MMR Pre-Season Press Release
McCumbee McAleer Racing’s Weekend Sweeping Rounds 1 & 2
BIRMINGHAM, AL (April 23, 2017) – McCumbee McAleer Racing’s (MMR) expectations heading into Rounds 1 & 2 at Barber Motorsports Park were undeniably high. The coalescence of the team’s talented driver lineup, preparedness, and momentum proved to be lethal to the competition throughout the series’ first race weekend with Patrick Gallagher bringing home a weekend sweep. Partaking in Gallagher’s success were Robert Stout and Max Faulkner who earned their best-ever results in the series which displayed their ability to join their teammate at the top step of the podium.
Round 1, which kicked off the Battery Tender Global MX-5 Cup season, began with Patrick Gallagher sitting on the outside pole, Robert Stout starting 10th, and Max Faulkner starting 15th. From the moment the green flag flew, the intense door-to-door racing picked up right where it left off throughout the 2016 season. Gallagher fought relentlessly with Mark Drennan for the lead lap after lap and the only thing slowing the two down were the three instances of full-course yellows on track.
The final full-course yellow was replaced with a green flag with just one lap of racing remaining. Drennan, who was breathing down the neck of #29 ModSpace / Howard Concrete Pumping machine, could not shake the nerves of Gallagher who brought home a win in a thrilling final lap shootout. “It was a really close race - it’s so tough to pass so it was really tight racing,” said Gallagher. “Sparky (Nathanial Sparks) made a mistake and I got to the lead. I knew it was my job to lose it at that point. (Mark) Drennan raced me really clean and I was glad when it went green at the end there because I didn’t want to win it under yellow. The car was hooked up – McCumbee McAleer racing gave me a great car. Big thanks to Battery Tender, Mazda, ModSpace, Howard Concrete Pumping, Spartan Cargo Trailers and BFGoodrich Tires and everyone else involved with this series.”
Not far behind the leaders were MMR teammates, Robert Stout and Max Faulkner, who battled relentlessly throughout the entire event. Stout, who was fighting with the lead pack all race long, suffered a heartbreaking transponder failure which disallowed his scoring and finishing position. “Once the green flag flew, I was battling within the top 10 and really learning the race craft needed for these momentum cars,” Stout said. “Unfortunately our transponder was not picking up our timing and scoring which caused us to be black flagged. The MMR crew dug into the issue as quickly as possible but it was an issue completely out of our control. This was extremely heart breaking and frustrating, but we picked our heads up and got ready for round two.”
Faulkner, along with Stout, had more to prove in Race 2. Faulkner battled extremely hard all race long just outside of the top 10 and came home in the 16th position. “Race 1 was pretty difficult for me as I worked on figuring out how to make passes on a track that is inherently hard to pass on,” Faulkner stated. Max would go on to continue this fight from the 13th starting position in Race 2.
The final round hosted by Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham, Alabama proved to be even more white-knuckle than round which preceded. Each team now had even more to prove to themselves and their competitors which effortlessly put on a pulse-raising show.
Gallagher, who started in the second position, got temporarily shuffled back a few positions after the drop of the green flag. Showing his typical quiet and driven determination on track, Gallagher picked off one position at a time and eventually worked his way up to the second position with just a few laps to go. Putting increasing pressure Mark Drennan, the leader, Gallagher decided to make a dive for the lead on the final lap.
This dive propelled Gallagher to a weekend-sweeping victory and one which Patrick hails to have contained some of his best racing ever. “I feel like those last three laps of the race, those were the three best laps of my life that I’ve ever driven,” said Gallagher. “It (the pass for the lead) was a risky move, but I wanted to win the race. I wasn’t going to do that move every lap, but I was able to beat him over the hill and I got by him. I’ve lost a championship by a point before, so I know how important every point is. A huge thank you to Battery Tender, Mazda, ModSpace, Howard Concrete Pumping, Spartan Cargo Trailers, BFGoodrich Tires and McCumbee McAleer Racing, I couldn’t do it without any of those folks, so thank you!”
Right behind Gallagher all race long was a driver determined to make his presence known. Robert Stout, in the #28 Lucas Oil / Lucas Oil Racing TV Mazda, tore through the field and was battling for a podium in the final laps. “I was making a move for 4th on the last lap when a three-way battle put me back in 6th and coming out of the final corner, I was side by side for the 5th position and took home 6th out of 31 competitors,” Stout expressed. “This series is epic to say the least! In the midst of all that, I managed to put down a lap time on my own putting almost 5 tenths on the entire field taking the fastest lap of the race!”
Max Faulkner, who was just behind the lead pack in his #82 Faulkner Racing Miata, but on quite a show grabbing the 11th position which tied his overall best finishing position in the Battery Tender Global MX-5 Cup presented by BFGoodrich Tires. “Race 2 went much better as I was able to make some passes and hold off rivals for most of the race and I ultimately ended up 11th, equaling my best result ever in the series,” Faulkner said. “A huge thank you to McCumbee McAleer Racing as I am confident I had the best handling car out of the entire field!”
The #27 ModSpace Motorsports Miata driven by Nick Igdalsky also had an extremely strong showing in Race 2. Igdalsky propelled the blue and grey MX-5 Cup machine from a 30th place starting position up 11 positions to come home in the 19th position.
Reveling in the team’s success throughout the first rounds the Global MX-5 Cup season are McCumbee McAleer Racing team owners, Chad McCumbee and Stevan McAleer. “What a truly amazing weekend for MMR. Patrick in the #29 ModSpace car drove extremely well the whole week but his last lap pass in Race 2 was the icing on the cake for a dominant double win weekend and championship lead,” said McAleer. “It was Bittersweet for our rookie, Robert Stout, in the #28 Lucas Oil MX-5 as a transponder issue in Race 1 put him at the back, but he showed that he is a true title contender this year and that he will claw his way back in the championship. In Race 2, his best lap was a half second quicker than the entire field without a draft and this has put him on everyone's radar. I was also very pleased with Max Faulkner who showed he can run up at the front with these guys and a drive to 11th in Race 2 right on the tail end of the lead pack makes me excited for the things to come with him.”
Chad McCumbee stated, “If there was any doubt in the legitimacy of MMR, this was surely put to bed this week. Our team overall showed that we are contenders for the championship and the Rookie of the Year this season. Great job to all of our drivers and crew!”
The Battery Tender Global MX-5 Cup presented by BFGoodrich Tires will return to racing at the 2.439-mile Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course on June 16-18 for Rounds 3 & 4.
Stout and Gallagher Dominate at Indy and Kiss the Bricks
INDIANAPOLIS, IN (June 18, 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 Falkner 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.
Another Strong Showing at Road America
ELKHART LAKE, WI (June 25, 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.”
A Record Setting Weekend on the Streets of Toronto
TORONTO, CA (July 17, 2017) - Rounds 7 & 8 of the Battery Tender Global Mazda MX-5 Cup Series presented by BFGoodrich Tires featured a familiar trip north to Canada, however, this time the MX-5 Cup cars were tasked with tackling the city streets of Toronto. In tandem with the Verizon IndyCar Series for the weekend, McCumbee McAleer Racing (MMR) team co-owner, Stevan McAleer, knew a traditional circuit setup wouldn’t work if they were going to visit victory lane for the sixth and seventh times this season. With his eyes on qualifying the team cars up front, Stevan commented, “The biggest thing is the track is so bumpy; we’re simply trying to get a neutral setup. Even between sessions one and two, the track changed a lot. We want our team to qualify as high as possible especially at a place like this.
Coming off a strong set of Friday morning practices, McAleer’s evaluation turned out to be just a bit stronger than a hunch as Patrick Gallagher scored another pole position in 2017 with the #29 ModSpace / Howard Concrete Pumping Mazda. The row one starting position wasn’t earned without drama, however. After Gallagher pulled off his scorching time, he was rear-ended and the #29 MX-5 suffered massive crash damage. Because Gallagher wasn’t the cause of the incident, his pole position remained and the team masterfully repaired the car to perfection.
Close behind Gallagher was Robert Stout in the #28 Lucas Oil / Lucas Oil Racing TV / SC Fuels machine on the third row in sixth with Max Faulkner just behind in the 10th position piloting the #82 MMR Miata. With each of the MMR drivers starting in the top 10, the team looked onward to Race #1 of the weekend in an attempt to set a best-ever round results!
The green flag on Round #7 flew an hour before noon and the heat of battle between each of the Mazda MX-5 Cup competitors was already at an all-time high. Patrick Gallagher led the field into turn one first and looked to separate himself from the pack.
After a quick full course yellow temporarily slowed the pace of race, the green flag flew again with a bunched up field hungry for the lead. The top six drivers were able to separate themselves from the rest of the field with about 25 minutes to go as Patrick Gallagher was shuffled to third, Robert Stout fought in fourth and Max Faulkner was clawing away close behind in eighth. Three laps later, with about 20 minutes remaining in the race, Stout made a power move around teammate Gallagher for third and set his eyes on the top two.
With only 12 minutes remaining in Round #7, Robert Stout made another incredible power move to the outside of Todd Lamb for second and brought Gallagher with him. With a brave yet proven method in the back of Stout’s mind, he implemented another momentum driven move right around the outside of Bryan Ortiz and took the lead with just over five minutes to go! Patrick Gallagher followed suit and propelled his #29 machine to second.
With a late race incident involving Todd Lamb creating a hazard on track, the final full course yellow brought an end to the race and another 1-2 finish for Robert Stout and Patrick Gallagher with Max Faulkner scoring another personal record with his best finish of the year in the seventh position. To cap it off, Robert Stout also deservedly scored the Battery Tender Hard Charger award by gaining six positions on route to his Canadian victory.
“It was a pretty tough fight,” said Stout. “There’s some guys in there that do not want to give it up, especially at a race like this where we know a caution is such a high possibility. There’s no reason to be conservative to the end of the race. My goal was to get to the front as soon as I possibly could and then see what happened from there. It took a couple of aggressive moves, but we were able to pull it off.”
Fully aware of his early race struggle and his pursuit back to the front, Gallagher was thrilled to finish on the podium behind his teammate. “The car wasn’t great in the beginning,” Gallagher acknowledged. “We set it up for the long run, but the race was the exact opposite of practice—there were three yellows. Thank you to the team for an awesome job to turn the car around. I had a blast out there and congratulations to Robert (Stout).”
The next day the team aimed for yet another dominant MX-5 Cup event. Gallagher started from the pole and immediately proved to the field that they were going to have to put up a fight to take the round win away. Stout was in close pursuit but after being hit in the right rear, the damage suffered took him out of contention.
There to fill the void was the street circuit rookie, Max Faulkner. Faulkner made incredible move after incredible move and was poised to put his #82 Mazda in the top five. With just five minutes to go, Max made two fantastic moves to get around Jensen and Oxner to bring home a personal best fourth place! “Wow, what a weekend,” Faulkner exclaimed. “After coming home seventh yesterday, we knew the pace was there for today. The race was insane, I ran third for much of the race before falling back to fourth at the line. This is till by far my best finish ever and I’m ecstatic after a hugely exciting and fun race. I can’t wait for Watkins Glen at the end of August to finally get the car on the podium! Massive thanks to everyone at MMR, these guys are awesome and the car was on point every session this weekend.”
Just ahead, Gallagher dominated the entire event and provided another victory to McCumbee McAleer Racing to add win number seven of eight to the team tally. “These guys from McCumbee McAleer racing are incredible,” Gallagher said in victory lane. “I got wrecked in qualifying and they put the thing back together and I got second yesterday and first today. The ModSpace / Howard Concrete Pumping car is fast but man, these MMR guys are the best in the business.”
William Mann, Vice President of Business Development for ModSpace, was thrilled to see Gallagher find victory lane despite the setback experienced in qualifying. “ModSpace is proud of the success that Patrick continues to have this season,” stated Mann. “We are so excited that MMR earned another victory this weekend after overcoming several obstacles leading up to the race. We look forward to the upcoming races and watching the team continuing to work towards victories.”
The next stop for the MX-5 Cup Series will be hosted just south of the Finger Lakes at Watkins Glen International from September 1-3 where the team looks to earn an additional pair of wins in the Empire State.
Patrick Gallagher Clinches the Championship in the Empire State
WATKINS GLEN, NY (September 4, 2017) – Rounds 9 & 10 at Watkins Glen International hosted a championship clinching scenario for McCumbee McAleer Racing (MMR) driver, Patrick Gallagher. Although the penultimate rounds of the Battery Tender Global Mazda MX-5 Cup presented by BFGoodrich Tires season had everything on the line, Gallagher and the MMR team proved how they got to the championship clinching scenario in the first place. Faced with evolving weather conditions and fierce competitors looking to spoil a season of dominance, Gallagher never flinched and delivered MMR its first Global Mazda MX-5 Cup championship trophy.
Kicking off the weekend with a punch, Gallagher, in the #29 ModSpace / Howard Concrete Pumping Mazda, scored the pole for both rounds on Sunday, Robert Stout in the #28 Lucas Oil / Lucas Oil Racing TV / SC Fuels machine qualified 7th, Max Faulkner in the #82 MMR Mazda was just behind in 8th, and Nick Igdalsky impressively placed 17th having last stepped into the #27 ModSpace Mazda at Barber Motorsports Park in April.
Round 9 was fierce as a train of Mazdas swapped positions in the top 10 relentlessly. Gallagher’s pole was no guarantee to an end result especially with his teammates stalking his every move. Like races earlier in the season, Gallagher knew the point wasn’t the place to be all race long. After careful evaluation, the #29 machine sat in the third spot with the laps winding down while the #28 of Stout sat close by in line. With just a lap left, Gallagher made a strong move to the point and captured a victory in New York with Stout only a few tenths behind in second, Faulkner scored 11th and Igdalsky finished right where he started.
“Everyone wanted to be in second, but that wasn’t right,” said Gallagher in Victory Lane. “You had to back up, get the fourth-place car on your bumper, let the front two get away and then let everyone shove you forward. Third was the place to be. I figured being in front early in the race would show me where they were coming from and every time somebody went by they were coming from third, so I dropped back and when they said ’10 to go’ and I just tried to get in third place and wait for the last lap.”
With a cool breeze and a slight drizzle hosting Round 10, MMR aimed for another powerful performance with a championship clinching scenario now on the line for Patrick Gallagher. The race proved to be just as chaotic and challenging as the round held earlier in the day and by the time the white flag flew, Stout and Gallagher were stalking another MMR victory.
When the leaders propelled onto the front stretch for the last time, the checkered flag was in sight and it was Robert Stout who led team MMR home finishing in the third position, Nick Igdalsky rocketed to score 9th, and Patrick Gallagher took 5th and clinched the 2017 Global Mazda MX-5 Cup season championship!
Post-race, Gallagher dedicated the win to his Aunt Mary Ellen Gallagher and friend Chris Patrick, both of whom he recently lost and said, “Ultimately, our goal when we started the year with this ModSpace crew was to go out and win a championship, and we secured that today. Thanks to ModSpace, Howard Concrete Pumping and Mazda for giving us a chance to win $200,000. On top of that we have the Global Challenge in a couple weeks to win another $75,000. Mazda does so much for this sport and so much for guys like me. Half the guys in IndyCar or Indy Lights have won scholarships and wouldn’t have gotten some opportunities if it hadn’t been for Mazda. Hats off to John Doonan and everyone at Mazda.”
With the reality of the situation settling in, Gallagher continued, “I’m thrilled to win the championship. The biggest relief is to know I’ll be racing next year. The pressure is off going into Mazda Raceway, so I’ll try to get some wins out there. I look forward to many more in the future. It comes down to Mazda giving guys like me the opportunity to win some races. Going all the way back, I have to thank CJ Wilson Racing, to Jason Hoover at AMG and the guys at McCumbee McAleer. ModSpace has been with me the whole time and hopefully we can keep that relationship in the future.”
Vice President of Motorsports for ModSpace, William Mann, was thrilled to see Gallagher bring home the championship after such a dominant season. “ModSpace congratulates Patrick Gallagher and the entire MMR organization on winning the championship,” stated Mann. “This has been a very exciting race season and teamwork is the basis for this championship. ModSpace is honored that we are a part of this achievement.”
Congratulating his teammate and happy with a solid day, Robert Stout exited his #28 Lucas Oil Racing TV Mazda beside to the podium and said, “It was a really crazy day. I’m really happy to see us bring as many cars back in one piece as we did, because these were two of the most insane races I’ve been in. It was a ton of fun. We knew we wanted rookie points, but I can’t help but to go for wins every time I’m on the track. I was trying to set myself up for a draft on the last lap. The car had the speed for second, if not first. I had the fastest car without a draft. To come away with two podiums is really good and to get points over Ortiz and maintain the rookie points lead is even better!”
For the final rounds of the season, the Global Mazda MX-5 Cup series heads to Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca where Robert Stout looks to capture the Rookie of the Year award while Patrick Gallagher and Max Faulkner look to add another couple of wins to the MMR victory bank.
Mazda Raceway Yields the Rookie of the Year and Another Weekend Sweep
MONTEREY, CA (September 25, 2017) – Coming off a euphoric weekend on the east coast after Patrick Gallagher clinched the 2017 Battery Tender Global Mazda MX-5 Cup presented by BFGoodrich Tires championship, McCumbee McAleer Racing (MMR) still had plenty to prove. With Gallagher able to score two more victories at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca to tie a series record, Robert Stout on the verge of capturing the Rookie of the Year title, and Max Faulkner knocking on the door with momentum, the team knew that this weekend would be approached just like any other; maximum output.
The weekend began strong with Gallagher, Stout, and Faulkner all showing speed in each of the test sessions held at Mazda Raceway. Heading into qualifying, the trio were able to retain their consistency and Gallagher, in his #29 ModSpace / Howard Concrete Pumping Mazda, qualified fifth, Stout placed eighth in the Lucas Oil / Lucas Oil Racing TV / SC Fuels Miata, and Falkner was just behind in 11th.
Although the team was accepting of the qualifying results, they had a game plan ready for the final rounds of the Global Mazda MX-5 Cup season. Race #1 of the weekend took off at a scorching pace and Gallagher worked relentlessly to claw his way back to the front as he initially was shuffled back a few positions. As the laps began to tick down, Gallagher did what he does best and won Round 11 by over half a second. “I just didn’t get the start that I wanted - it was my fault - we were loose on the first lap and I went backwards instead of forwards on that first lap, just not being patient,” Gallagher explained. “I think we were back up to fourth or fifth after a few laps and then it gets harder and harder to get by guys getting closer to the front. Robby (Foley) and I were pretty equal. I got by him and then it was a knock down drag out fight for the lead. It was great, he’s one of my best friends and was my roommate, and we still do a lot of stuff together. So it was tough, we’d be getting into each other and then giving each other the thumbs up. It was hard but a lot of fun.”
In Gallagher’s tire tracks was Robert Stout who grabbed an impressive third place finish. Stout, very aware of his surroundings, knew a win wasn’t needed to take the Rookie of the Year honors, but finishing near Ortiz was his top priority. "I didn't care if we were in 15th or if we were in fifth, I just wanted to keep Ortiz with me," Stout said. "We are very close in speed to each other so I was hoping we would have a close battle. I was able to hold off fourth for a long time and then I saw him go out. My goal was to just stay within one position of him. I was doing the math and as long as I stayed either in front or behind, I would be close enough to hopefully seal the deal tomorrow. All year long, Ortiz has been great, he is one of the best drivers in the series. I have a lot of fun racing against him. He is aggressive and I love to race against someone who is like that.”
The final round of the Global Mazda MX-5 Cup season kicked off at 9:15AM on Saturday morning, however, this may have been the biggest difference from the round prior. Just like Race #1 of the weekend, the team battled relentlessly and Gallagher swept the weekend to pick up his eighth win of the year tying the series record! “Earning two more wins this past weekend at Mazda Raceway and with Patrick tying a series record is another milestone for MMR and ModSpace,” stated William Mann, Vice President of Motorsports for ModSpace. “MMR is a relatively new team to this series so this has been an amazing race season for them. Capturing the Global MX-5 Cup Series championship was a tremendous accomplishment and ModSpace is honored to be a partner to share this excitement with them. We are proud of the effort put forth by each driver and team that earned them this notable season.”
Max Faulkner, who scored a ninth place finish the day prior, replicated this in the final round of the season giving him two top-tens at Mazda Raceway. “During the races I fought hard with multiple competitors and I was very happy to come away from the weekend with a pair of top 10 finishes,” said Faulkner. “Looking back on the season I can say I'm happy with the way I've driven this year as well as the results I have gotten. Along with my strong performance in Toronto, the entire Laguna Seca race weekend was incredible for me and I can't wait to be back on track next year!”
Robert Stout, who brought his #28 machine home in the fifth position, held on to capture the 2017 Rookie of the Year award! “This season can be summed up in one simple word: SUCCESS”, exclaimed Stout. “I wish we would have been in a better position to run down the championship, but my teammate, Patrick, was unstoppable; huge congrats to him! I'm extremely happy to have taken home multiple wins, the $50,000 Rookie of the Year award, and a top three overall result in the points, even with two DNF's. This team showed that we are the benchmark in this series and when you put all the right pieces of the puzzle together, results will come! I'm just honored to have been a part of this great season with MMR and all my partners. I can't wait to hopefully go after the $200,000 championship next season!”
Thrilled with the success, hard work, and dedication of the entire team are MMR team owners, Chad McCumbee and Stevan McAleer. “The season finale at Mazda Raceway was a fitting end to an amazing season,” said McCumbee. “Our McCumbee McAleer Racing team had a year to remember and one for the record books as well. It is very seldom you have this much success in a race season but it comes from the unity of our drivers, crew and partners. Everyone simply did an outstanding job week-in and week-out. Thanks to everyone involved!”
“What an unbelievable season for MMR,” said McAleer. “I said at the start of the year we would be a team to watch out for and I’m very proud of what Chad and myself have achieved in only our third season as team owners. You don't usually get seasons with this type of domination but it shows what preparation, dedication and teamwork can achieve. We delivered race winning cars to race winning drivers and they took full advantage by winning 10 out of 12 races, earned the Rookie of the Year, Team of the Year, and Mechanic of the Year awards as well as the 2017 Driver Championship won by Patrick. This will be a very tough task to repeat next season but we are already looking at a strong driver lineup for 2018 and are hungry to earn back to back titles. I couldn't have done this without our brilliant crew, all of our partners including ModSpace, Mazda, many more and most importantly, my partner in this amazing adventure, Chad McCumbee."
Gallagher Takes Home 75K Outside Monterey
MONTEREY, CA (October 17, 2017) - Throughout a weekend packed with headlines and incredible talent, Patrick Gallagher, in his ModSpace / Howard Concrete Pumping / CJ Wilson Mazda automobile, rose to the top for the final time in 2017 and took home the $75,000 Global Mazda MX-5 Cup Challenge grand prize. The victory was also accompanied by some outstanding performances by his teammates Robert Stout, Bart Wubben, and Kyle Kaiser who turned more than a few heads before the sun set on the 2017 Global Mazda MX-5 Cup season. Throughout the double header weekend with over $100,000 on the line, naturally, the champagne wasn’t sprayed without the hurdles of hard racing, controversy, and chaos in the way.
The first race of the weekend was a close quarter brawl between the top three competitors of Patrick Gallagher, Robby Foley, and Bryan Ortiz. Robby Foley held a strong lead over Gallagher for much of the race until the penultimate lap when Gallagher overtook Foley heading into the corkscrew who was then inadvertently spun by Ortiz. Patrick Gallagher escaped and took the checkered flag in what seemingly should have been in first place, however, a surprising call by the Battery Tender Global Mazda MX-5 Cup Challenge sanctioning body deemed Gallagher’s pass on Foley crossed the track limits. Due to this decision, Gallagher’s Race #1 victory was knocked down a peg into the second place finishing position which only motivated him even more to take home the Race #2 and grand prize victory.
Although less controversial, the second and final race of the double-header weekend was none less competitive. The field of almost 20 tightly knit Miatas snaked around Mazda’s home track while Patrick Gallagher swapped for the top spot within the first 15 minutes of the event. With just under 30 minutes left in the final round of the season, Gallagher made an impressive move on Bryan Ortiz for second and then on Kenton Koch for the top spot and never looked back.
Gallagher soared to a victory and earned the $75,000 grand prize with Robert Stout, in his Lucas Oil / Lucas Oil Racing TV / SC Fuels Mazda, coming home in an impressive 4th place after both rounds of the weekend, Kyle Kaiser came home 6th after an incredible display of talent, and Bart Wubben placed just outside the top 10 in 13th after seeing and competing on this track for the first time.
"Halfway through the day I began thinking that someone didn't want us to win today,” Gallagher said in victory lane. “It's great to have CJ Wilson Mazda, ModSpace and Howard Concrete Pumping come out here on the car and win $75,000 with me and it is cool to cap off a championship win with the Global MX-5 Cup Challenge. I owe it all to the boys at McCumbee McAleer Racing. I don't know just yet how I am going to spend this money. I will have a little bit of fun with it, but my goal is to go racing in 2018. Working with the scholarship money and now this extra $75,000 certainly makes my 2018 season easier. Hats off to Mazda, there is no other company putting up $75,000 for a race, especially at a ladder-level series."
Scoring back-to-back fourth place finishes to close out an impressive rookie season, Robert Stout was too thrilled to hide his excitement. “What a blast,” exclaimed Stout! “We ran into a few mechanical issues throughout the weekend, but more importantly, I need to piece together a qualifying session. I just can't seem to find myself in a position to utilize the draft so I had my work cut out for me. Coming up to 4th in both races and having the fastest car on the track throughout race one feels like an accomplishment of its own. I can't say thanks enough to the guys at MMR for all the hard work they did this weekend!”
Reigning Indy Lights champion, Kyle Kaiser, performed extremely well and noted that the nature of the racing was what sets this series apart from the rest. “The Global MX-5 Cup weekend was a great learning experience for myself,” explained Kaiser. “MMR did an incredible job all weekend helping me learn the specifics of the car and getting me up to speed quickly. I was happy with the qualifying effort, but the racing proved to be very different from anything I’ve experienced before. While the final results from the weekend weren’t what I was hoping for, I’m walking away from the weekend with a lot of experience gained and many new friends in the racing community.”
The event’s sole European entry, Bart Wubben, was immensely gracious and excited following his performance at Mazda Raceway. “I had a great race, though the cars were a lot different than the Spec Miatas we race in the Netherlands,” said Wubben. “The MMR team did a great job with setting up the car and going through all the data to help and me improve my lap times. I would like to thank Mazda for giving me this great chance to race against the best and the MMR team for getting me up to speed and feeling so welcome. I hope to come back another time with a bit more practice!”
Vice President of Motorsports for ModSpace, William Mann, was vastly pleased with the success of the team. “MMR had an amazing race season,” stated Mann. “Each week the team showed up to the track with a competitive car and a will to win. This, combined with the outstanding driving skills of Patrick Gallagher, proved to be a winning combination. The team’s success was a reflection of their hard work, dedication and passion for continuous improvement. This is the same model that ModSpace uses in our daily business endeavors and it makes us proud that MMR carries our corporate branding on their cars.”
Team owners and founders, Chad McCumbee and Stevan McAleer reflected Mann’s satisfaction. “It’s truly hard to put into words the year that MMR has had,” said McCumbee. “Winning the biggest race ever for an MX-5 with Patrick this week is incredible. Having such a strong event with all our cars solidified the season for our team. I am so proud to be a part of the history made. A huge thank you to Mazda, ModSpace, Lucas Oil and all of our amazing partners.”
“What a way to finish up 2017 with Chad and MMR,” McAleer added. “This event brought out a lot of good guys and Patrick (Gallagher) didn't allow the list to faze him; he had the same focus he had all season. The pace Robert (Stout) and Kyle (Kaiser) had also showed that they were both in contention for the overall win, too, which continued to show how strong our cars have been in 2017. This season will be tough to replicate next year and although our driver lineup is not complete yet, it is already looking very strong and so it is setting up to be another fantastic season for MMR."