Dai Sweeps the TCX Field at Indy for a Thrilling End to His Inaugural TC America Campaign

Photography: VGRT Team Media

  • Indianapolis Motor Speedway is the third oldest permanent race track in the world, completing its initial construction in 1909 and attracting many teams, suppliers, and constructors to base their headquarters within blocks of the track.
  • Like so many of the iconic road courses before it, the privilege of victory here adds their names to an iconic list of competitors like Patrick Long, Scott Pruett, Michael Schumacher, Rubens Barrichello, and more.
  • Despite a truncated practice schedule, Dai showcased immense pace throughout the race weekend and converted every available opportunity into an advantage, all the way to the checkered flag.
  • Yoshihara’s masterclass marked a clean sweep for the Japanese driver, taking pole position and both race victories on Saturday’s and Sunday’s contests.

In 1996, a unique tradition started at Indianapolis Motor Speedway: winners would walk out to the start-finish line and kiss the “Yard of Bricks” in honor of the track’s rich history. The ritual has become as iconic as spraying champagne and it’s a testament to how special a victory is at the third oldest road course in the world.  

Dai’s arrival at the brickyard came on the heels of ten consecutive points-scoring outings — an impressive feat for his first TC America campaign — which made him eager to get into the car at Indy to up the ante even further.


In sharp contrast to the previous bouts, the speedway’s forecast was cooler, offering both the cars and drivers a respite from the punishing heat. The Pit+Paddock Civic Type R TCX was on song throughout the morning and Dai was able to put the car on the back bumper of Jackson Lee at the end of the session — a mere 0.222 seconds behind. Most teams opted out of the afternoon due to rain, acknowledging that any additional data wouldn’t be indicative of race conditions.


Dai’s quick learning curve proved to be immensely useful once again. Despite only running five laps in qualifying, he set a lap time impressive enough to earn pole position, pipping the TCX championship winner, Colin Garrett, by exactly one second.


Dai’s starting grid position was fortuitous. Even though Garrett had beaten Yoshihara off the line, the Japanese driver’s race craft allowed him to expertly negotiate the nose-to-tail combat and claim the lead position back in a matter of minutes. From there, the clear air allowed Dai to build a commanding lead and simultaneously avoid the drama that ensued in his rearview mirror. By the checkered flag, he had built a comfortable 1.499-second gap over Colin Garrett in his charging M2 CS Cup.

Yoshihara’s Saturday race pace earned him pole position for Sunday’s final contest, too, but BMW pilots Garrett and Schmied were eager to showcase their might. It was all up for grabs during the first handful of laps, but Dai, brimming with confidence from a post-summer break resurgence, was able to extract the very best out of the Pit+Paddock Civic Type R TCX and seized the lead once again. By the midpoint of the race, he punched a six-second lead over his nearest challenger.

Amidst his roaring charge to victory, Dai set another impressive fast lap — more than a second ahead of Garrett’s 1:35.980 — which put a proverbial cherry on top of a fairy tale ending to Dai’s inaugural effort in TC America. “It was a perfect way to end the year,” confessed Yoshihara. “I want to thank all of my sponsors — Pit+Paddock, ARP, ENEOS, ACT, Turn 14 Distribution, Aeromotive, CSF, Fluidampr, MBRP, Powerstop, and Whiteline — for believing in me from start to finish. It was nice to deliver an incredible weekend result to them, especially at the legendary Indianapolis Motor Speedway.” Indeed, there was no better way to prove that Dai Yoshihara’s transition from drifting into wheel-to-wheel grip racing was the right decision. His raw talent has always been undeniable, but now he’s been able to pair it with immense race craft that will propel his opportunities forward for next year’s campaign. Thank you, everyone, for a great year.