Racer Article: Mat Pombo Takes 1st Place in TC at Indianapolis Motor Speedway
TCR driver Tristen Herbert won a wild TC America race Friday morning on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course. Mat Pombo won in TC, while Kevin Boehm scored the victory in TCA and clinched the division driver’s championship.
CJ Moses and Victor Gonzalez Jr. finished second and third respectively in TCR, while Toby Grahovec and Johan Schwartz completed the top three in TC. Mark Pombo, and P.J. Groenke finished second and third respectively in TCA.
Herbert spent the opening part of the race locked in a three-way battle for the lead with Scott Smithson (No. 17 DXDT Racing Honda Civic Type-R) and Tim Lewis Jr (KMR Motorsports w/ TMR Engineering No.55 Alfa Romeo Giulietta), but that was settled when Smithson collided with Lewis while attempting a pass for the lead at Turn 1, putting both cars out of the race, and promoting Herbert into the lead.
The accident also prompted a full-course yellow, but Herbert made a perfect getaway at the restart and saw off a late charge from CJ Moses (No.04 DXDT Racing Honda) to secure the win. Victor Gonzalez Jr (VGMC Motorsport Honda) was third.
“To be able to come out here and show how well my Audi DSG machine is still competitive in the TCR class, it just goes to show you anyone can get into this car and win,” said Herbert. “I am by no means a professional full-time driver. Anyone can get in this car, and anyone can win.”
In TC, Pombo’s success owed something to his successfully navigating a multi-car mess at the start of the race.
“It was wild today,” he said. “At the start there was a bunch of checking up and I happened to time it perfectly and I got around everyone on the front straight.”
In TCA, Boehm led the field away from class pole, but the fate of the title was ultimately decided when main rival driver Tomas Mejia’s No.60 MINI JCW Team MINI Cooper JCW developed a mechanical problem and had to pit. That left Boehm merely needing to get his own car home to secure the title.
“Just to be here was a dream season,” said Boehm. “To start pulling out some wins and then podiums made it even better. And then to be able to pull it together to clinch it one race early. Honestly, it’s unreal. I’m an engineer, I took a ton of math classes, and still I almost don’t believe the math right now. I’m absolutely thrilled.”