Tuesday, September 8, 2020

Diehl-Merrill Racing Takes Dramatic Win at Mid-Ohio

San Jose, CA (June 23, 2020)— The long break from racing seemed to pay off for the entire Diehl-Merrill Racing/ Mike Cope Racing team this weekend at Mid-Ohio. Coming off a 4 month break due to COVID-19, the DMR/MCR #81 rolled off the hauler, and onto the racetrack, near flawless. A few electrical gremlins tried to sneak their way into the weekend, but by race time all cars were dialed in and ready to tackle the technical Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. In the end, Thomas Merrill would take home the sought-after victory, but not without a little side of drama.

Merrill and the DMR/MCR team fought electrical gremlins leading up to the feature on Sunday; however, the #81 Diehl-Merrill Racing/ HP Tuners/ MCR Ford Mustang was flawless when it came to set up. When the engine would run, the car was on a rail. Starting P3, Merrill was able to quickly take over the top spot with around 30 laps remaining. Merrill was able to extend his lead to over 8 seconds before a late race caution bunched the field back up. As the time clock ran down it seemed less and less likely that the race was going back to green. The restart, that should never have been, sees Merrill lead the way with only 2 corners remaining- before getting off track and in the kitty litter- seemingly ending his day.

However, following the event, the Trans Am officials made the decision to award Merrill with the win stating that “we should have gone checkered flag on the lap we went back to the green flag.” Due to the time clock expiring prior to the restart, the winner was based on the last scored lap to determine the provisional result.

“After all the work put in fixing the misfire issues this weekend by the Diehl-Merrill/Mike Cope crew, I knew I had to get out front and show how good their car was,” explained Merrill. “As pleased as I am that our Trans Am officials made the right call on the final result, I’m still gutted that I made a crucial mistake late in the event.  My mission for Brainerd is to take the drama down a notch and keep that HP Tuners Mustang looking good out front.”

With the weekend ending on a high note, Diehl-Merrill Racing has it’s eyes sent on Round 3 as the Trans Am Series presented by Pirelli returns to Brainerd International Raceway in July.

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