NASCAR Drivers Competing in Trans Am Race at Road America

Ryan Newman Austin Dillon

Getty Austin Dillon (front) races Ryan Newman (rear) at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

The NASCAR Xfinity and Cup Series head to Road America on Saturday, July 3, and Sunday, July 4, for a packed weekend of racing. This track will be new for some drivers, so they are joining a different series to gain some experience. Austin Dillon, Ryan Newman, and multiple peers will compete in the Trans Am races at Road America.

According to NBC Sports, the list of drivers features both Cup and Xfinity stars. Cup driver Christopher Bell will join Dillon and Newman along with Xfinity drivers Ty Gibbs, Sam Mayer, Harrison Burton, and Riley Herbst. They will compete in the TA-2 class, which features Chevrolet Camaros, Ford Mustangs, and Dodge Challengers restricted to just under 500 horsepower.

The schedule for Road America begins with TA-2 class testing on Thursday, July 1. The session will run from 9-10:30 a.m. ET. The NASCAR drivers will then take part in two practice sessions, which run from 12:30-1 p.m. ET and 2:30-3 p.m. ET.

Qualifying for the TA-2 class race will take place on Friday, July 2, at 2 p.m. ET. The drivers will then officially climb into their race cars for the race on Saturday, July 3, at 5:45 p.m. ET. The event will run for either 25 laps or 75 minutes.

Newman Has No Previous Experience at Road America

Ryan Newman

GettyNASCAR driver Ryan Newman prepares for a race at Darlington.

There are several veteran drivers that have previous experience at the Wisconsin road course. Michael McDowell won in 2016, Bubba Wallace competed twice (2015, 2016) with one top-five finish, and Chase Elliott posted two top-five finishes in two starts.

However, Newman is not among this group. When he climbs into the No. 6 Roush Fenway Racing Ford Mustang for the Cup Series race, it will mark his first foray onto the track as a NASCAR driver. Fortunately for Newman, the Trans Am race will provide him with the opportunity to test out the turns in a stock car similar to his own.

“Road America is going to be all new to me – been there once as a fan but never competed there,” Newman said in a press release, per NBC Sports. “I’ve spent some time on the simulator and talked to the guys about what to expect, and probably watch a few clips what to do, what not to do, and where the passing zones are. The TransAm race will be a good opportunity to get some experience so that we’re ready for the weekend in our Kohler Generators Ford.”

Other NASCAR Drivers Will Test Out Road America in Another Race

Kansas Speedway

GettyKurt Busch (left), Ryan Newman (center), and Kevin Harvick (right) pose at Kansas Speedway.

While Dillon, Newman, and their peers are set to test out Road America in the Trans Am series, many other drivers will take a different approach. Specifically, two former Cup Series champions in Kevin Harvick and Kyle Busch will suit up for the Xfinity Series race on July 3 to gain experience at Road America.

Busch will make his fourth Xfinity Series start of the season while driving for Joe Gibbs Racing. He will climb into the No. 54 M&Ms Toyota Supra while Ty Gibbs drives the No. 81 Toyota Supra. Busch has never competed at Road America despite making 360 starts in the Xfinity Series. Now he will simultaneously test out the road course while trying to win his fourth race in four starts.

Similarly, Harvick will partner with BJ McLeod Motorsports for his second Xfinity Series start of the season. He will drive the No. 99 Henry Repeating Arms Ford Mustang and face off with some of NASCAR’s talented up-and-coming drivers. Harvick will then return to the No. 4 Stewart-Haas Racing Ford Mustang on July 4 to cap off a double-duty weekend.

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