ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. (March 8, 2023) – After surviving the always unpredictable season-opening race at the iconic Sebring (Fla.) International Raceway two weekends ago with solid performances, TeamSLR’s Dillon Machavern and Thad Moffitt are confident they’re equipped to be bona fide contenders for this year’s Big Machine Vodka Spiked Coolers TA2 Series championship.
They’ll take the next step in pursuit of their season-long goals when the Trans Am Series presented by Pirelli heads for the first time in seven years to NOLA Motorsports Park in Avondale, Louisiana, for this weekend’s New Orleans SpeedTour. Saturday’s 37-lap, 75-minute TA2-class race around the 2.75-mile, 16-turn road course is set for 1:25 p.m. EST, preceded by open testing, practice and qualifying Thursday and Friday.
Machavern, the 27-year-old from Charlotte, Vermont, and driver of the No. 17 Heritage Automotive/Unifirst SLR-M1 Racecars Chevrolet Camaro, was smooth and steady from start to finish at Sebring, as would be expected of a seasoned road-racing veteran who’s made his mark in Trans Am and IMSA since joining the professional ranks in 2012. He qualified eighth and finished sixth.
For Moffitt, the 22-year-old from Trinity, North Carolina, and driver of the No. 43 Safety-Kleen Chevrolet Camaro for TeamSLR, Sebring marked his first career TA2 start after six seasons competing in stock cars on primarily oval tracks in the ARCA Menards Series. It was certainly an exciting one as he started 20th, then abruptly found himself near the back of the 45-car field when he was spun from behind on the opening lap. But the grandson of racing legend Richard Petty steadily made his way back toward the front and nearly cracked the top-10 in his TA2 debut, placing 12th.
While Moffitt got an actual taste of the NOLA circuit during a TeamSLR test in his No. 43 Safety-Kleen Camaro in January, he and most of this year’s TA2-class entries will be racing at NOLA for the first time. Machavern does have TA2 racing experience at NOLA, having competed during both of Trans Am’s only previous visits to the facility in 2015 and 2016. He qualified fourth for both events and had solid starts on race day cut short by mechanical issues on both occasions. He’ll look to settle that unfinished business this weekend on the outskirts of New Orleans.
TeamSLR’s solid opening weekend at Sebring was punctuated by the return of driver Connor Mosack, who after driving fulltime for the team in 2021 and 2022 graduated to the NASCAR Xfinity Series and ARCA Menards Series this season. Mosack qualified on the pole and led the opening 22 laps before relinquishing the lead on a late restart. He rallied for a third-place finish behind race-winner Rafa Matos and his Peterson Racing teammate Austin Green in the runner-up position, making it a sweep of the Sebring podium for M1 Racecars.
As with all races this season, Saturday’s event will be streamed live on the Trans Am and SpeedTour channels on YouTube. And Trans Am’s new TV partner this year, MAVTV, will air Saturday’s TA2 race in a one-hour package set for 8 p.m. EDT Thursday, March 16.
Saturday’s race will also be the first of two during March, which is National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month, bringing special emphasis in the TeamSLR camp to its year-round activity promoting ScreenYourMachine.org. It’s an initiative created in 2016 by team owner Scott Lagasse Jr., a colon cancer survivor, in partnership with the American Gastroenterological Association (AGA) to educate individuals about the importance of getting age-appropriate screenings for all types of cancer.
“I was still in my early 30s when I was diagnosed, but I knew something was wrong so I didn’t waste any time and I went and saw my doctor,” said Lagasse, whose quick decision paralleled his quickness in the driver’s seat during his NASCAR and ARCA career. “They caught it early and that was my saving grace. The treatment worked, but young-onset colorectal cancer is rising. I wasn’t some outlier. About 12 percent of incidents occur in people under the age of 50.”
TeamSLR (Scott Lagasse Racing) competes fulltime in the Trans Am Series presented by Pirelli in a multifaceted effort that includes dedicated entries in the TA2 division, customer programs, driver coaching and car construction. Its history dates back to 1985 and covers a wide spectrum of motorsports, including NASCAR, IMSA, SCCA, ARCA and ASA. TeamSLR is a family-owned organization run by Scott Lagasse Sr., and Scott Lagasse Jr. The father-and-son duo have combined to win more than 120 races and seven championships across a variety of series and styles of racecars, from paved ovals to road courses to dirt tracks. For more information, please visit us online at http://www.TeamSLR.com, on Facebook, on Twitter, on Instagram and on LinkedIn.