me to win here— we just have to get one for Justin in Texas, that’ll make a perfect hat trick. I had an awesome battle out there with Chris. The first thing I told Chris when I got out of that car was, ‘I didn’t care if I finished first or second I wanted that battle to go on all day.’ I didn’t want the race to end. He’s such a professional out there on the racetrack and an awesome competitor. He ran me hard, and I’m glad he ran me hard, but there was such a level of respect out there— I had a lot of fun.”
The TA2 class top five was completed by Justin Napoleon, in the No. 90 Turnkey Industries Chevrolet Camaro, and debutant David Smith, in the No. 22 Shockwave Suspension Seating Chevrolet Camaro.
In TA3, Steve Streimer, Portland native and driver of the No. 42 Lux Performance Group Dodge Viper ACRX, showcased his skillset on his home track— turning a 1:16.671 en route to a comfortable victory in front of friends and family. Streimer, like Pickett, was dominant on the weekend, leading every session and winning his race by multiple laps. Streimer was joined on the podium by TA3 West points leader Oli Thordarson, in the No. 23 Alvaka Networks/ Trackspec Chevrolet Corvette.
The TA4 victory went to another debutant, Tim Brown, driver of the No. 66 Brown Bros Ford Lincoln Ford Mustang, who was joined on the podium by class points leader Guy Dreier, in the No. 13 Guy Dreier Designs Maserati Gran Turismo GT4.
The Trans Am West Coast Championship will return to the track on November 3-4, 2017, at COTA for Round 4, its season finale.
The Trans Am Series presented by Pirelli returns to action on August 12, at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course for the First Energy 100 with 53 cars currently entered.
Fans can keep up with the event and all of The Trans Am Series presented by Pirelli at www.gotransam.com, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/gotransam and on Twitter at @gotransam.
All results provisional until posed final.