After leading practice and earning his first Motul pole award of 2022, Mike Skeen had the car to beat in the Trans Am Series presented by Pirelli’s TA2 showdown at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca. His race was not without challenges, as the final 15 laps were a back-and-forth battle with teammate Rafa Matos, but Skeen was ultimately victorious, earning his second-consecutive win.
At the drop of the green flag, Skeen’s No. 89 3Dimensional Services Group Ford Mustang engaged in a side-by-side battle with second-place Connor Mosack in the No. 28 High Point University Camaro, but after a few corners, Skeen secured the point position and began his dominant run. Mosack then fought Matos’ No. 88 3Dimensional Services Group machine, but after 10 laps Matos prevailed, and ran second to his teammate until a caution on lap 26 set the field up for a restart.
When green-flag racing resumed, Matos passed Skeen on the restart to lead the field for the next 11 laps, but hard racing between the teammates resulted in a drag race, with Skeen regaining his lead on lap 40. Once Skeen’s Mustang pulled ahead, he maintained the lead until the checkered flag, with Matos crossing the finish line just behind him in second. Brett Crews, who started the race fifth in his No. 70 Nitro Motorsports Mustang, elbowed his way into the third position to lead Young Guns Mosack and Connor Zilisch in the No. 57 Silver Hare Racing Camaro to the checkered flag, rounding out the top five.
“A big ‘thank you’ to Peterson Racing,” said Skeen as he emerged from his car. “All these guys on my team have given me an awesome car; it was the one to beat all weekend. I’m very fortunate to be driving this 3Dimensional Services Group car for a couple races this year. I fought hard, fought Rafa [Matos] a little harder than he probably wanted, but I’m glad to be back out front.”
In the Western Championship, the race was a tight battle all the way until the last lap. Pole winner Jeff Holden, driver of the No. 11 Mid Valley Transmission/Joe’s Racing Products Camaro, led the Western competitors throughout the event on his way to victory, but second-place finisher Ken Sutherland’s Cascade Sotheby’s/Wyatt Fire Protection Camaro was never far behind. Third place was decided in the last corner of the last lap, with three competitors duking it out. Nick Rosseno ultimately earned the final podium spot in his No. 33 Burrtec Waste Industries/AMSOIL Camaro.
“I want to thank my all-volunteer crew,” said Holden. “We are a small team, we’re self-funded, and we are looking for wins to keep everyone happy on the car. I just want to thank Dakota Lithium, Motul and Joe’s Racing Products, who’ve been helping us for a couple years. Mid Valley Transmissions has been helping us out with transmissions for a while, and they’re obviously working great.”
Following the event, Crews was awarded the ChillOut Keep Cool Move of the Race, and Mosack was awarded the Omologato custom-branded Trans Am watch, earning the Young Gun Fast Lap Award for being the Young Gun with the fastest lap of the race (1:30.318). Doug Peterson in the No. 87 3Dimensional Services Group Mustang won the TA2 Masters award.
The broadcast of today’s race, presented by Big Machine SPIKED Vodka Coolers, will air on CBS Sports Network on Sunday, May 1 at 6:30 p.m. ET, with an encore presentation that night at 10 p.m. ET.
TA2 returns to the track next weekend at Sonoma Raceway.