POUGHKEEPSIE, NY (September 24, 2023) – For Chris Dyson, his win at World Wide Technology Raceway brought him an almost insurmountable point lead in his quest for a third consecutive Trans Am Series by Pirelli National Championship, but the 100-mile sprint race in the shadow of the St. Louis Arch was anything but a walk in the park.
For the first two-thirds of the race, Dyson and his #16 GYM WEED Ford Mustang were closely shadowed by the Dodge Challenger of hometown racer AJ Henriksen. Particularly in the tight infield of the 1.6-mile “roval” circuit, the pair found themselves constantly threading their way through lapped traffic in the 27-car field that combined the slower TA2 cars with the more powerful TA cars. Though he led every lap of the race, it was only after Henriksen tangled with third-place Tomy Drissi with a few laps remaining that Dyson established more than a one-second margin.
“Sweet St. Louis!” Dyson exclaimed from atop the podium following the race, noting his boyhood enthusiasm for the local Cardinals baseball team. He also praised Hendriksen’s performance. “We had to work hard for this one. It was tough out there. AJ was phenomenal all day. He was pushing me nearly the whole time, and with the traffic constantly restacking us, I could never really shake him. I had to use every weapon in my race craft arsenal.”
For Dyson, the workload on the steamy 85° F afternoon was made heavier by a malfunctioning cool suit. Track temperatures exceeded 120° F and the cockpit temperature rivaled that. “The tube that connects the cool suit was pinched at the start,” Dyson explained. “This happens sometimes but today’s hostile conditions made it super-uncomfortable. It was only during the caution period near the end of the race that I was able to get it working. But I knew that I simply couldn’t relent. Being hounded and getting through traffic, the adrenaline and a will to win took over and got me though it. I really wanted this one.”
Dyson credited the CD Racing crew, singling out engine builder Mike Lanci, for the team’s performance over the season. “Mike has worked tirelessly to make sure we had not one, but two great race cars with rocket engines all the time. The last two months particularly, it’s been a thrash for him but he and the team have never wavered. These guys on this team stepped up to every challenge we’ve given them.”
Dyson dedicated the win to his 14 year-old son Nicholas, who is starting to race karts in his spare time. Preparing for this race “Nick and I did a lot of work in the simulator over the past couple of weeks. I learned a lot by watching him drive this place virtually and his ‘tricks’ really worked in real life!”
Saturday’s win was Dyson’s fourth of the 2023 season and the CD Racing team has taken the top step of the podium in six of the nine National Championship rounds run to date.
WWTR Rebroadcast Schedule
A 60-minute feature on the WWTR 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.
Next Up: Virginia International Raceway
The Trans Am Series’ next event is October 6-7 at Virginia International Raceway. VIR is the penultimate round of the 2023 Trans Am by Pirelli season.
“We will be carrying our winning momentum from St. Louis,” Dyson said. “Our aim is for the top step of the podium, but a decent finish will secure the championship before we even get to the season finale at Circuit of the Americas in November.”
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