Trans Am Closes Out 2017 at Daytona International Speedway

November 9, 2017
Trans Am Closes Out 2017 at Daytona International Speedway

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. [November 9, 2017] – Daytona International Speedway stands as the finale for the 2017 Trans Am Championship presented by Pirelli, one final opportunity for teams and competitors alike to garner silverware in 2017 on Saturday November 11. All four Trans Am classes will take to the iconic 3.56-mile course in unison for the first time this year for the Trans Am Daytona Finale, a 103.24-mile, 29-lap competition.  

All but one of Trans Am’s four class championships has been determined prior to the event. Ernie Francis, Jr., driver of the No. 98 Ford Mustang, secured the TA class title at New Jersey Motorsports Park two rounds ago, while Gar Robinson, driver of the No. 74 Pura Vida Tequila/ 74 Ranch Resort Chevrolet Camaro, and Brian Kleeman, in the No. 07 DWW Motorsports Ford Mustang, captured the TA2 and TA4 titles, respectively, last round at Circuit of The Americas.

Now the spotlight shines on the remaining title battle, with teammates Mark Boden and Tim Kezman vying for the TA4 championship. Boden, in the No. 46 Fall-Line Porsche 911 GT3, enters the round with a 17-point advantage over Kezman, in the No. 4 Fall-Line Porsche 911 GT3, and the knowledge that by simply completing 50 percent of his laps, Boden will secure the title. However, with that stipulation also comes the knowledge of the sheer unpredictability of a multi-class, 46-car Trans Am field spanning the infield and banks of the speedway.  

Featuring alongside Francis, the recently anointed champ and winner of three straight, will be a 15-car TA class field. Included will be Vinnie Allegretta, in the No. 41 TA Sights & Sounds Chevrolet Corvette, in search of his first podium finish in the last four rounds after opening the year with six in his first eight. Despite the run of poor luck, Allegretta has already locked-in his position as runner up to Francis on the year-end podium.

Battling for third place in the TA class championship are Simon Gregg, in the No. 59 Derhaag Motorsports Chevrolet Corvette, and Amy Ruman, in the No. 23 McNichols Company Chevrolet Corvette, with Gregg holding a three-point lead over the 2015 and 2016 champ. While 2017 has fallen short of the successes of seasons past for Ruman, a return to Daytona should be a welcome sight— the past three TA class competitions on the banks of the speedway have all seen a Ruman victory.  

Also participating will be Tomy Drissi, in the No. 8 Murder on the Orient Express Chevrolet Corvette, hot off a third place finish at COTA, SCCA GT-1 National Champion David Pintaric, in the No. 57 Kryderacing Cadillac CTS-V, Florida-native RJ Lopez, in the No. 06 Republica Brewing/ Optica Lopez Chevrolet Corvette, and Burtin Racing team owner Claudio Burtin, making his return behind the wheel of the No. 7 GoShare Corvette.  

The TA2 class will play host to 20 entrants, including recently crowned champion Gar Robinson and teammate Shane Lewis, COTA TA2 winner and driver of the No. 72 Pura Vida Tequila Chevrolet Camaro, with the Robinson Racing duo holding one-two in the points.

Looking to regain second position in the points will be 2016 champ Tony Buffomante, in the No. 34 Bestline Superior Lubricants Ford Mustang, currently five points behind Lewis.   Buffomante stands as one of four Mike Cope Racing Enterprises teammates entered, joined by Keith Prociuk, in the No. 9 HP Tuners Chevrolet Camaro, Louis-Philippe Montour, in the No. 13 Montour LTD Chevrolet Camaro, and 2017 TA2 rookie of the year Matt Parent, in the No. 14 Mike Cope Racing Ford Mustang.  

2013 and 2014 TA2 class champion Cameron Lawrence, in the No. 79 Class Auto Chevrolet Camaro, will also be in attendance, where he has two victories in three TA2 starts.   

Josh Bilicki, making his TA2 and Trans Am debut in the No. 25 BC Race Cars Chevrolet Camaro is known throughout the ranks of SCCA while featuring in IMSA, NASCAR Xfinity and Monster Energy Cup competition.  

Scott Lagasee, Jr., in the No. 17 Screen Your Machine/ ACS Chevrolet Camaro, will return to TA2 action; while Daytona Beach’s own Bobby Kennedy, in the No. 08 Kennedy Kars Ford Mustang, makes his annual Trans Am appearance.  
In addition to championship contenders Boden and Kezman, TA3 will play host to a trio of Florida natives, Lee Saunders, Conor Flynn, and Craig Conway.  Saunders stands as the 2015 Trans Am champion and will pilot the No. 84 Landsearch LLC Dodge Viper—together Saunders and the No. 84 have won the past three TA3 competitions at Daytona.  

Conor Flynn, in the No. 95 Irish Mikes Porsche 997, will make his seventh appearance of the season; while Conway, in the NO. 96 Twin Vee Powercats Porsche 997, makes his third. 2016 TA3 Rookie of the Year Tom Herb, in the No. 16 Fall-Line Porsche 911 GT3, will also compete.

In TA4, champion Brian Kleeman and runner up Todd Napieralski, in the No. 39 Chevrolet Performance/ Tremec Chevrolet Camaro, will face off one more time in 2017 joined by Chris Outzen, in the No. 09 DWW Motorsports Ford Mustang, and Ramin Abdolvahbi, making his TA4 debut in the No. 2 DaVinci Plastic Surgery Aston Martin Vantage GT4.  

The weekend sees Trans Am join Historic Sportscar Racing at Daytona International Speedway, holding their Classic 24 Hour & Daytona Historics Races, pairing the past and present of motorsport on Trans Am’s year-end celebration.