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America's Gleason Is Victorious in Malaysia

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia, Oct. 1 - Kevin Gleason of Johnstown, Pa. won the TCR International Series race Saturday at the Sepang International Circuit before a large crowd, as the race followed qualifying for Sunday's Malaysian Grand Prix Formula 1 race. 

Marking the first time an American has won a race in this international touring car series this year, the "Star-Spangled Banner" was played during the victory lane ceremonies for the 23-car race that featured top drivers from around the world. 

Driving a Honda Civic TCR for WestCoast Racing, Gleason started second and took the lead by passing polesitter Tin Sritrai of Thailand working lap four of the 10-lap race on the 5.543-kilometer, 15-turn road course. He was never again headed. He had a 1.735-second advantage over the points leader, Great Britain's James Nash, at the checkered. 

Gleason, 29, was unable to compete in all the races this season due to budgetary constraints, so this victory was especially sweet. 

“It feels amazing to be back and to get a win," Gleason said. "It was really frustrating not to do the whole season and so I’m grateful I could come back with WestCoast to race at Singapore and here in Sepang. With every race I missed, I dreamed about coming back with the team, so I’m really grateful I could reward them with a win like this. I had to work for the victory and that made it all the more satisfying. Soon after I took the lead I saw some action going on behind me, but I concentrated on staying out of trouble and held on to win.”

Gleason ran a full season in the TCR series last year. The only American to ever win an event in this series, he had two victories and finished fifth overall in the