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Challenger back in Trans Am

by David Zatz on

Dodge and SRT are rejoining the Trans Am Series, with Miller Racing fielding two new Dodge Challengers  at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course on August 15 and 16.  Driving will be four-time series champion Tommy Kendall, making his first Trans Am start since 2004 in the TA2 series class.

The cars appear to be driven by 5.7 liter Hemi engines.

For the rest of the season, Mr. Kendall will drive the #11 Dodge Challenger SRT while teammate and TA2 points leader Cameron Lawrence will drive the #1 Challenger beginning at the Mid-Ohio race, an event Lawrence won in 2013.

The mid-season manufacturer switch by Miller Racing brings Kendall back to the series where he won four championships in the 1990s (1990, 1995-1997), and Dodge’s debut into the TA2 class of the Trans Am road racing series.

Kendall won championships inTrans Am and IMSA, as well as the 1995 Rolex 24 At Daytona; he is also an analyst for Fox Sports 1 and NBC Sports. He said, “I’ve wanted to return to Trans Am competition for the longest time and then I finally kind of accepted that it wasn’t going to happen. It’s funny how things work. Being coaxed back into the Viper GTS-R program back in 2012 helped pave the way to my return. Over the last 10–15 years, I’ve committed to only doing things that are fun. Trans Am was a huge part of my professional life and to get to play a small part in keeping up the visibility here is really exciting.”

Kendall

Kendall has the third most Trans Am victories with 28, while Lawrence has captured 14 wins in 21 series starts since 2012.

Mr. Lawrence will retain his TA2 class points; the 21-year-old driver currently holds a 35-point margin over second place.

Miller Racing was formed in 2012, capturing the 2013 Trans Am TA2 class title when Lawrence won eight of 10 events, including the last seven-consecutive races. The team has had 18 Trans Am victories in 26 races over three seasons.

SRT also fields two Dodge Viper SRT GTS-Rs in the IMSA TUDOR United SportsCar Championship, and supports a customer racing program with the Dodge Viper SRT GT3-R in the IMSA TUDOR series, Pirelli World Challenge and Supercar Challenge.

The Miller Racing Dodge Challenger SRTs and Kendall will first compete in The 3-Dimensional Services Next Dimension 100 at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course on Friday, Aug. 15. Round seven of the 2014 Trans Am Championship will take place alongside the NASCAR Nationwide Series at Mid-Ohio this weekend.

The launch was set to happen yesterday, according to Allpar sources.

The original Dodge Challenger Trans Am attempt was not a complete success for Chrysler, though it did result in the original 1970 Dodge Challenger T/A, which is highly valued today. In accordance with the Sports Car Club of America rulings, Sam Posey’s #77 Classic Wax Challenger started life as a Body-In-White, meaning it was a street car that was delivered to a racing group with a unibody structure, and little else. #77 was painted FJ5 Sublime, and at first, the massive amounts of green were overpowering. Keith Black, of Hemi drag racing fame, built the 303.8 cubic inchLA-based motor for the series cars.

David Zatz founded Allpar in 1998 (based on a site he had begun in 1993-94), after years of writing reviews for retail trades. He has been quoted by the New York Times, the Daily Telegraph, the Detroit News, and USA Today. Before making Allpar a full-time career, he was a consultant in organizational psychology. You can reach him by using our contact form (much preferred) or by calling (313) 766-2304


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