STOUT EARNS TOP 5 IN BATTERY TENDER GLOBAL MX-5 CUP ROUND 6 AT ROAD AMERICA
 June 30, 2017| 
  • Team News

ELKHART LAKE, Wisc. (June 25, 2017)Robert Stout scored another Top 5 Battery Tender Global MX-5 Cup finish in competition at Road America June 23-24. Stout, driving the No. 28 Lucas Oil Products / Lucas Oil Racing TV / Mazda Motorsports / SC Fuels / Impact Race Products Mod-Space MX-5 Cup car finished 5th in Round 6 on Saturday, but did not finish Round 5 on Friday after contact with another competitor.

 

Stout qualified 8th for Round 5 in another highly competitive qualifying session. “We were P1 in the first part of qualifying, but then there was a red flag and that bunched everyone up. We had a strange qualifying session with huge packs of drafting and there were a couple of guys in the front two rows that usually don’t have the speed to be up there,” said Robert Stout. “The pack racing here is like no other I’ve ever seen, it’s crazy! There are groups of 10 to 12 cars all nose-to-tail and it makes it almost impossible to put a clean lap together, but at the same time you need that draft to get a good lap time so it’s a necessary evil in qualifying and we just never hit it perfect.”

 

Round 5 proved to be another thrilling Global MX-5 Cup race. Slowed by just one caution period midway through the event, the race featured five different leaders and at the checkered the top seven drivers finished within two seconds of the race winner.

 

Stout started alongside teammate and points leader Patrick Gallagher and both McCumbee McAleer Racing drivers looked to charge to the front of the pack. Gallagher quickly moved up into the top 4, but Stout was shuffled back to 11th. Undeterred Stout started picking his way back up and had worked himself into the top 7 with the top 9 all running as one huge pack. The No. 11 ALARA Racing car of Ara Malkhassian was getting shuffled back after starting on the front row and was next on Stout’s list. But contact between the two brought out the caution. Both cars retired from the race – neither driver was injured.

 

“Ara had just been passed by two cars on his left side and I was there as well,” Stout said. “We were lining up for a flat out right hander and I was on the outside so I laid back to give him some room, but he just never turned in. Everyone turned right including me, but he was still fading left to open the turn hitting my right front fender. It turned him sideways in front of me and we sailed off the track in to the tire barrier. I just had no choice and nowhere to go. I feel terrible for the MMR guys who gave me a car capable of winning. We also lost the Rookie of the Year points lead as well so this was a huge hit in more ways than one. On a bright note, Gallagher went on to win (by a mere .0263 seconds) so that’s five consecutive wins for the MMR team, man what a start to the season!”

 

 

Battery Tender Global MX-5 Cup presented by BFGoodrich TiresRound 6

 

For the second time in as many races, Round 6 came down to a last lap drag race to the finish line in another thrilling round of Battery Tender Global MX-5 Cup presented by BFGoodrich Tires action.

 

A 10-lap run of green flag racing led to the checkers. The race featured 285 passes for position as the top nine all finished within 1.1251-seconds of the race winner. Stout started 5th and worked his way to the front of the 26-car field with four laps to go and was the race leader when the white flag flew.

 

“Man, what a crazy race”, said Stout. “I’ve never seen such huge packs of racing!

I got to the front with three laps to go but 2nd was the place to be. I had teammate Gallagher behind me but I knew it was all going to change and it did. (Todd) Lamb broke us up and took 2nd. I didn’t get to the left quick enough to protect the bottom going into turn 5 and the train of cars sailed right by. I literally went from 1st to 5th in one turn. Words really can’t explain that last lap or even the last half of the last lap. Drafting is one thing but this is full contact drafting! We were side-by-side, and nose-to-tail. Everybody is pushing and being pushed and we are all leaning on each other’s doors. (Bryan) Ortiz (in the No. 4 Copeland Motorsports/Bella Racing entry) hit somebody’s tire and it launched his car completely off the ground in front of me. I thought I’d get him back for sure but he never lifted. It was a massive dog fight all the way to the stripe and somehow, someway nobody crashed!”

 

In the end, Nathanial Sparks in the No. 8 Mazda Road to 24 Scholarship car scored a victory by 0.0468-seconds over 2009 Series champion Lamb in the No. 84 McDonalds/Atlanta Speedwerks entry. Ortiz led two laps and set the 2nd quickest race lap on his way to a fourth place finish to grow his advantage in the rookie standings as he targets the $50,000 scholarship award from Mazda. Leading three laps and setting the 3rd quickest lap of the race fellow rookie Stoutfinished fifth as the battle for Rookie of the Year

 

continues with only nine points separating the two.

 

“It’s the most fun I’ve ever had in a race car”, Stout said. “I learned a lot at Indy about side drafting and I learned a lot today about living in the rearview mirror. I can’t thank all the guys at MMR enough for all their hard work last night. This car was perfect today after the wreck yesterday, I just wish I could’ve finished on the podium for them. I got caught out but it won’t happen again!”

 

The Battery Tender Global MX-5 Cup presented by BFGoodrich Tires will stage Rounds 7 & 8 of the 2017 season on the Streets of Toronto July 14-16 as part of the Verizon IndyCar Series race weekend. Full results can be found at http://mx-5cup.com/results

 


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