POUGHKEEPSIE, NY (July 9, 2023) – At Wisconsin’s Road America this weekend Chris Dyson got everything there was from his #16 GYM Weed Ford Mustang. But after twice leading the race over the course of a sometimes tooth-and-nail battle with Justin Marks, Dyson came up just a bit short in a race that ended a lap early due to time constraints.
“It’s never nice to finish second,” Dyson admitted after the race. “But congratulations to Justin and his team. His car was an absolute rocket this weekend and he drove a strong race. Our team had some technical problems during the weekend, but on race day my guys gave me an excellent race car. I wish I could say that if the race had run the full distance I might have had another shot at Justin, but unless he made another mistake it really wasn’t going to matter. Second was the best we could do today on pace alone.”
From his starting spot on the outside of the front row Dyson led the first third of the 25-lap Denny Lammers Tribute 100 race after polesitter Marks got too hot into the first turn after the green flag and briefly dropped to third place behind Dyson and Boris Said. “Justin got past Boris very quickly and was on my tail,” Dyson reported later. “I knew it was going to take everything I had – and maybe a little more – to hold Justin off for the whole race. I was good early in the stint on full tanks and was able to conserve tires a bit more and control the pace. I knew if Justin got past and had open road ahead of him I was going to be in a tougher spot.”
Eventually Dyson got a bit loose braking in Turn Six and Marks got by. But Dyson got another shot at Marks after a red-flag period at the race’s two-thirds point. Marks made another small error early in the first green lap and again Dyson and Said briefly got by. The next lap Marks drafted by Dyson on the front straight and retook the lead, this time for good.
For Dyson the disappointment of not winning the race was somewhat assuaged with an increased point lead in his campaign for a third consecutive Trans Am National series championship.
“The points situation still looks good,” Dyson said. “But we are looking to win the national championship by winning more races. We need to make our cars a bit faster. Fortunately, it’s two months till the next TA race, at Watkins Glen, though I think we will need all that time.”
For Dyson’s teammate, Matty Brabham, it was an even tougher weekend; after setting fast times in practice, his #20 GYM Weed Ford Mustang suffered terminal electrical problems. Brabham was unable to qualify or race. Fortunately for Brabham he had enough of a points cushion that despite going pointless at Road America he remains second in the championship.
Next Up: Watkins Glen
The Trans Am Series’ next event for the headline TA class is September 6-10 at Watkins Glen International. Dyson, a two-time Trans Am winner at the classic Central New York circuit, finished second there last season. Dyson looks to dethrone defending Watkins Glen race winner Justin Marks.
Road America Rebroadcast Schedule
A 60-minute feature on the Road America race, will be broadcast this Thursday at 9:00 p.m. ET to MAVTV’s 22 million North American linear households and 175 million connected devices.