Crews earns fourth career TA2 victory in NOLA

Trans Am

Crews earns fourth career TA2 victory in NOLA

Trans Am

Crews earns fourth career TA2 victory in NOLA


Brent Crews earned his fourth-career victory in the Trans Am Series presented by Pirelli’s Big Machine Vodka SPIKED Coolers TA2 Series race at NOLA Motorsports Park. Following a wild first lap, Crews held the lead in his No. 70 Franklin Road Apparel Ford Mustang despite challenges from multiple formidable contenders throughout the 37-lap event, claiming the top step on the podium for the first time in 2023.

Yesterday in qualifying, Thomas Annunziata in the No. 90 Nitro Motorsports Ford Mustang took the Motul pole award in only his fourth start in the series. Unfortunately, the impressive young gun lost the first position when his car shut off following the start command, relegating him to the 29th spot for the green flag. With Crews pulling forward to join Austin Green’s No. 89 3-Dimensional Services Group Chevy Camaro on the first row, the two got off to a wild start, with the lead changing multiple times as 2022 champion Thomas Merrill took them three wide in his No. 26 Bennett/HP Tuners/Mike Cope Race Cars Mustang. As the opening lap concluded, it was Crews who emerged with the lead. The 14-year-old was challenged by Green, Merrill and Rafa Matos in the No. 88 3-Dimensional Services Group Mustang, but he never faltered, taking the checkered flag.

Behind him, Green was forced to retire early with a power steering issue and Merrill faded to sixth after receiving front-end damage, leaving Matos in second for most of the event. Nathan Herne, who started 15th in his No. 29 CUBE 3/Berryman Mustang, battled through the field and worked his way up to third. On the final lap, Matos made one last challenge for the lead, and when that pass failed to stick, Herne elbowed his way into the second spot. Fourth-place Connor Zilisch in the No. 7 Silver Hare Racing Camaro also attempted to pass Matos before the line but came up just short in a photo finish. Annunziata made an impressive run from last place to finish fifth.

“This is great; I’m pretty speechless,” said Crews. “I had a lot of people challenge me, multiple different competitors, it definitely wasn’t easy. I just had to keep my cool. Thank you to everybody that touches this thing. Everyone works so hard making this car as good as it can be. I want to thank this whole Franklin Road Apparel team. Ken Thwaits, I just want to say thank you for being on this car this year, it means a lot. Thanks to Nick at Nitro, this whole team. Man, they just did such a great job. I have to say ‘good job’ to all my competitors; that was a really fun race, I definitely had to work for it.”

Four of the top-five finishers and eight of the top-10 finishers were Young Gun drivers under the age of 24. Champions Matos and Merrill were the only drivers over age 24 in the top 10.

Dylan Archer in the No. 4 FPEC Chevrolet Camara earned his career-best finish of seventh in his 14th start.

14-year-old Ben Maier in the No. 75 Gel Blaster/Silver Hare Racing Camaro earned a top 10 (10th) in just his second-career start.

Argentine champion Mariano Werner, who was making his Trans Am debut this weekend, was forced to retire early, finishing 12th.

TA2 Masters Award:
Scott Borchetta, No. 48 Big Machine Vodka SPIKED Coolers Ford Mustang

TA2 Pro/Am Winner
Bruce Raymond, No. 54 Optima Batteries/FM3 Marketing Ford Mustang

COOLSHIRT Cool Move of the Race:
Thomas Annunziata, No. 90 Nitro Motorsports Ford Mustang

Omologato Watches Fastest Lap of the Race:
Austin Green, No. 89 3-Dimensional Services Group Chevrolet Camaro

Serck Precision Clean Up:
No. 97 LTK Insulation Ford Mustang

Bassett Hard Charger:
Thomas Annunziata, No. 90 Nitro Motorsports Ford Mustang

The broadcast of Saturday’s race will air on MAVTV on Thursday, March 16 at 8:00 p.m. ET.

The Big Machine Vodka SPIKED Coolers TA2 Series returns to the track March 23-26 at Road Atlanta for the Mission Foods Atlanta SpeedTour.