Henderson Earns Atlanta Speedwerks Third Consecutive IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge Pole at Mid-Ohio

Brian Henderson Will Start Saturday’s Race First in No. 84 Pagid/Sabelt Honda Civic TCR, Scott Smithson Seventh In TCR Class

LEXINGTON, Ohio (May 14, 2021) – Brian Henderson and Atlanta Speedwerks earned a third consecutive IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge TCR Class pole on Friday at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in just three races and will start Saturday’s Mid-Ohio 120 on the front row. Teammate Scott Smithson, making his IMSA debut, will start the race seventh.

The two-hour Mid-Ohio 120, part of the Acura Sports Car Challenge at Mid-Ohio, will get the green flag at 3:35 p.m. ET on Saturday. The race can be seen live through TrackPass on the NBC Sports app.

Henderson drove the No. 84 Pagid/Sabelt Honda Civic TCR to the Motul Pole Award with a lap of 1:28.813 (91.526 mph) on the 2.258-mile circuit. That lap also set a new TCR class track record and is the third pole position for the car in as many races this season. Henderson’s co-driver Robert Noaker earned the pole in the season opener at Daytona, while Henderson set the mark at Sebring and now Mid-Ohio.

“We’re really happy to secure that third pole,” Henderson said. “There were a few other cars in contention, so I knew I needed to get as much as I could out of it at the end. I set up, got a big gap and just went for it. It was a pretty good lap and got on the pole. That’s three in a row for us and we’re really happy about that. We’re bringing that into this race and with some good luck and smart driving, we’ll bring it to the end and be on top.”

Smithson, who began racing in 2019 and is making his first IMSA start this weekend, will start seventh after a lap of 1:30.051 (90.268 mph). Smithson will share the No. 94 Dinner With Racers/Lemons of Love Honda Civic TCR with co-driver Ryan Eversley in the two-hour race. Smithson’s 15-minute qualifying session was cut one lap short when, on his final flying lap, he had a temporary issue with the steering wheel that left him just 0.102-second from improving all the way to fifth on the grid.

“It’s a brand-new track for me and being new to the sport it’s hard for me to get up to speed quick,” Smithson said. “That session felt a lot better than practice, I had to adjust a bunch of lines. In my last lap, where the steering wheel came off, I was throwing down a decent lap. I think we’re in good shape for tomorrow. I think we can click off good, solid laps for an hour and hand the car over to Ryan to bring it home.”

With qualifying complete, Atlanta Speedwerks turns its full attention to Saturday’s race. Eversley, who co-drove the opening two rounds with Greg Strelzoff, sits second in the Championship standings with the No. 84 car second in the team championship.

About Atlanta Speedwerks
Atlanta Speedwerks is a professional road racing team and prep shop, providing road racing services, car builds, roll cages, arrive and drive programs, and performance parts. Headquartered near Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta, the company runs winning arrive & drive programs in IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge, Mazda MX-5 Cup, Porsche Club of America and SCCA Spec Miata, among others. Professional coaching and driver development round out the company’s offerings.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of SpeedwayMedia.com


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