ALTON, Va. – Tyler Maxson relaunched the TC America in stellar fashion Friday, rolling to a comfortable victory in the TCR class at Virginia Int’l Raceway.
Maxson, aboard the No. 74 Copeland Motorsports Hyundai Veloster N, brought the field to the green flag to start the third round of the season. A battle for second between Scott Smithson and Victor Gonzalez Jr. allowed Maxson to sneak away.
A single safety car was called on lap two of the race when Ben Bettenhausen slid off into the tires at turn one. When racing resumed Maxson maintained his lead, a position he didn’t give up for the entire distance. It was his third-straight victory to start the season.
“We have had a really great start to the season and the team had this car on rails today. We’re going to keep pushing and going for more,” said Maxson.
In the TC division the top four were running nose to tail with 22 minutes to go when reigning champion Johan Schwartz made a daring inside move at the turn one braking zone to snatch the lead from Toby Grahovec. James Clay then followed Schwartz through to claim second position in class at the turns three-four complex.
Schwartz would slowly pull away from his rivals and go on to take the class victory as the three behind him battled for the final podium positions.
“These cars are so even and they don’t draft that well, but still make for some fun racing. I had a great battle with Toby [Grahovec] for the lead and was able to get him in a braking zone and go from there. Such a fun race out there today,” said Schwartz.
The TCA class saw teammates Mark Pombo and Tomas Mejia easily pull away from the rest of the field and go on to claim a 1-2 finish. After a race-long game of cat and mouse, Mejia would overtake Pombo for the lead at Oak Tree in the final minutes of the race and go on the claim the win.
“We had a great finish at COTA in March, so we are excited to be able to come out here and do it again at VIR. The whole team made this car perfect today for a great race between Mark [Pombo] and I today,” said Mejia.