TPR Opens Trans AM Season with 2 Podium Finishes
CHELSEA, MI (May 1, 2017) The 2017 Trans Am season presented by Pirelli is underway featuring 12 events this year from March into November. The opening events at Sebring and Homestead resulted in third and second place finishes, respectively for Team TPR.
The historic track at Sebring International Raceway has served as the Trans Am opener for several years. With a win in 2015, TPR looked for quick start in Round 1. The challenge for all teams would be the new Pirelli P Zero tire and set ups to maximize the higher levels of grips on a true racing slick. Despite shortened practice sessions and limited adjustments, TPR driver Todd Napieralski led practice 2 and qualified 2nd overall for the main event. Starting in the outside front row, the # 39 Chevrolet Camaro launched ahead on the front straight and then entered the left hander side by side with the #07 Ford Mustang (Brian Kleeman). Tucking in behind Kleeman, Napieralski followed the # 07 closely thru turns 2,3 and 4. On the exit of turn 5, Napieralski dropped 4 wheels off and fell back to P6 on return to pavement. Napieralski was asked about the early miscue. “Had a great start but overdrove it a bit there in turn 5 with cold tires. I was really trying to stay in it with the # 07 car. The curbing there will usually catch the car on exit but I got over top and lost position.” Napieralski worked his way back to finish 3rd in TA4 and capture his 24th career Trans Am podium.
Round 2 at Homestead-Miami Speedway featured another week of great Florida sunshine. The challenge for TPR was getting to the track. The tractor trailer hauler was damaged while parked in Kentucky on the way home from Sebring. With repairs incomplete, the team had to downsize last minute to a single trailer and a few stackable bins. Practice sessions were good as the team made suspension adjustments and increased speeds with each outing. Qualifying was promising, holding the pole most of the session. On the last lap the #39 Chevrolet Camaro was bumped to P2 by Kleeman. A repeat starting front row, Napieralski had another great start and moved over into P1 entering turn 1. Leading the field thru the infield, Napieralski re-entered the oval in P1. The lead was short lived as Kleeman powered by Napieralski on the banking thru Nascar 3 and 4. With no change in positions, Napieralski finished 2nd and moves up to second in championship points. “Overall, a good weekend considering our hauler issues”, stated Napieralski. “We had better speed this weekend and were looking pretty good in qualifying, but Kleeman had a little more. I think we closed the gap. We will work hard to be faster in Atlanta”. Team TPR was awarded the Pit Box crew award and crew chief award (Aaron Carson) for the podium finish. The team would like to thank its primary sponsors: Chevrolet Performance, Tremec, SKF, and Backstreet Performance.
With Road Atlanta on the horizon, the team hopes to continue this ascending trend on the podium. Practice sessions begin on Thursday, March 11 followed by qualifying on Friday, March 12. Team TPR will take the green flag for the 40 lap 101.6-mile race on Saturday, March 13 at 9:00AM EST. Fans can keep up with the event and all with the event and all The Trans Am Series presented by Pirelli at www.gotransam.com, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/gotransam and on Twitter at @gotransam.
AARON CARSON EARNS CREW CHIEF AWARD AT HOMESTEAD