ELKHART LAKE, WI – James Clay, a TC America series veteran with over 60 starts claimed his second career TC series win on Saturday at Road America. The action-packed, 40-minute race saw 2016 TC Champion Toby Grahovec finish second, and Johan Schwartz, the championship points leader entering the weekend unofficially clinch the 2019 TC title.
Pole sitter Jeff Ricca in the #78 GenRacer Hyundai Genesis headed the field to the green flag and assumed the lead over second-on-the-grid #23 TechSport Racing Nissan 370z pilot Joseph Federl. Looking to keep his championship hopes alive, Grahovec driving the #26 Classic BMW BMW M240iR Cup slotted into second ahead of Schwartz piloting the Rooster Hall Racing #80 BMW M240iR Cup. Clay driving the #63 Copart / BimmerWorld Racing BMW M240iR maintained his fifth-on-the-grid starting position and slotted in behind Schwartz.
Before the first lap could be completed a full-course yellow was issued as Rearden Racing’s Paul Terry in the #33 Nissan 370z contacted with Cameron Evans in the #82 Copart / BimmerWorld Racing BMW M240iR Cup through turn 5. While both drivers were not injured, their cars were damaged and required removal.
After a roughly 12-minute cleanup to remove both cars, Ricca led the field to the restart with Federl, Grahovec, Schwartz and Clay holding their positions. Later in the lap, Clay moved past Schwartz and up into 4th.
On lap 4, Grahovec overtook Federl through turn 3 and up into second. Clay then took third from Federl on the same lap. By lap 5 Grahovec closed on Ricca and the two begin a battle for the lead and as they crossed the line to begin lap 6. Grahovec drag raced Ricca to turn 1 and executed a pass for the lead. Clay then began challenging Ricca for second and by the end of the lap had passed into second, setting his sights on the lead.
As Grahovec and Clay crossed the line to start lap 7, Clay used the draft to swing up alongside and by Grahovec for the lead through turn 1. On Lap 8 race control issued a full-course caution for a disabled car on track – the race restarted with under 10 minutes left in the contest.
On the restart, Grahovec got a tremendous launch at the wave of the green and overtook Clay through turn 1 to regain the lead. Schwartz also gained a position moving past Ricca into third.
The exciting battle continued up front through lap 11 as Grahovec defended against Clay with Schwartz looking for any mistake to move through. On the next lap Clay used the draft on the front straight to swing around Grahovec for the lead through turn 1. Clay then successfully held off challenges from Grahovec and crossed the line .232 seconds ahead of the second-place finisher.
With the third, Schwartz provisionally clinches the 2019 Touring Car title. Results are provisional until posted final. TC teams and drivers now look ahead to Sunday’s Round 12 scheduled for green flag start of 9 am Central. Watch the race live on TCAmerica.us. CBS Sports Network coverage for TC America races at Road America airs October 2 at 7 pm EST. Check your local listings for additional broadcast time and channel information.
TC PROVISIONAL RESULTS - PDF LINK