Driving the No. 87 Spark Performance entry, Selin Rollan went from fourth on the grid to win the opening round of Battery Tender Global Mazda MX-5 Cup presented by BFGoodrich Tires racing at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Friday. Rollan’s teammate Gresham Wagner crossed the line first after leading all 22 laps of the 45-minute event, but lost the position following a post-race technical inspection.
Michael Carter was classified second after emerging ahead of a race-long battle with Robert Noaker, who added to his Global Mazda MX-5 Cup podium tally with the third-place result.
“It was pretty intense in the pack, but once I got clear I was just trying to throw down some qualifying laps,” Rollan said. “It’s not the way you want to win a race, especially when it’s your teammate. Gresham drove a perfect race and obviously dominated the field, so that’s not the way I want to win. Sometimes wins come to you like that and I’ve had wins taken from me like that. I’ve gained positions from disqualifications before. That’s the way racing happens. You take what you can get. It’s not what we want, but we’ll take it.”
Carter, the 2018 Mazda Road to 24 Scholarship Winner, is a force to be reckoned with at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The Georgia Tech student finished second and put in the fastest lap of the race, a new record time of 1m40.8962s.
Carter (No. 08 Carter Racing Enterprises) will start Race 2 from the pole position, having recorded the second-fastest lap in Thursday’s qualifying.
“The start of the race was pretty characteristic of Global Mazda MX-5 Cup racing,” said Carter about the run down into Turn One. “But I got clear of (Robert) Noaker and (Todd) Lamb and then once I got there, it was just pretty much run my own race. We will start from the pole in the second race and see what happens.”
Current points leader Robert Noaker (No. 13 Copeland Motorsports) finished third followed by Todd Lamb (No. 84 Atlanta Speedwerks). Lamb started ninth and his run to fourth earned he and his crew chief the Battery Tender Hard Charger Award.
Behind them, in fifth, was the highest finishing rookie Jared Thomas (No. 96 Carter Racing Enterprises), who is also the current Mazda Road to 24 Scholarship Winner.
Liam Snyder in the No. 27 Synder Brother Racing machine was the highest finishing ND.1 entry.