LEXINGTON, Ohio (May 13, 2021) – Atlanta Speedwerks defending Honda’s adopted home turf this weekend during the two-hour IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge Mid-Ohio 120 at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, part of the Acura Sports Car Challenge presented by TLX Type S.
The team brings a two-car effort to Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, led by Honda factory driver Ryan Eversley and new co-driver Scott Smithson in the No. 94 Dinner With Racers/Lemons of Love Honda Civic TCR. Eversley currently sits second in the drivers’ championship with the No. 94 holding the same position in the team championship after two races. Eversley opened the season at Daytona and Sebring sharing the car with Greg Strelzoff, with Smithson taking over for the first time during this weekend’s race.
Smithson was a TCR class winner a season ago in TC America competition, also driving a Honda Civic TCR. It is the IMSA debut for the Holladay, Utah resident.
Brian Henderson and Robert Noaker are still searching for results in the No. 84 Pagid/Sabelt Honda Civic TCR. Through two races, both Henderson and Noaker have earned Motul Pole Awards and led the most laps on the season but contact and a mechanical gremlin have cost the duo any strong finishes.
Mid-Ohio may just be the place to turn the season around. In addition to the four plants that build Honda street cars in the state of Ohio, both Henderson and Noaker have had success at the 2.258-mile road course.
Noaker won in Mazda MX-5 Cup as a 14-year-old in 2018, a race win that placed him in the Guinness Book of World Records as the youngest to win an IndyCar-sanctioned race. In that same race, Henderson started from the rear of the field after an issue in qualifying and advanced 17 places on the grid in the 45-minute race.
Young Noaker backed that up with another win in the series in 2019, while Henderson qualified third in the No. 84 Honda Civic TCR for Atlanta Speedwerks in Michelin Pilot Challenge – setting the table for a strong run this weekend at the Acura Sports Car Challenge at Mid-Ohio.
The Mid-Ohio 120 can be seen live on the NBC Sports app via TrackPass on Saturday, May 15 at 3:35 p.m., or through your satellite and cable provider on NBCSN on tape delay on Tuesday, May 25 at 4 p.m. ET. The Acura Sports Car Challenge gets underway on Friday morning, May 14 with an hour-long practice at 9:15 a.m. ET, followed by a second practice at 1:15 p.m. ET. Qualifying is Friday afternoon at 5:50 p.m. to set the grid for Saturday’s race.
Todd Lamb, Owner: “I’ve been coming to Mid-Ohio as both a driver and a team owner for several years, and the race track has been good to us. This driver line-up and our pace this season gives us an excellent chance to represent Honda well, and I’m optimistic for both the No. 94 and the No. 84 Honda Civic TCRs this weekend.”
Ryan Eversley, Driver, No. 94 Honda Civic TCR: “Every race on the IMSA schedule is important for us as we’re fighting for the TCR Championship; however, Mid-Ohio is a bit of a homecoming for all of the Honda teams. American Honda has one of its headquarters in nearby Marysville, Ohio and we usually see 1000’s of Honda associates and employees at this event cheering us on. This race is the Acura Sports Car Challenge at Mid-Ohio presented by TLX Type-S and since I just spent a week driving the all-new TLX Type-S with the top executives from Acura, I can tell you how important of a weekend this is. Doing well at this track is no easy feat but getting on the podium in a Honda is a big deal at Mid-Ohio.”
Scott Smithson, Driver, No. 94 Honda Civic TCR: “I’m really looking forward to getting back into the Honda Civic TCR and pushing it. It will be my first time driving with Ryan, but I’m hoping to get up to speed quickly and bring back a win for Atlanta Speedwerks. I know Mid-Ohio is a pretty technical track, but not having driven there before I know there will be a learning curve. It’s going to be a challenge, but I’m ready for it.”
Brian Henderson, Driver, No. 84 Honda Civic TCR: “Last time we were at Mid-Ohio, we were in contention. We led a little bit of the race and we had a fast car. Hopefully it will rain a little bit and we’ll have some fun! Robert is really good there, so I think we’re all going to be strong. The car is going to be strong. It’s Honda’s home track. Hopefully we’ll pull it off and get the win for Atlanta Speedwerks, the win for Honda, and the win for us.”
Robert Noaker, Driver, No. 84 Honda Civic TCR: “I’m looking forward to getting back into the car at Mid-Ohio and driving with Brian. The track is very slick and worn down, which works with my driving style. We have a strong car and I’m very comfortable there having finished on the podium six out of the eight races in MX-5 Cup. We are one of the fastest cars, if not the fastest, every time we are on track. It’s just unfortunate how the last two races ended. Hopefully all of our bad luck is out of the way, and let’s see if we can get the win!”