Trans Am set to tackle Charlotte Roval

Trans Am set to tackle Charlotte Roval

Trans Am

Trans Am set to tackle Charlotte Roval

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The Trans Am Series presented by Pirelli heads to Charlotte Motor Speedway to take on the Roval, a 2.25-mile circuit combining much of the 1.5-mile NASCAR oval with the infield road course to create one of the most challenging and unique courses on the series’ schedule.

The Trans Am Series held its first event on the track’s current Roval configuration in 2021, returning to Charlotte Motor Speedway for the first time since 2000, when the series raced a 10-turn road course and speedway configuration. Last year’s combined TA and TA2 ProAm Challenge race was won by Oscar Teran from Panama in the TA class, and up-and-coming NASCAR driver Sam Mayer in TA2. Unlike last year, this weekend’s event will be separated into a TA/XGT/SGT/GT race and a TA2 race, and each will award points towards the season championship.

Charlotte, N.C. is home to a majority of NASCAR’s teams and drivers, and Charlotte Motor Speedway has been an important part of NASCAR’s history since opening in 1960. A total of 218 races have been held on the track’s oval between NASCAR’s top-three series, and eight have been contested on the Roval since it debuted on their schedule in 2018. Former TA2 competitor Chase Briscoe took the checkered flag in the first NASCAR Xfinity Series event on the Roval.

This weekend’s event includes a variety of drivers and owners with NASCAR ties, including Paul Menard, driver of the No. 5 Franklin Road Apparel Chevrolet Camaro in TA and winner of NASCAR’s Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Natalie Decker, driver of the No. 29 PlantFuel Audi R8 in the GT class, Justin Marks, owner of the No. 70 Nitro Motorsports Ford Mustang in TA2 and owner of TrackHouse Racing in the NASCAR Cup Series, and Scott Lagasse Jr., owner of the No. 8, No. 17 and No. 28 SLR/M1 Racecars entries in TA2. Scott Borchetta, owner and driver of the No. 48 Big Machine Vodka Spiked Coolers Camaro in TA2 also owns Big Machine Racing, a team competing in the NASCAR Xfinity Series. Darin Mock, driver of the No. 51 AAN Adjusters Ford in the TA2 series is the son of Butch Mock, who was a team owner in both the NASCAR Xfinity Series and NASCAR Cup Series.

18-inch Pirelli tires make Roval debut
This weekend, Pirelli’s new 18-inch tires will make their first appearance on a Roval, which is the most challenging load for tire construction. The design and testing that went into the 18inch PZero racing tires took this kind of track configuration into consideration, and will face the ultimate test during this weekend’s event.

Trans Am races stream live for free, no app required
For those wishing to tune in to the events at Charlotte Motor Speedway this weekend, Trans Am Series on-track activity will air live on the Trans Am YouTube page and Facebook page, as well as on the new SpeedTourTV YouTube page.

CBS Sports Network air times
This weekend’s races from the Charlotte ROVAL will air on CBS Sports Network the week following the event. TA/XGT/SGT/GT will air on Friday, March 25 at 7:30 p.m. ET, while TA2 will air on Saturday, March 26 at 2:30 p.m. ET.

Paul Menard enters Charlotte Motor Speedway with plenty of experience
Paul Menard, driver of the No. 5 Franklin Road Apparel Chevrolet Camaro comes into this week’s race at Charlotte Motor Speedway with something many other competitors don’t have: experience. With a total of 699 races in his NASCAR career, Menard has made 24 starts on Charlotte’s oval configuration and two starts on the Roval. The Eau Claire, Wis. native has a best finish of eighth on the oval (2010, 2014), and a best finish of 16th on the Roval.

History repeats itself at Sebring for 2021 champion Chris Dyson
The Trans Am season opened at Sebring International Raceway with 2021 champion Chris Dyson capturing the Motul Pole Award. Dyson led every lap before kicking off the 2022 season with a victory, much like he did in his championship season last year.

Paul Menard ran the fastest lap of the race, but befell multiple mechanical issues which forced him to retire early. Wally Dallenbach finished second in the TA class, followed by Ken Thwaits. Luca Mars took the victory in the SGT class, and Billy Griffin captured the GT win.

Trans Am History at Charlotte: 1981
In 1981, Trans Am opened the season at Charlotte Motor Speedway, tackling the high-banked speedway and its infield road course for the very first time. George Follmer’s Chevrolet Camaro led 27 of the event’s 45 laps before earning a 15-second penalty for jumping the restart. The race was won by Eppie Wietzes in his Corvette, followed by Bob Tullius in a Jaguar XJ-S.

Connor Mosack returns to Charlotte aiming to repeat 2021 podium
22-year-old Young Gun Connor Mosack is the highest-finishing racer returning to Charlotte Motor Speedway in the TA2 class. Mosack earned a podium finish in 2021, finishing third after starting from the back of the pack. This year, Mosack will pilot his No. 28 Nic Tailor/SLR-M1 Racecars Camaro in a TA2-only event, unlike last year’s race, which combined Both TA and TA2 cars on the racetrack.

Silver Hare Racing has single-car focus in Charlotte
Silver Hare Racing will field only one vehicle in Saturday’s race, the No. 57 Silver Hare Racing/KHI Management Camaro driven by Connor Zilisch. Zilisch steps into team owner Maurice Hull’s ride while Hull recovers from burns sustained from a damaged coolsuit in the Sebring season opener. Hull is expected to return to the track at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta next week. Zilisch, a 10th grader from nearby Mooresville, N.C., will drive for Silver Hare in all but one event this season (Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course) while also competing full time in the Idemitsu Mazda MX-5 Cup series.

Several Charlotte-area locals to take green flag at Roval
There are a number of TA2 competitors in this week’s event for whom Charlotte is their home track. Connor Mosack hails from Charlotte, while Connor Zilisch is from Mooresville, N.C., which is often called “Race City USA” because of the concentration of NASCAR teams in the area. Darin Mock, driver of the No. 51 AAN Adjusters Ford Mustang is from Huntersville N.C, and Brent Crews in the No. 70 Nitro Motorsports Ford Mustang is from neighboring Cornelius, N.C.

Two-time champion Matos kicks off 2022 with a winning start
In the TA2 season opener, 2018 and 2021 champion Rafa Matos ran a dominant race at Sebring International Raceway, leading 25 of 27 laps in his No. 88 3Dimensional Services Group Ford Mustang after starting on the pole. Although he faced a late-race challenge from teammate Mike Skeen, he emerged with the victory. Skeen finished second, and Thomas Merrill closed out the podium in his No. 2 BridgeHaul/HP Tuners Mustang, a car belonging to teammate Al Prieto, who passed away in a highway accident over the off-season.

TA/XGT/SGT/GT event schedule:

Qualifying: Streamed Live
Saturday, March 19
TA: 3:25-3:40 p.m. ET
XGT/SGT/GT: 3:45-4:00 p.m. ET

Race: Streamed Live
Sunday, March 20
1:00-2:15 p.m. ET
Race Length: 45 Laps or 75 Minutes

TA2 event schedule:

Qualifying:
Friday, March 18
2:20-2:55 p.m. ET

Race: Streamed Live
Saturday, March 19
Streamed Live
12:40-1:55 p.m. ET
Race Length: 45 Laps or 75 Minutes

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