In TA2, Tony Buffomante emerged victorious with a last-lap pass of his own, overtaking recently crowned TA2 champion Rafa Matos on the exit of turn six for the lead. However, more excitement was to follow for Buffomante as Matos, in the No. 88 3-Dimensional Chevrolet Camaro, attempted to retake the position in the bus stop.
Contact was made, sending Buffomante sideways through the grass and the 88 spinning. Buffomante managed to gather the car and power down holding first position and crossing the finish line for his second consecutive Daytona victory. The win was the 14th of his TA2 career, rebounding after a difficult homestretch to the 2018 season.
“It’s really important for me to have the Mike Cope guys get a little reward for their hard work,” said Buffomante. “And to get the win for our new engine supplier Koury Engines, their second win with Detroit being the first, but Mike always builds a fast car here. We were a little bit sore after last time at COTA, but the 88 was fast. Especially coming onto the oval, and off the corners. I think that Chevy’s got good torque and the Ford has it on top end for sure, especially with the draft; so I’m just so happy for Travis, Jason, Mike and everyone to be able to celebrate in victory lane. It makes the end of the season a lot nicer.”
Most of the race saw Buffomante in close pursuit of Matos while working to defend his position against Marc Miller, in the No. 12 Berryman/ Prefix Dodge Challenger, as the three TA2 front runners ran nose-to-tail for much of the contest.
“It was great TA2 racing,” said Buffomante. “Ford, Chevy, Dodge on the podium, so you have to be happy with that. I was honestly more worried about what Marc was going to do. My dad was on the radio as always; he was awesome, talking me through it and I just kept wanting to stay behind Rafa the last five laps and I was actually letting off because I wanted to make a last lap move. Every time I would do that, Marc would get a little closer and a little closer… it was tough being the meat in the sandwich there. But Marc’s a professional; he races really clean. I love racing with him, and I’m glad he’s back in the Series.”
Miller would finish second for his second podium appearance in only his sixth appearance this season, while LP Montour finished third in the No. 13 Montour LTD Chevrolet Camaro to complete the Ford, Dodge, Chevy podium.
Matos would recover to finish fourth, while Misha Goikhberg, in the No. 25 BC Race Cars Chevrolet Camaro, completed the TA2 top five.
Upon the conclusion of today’s contest, the provisional TA2 class championship points top five was as follows: Rafa Matos 309, Tony Buffomante 261, Ethan Wilson 207, Keith Prociuk 203, Tom Sheehan 189.