Long Beach, CA - The 2004 season will mark a very pivotal year in the Trans Am Series. Series boss Paul Gentilozzi is also invested heavily in the CART Series in what is a make or break year for that series. The Trans Am Series made a good showing in its first race at Long Beach with seventeen cars taking the green flag for the 45 lap race.
Gentilozzi, driving one of his Rocketsports Jaguar XJRs, started the race fourth before taking the victory, a record fifth at Long Beach.
"This is a special place for me," said Gentilozzi, the only multiple-time Long Beach winner. "Boris raced me for awhile, then he backed off. Then I would race him and he'd back off. We were going back and forth, then at the end, as is always the case at Long Beach, something exciting happened Boris spun, and I just made it through the corner."
Tommy Kendall, Gentilozzi's lead man in the #11 Rocketsports Jaguar, had a strong weekend. Starting from the pole position Kendall had out qualified the field by nearly a second and a half. Kendall's drive ended his day with a mechanical failure. Kendall, who is employed by Gentilozzi in the Trans Am Series, is doing double duty for the boss also acting as the booth announcer for the CART Series.
With Kendall out of the race, Gentilozzi's main contender was now Boris Said in the #33 ACS Ford Mustang. Gentilozzi then benefited from Boris Said's bad luck in Turn Eight when the driver of the No. 33 Ford Mustang spun into a tire wall just after briefly taking the lead from Gentilozzi.