DXDT Racing’s Scott Smithson secured his third win of the season in the final TC America race at the Circuit of the Americas, passing fellow Honda racer Victor Gonzalez for the win early on.
At the start, pole-sitter Gonzalez assumed the lead ahead of Askew into Turn 1, although Smithson then took second from his team-mate on the exit of the corner.
Askew was unable to hang on to the final podium position for more than a few corners, though, as she spun off all by herself at Turn 5, dropping her to the back of the entire field a lap down after first causing a full-course yellow due to her beached Honda.
New champion Tyler Maxson, who started from fifth, took advantage of the moment and passed Roy Block’s Alfa Romeo four what would then become third at the same time.
Racing resumed on lap three and a lap later Smithson passed Gonzlez for the lead into Turn 1, as behind them Block was pressuring Maxson to claim third, completing the pass at the first turn as well.
Lap five saw Argentine racer Block repeat the move on Gonzalez at Turn 1 to claim second, before setting about trying to reduce Smithson’s lead.
Late in the race Maxson was clearly struggling for pace in his Copeland Motorsport’s Hyundai Veloster, with the new champion dropping behind CJ Moses’ Honda into fifth on lap 11.
The ordered remained unchanged thereafter, although Maxson picked up a puncture on the final lap and ultimately finished the race stranded in the gravel trap, still ahead of Askew, who was also a lap down.
Heading to the final event of the season at Indianapolis on 2 – 3 October, Gonzalez and Smithson are fighting over second in the standings, with the duo separated by just seven points.