INDIANAPOLIS – In what turned out to be a four-lap shootout to the checkered, TA2 powered by AEM points leader Marc Miller wheeled the No. 40 Prefix Stevens-Miller Racing Dodge Challenger flag to flag in the Trans-Am Series presented by Pirelli TA2 class at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Fastest in every session, Miller beat out 21 other hopeful drivers, crossing the iconic yard of bricks to claim his first win of the season in the most dominant fashion.
Driving the No. 77 Liqui-Moly Prefix Ford Mustang, Dillon Machavern claimed his third runner-up result of the season to give Stevens-Miller Racing its first one, two finish of the year. Tony Buffomante rounded out the podium in third with the No. 34 Mike Cope Racing Ford Mustang.
“It all started in the shop,” Miller said. “These guys unloaded the trailer exactly how we talked about it. The car was good on the first lap, and good on the last lap. I said before I got here that I wanted a car that was good on a one-lap run and good after 30 laps, and that’s exactly what I got. Dillon (Machavern) is wily. He’s a fast kid. I was worried on the restart. I thought he would have something at the end because we were both saving tires. It wasn’t until the third lap of the run that I finally relaxed and thought I got this.”
Miller started pole position for the 100-mile, 42-lap TA2 feature and pulled a gap from defending TA2 champion Rafa Matos and second-row starters Scott Lagasse Jr. and Machavern right from the drop of the green flag. Not putting a wheel off all weekend, no one had an answer for Miller at the Brickyard as he sailed away to a near 18-second lead.
After battling for podium positions, the race ended prematurely for front-runners Matos and Lagasse, both retiring from the race early with mechanical issues.
Clicking away positions as top contenders faded, Machavern took second place.
With six laps to go, Keith Procuik and Curt Vogt made contact heading into turn two, causing the first and only full course caution to group up the remaining field and eliminate the advantage that Miller had built.
Miller handled the restart with poise, out pacing Machavern to the finish line.
“The No. 77 Liqui-Moly Prefix Ford Mustang started to come together there at the end, but by that time Marc had such a large lead I couldn’t do anything about it,” said Machavern. “We saved some tires and brakes for the end of race and I’m glad we did. The restart gave us a chance to get back in the race but Marc was just dialed in this weekend.”
Buffomante drove a near perfect race, storming from a fifth-place start to finish third.
“Thought we could get two consecutive wins here at Indy, but the car just wasn’t there,” Buffomante said elevated in the air above the crowd on the iconic Indianapolis Motor Speedway podium. “There will be seven Mike Cope Racing cars at Mid-Ohio, they’ll be coming for these guys. I won’t make Mid-Ohio, but I will see everyone back at Road America.”
Charging from a 20th to finish the race in 12th, Tim Gray in the No. 60 Ryan Companies Ford Mustang won the TA2 Masters Class.
“That was one hot race,” said Gray after competing in nearly 100-degree weather. “There’s so much history here in Indy and I’m glad we could add to it.”
The drive of the race was from series newcomer Max Nufer in the No. 59 Manufacturing News Chevrolet Camaro, finishing the race in fifth after an 11th-place start. Nufer pressured Prociuk from behind for more than 10 laps, trying to insert himself into the top-five. The pressure got to Prociuk as he bobbled on a turn, gifting Nufer the fifth-place position he was hunting. The drive from the back to his first top-five finish earned Nufer the Cool Shirts Cool Move of the race.
“It’s a privilege and an honor to race with Trans Am,” said a jovial Nufer. “I wouldn’t be here without my team and my parents.”