Press Release | TRANS AM
CHARLOTTE (February 20, 2023) — The Trans Am Series presented by Pirelli is excited to announce the return of the Young Gun Award in 2023. All drivers under the age of 25 competing in the Big Machine Vodka SPIKED Coolers TA2 Series will be eligible to win a $20,000 cash prize, which will be presented to the season’s top points earner at the year-end awards banquet. The award is intended to create competition between the series’ young, up-and-coming drivers and reward their success throughout the season.
“We are extremely happy to announce the return of the Young Gun Award this season,” said Trans Am President John Clagett. “The Big Machine Vodka SPIKED Coolers TA2 Series has grown explosively over the last few years, and we’ve had a huge influx of younger drivers furthering their careers in full-bodied cars. The competition we saw between our Young Guns last year was impressive; they’re not only learning and honing their craft, but winning poles and races. We couldn’t be prouder of our young drivers and this program.”
In last year’s inaugural season, the Young Gun competition was incredibly tight throughout the year, and the winner was not decided until the final laps of the season finale at Circuit of The Americas. Fourteen-year-old Brent Crews ultimately took the $20,000 prize over Connor Mosack by only a nine-point margin. Mosack had been leading the standings going into COTA and was ahead of Crews for much of the event until a mechanical issue in the final laps took him out of the race.
Among the new racers in this year’s Young Gun class are two-time Australian Trans Am champion Nathan Herne, Thad Moffit, the grandson of Richard Petty, Boris Said Jr., son of road course phenom Boris Said, rising star Kaylee Bryson, five-time International Kart Federation Sprint GrandNationals Champion Parker DeLong, and Thomas Annunziata who finished on the podium at COTA in just his second-career Trans Am start.
"It's exciting to see the Young Gun drivers using the Trans Am Series as a proving ground for their driving careers,” said Driver Orientation Program Director Ernie Becker. “To see them interact with the series champions and veterans on and off the track demonstrates that the Trans Am legacy is alive and well. It's an exciting time for the drivers, teams and the series. I’m really looking forward to working with our 2023 class of Young Guns."
Drivers currently eligible for the 2023 Young Gun Award are:
Thomas Annunziata, 17, No. 90 Nitro Motorsports Ford Mustang
Dylan Archer, 23, No. 4 FPEC Chevrolet Camaro
Caleb Bacon, 18, No. 18 Cortex Racing/Bacon Development Ford Mustang
Kaylee Bryson, 21, No. 72 AP Driver Development/LSI Racing Chevrolet Camaro
Brent Crews, 14, No. 70 Nitro Motorsports Ford Mustang
Parker DeLong, 14, No. 42 BridgeHaul/Mike Cope Race Cars Ford Mustang
Taylor Gray, 17, No. 80 Nitro Motorsports Ford Mustang
Austin Green, 21, No. 89 3-Dimensional Services Group Ford Mustang
Nathan Herne, 20, No. 29 Cube 3/Berryman Ford Mustang
Ben Maier, 14, No. 75 Silver Hare Racing/Gel Blaster Chevrolet Camaro
Darin Mock, 20, No. 51 Nitro Motorsports Ford Mustang
Thad Moffitt, 22, No. 43 Safety-Kleen Chevrolet Camaro
Connor Mosack, 24, No. 28 SLR-M1 Race Cars Ford Mustang
Luke Rumburg, 23, No. 95 Rumcastle Racing Ford Mustang
Boris Said Jr., 19, No. 86 3-Dimensional Services Group Ford Mustang
William Sawalich, 16, No. 60 Nitro Motorsports Ford Mustang
Evan Slater, 17, No. 6 Franklin Road Apparel Chevrolet Camaro
Jack Wood, 22, No. 8 SLR-M1 Race Cars Chevrolet Camaro
Connor Zilisch, 16, No. 7 Silver Hare Racing Chevrolet Camaro
See the Young Guns go head-to-head when the 2023 Trans Am season kicks off at Sebring International Raceway February 23-26.