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Chris Dyson Makes Late-Race Pass to Earn First Win of 2024 at NOLA

SGT’s Kaylee Bryson Earns First-Career Trans Am Win, Coffey Gets Third Straight GT Victory

AVONDALE, La. (April 13, 2024) - Paul Menard made a strong showing at the Trans Am Series presented by Pirelli race at NOLA Motorsports Park, winning the Pole Award and leading 27 of 37 laps at the NOLA SpeedTour, but Chris Dyson was never far behind. With 10 laps remaining, the defending champion made his way around Menard and the two battled until the checkered flag waved, with Dyson ultimately victorious, claiming the top step of the podium in GYM WEED Winners Circle for the first time in 2024.

Racing commenced with Menard and Dyson side by side, but polesitter Menard’s No. 3 Menards/Masterforce Tools Ford Mustang had the advantage early in the event, while Dyson’s CD Racing team dialed in his No. 16 GYM WEED Ford Mustang for long-run speed. Menard pulled away to an early lead, opening up a two-second gap over Dyson before the first full-course yellow was displayed after just two laps. When green-flag racing resumed on lap five, Menard once again led the field, but was unable to maintain as substantial of an advantage over Dyson, with the two separated by only a few car lengths for the next 22 circuits. Dyson’s machine blossomed over the long run while Menard’s tires faded, and Dyson was finally able to maneuver around Menard on lap 27.

Just two laps later, the race went under red-flag conditions when Adam Andretti, who was running third in his No. 17 Top Liner/Go Share Chevrolet Camaro, experienced an engine issue and came to a smokey stop just off the racing surface. Racing resumed for the final time on lap 33, and Menard nipped at Dyson’s heels, but he was unable to pass the three-time champion before the checkered flag waved. Dyson claimed his first win of the season, followed by Menard and third-place Tomy Drissi in the No. 8 Franklin Road Apparel Chevrolet Camaro. Dyson was excited to claim his first win of the season after a DNF at Sebring International Raceway and a second-place finish at Road Atlanta.

“It’s more fun this way, I'll tell you that,” said Dyson in GYM WEED Winners Circle. “Honestly, this was just a really terrific weekend for the whole GYM WEED team. I'm so thrilled to be back here and standing on top of the podium down here at NOLA. It was a great race with Paul [Menard] the whole way through, and we knew it would be, coming in. We had big speed all weekend, and it just came down to being in the right place at the right time and having a car that could manage our tires. We were just phenomenal on the long runs, and I think this is how it's going to be for the rest of the year. You look at the battle we had in Atlanta with [Adam] Andretti and then Paul here, and Tomy [Drissi] is right up there too. It's a fight every weekend, and that's what makes these wins so meaningful and special. This weekend is especially special for me because my wife Joy is here with me, and I'm just so happy to have her support. I have to thank all the guys. This one's for you. We were down here working hard all winter, and I think we've got a great car to take everywhere. We've got nothing to do but win now because [Paul Menard is] in the lead, and we’ve got to go chase him.”

Notes of Interest:

  • This was Chris Dyson’s first victory of the 2024 season. It is his second-consecutive win at NOLA Motorsports Park.

  • Second-place Paul Menard earned his second podium of the year after winning the season opener at Sebring.

  • Tomy Drissi earned his first podium of 2024.

  • Kaylee Bryson in SGT earned her first-career Trans Am Series win in just her fourth start.

  • Chris Coffey has won all three GT races of the 2024 season.

  • This was John Clagett’s final TA/XGT/SGT/GT race as Trans Am Series President following more than 31 years with the series.

TA Top Five:1. Chris Dyson, No. 16 GYM WEED Ford Mustang2. Paul Menard, No. 3 Menards/Masterforce Tools Ford Mustang3. Tomy Drissi, No. 8 Franklin Road Apparel Chevrolet Camaro4. Adam Andretti, No. 17 Top Liner/Go Share Chevrolet Camaro5. Amy Ruman, No. 23 McNichols Co. Chevrolet Corvette

EMCO Gears Lap Leader:Paul Menard, No. 3 Menards/Masterforce Tools Ford Mustang

SGT:Kaylee Bryson in the No. 02 Logical Systems Inc./Sam Pierce Chevrolet Corvette won her first-career Trans Am race in just her fourth start in the series. After topping the speed charts for the SGT class in both practice and qualifying, the 23-year-old recipient of the PMH Powering Diversity Scholarship dominated her class, leading every lap of the race by an impressive margin. Milton Grant had a very competitive day, starting at the very rear of the field and piloting his No. 55 Sentry Self Storage/Springhill Suites Porsche 991.1 GT3 Cup up to second after a competitive battle with fourth-place Don McMillon in the No. 51 Salasko Racing Chevrolet Corvette. Joshua Carlson in the No. 36 Enseva/TC Fab/Diercks Ltd. Ford Mustang ran in Bryson’s wake for a majority of the event, but experienced an issue restarting his car after the late-race red flag. He was still able to salvage a third-place finish, earning his third-consecutive podium finish in as many starts.

“This is my first time on the podium,” said Bryson from the top step. “I’m glad to get my first win today for my team; they've worked so hard. There's a whole army that goes into this, making this possible, and I'm so grateful for them. The car was on rails all weekend, and I'm super happy to come out here and get first. I'm thankful that everybody drives clean. It was a really fun time out there. Thank you, guys.”

SGT Results:1. Kaylee Bryson, No. 02 Logical Systems Inc./Sam Pierce Chevrolet Corvette2. Milton Grant, No. 55 Sentry Self Storage/Springhill Suites Porsche 991.13. Joshua Carlson, No. 36 Enseva/TC Fab/Diercks Ltd. Ford Mustang4. Don McMillon, No. 51 Salasko Racing Chevrolet Corvette5. Richard Forsythe, No. 58 GSpeed/Sambuca Restaurant Chevrolet Corvette

GT:For the third race in a row, the GT class belonged to Chris Coffey in the No. 97 Norwood Auto Italia/Traffic Grafix Maserati MC GT4, who led the race from start to finish. Laying down the fastest GT lap in qualifying, he led teammate Colin Cohen in the No. 38 Norwood Auto Italia/Traffic Grafix Maserati MC GT4 from green to checkers, finishing an impressive fifth overall.

“This feels good; it's always great to be standing up here on the top step,” said Coffey. “I just want to thank Colin [Cohen], because without him, I wouldn't be here. I absolutely had to make sure his car was ready for NOLA. It was a lot of work and we only had three days to get it done, but we did get it done. We got here. I want to thank Alex and Xavier, my crew, my wife Morgan and my son Sam."

GT Results:1. Chris Coffey, No. 97 Norwood Auto Italia/Traffic Grafix Maserati MC GT42. Colin Cohen, No. 38 Norwood Auto Italia/Traffic Grafix Maserati MC GT4

Final Details:Full official race results can be found here.

The highlight show of today’s race will air on MAVTV on Thursday, April 18 at 9:00 p.m. ET.

The Trans Am Series TA/XGT/SGT/GT classes next hit the track for the Lime Rock SpeedTour at Lime Rock Park, May 24-27. Tickets can be purchased here.


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