Wayne Taylor Racing scores first Mid-Ohio victory; IMSA results, points standings


Ricky Taylor delivered a fourth consecutive IMSA victory for Acura at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, holding off a furious last-lap charge by Felipe Nasr to remain atop the results and points standings Sunday.

The No. 10 Wayne Taylor Racing Acura finished 0.368 seconds ahead of the No. 31 Action Express Racing Cadillac as Taylor masterfully conserved fuel while maintaining enough pace on the 13-turn, 2.258-mile road course in Lexington, Ohio.

Taylor and teammate Filipe Albuquerque remained atop the DPi standings in the WeatherTech SportsCar Championship through three races having also won the Rolex 24 at Daytona season opener.

It was the second consecutive victory and third at Mid-Ohio for Ricky Taylor (who won with Team Penske in 2020) but the first for his father’s IMSA team at the circuit. Road America is the only active track unconquered by Wayne Taylor Racing, which has 44 IMSA victories.

“For Acura, four in a row at Mid-Ohio is just fantastic,” Ricky Taylor told NBC Sports pit reporter Parker Kligerman after his 26th career victory. “Everybody’s here from Acura. The fuel economy of this Acura was just outstanding.

“All credit to the guys, really. I was only pushing as hard as they told me I could, and they had all the numbers in their head, and I was just praying and trusting them. Filipe gave me the car in an awesome position. We got a little unlucky with that yellow that the 31 was able to dive in (to the pits), but we were determined to get four in a row for Acura today.”

RESULTSClick here for the final overall finishing order and here for the class breakdown.

Nasr and teammate Pipo Derani finished a season-best second, followed by the pole-sitting Mazda of Oliver Jarvis and Harry Tincknell.

The only yellow flag in the two-hour, 40-minute race flew with just over an hour remaining, and the six DPi cars all pitted on the edge of their fuel windows. Nasr led on the restart, but Taylor quickly made what became the decisive pass for the lead.

Nasr also had to mind his fuel economy in the closing laps.

“That was the name of the game: saving fuel,” Nasr said in a team release. “I have to credit Whelen Engineering Racing. They did an awesome job on strategy, especially on getting clear track and having enough fuel to go to the end.

“But I have to say it was a little too extreme. That made me lose that position. We wanted to win that race. It was hard to do everything at the same time – save fuel, keep temperature in the tires. We knew the Acuras had a little more in their two tanks. So, they had a margin to play [with]; whereas we were on the extreme limit.

“I think I saved the most fuel I ever have in a race. I’m happy and sad at the same time because once you feel you can grab the win and then let it go. It’s hard. But that’s racing. We made the most of what we had. We came away with a lot of points, (and) we haven’t been up on the podium yet this year.”

Said Albuquerque after starting the race in the No. 10 and earning his first Mid-Ohio victory: “Unbelievable race, this is all about IMSA. It was an amazing show for everyone. Two hours and 40 minutes of craziness. I fought hard during my stint and then it continued like this until the very last corner.

“It was an amazing strategy with the fuel, because everyone was tight. We were saying ‘Ricky you need to save fuel and hold position.’ We were asking everything from him, and he pulled it off.”

In other divisions:

–LMP3: The No. 74 Riley Motorsports Ligier JS P320 with drivers Gar Robinson and Felipe Fraga scored its second victory of the season and 15th class triumph at IMSA. It’s the team’s first win at Mid-Ohio.

It also was the first career victory for Fraga and the second for Robinson (both this season). Both drivers won for the first time at Mid-Ohio.

–GTD: The No. No. 96 Turner Motorsports BMW M6 GT3 of Bill Auberlen and Robby Foley won for the first time in 2021 and the 22nd class victory (fourth at Mid-Ohio) for the team, which extended its streak to 22 seasons with at least one victory.

With his sixth win at Mid-Ohio, Auberlen extended his record career victory total to 63.

POINTS: Through three races the No. 10 of Wayne Taylor Racing leads the DPi points standings by 55 over the No. 55 Mazda (1,070-1,015) through three races. The No. 5 Cadillac is third in the points with 925.

Acura leads the manufacturer standings with 1094 points, ahead of Cadillac (1,090) and Mazda (1,017).

The No. 74 is tops in LMP3 over the No. 54 (715-690). In GTD, the No. 96 leads by seven points (920-913) in the team standings over the No. 23.


Fastest laps by driver

Fastest laps by driver after race (over the weekend)

Fastest laps by driver and class after race

Fastest lap sequence

Leader sequence

Lap chart

Race analysis by lap

Stint analysis

Best sector times

Race distance and speed average

Time cards

Pit stop time cards

ROUND 1: Points and results from the Rolex 24 at Daytona

ROUND 2: Points and results from the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring

NEXT: The IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship will resume with the Detroit Grand Prix at Belle Isle Park, June 11-12.

Heather Lyne, Dennis Erb Jr. make history in the World of Outlaws Late Model Series

Lyne Erb Outlaws Late
Jacy Norgaard / World of Outlaws

More than two decades in the making, the pairing of Heather Lyne and Dennis Erb Jr. produced a historical milestone in Dirt Late Model.

Last month, Erb and his long-time crew chief Lyne won their first World of Outlaws Late Model Championship and with this achievement, Lyne became the first female crew chief to win in a national late model series. Their journey together goes back 21 years and tells the story of hard work, persistence and belief in oneself.

After a career-best season with the World of Outlaws, Erb and Lyne secured the points championship at US 36 Raceway in Osborn, Mo. with three races remaining in the season. The consistency and success of their season came down to pinpoint focus. Lyne and Erb are a team of two living out a David vs. Goliath tale. In order to be as successful as possible this year the duo knew they had to do as much as possible with the resources they had.

“It’s always a challenge when you only have two people, both at the racetrack and at the shop,” Lyne told NBC Sports. “I also work full time, so during the day, Dennis has to do a significant amount of work so that when I get down there I can start working and maintaining. It’s planning ahead. It’s having that system in place and making sure that you’re prepared ahead of time.

“When you have a problem at the track, making sure you have all that stuff ready so it’s a quick change and not a lengthy process to make a repair. We had zero DNFs in the World of Outlaws, we had only one DNF out of 96 races [combined among all series].”

Dennis Erb clinched his 2022 championship before the World of Outlaws World Finals. Jacy Norgaard – World of Outlaws Late Model Series.

Taming Time

This was not an easy feat. Between a full travel schedule and Lyne’s full-time job as an engineer, time comes at a premium. What they lack in time and resources they made up for in patience and planning.

“We buckled down, and we got all the equipment that we needed back, motors freshened, and things of that nature,” Lyne said about the mid-point of last season. “We were able to keep up with that. We just had a higher focus. I tried to reduce my hours at my day job as much as I possibly could while still maintaining what I need to get done at work. I got rid of a lot of the other distractions and got a more refined system in place at the shop.

“We did certain tasks on certain days so we had time to recover. We were on the road a little bit more, as opposed to coming home to the shop. So we had to be more prepared to stay out on those longer runs. It was just really staying on top of things a little more. It was a heightened sense.”

This was Lyne and Erb’s fourth full season with the Outlaws, but they’ve been on the road together for the last 21 seasons starting in 2001. Their partnership began with Lyne’s bravery. When one door closed, she was quick to open another. In 2001, Lyne’s dad was ready to stop racing. Her mother wanted to regain her weekends, but Lyne knew this was her life path and wasn’t prepared to lose it.

“I’ve always been a tomboy at heart,” Lyne said. “I watched racing with my dad. Growing up he watched NASCAR. In high school, I got tired of playing at the lake house, so I went to the local dirt track and fell in love with it. I just couldn’t get enough. It took a year for me to convince my dad to come to the track with me. He finally did and we sponsored a car that year, the following year he started to race limited cars. He ran hobby stocks and limited late models.”

At some point, Lyne and her father’s level of commitment drifted apart.

“He did it for about five years,” Lyne said. “And then my mom said: ‘I’m done racing. I want my weekends back. It’s just not fun anymore.’ I wasn’t ready to hang up my wenches and Dennis raced out of the same hometown so I, on a dare, went down and introduced myself; told him if you ever need any help, I’ll drill out rivets, I’ll help wash, whatever you need. Twenty-one years later here I am.”

Heather Lyne became the first female crew chief to secure a national touring late model championship in 2022. Paul Arch / World of Outlaws Late Model Series.

Breaking Through

Lyne entered a male-dominated job in a field that is also male-dominated – and where there were few examples of women creating these places for themselves. In this way, Lyne became a blueprint for other women as they strive to find a place for themselves in racing and in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) overall. She has her mother to thank for providing a strong role model, her father for sharing her passion, Erb for taking a chance on an unknow entity and most importantly herself.

“I was raised to believe that I can do anything, I want to do, as long as I put my heart and soul into it.” Lyne replied when asked about role models in the sport growing up. “My parents did not raise me to have that limitation. But from a racing role model perspective, I went in there completely green and just introduced myself to Dennis, the fact that he was brave enough to take that risk and bring a girl to the racetrack. Someone he didn’t know at all speaks volumes for him.”

Lyne and Erb have learned how to survive and succeed with each other on the road. They do this by leveraging decades of combined experience and an ability to adapt to the everchanging landscape of dirt late models. Next year the World of Outlaws visits nearly a dozen new tracks and Lyne sees it as an opportunity for continued success.

“I just want to do it again,” Lyne says going into next season, “I’m looking forward to the competition, I always do. I wouldn’t do it if I wasn’t competitively driven.

“There are some new tracks on the schedule that I’m looking forward to trying for the first time that I haven’t been to myself,” Lyne said of the 2023 season, “Dennis seems to do well on those first timers. We won out at Marion center, we finished second at Bloomsburg. We have a good solid notebook of information to tackle them over the last three years with these rocket race cars that we’re running. It’s good to have that information and leverage it to try some new things.”