Heading into the second last race weekend of the 2023 season in the Toyota GR Cup North America program, Tyler Gonzalez was determined to extend his championship lead before the final round in early October at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. With five wins already to his credit, Gonzalez steered his GearWrench.com-backed Copeland Motorsports entry to another pair of victories.
“After getting back out on track at Sebring I knew it would have its challenges,” explained Gonzalez. “I am prepared to continue this championship fight and will do whatever it takes to win some more.”
As Saturday rolled around at a sunny Sebring, Tyler Gonzalez prepared for qualifying one where he set a flying lap of 2:24.404 to claim the pole position going into the first wheel-to-wheel action later that afternoon. As the green flag waved, Gonzalez took off from the inside of the front row and continued to grow his gap as the race wore on. As race one came to the checkered flag, Tyler Gonzalez had managed to gap second place by nearly 24 seconds. With Saturday’s pole position and win, Gonzalez extended his championship lead.
With Saturday in the books, the Copeland Motorsports driver was set on continuing his run into Sunday’s qualifying two and race two to close out the weekend at Sebring strong. Sunday morning’s qualifying session saw Tyler Gonzalez just marginally miss out on his second pole position on the weekend but managed to secure a front-row starting spot in the second position.
Race two kicked off with the field, including Gonzalez, chasing down the current leader until a yellow flag bunched up the field. As the green flag flew and the field went back to racing, it was Gonzalez who advanced to first going into the turn one on the restart. With about 20 minutes to go, Gonzalez knew he was able to defend the end as his pace was superior to his competition. Saving his equipment and battling to hold off the second-place competitor, the clock slowly ran down with Gonzalez continuing his lead. When the race ended in the second final race weekend of the season, Tyler Gonzalez came home claiming yet another GR Cup victory, his second of the weekend and seventh of the season.
With his dominant weekend, Tyler Gonzalez extended his championship lead going into the final weekend of the 2023 season on the road course at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway from October 5-8.
For more information on Tyler Gonzalez, please search for him via his social media pages at ‘Tyler Gonzalez Racing’.
Photo Credit: Halston Pitman