Indianapolis, Ind. (18 June 2017) – Coming off a McCumbee McAleer Racing (MMR) and Patrick Gallagher weekend sweep in Birmingham, Alabama, the team headed north to the world-renowned Indianapolis Motor Speedway to decide the Rounds 3 and 4 victors of the Battery Tender Global MX-5 Cup. With two wins and an overall strong performance by the team, MMR looked to carry that momentum straight into an arena where legends are made.
MMR instantly flexed its muscles when the track opened for practice on Thursday. The #28 Lucas Oil / Lucas Oil Racing TV / SC Fuels machine of Robert Stout rocketed to the runner-up position in the first practice with teammate, Gallagher, close behind in sixth. Slightly improving in second practice, Stout took the top spot with Gallagher fourth, Max Faulkner in a solid 12th, and Mitch Wright in the #27 ModSpace machine in 23rd.
The team was sure to share notes on Thursday evening and took no prisoners on Friday morning when the series took to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway for qualifying. Picking up right where he left off in Alabama, Gallagher scored the pole at Indy with Stout qualifying second and completing an all MMR sweep of the front row. Showing signs of strength in qualifying were MMR teammates Faulkner and Wright who gridded 12th and 19th, respectively.
With a warm and sunny afternoon the host for Round 3 of the Global MX-5 Cup, the famed track in Indiana was sure to be slick and full of obstacles. When the green flag dropped around 6PM, the field instantly was vying for each and every position on track, including first and second place. On lap two, Stout made a power move heading into turn number one and took the lead from MMR teammate, Gallagher. Content for the moment, Gallagher tucked up behind his teammate and utilized the draft, NASCAR style, down the long straightaways of Indianapolis Motor Speedway to pull away from the rest of the field.
Working together to perfection, Stout and Gallagher were able to acquire over a 20 second gap from second to the rest of the field. As the laps winded down, Gallagher knew his chances of making a move were decreasing so on the final lap, he made some aggressive moves against teammate Stout in an effort to acquire the top spot. Stout, who proved to be just far too stout all race long, held off his hard charging teammate and crossed the start/finish line in first place bringing home an incredible win and one-two finish for everyone involved at MMR.
“We had worked together through qualifying and all of the practice sessions so it’s great to have that with my teammates,” said Stout. “The whole McAleer McCumbee Racing team acts like that – all genuine people and really good guys. I knew if we could get together then there was not a doubt in my mind we could walk away. We’ve had an awesome car all week. In the top-10 anybody can win one of these races. But what an awesome car. Thank you to everybody at Mazda, Battery Tender, and BFGoodrich Tires – it was a really good race. I grew up 10 minutes from here so to win at Indianapolis Motor Speedway is freakin’ awesome. I’m loving it and it is awesome for everybody at Lucas Oil and lucasoilracing.tv, they’ve been behind me for so long.”
Max Faulkner also had an immense showing coming home in 9th position and gained three spots from the drop of the green flag. Mitch Wright piloted the #27 ModSpace Mazda and came home in a solid 22nd looking forward to Round 4 the next day.
Race #2 of the Battery Tender Global MX-5 Cup at Indy was held on a wet racetrack after a small weather cell dumped rain all over the facility. With the weather gone by the time the green flag dropped and because each of the 26 teams elected to sport the BFGoodrich rain tires, tire conservation and careful aggressive driving was going to be the name of the game throughout Round 4. Gallagher and Stout, who brought the field to the green had the best visibility of all, however, behind them, the remaining 24 Miatas disappeared in the spray kicked up by the deep treads of the BFGoodrich MX-5 Cup rain rubber.
After the start, Gallagher managed to obtain a couple second gap between him and the rest of the field, however, teammate Robert Stout was hunting him down and staying within his tire tracks.
The laps began winding down and with just a few laps left, Stout was now close enough to make a move. In an effort to acquire a weekend sweep like his teammate did a couple rounds earlier, Stout made some big moves at Gallagher, but Gallagher, who is known for his calm under pressure behind the wheel, never faltered and grabbed his third win within only four races of the Global MX-5 Cup season!
“These McCumbee McAleer guys are the best in the business,” said Gallagher. “This ModSpace / Howard Concrete Pumping car – it was flying. Rob (Stout) made a little mistake there at the end so then it was just qualifying lap after qualifying lap after qualifying lap for me just trying to get it done there for the guys at ModSpace. To win at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Father’s Day weekend, it doesn’t get much better than that. And with the conditions changing—these tires are unbelievable. BFGoodrich did a great job. It was dry and we were on wet tires. I don’t think there is another manufacturer out there that can claim that.”
Max Faulkner brought his #82 Miata home in 15th and Wright made an incredible improvement from Race #1 and came home 13th, six positions higher than where he started.
“Race #1 went really well, said Faulkner.” After a poor start, I managed to make up two positions in turn one and then two more by the end of the race. We ended up ninth which is my best result ever in the series and came home 15th in Race #2. Overall, I’m pretty happy with the weekend and we know where we need to improve to finish higher in the pack at Road America; and I have every intention in doing so! Congrats to my teammates Robert and Patrick for both picking up a win and a second place!”
Traveling to Rounds 5 and 6 from the historic Indianapolis Motor Speedway, the Battery Tender Global MX-5 Cup presented by BFGoodrich Tires drivers and teams will head to Road America as part of the Verizon IndyCar Series event next weekend where team MMR looks to further solidify their strength in the series.