Tyler Gonzalez (No. 51 Copeland Motorsports) scored his third Idemitsu Mazda MX-5 Cup presented by BFGoodrich® Tires win of the season at VIRginia International Raceway after starting from the last row of the grid on Saturday. Gonzalez fought through the field for 45 minutes to take the win by 0.076-second over Connor Zilisch (No. 72 Hixon Motor Sports). Defending champion Gresham Wagner (No. 5 Spark Performance) completed the podium.
After missing the Road America weekend due to a scheduling conflict, Gonzalez returned to Mazda MX-5 Cup competition in grand fashion with his win. His Saturday at VIR got off to a rocky start, however, when he experienced a mechanical issue in qualifying that kept him from setting a time. As a result, Gonzalez started the race from 27th on the grid.
It may have worked in his favor since the race started with several cars making contact in Turn One. The incident damaged the car of championship contender Selin Rollan (No. 87 Hixon Motor Sports), who was forced to pit for repairs and lost a lap. He may have lost more than that if a full-course caution hadn’t come out to retrieve Bruno Carneiro’s (No. 21 Hixon Motor Sports) car from Turn 14.
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