SAXTON: Phoenixville’s Aquilante wins Trans-Am race

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Phoenixville’s Andrew Aquilante came off an earlier SCCA Majors victory at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course and repeated the feat in the Trans-Am Series recently at Millville, New Jersey Motorsports Park, driving flag-to-flag for the win.

It is the second consecutive season Aquilante has won in Trans-Am competition in a one-off drive at New Jersey Motorsports Park’s Thunderbolt complex, a track where Phoenix Performance has a home field advantage.

Aquilante started from pole in the No. 32 Phoenix Performance Chevrolet Corvette, sponsored by Varsity Landscaping and owned by John Yarosz, and led all 45 laps on the challenging 13-circuit, also running the fastest lap in the TA3 class on his way to the checkered flag.

“The race was all about getting through the start and the restart clean and not making any mistakes,” said Aquilante. “Randy (Mueller) and I went side by side into the first few corners, a little bit of a fight, got around and down into turns 3 and 5 and then took off, set sail, and tried to keep it clean.”

The win adds to Aquilante’s 12-month resume, which since last June, includes two Trans-Am wins, a win in Pirelli World Challenge, various SCCA Majors victories and another SCCA Runoffs National Championship title.

Team partners include Calvert Dynamics, Phoenix Performance, Ford Performance, Ron Davis Racing Radiators, Hawk Performance Brakes, Penske Racing Shocks, Varsity Landscaping, Brembo Brakes and Go Puck.

Phoenix Performance is a performance tuner specializing in Corvettes, Mustangs, Camaros and high-end imports, providing maintenance, tuning and diagnostic services for foreign and domestic cars and trucks, along with performance upgrades and tuning for street and track cars. The team’s 32,000 square-foot race shop is located in Phoenixville and has built over 30 SCCA Runoff-winning cars. For 2016, Phoenix is competing in SCCA Majors and supporting a two-car Pirelli World Challenge program for Calvert Dynamics.

***There are fans in the readership area that will want to make their plans for the Daytona 500. This event produced once of the best races I have seen in a long, long time at Daytona and I have been covering the race since 1969.

Tickets for the prestigious 59th annual DAYTONA 500 NASCAR Cup Series season-opening race will officially go on sale Monday, June 20 at 9 a.m. EST.

Race fans will have the opportunity to experience the 2017 DAYTONA 500, scheduled for Sunday, Feb. 26, in the world’s only motorsports stadium, experiencing unprecedented amenities that include 101,500 new, wider seats, thousands of premium club seats, 40 escalators and 17 elevators, 60 luxury suites, social “neighborhoods” and three concourse levels that span the nearly mile-long frontstretch.

The 2016 DAYTONA 500 was a sellout and produced the closest finish in the event’s storied 58-year history with Denny Hamlin nipping Martin Truex Jr. by .010 seconds at the start/finish line.

Those wishing to attend “The Great American Race” in person should make their plans early:

Tickets can be purchased by calling 1-800-PITSHOP or visiting www.DAYTONA500.com.

Fans can also visit PrimeSport.com, the official ticket exchange and travel package provider of Daytona International Speedway, where they can find multiple options for tickets, lodging and hospitality.

In addition to tickets for the DAYTONA 500, fans can also purchase tickets and multi-day ticket packages for the remaining events during Speedweeks which kicks off with the 55th Rolex 24 At Daytona IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship on Jan. 28-29.

***Something different has been added to the Saturday night racing action at Grandview Speedway this weekend. The popular TSRS 305 Sprint cars will be in action and feature some veteran racers such as champion Mike Haggenbottom along with a number of rising stars. The group is known for their exciting wheel-to-wheel action racing. The Sprints will join with the TP Trailers NASCAR 358 Modifieds and Sportsman racers in a tripleheader card of racing sponsored by Bechtelsville Car Wash.

Racing gets the green flag at 7:30 p.m. on the one-third-mile, banked clay oval with spectator gates open at 5:30 p.m.

***One of the most popular events of the NAPA Auto Parts Thunder on the Hill Racing Series returns to the Grandview Speedway on Tuesday night, June 28 when the Pennsylvania 410 Sprint Speed Week Series returns to the Grandview Speedway. This special event presented by Pioneer Pole Buildings will find the TP Trailers NASCAR 358 Modifieds joining the 410 sprints in this always exciting double header.

Among the fan favorite drivers expected to take part in the 35 lap $5,000 to win 410 sprint feature is “Double D” Danny Dietrich, a winner at Grandview in 2015.

Time trials for the 410 sprints will open the show and a new one lap track record could be established. Jeff Shepard holds the current fast time mark of 11.433 set on May 21, 2008. Heat race qualifying, the “B” main and a 35 lap 410 sprint feature will headline the race card. The NASCAR 358 Modifieds will compete in a series of heat race events, a consolation and a $3,000 to win 30 lap feature. Rick Laubach parked in victory lane winning the modified feature at the Thunder Series event on Tuesday night, June 7.

Adult admission tickets are $25, children 6 -11 $10 and children under 6 will be admitted for free.

Advance grandstand tickets may be reserved by calling 443 513 4456. Please leave your name, number of tickets and a phone number. You may pick-up and purchase your tickets on race night at the Will Call Window after 4 PM. Advance ticket holders may enter the grandstand at 4:30 PM. General admission tickets will go on sale at 5 PM.

Race fans are invited to come out early and take part in the always entertaining Low, Down & Dirty Radio Meet & Greet that takes place at the front gate. Several drivers and cars will be on display. Race fans may also sign up to take part in the Pre-Race Pit Tours. It is absolutely free, just sign up at the main gate.

The Tuesday, June 28 event will be the one-hundred and twentieth Thunder on the Hill Racing Series event at Grandview and 2016 marks the twenty-seventh season of the Thunder Series.

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