Elkhart Lake, Wisc. (25 June 2017) – Coming off a weekend sweep at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, McCumbee McAleer Racing’s (MMR) momentum propelled the team north to Wisconsin with high hopes and optimism. Patrick Gallagher, who came to Road America with a healthy points lead and three first place trophies out of four races so far this season, looked to further prove his resilience in an ever challenging season schedule. Robert Stout, who found the famous victory lane in Indianapolis, came to Elkhart Lake with a well-deserved win under his belt along with the Rookie standings lead. Max Faulkner joined his teammates at the 14 turn circuit coming off a fantastic showing at Indy acquiring his best finish throughout his career in the series.
MMR’s performance and momentum shined immediately throughout the opening rounds of practice at Road America. Throughout the first and second practices, Gallagher and Stout traded places taking the runner up spots with an eagerness to qualify later that day.
As the track began to rapidly dry due to varying conditions all day, tire choice became a premium and despite the hurdles, Patrick Gallagher, in his ModSpace / Howard Concrete Pumping machine scored the seventh starting position, Robert Stout piloted his Lucas Oil Racing / Lucas Oil Racing TV / SC Fuels vehicle to eighth, and Max Faulkner drove his #82 Miata to the 22nd starting position.
Friday brought a change of conditions with mostly clear skies and a hot track. Round #5 proved to be intense and Gallagher methodically worked his way to the front from the seventh starting position. With Stout out of contention due to damage, and Faulkner ruthlessly fighting his way forward from 22nd, Gallagher aimed to bring MMR home yet another season-sweeping first place trophy.
The field battled until the very end and Gallagher’s prediction that a last lap pass would be needed to win was euphorically verified when Gallagher edged Brian Ortiz at the start/finish line by less than three hundredths of a second! Max Faulkner gained an impressive nine positions and scored the 13th finishing position and noted, “Race #1 went well as I had a good feeling in the car and ended the race nine spots up from where I started in P13. I can’t wait to get back in the car!”
Patrick Gallagher mentioned that a win would not have been possible without the teamwork among the other competitors. “The Copeland Motorsports guys ran me clean, we worked together and that’s why we’re all on the podium,” said Gallagher. “I knew I was well ahead of Sparky (second place in the championship) so I was fine with finishing second and getting good championship points, but then I had a run up the hill. Then once I got into the side draft I was able to veer off to the left and just picked up about two miles per hour and shot across the line. This ModSpace / Howard Concrete Pumping car is fast and the McCumbee McAleer guys have it hooked up. Big hats off to Mazda, Battery Tender and BFGoodrich for making it such a great series.”
With an extremely competitive race held the day before, Round #6 of the Battery Tender Global Mazda MX-5 Cup Series was expected to be even more chaotic. The green flag dropped just after 10AM and instantly displayed the desire each driver had to put their name on the series winners list. Each team battled ruthlessly until the final straightaway and MMR acquired a podium with Gallagher coming home third, a top five with Robert Stout pulling off a fifth place finish, and Max Faulkner grabbing the 16th position.
“It was definitely more chaotic today, nobody wanted to work together like they did yesterday,” said Gallagher. “Everyone thought they had to be in second, but they didn’t realize they needed to be there until the last lap. Everybody was trying to get to second place from lap one, people were leaning on me and I just had to be careful. I got shoved around a little bit, but it’s a long season, and the championship points we got here this weekend are most important.”
Robert Stout, who faced an uphill climb from Race #1 this weekend, commented on the pursuit toward a strong Race #2. “We came back to have an excellent race car for Round 6 and drove straight to the front,” Stout said. “I knew it would be tough leading to the white flag with the draft being so important. Before I got to turn five, two cars had already cleared me in a straight line. I knew it was coming, but didn’t expect the move to happen so early. At that point I was fully committed to get back every inch I could and it was a dog fight the remainder of the lap between the top eight guys.”
“It was one of the most exciting races I’ve been a part of,” Stout continued, “but fifth was a tough finish after such a good race for us. There is a reason this team has won five out of six races this year, and I intend on delivering more of those wins to them. Toronto is next and I can’t wait to race through the city streets!”
William Mann, Vice President of Motorsports for ModSpace, shared the team’s optimism heading into the second half of the year. “It’s been a great season for ModSpace to be the primary sponsor on the MMR cars,” said Mann. “The team has really worked together and the results speak for themselves. We are halfway through the season and they have dominated with their on track performance. As we move into the second half, ModSpace knows the team will remain determined to win races and be a strong contender for the championship title this season.”