Chris Dyson has been one of the top American sports car drivers in the twenty-first century, seeing success in the American Le Mans Series and Trans-Am Series. On Saturday, the defending Trans-Am champion will see if he can translate his run to stock cars as he enters the NASCAR Xfinity Series race at Road America, driving the #35 Toyota GR Supra for Emerling-Gase Motorsports. It will be a loaded Saturday for Dyson as he is also running the Trans-Am race there later in the afternoon.
“It’s not just that I love racing at Road America because we’ve been successful there: it’s just a great driver’s track,” stated Dyson. “It’s fast and very challenging in any car you drive there. I’ve been coming to Elkhart since I was very young to watch my dad race. It’s a place that really sparked my imagination. I’m excited every day I get to spend at Road America, and I know I’m not alone in that respect.”
As smaller teams tend to employ road course specialists for such races, Dyson’s lone NASCAR start came in the 2019 Xfinity season with DGM Racing at Mid-Ohio, where he finished thirty-fourth after a wreck.
“I was able to run in the top ten until we got crashed out on a late-race restart,” he recalled. “It was a good learning experience and since then I’ve had three more seasons of relevant Trans-Am experience.”
Dyson won the Trans-Am TA class championship in 2021 with victories in all but three races, a strong conclusion after coming up short in the standings in the previous three years. He did not run the 2021 season finale at COTA for personal reasons, but he had already clinched the title by that point and substitute driver Matt Brabham ultimately took the victory.
Seven races into the 2022 season, Dyson leads the TA points with five victories. Brabham also continued his support duties and won a race of his own in Dyson’s stead at Mid-Ohio.
“I have to thank my good friend Andy Lally for recommending me to the team, which was looking for someone with road-racing credentials in big cars,” Dyson commented. “Emerling-Gase Motorsports has a good car, and Brian Keselowski is a terrific crew chief. This is going to make for a very busy Saturday afternoon—our Trans-Am race shortly after the Xfinity race ends—but I’m really looking forward to it.”
Prior to Trans-Am, Dyson won the ALMS LMP675 and LMP1 championships in 2003 and 2011, respectively. He also has three starts in the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
A new team for the 2022 season, Emerling-Gase Motorsports sits twenty-ninth in owner points. Parker Kligerman and co-owner Patrick Emerling scored top twenties in the first two road course races at COTA and Portland.