Schwartz Survives Wet TC America Romp

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Johan Schwartz (center) won Sunday's TC America feature at Road America.
Johan Schwartz (center) won Sunday's TC America feature at Road America.

LKHART LAKE, Wis. – Newly crowned TC America TC champion Johan Schwartz scored his seventh victory of the season at Road America in a rain shortened race Sunday.

Saturday’s winner James Clay finished second, while Toby Grahovec finished third.

Mother Nature made her presence felt on Sunday as a steady rain fell throughout the morning and during the race. From the drop of the green, pole sitter Clay held the lead through turn one, with Grahovec and Schwartz maintaining their positions in second and third. Joseph Federl and Jeff Ricca held the fourth and fifth positions, respectively.

Schwartz deftly moved around Grahovec through turn five and up into second and began his pursuit of Clay in the lead. Then on lap two Clay and Schwartz ran side by side through turns five, six and seven jockeying for the lead and the two contacted through turn seven with Clay’s No. 63 machine running slightly off the track. Clay regained control and resumed but not before Schwartz moved into the lead. Grahovec remained in third.

By lap three, Schwartz had built a .754-second lead over Clay, while Grahovec, Federl and Ricca pursued in third, fourth and fifth respectively.

Race control issued a full-course yellow on lap four as the Dynamic Racing Solutions No. 09 BMW M240iR Cup driven by Greg Nitzkowski went off in turn 12 and required removal. Nitzkowski was not injured.

With crews working to remove the No. 09 machine, rain began to fall more heavily, and visibility worsened. Race Control then issued a checkered flag and the safety car led the field across the line to end the race.

“It was wet out there and I tried to find grip wherever I could,” said Schwartz. “I tried to do it on my pace lap to find out where it was and started to find it. I actually had a good time out there so I was a little disappointed to see the checkered, but we’ll take it whichever way we can.”