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Robinson, Merrill beat packed fields to TA and TA2 poles at COTA

Two-time Big Machine Vodka SPIKED Coolers TA2 Series champion Gar Robinson (No. 74 74 Ranch Resort Chevrolet Camaro) captured the Motul Pole Award in his first start in the TA class with an impressive time of 2m04.993s in the Trans Am Series presented by Pirelli season finale at Circuit of The Americas on Saturday.

“You know, it’s really just awesome,” said Robinson. “I mean, the list [of great things about this weekend] is so long. I’m not just here with the Riley guys, but in their new car, at my home track, with all my friends and family around me this weekend. I don’t think I could name a better weekend. Some people ask if you can have too much dessert, and I don’t think so. This is like our version of too much dessert. We’re having a blast. Everyone’s just having a great time, and being on the pole is just one of the jobs completed. I have to see how it goes tomorrow and see if we can complete the rest of the jobs.”

Thomas Merrill (No. 26 Bennett/HP Tuners/Cope Race Cars Ford Mustang), who is attempting to come back from a 45-point deficit to win the championship, was the Motul Pole Award winner in the Big Machine Vodka Spiked Coolers TA2 Series, laying down a lap of 2m11.159s. Merrill won the pole at the track last year on his way to capturing his first-career title, which was a Hollywood comeback from an even bigger points disadvantage.

“You know it’s interesting, last year, we were really strong all the way through the weekend, but this year, we’ve had some struggles with some component failures and some issues through practice,” said Merrill. “So it’s a little bit of a come from behind story so far at this event, but I’ve got all the faith in the world. My guys always give me a good race car. When it mattered, we had a really, really good Bennett/HP Tuners Mustang. I’m just so happy to be on the pole. You know, what happens tomorrow is largely out of our hands, but our focus is just simple: win the race and go from there.”...


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