The stunning Road America was established in 1955 and is found between Milwaukee and Green Bay. The 4-mile, 14 turn road course is set within 640 acres of parkland where the scene was set for a great weekend at the Kohler Grand Prix.
Everything was looking positive for Max heading into race day. 6th fastest in Practice 2, 4th fastest in Practice 3 and a career high 7th in qualifying making him the highest placed rookie. His pace was on point and he felt there was more in the tank and could have ranked higher had he not been held up by Power exiting the pits.
“Gallagher and the Ganassi team gave me a great car for this weekend here at Road America. I was on my hot lap in the second segment of qualifying and Power came out in the pits in front of me. I followed him out through turns 5-6-7 and then into the carousel turn. I was four car lengths back and just had to keep lifting and lifting. The stewards reviewed it and didn’t take any action which I just find maddening.”
The run of unfortunate circumstances continued at the rolling start when Max was held up by cars that got away slowly, he was squeezed back and lost ground, falling back to 12th before recovering to enjoy some good battles with fellow rookie, Rossi. He was threatening to improve track position in the second half of the race before he ran out of fuel in pit-lane, leaving him stranded before being pushed back to his box. He rejoined, cut adrift from the pack ahead, and from there was facing an impossible task to get back into contention despite setting the fastest lap of the race. He finished P20.
“It was a real character building day today for us I guess you would say. It seemed like everyone just went early on the start and I was stuck behind a few cars that didn’t go. From there we just fell back unfortunately. We ended up running out of fuel for whatever reason after that and dropped way back. It was a tough day for the Gallagher team but I know all these guys who win races and championships in the Verizon IndyCar Series went through this, and you have to deal with these kind of days and move forward.”
Max now returns to the UK for some media commitments before the next race, the Iowa Corn 300, on July 10th.