We love seeing Camaros, Mustangs, and Challengers battle it out since it reminds us of the past muscle car wars. Well, those wars are raging once again with the big nameplates fighting for wins that they hope will turn into showroom sales. The Chevrolet Grand Prix is a tough race and for this year the Pirelli 3-Dimensional Services Muscle Car Challenge it was even more so. Gar Robinson, who ended up taking the win, had another reason to go all out at this race. As he told it, “This is a big deal for us. Our team is Michigan based; this is a win we’ve wanted for a long time. We’ve been flying the Chevy badge for as long as I can remember – to be here on this Chevrolet weekend and bring home the win, it’s something special.” Gar’s dad, racer George Robinson, ran in the race many times, finishing as high as fourth, but never capturing a win, so this victory meant even more to the Robinson family.
Gar, in the No. 74 Pure Vida Tequila/ 74 Ranch Resort Camaro started off in the pole position, which was critical on a course known for very little passing. He was passed on lap 12 by the Mustang driven by Tony Buffomonte, but eventually regained the lead and held it till the end. Another Camaro driver, former IndyCar racer Rafa Matos in the No. 87 Dimensional Services Group car, got by Buffomante on the 27th lap and eventually took the number two spot on the podium. Buffomante and his Mustang finished in third with a Challenger, piloted by Sheldon Creed coming in fourth and another Camaro, driven by Mike Cope grabbing the fifth spot. Three of the top five finishers being Camaros made this a great race for Chevrolet.
The TA2 race saw a total of three full-course cautions, the first of which began on lap 17 and was followed by three restarts and a mere five laps of green, including a final restart with only two laps remaining that proved critical. The Robinson Racing team had stressed a fast car over the short run in their race strategy, a move that proved pivotal.
"From being here last year, we knew there would be a decent amount of yellow," said Robinson. "We definitely took that into consideration on the race setup- we wanted to be fast when we needed to and make it count on restart. My crew did a great job giving me a great car for the race, and we made it happen."
The win is Robinson's second of the season, and third podium; it also moves the No. 74 to the top of the point standings. It also marks the seventh victory of Robinson's career-which already includes the 2015 TA2 championship.
Photography by Mike Yoksich