Photos by Gary Rosier
Doug Peterson led the 50-car field as the Trans Am Series took to the road course at Daytona International Speedway for practice to kick off Round 11 of the 2014 Trans Am Championship, the 2014 Season Finale.
Peterson, from behind the wheel of the No. 87 3Dimensional.com Chevrolet Corvette, began the weekend in a continuation of the dominant form that saw him capture the TA Championship last round at Virginia International Raceway, leading the TA class, and field, with a time of 1:45.967.
Following Peterson was the No. 59 Derhaag Motorsports Chevrolet Corvette of Simon Gregg with the second best time in the session, a 1:45.967. Amy Ruman, in the No. 23 McNichols Company Chevrolet Corvette, was third with a time of 1:46.872. Both Gregg and Ruman are battling for second place in the TA Championship, with Gregg holding a slender eight-point lead as the weekend commences.
Cameron Lawrence, in the No. 1 CTEK/NorthStar Miller Racing Dodge Challenger, led TA2 with a time of 1:52.270 as he starts what is a vital weekend for the Orlando driver on his home track. Lawrence enters the weekend one point ahead of Adam Andretti, in the No. 44 Engineered Components Chevrolet Camaro, in the TA2 Championship point standings. If Lawrence, the defending TA2 Champion, can carry this momentum throughout the weekend, he’ll be well on his way to repeating as Champion.
Following Lawrence was Daytona native Bobby Kennedy, in the No. 88 Gary Yeomans Ford Mustang, with a time of 1:54.378, and Wally Dallenbach, Jr., former Champion and driver of the No. 12 IOA Insurance Chevrolet Camaro, with a time of 1:54.811.
In TA3, Chuck Cassaro, in the No. 76 StackData/Aeromotive/Metallica Ford Mustang, led the American Muscle Group, with a time of 1:59.037. Following Cassaro in the American Muscle Group was Champion Ernie Francis, Jr., in the No. 9 Breathless Performance Chevrolet Camaro, with a time of 2:01.902 and Todd Napieralski, driving the No. 39 Tremec/SKF/Backstreet Performance Chevrolet Camaro, with a 2:03.853.
The International Group was led by Lee Saunders, in the No. 84 Landsearch LLC/V10PWR Racing Dodge Viper, with a time of 2:01.487. David Mazyck, in the No. 71 Archer Racing/Race-keeper/ Team TK Dodge Viper, had the second best time in the group with a 2:01.820, while Jason Berkeley, in the No. 67 BMG Management Chevrolet Corvette, was third with a 2:03.291.
Berkeley is currently in a race for the TA3 International Championship with Norm Betts, driving the No. 82 Hoosier/ VP Fuels, and seems to have a definite edge going into this weekend as the No. 67 appears to be running in fine form.