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Mustang Challenge

Maxson Wins Safety Car-Impacted Watkins Glen Race 1

Opening lap pass proves crucial for Tyler Maxson in safety car-dominated Race 1 at Watkins Glen…

Photo: Wes Duenkel/Ford

Tyler Maxson took his second consecutive Mustang Challenge victory by winning the opening race of the weekend at Watkins Glen International, which ran almost entirely behind the safety car.

Maxson, piloting the No. 74 Ford Mustang Dark Horse R, led Robert Noaker and Jeremy Fletcher across the line with the race finishing behind the safety car after 45 minutes were completed.

This came after a big crash for the No. 82 McCumbee McAleer Racing Ford of Nate Cicero 15 minutes into the contest.

Cicero, running fifth, appeared to suffer an unspecified issue that caused him to go straight on at Turn 7 and impact the tire barrier at high speed.

The No. 82 car was flipped into the air as a result of the hit before coming to a rest on its wheels, with Cicero walking away from the crash unaided.

This triggered the race’s second full-course caution, with the first one coming when a multi-car incident at the start took out Mitch Marvosh and Christian Bach.

Just prior to the first caution being called, Maxson managed to overtake the pole sitting No. 13 Ford driven by Noaker to take the lead.

He would remain there after the initial restart, meaning he was able to take victory as the race was completed under safety car following the second intervention triggered by Cicero’s crash and the subsequent barrier repair.

Reid Sweeney finished fourth ahead of Sam Paley, with Brandon Gdovic sixth in the No. 46 Precision Performance Motorsports entry.

Zachry Lee claimed the Dark Horse Legends class win by crossing the line in seventh overall aboard the No. 48 McCumbee McAleer Racing Ford, with the overall top ten completed by Gabe Tesch, D.J. Randall and Wesley Slimp.

The second and final Mustang Challenge race of the weekend is scheduled for Saturday at 8:05 a.m. EDT.


Davey Euwema is Sportscar365's European Editor. Based in The Netherlands, Euwema covers the FIA World Endurance Championship, European Le Mans Series and Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS, among other series.

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