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TeamSLR Riding Momentum to Pittsburgh

Barry Boes Joined by Returning M1Racecars Chevy Driver Carson Kvapil
On Heels of Team’s Solid Runner-Up Performance at Lime Rock

ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. (June 6, 2024) – Coming off the team’s solid second-place finish Memorial Day weekend at Lime Rock Park in Lakeville, Connecticut, a pair of TeamSLR M1Racecars drivers are champing at the bit to hit the track for Sunday’s Pitt Race SpeedTour, the Cube 3 Architecture TA2 Series’ first-ever appearance at the Pittsburgh International Race Complex.

Leading the way for TeamSLR this weekend is Barry Boes, the two-time Pro-Am Challenge-class winner this season in his No. 27 Accio Data/SLR-M1 Racecars Ford Mustang. He’ll be joined by recently turned 21-year-old Carson Kvapil, the Team Chevrolet development driver who’ll make his third career TA2 start this weekend after debuting in the series with TeamSLR in back-to-back races last year at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington and Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin.

Boes and Kvapil arrive at the track known as Pitt Race buoyed by the stout weekend performance at Lime Rock by 18-year-old Evan Slater in the No. 17 Cube 3/Franklin Road Apparel/Paul Racing/Tom Haas Foundation/SLR-M1 Racecars Chevrolet Camaro. In his first race with TeamSLR and first since last August at Watkins Glen (N.Y.) International, the young veteran of 24 TA2 Series starts qualified on the front row and defended his position throughout the 68-lap race around the lightning-fast 1.48-mile, seven-turn Lime Rock circuit. He was beaten to the checkered flag only by polesitter Rafa Matos, the two-time series champion, by a 1.056-second margin.

Boes also appeared on his way to a solid finish at Lime Rock, having qualified a season-best seventh overall and best among Pro-Am Challenge competitors for the fourth race in a row. But on the second restart of the race, he was knocked off the track by another competitor who later was assessed an avoidable contact penalty. Boes finished the race but wasn’t able to fight his way back into the top-10 with his damaged racecar. He finished 16th and, for the first time since starting the season with back-to-back Pro-Am Challenge victories at Sebring (Fla.) International Raceway and Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta, finds himself second in the class point standings, trailing new Pro-Am leader Keith Prociuk by nine markers. Ironically enough, Boes and his then-teammate Misha Goikhberg ventured to Pitt Race for a hugely productive test day last summer, not even knowing at the time the track would be on the 2024 TA2 Series schedule. That experience has Boes confident he and his M1 Racecars equipment will hit the ground running this weekend.

Kvapil hopes to pick up where he left off with TeamSLR last year. The son of 2003 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series champion Travis Kvapil certainly didn’t look like a young driver with zero road-racing experience when he qualified second and finished fifth at Mid-Ohio, then followed it up by qualifying third at Road America and moving up to second on the opening lap of the race before getting punted off track and sustaining damage beyond repair. Kvapil got a head start learning the 2.75-mile, 19-turn Pitt Race circuit when he joined TeamSLR for a test day last month and was impressed with the layout and the facility. He also brings his share of momentum into the weekend, having enjoyed success in numerous other racing disciplines already this year, including top-five finishes in two of his three NASCAR Xfinity Series races with JR Motorsports – second at Dover (Del.) Motor Speedway and fourth at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway – and top-three finishes in both his starts for Pinnacle Racing Group in the ARCA Menards Series – second at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway and third at Dover. Kvapil also has a pair of wins in six races on the zMAX CARS Tour in the Late Model Stock class.

Slater was the fourth young driver to make his TA2 debut in TeamSLR M1 Racecars equipment this season in the interests of developing his road-racing craft, including a pair of 16-year-olds – Gavan Boschele and Julian DaCosta. Boschele drove the No. 28 SLR-M1 Racecars entry to finishes of 15th at Sebring, eighth at Road Atlanta and seventh at NOLA, while DaCosta’s TA2 debut resulted in a 10th-place finish from the ninth starting position at NOLA. In last month’s race at World Wide Technology Raceway outside St. Louis, 18-year-old Jake Finch, a two-time ARCA winner, drove the No. 17 Phoenix Construction/SLR-M1 Racecars Chevrolet Camaro in his TA2 debut and was vying for a solid top-10 finish before a tire barrier bounced into the path of his racecar during a late-race incident that he otherwise would have avoided.

Riding along with this weekend’s TeamSLR drivers and their M1 Racecars, as it will all season long, is Nashville, Tennessee-based Franklin Road Apparel Company, which has been a longtime team supporter.

M1 Racecars was represented on the podium at 12 of the 13 TA2 rounds in 2023, highlighted by a pair of victories by Matos for Peterson Racing. Team SLR’s Dillon Machavern and Thad Moffitt both scored podium finishes, as did TeamSLR driver Connor Mosack at the season-opening event at Sebring, when he qualified on the pole and led the first 19 laps of the race before finishing third. At this year’s Sebring season opener, Austin Green of the two-car Peterson Racing contingent was the top-finishing M1 Racecars entry with his fifth-place result.

This weekend’s Pitt Race SpeedTour kicks off with TA2 test sessions at 9 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. EDT Friday, followed by Saturday’s official TA2 practice at 9 a.m. and qualifying at 1:50 p.m. Race time Sunday is 9:35 a.m. and the 36-lap, 75-minute event will be televised live by series partner MAVTV, augmented by live-streaming video on the Trans Am and SpeedTour channels on YouTube. MAVTV will air a 60-minute race show at 8 p.m. EDT on Thursday, June 13.

Barry Boes, Driver, No. 27 Accio Data/SLR-M1 Racecars Ford Mustang:

Your thoughts as you head to Pitt Race for Sunday’s first-ever TA2 race there?

“I’ve never raced at Pittsburgh, but I tested there last year for a day with Misha (Goikhberg). We were only there for a day, but we had the whole track to ourselves and we ran a lot of laps. We brought two cars, we wanted to test different configurations, different setups, we swapped back and forth between cars and did all kinds of stuff. We were there not even knowing we’d be back racing there in Trans Am. Misha’s coach just thought it would be a really great track to put a Trans Am car through the kinds of paces we needed to put them through, and I have to agree, it was. I’m ready to get back into the groove there this weekend. I’ve said the last few races that this was going to be my turnaround race and it wasn’t. But I feel like this has to be my turnaround race.”

Based on your test day, describe the characteristics of the track and what you expect this weekend.

“The track definitely has sections like a lot of the tracks we go to – there are on-camber turns, off-camber turns, some really long esses. A lot of the tracks we’ve run recently have been more point-and-shoot tracks. This track is a whole lot more part-throttle, manage the balance of the car, finesse-type work. It’s a departure from really what everyone in the series has been racing on recently. Some of it flows a little like Mid-Ohio, where you have a lot of things linked together and you have to keep the car working all the time. Rubber makes a huge difference, so where everyone’s driving is going to have an impact on where we go. We found that out on the test day. When we got there, the track had no rubber on it, but as you watched the video through the day, you could see where our lines were growing rubber on the track and it was a second and a half or two seconds faster at the end of the day than it was at the beginning of the day just because of the rubber Misha and I were putting down.”

Carson Kvapil, Driver, No. 28 Team Chevrolet/SLR-M1 Racecars Chevrolet Camaro:

You’re back in a TeamSLR M1 Racecars Chevrolet for the first time this season after driving back-to-back races with the team last year at Mid-Ohio and Road America. What made you decide on this weekend’s race?

“Really, the biggest thing for me is to try and get more road-course experience at any place, and I’m just trying to get as much experience at different tracks as I can. Pittsburgh just seemed to work out schedule-wise, and I think it could work out in our favor that no one else has ever been there before. I’m just excited for the weekend. The two races we did last year were a great run-up to this and I’m really excited to work with those guys. It’s really a fun program to be a part of and I just can’t wait to be back at the track with them.”

What have you been doing to prepare for this first-ever TA2 race at Pitt Race?

“We were actually able to do a test there, and that was a big gain, as you would expect. There are things that we learned that we can take to the race this weekend. We got a number of runs in and it was enough for me to learn the track and enough for Scott (Lagasse Jr.) to tune on the car a little bit. I would say it reminds me of Road America. It seems like you have to hustle it there. The pavement isn’t old but it almost seems old, and you can move around a little bit. I thought it was a blast, the place has a lot of corners. There is a good bit of elevation change, there are a lot of deep corners that you drop down into or drive up a hill. I really enjoyed it.”

You’ve had a good measure of success this year in the NASCAR Xfinity Series, ARCA Menards Series, and the CARS Tour. Is there anything you gleaned from your road-racing experience with TeamSLR last year that might have helped you in those other series?

“Not directly, but at the same time, it’s just a different discipline. There’s nothing I can directly say that transfers over, but I’m sure there is, I’m sure there’s a bunch of little things that I’m just not thinking of. The braking’s different, how you approach a corner, it’s all completely different from circle track. I feel like whenever I jump back in a Late Model and go drive a circle track, obviously I drive that car how it needs to be driven, but I also take those (road-racing) tendencies and try to apply them in some ways, and it’s probably ways that I honestly don’t even know, things that I’m doing that I don’t even know I’m doing. ”

About TeamSLR:

TeamSLR (Scott Lagasse Racing) competes fulltime in the Trans Am Series presented by Pirelli’s newly renamed Cube 3 Architecture TA2 Series 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 www.TeamSLR.com, on Facebook, on Twitter, on Instagram and on LinkedIn.

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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