Amy Ruman extends points lead winning 3rd straight at NJMP
Story and photos by Richard Martin
Millville New Jersey should be accustomed to the sound of thunder by now. During World War 2 at the airport next to the property that would eventually become the racetrack, pilots trained in the legendary P-47 Thunderbolt planes and used those skills to help win the war.
Many years later the sound of thunder continues in this small Cumberland County town, but it now comes from the ground pounding Trans Am racers. Along with thunder of course comes lightning, and in this case it has not struck once, not twice, but 3 times for Amy Ruman who stood on top of the podium for the third straight year at New Jersey Motorsports Park after winning the MPT Industries Weekend of Thunder Trans Am race.
Things didn’t start so well for Ruman though, having to pit before the drop of the green flag when her power steering failed on the pace lap. Luckily, it came back and she gambled on going back out. Meanwhile, pole sitter Paul Fix led away at the start while Ruman picked off the completion one by one until the field bunched up on lap 14 during a full course caution to fetch a disabled car. One the restart Fix continued to lead until lap 25 when he seemed to lose his edge on speed and Ruman passed him. They continued to battle until another caution slowed the field, and on the restart Ruman pulled away. Toward the end of the race Fix managed to pick up the pace after falling to 5th by passing both John Baucom’s Mustang and Jim McAleese’s Corvette at the same time going into turn 1 on lap 41, and then catching Doug Peterson’s Corvette on the next lap finally finishing 2nd, with Peterson rounding out the podium in 3rd.
In the TA3 and TA3i groups, a tightly contested battle was eventually won by Ernie Francis Jr. in a Camaro while the Corvette of Andrew Aquilante took TA3i honors. It was Aquilanti’s first win. He started the day sitting on the sofa and quickly got to the track when his father Joe decided it was too hot to race! Not a bad day for the young man!
Next up for the Trans Am boys and girls is at Brainerd International Raceway on July 5th. Stay tuned to Corvette Racing for all the latest news!