AUSTIN, Texas – Qualifying times could not have been tighter in the Trans-Am Series presented by Pirelli TA2 class Saturday at Circuit of the Americas.
When the dust settled, just over one tenth of a second covered the first two rows on the grid for Sunday’s 100-mile TA2 presented by AEM feature.
While Marc Miller needs only to take the green on Sunday to clinch the TA2 championship, he pushed his No. 40 Prefix/Stevens-Miller Racing Dodge Challenger as if everything was on the line. He reeled off two laps before setting a flyer, the resulting 2:15.038 clocking earned the experienced Stevens-Miller Racing driver his third pole-position start of the season.
“I love this track,” said Miller. “My very first Grand Am win was here at COTA, so it has a soft spot in my heart. The only trophy I really want to talk about right now is the first-place race trophy. As far as I am concerned, we haven’t won this championship until the checkered drops tomorrow and I’m on that top step.”
For the first half of qualifying, Misha Goikhberg’s times in the No. 10 BC Race Cars Chevrolet Camaro were just inside the top 10. But after a pit stop to cool his Pirelli PZero tires, the Canadian driver clicked off a 2:15.150 lap that was five one-thousandths of a second faster than Edward Sevadjian, earning him a front row start.
“We didn’t have much of a plan for qualifying besides go out there and set fastest time in the first two laps,” said Goikhberg. “Unfortunately, I got a bit greedy out there and dropped down to around sixth place in times. I came in to pit and the team and I decided to go back out for one more Hail Mary lap, and it was a good decision in the end.”
Driving a new Chevrolet Camaro, Sevadjian was the wild-card in TA2 qualifying. Eclipsing Scott Lagasse Jr. by six one hundredths of a second with a time of 2:15.155, the Texas native will start third. Earlier this season at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Sevadijan won the SVRA’s Vintage Race of Champions title co-driving with Trans-Am legend Willy T. Ribbs.
“It’s our first time out in this car,” Sevadjian said. “I didn’t expect to do as well as we did, so we are all excited right now. I feel like I left just a little bit out there — we missed the pole by such a small margin. We are going to go to work and hopefully we can be on the podium at the end of this race.”
Dillon Machavern rounded out the top-five times with a fast lap of 2:15.578.
In the duel for the West Coast TA2 title, Brad McAllister came out the winner on the day, his No. 24 PortlandImplantDentistry.com Ford Mustang qualifying 10th overall with a 2m16.922s best that was fastest of the six West Coast contenders.
Points leader Anthony Honeywell, meanwhile, will start Sunday’s race three rows back in 15th overall.
However, it was Ethan Wilson, in the No. 25 BC Race Cars/Western Grinding Services Chevrolet Camaro, who was fastest in the TA2 West Coast lineup, claiming pole position and earning the maximum points in qualifying.