The good news is Kevin Magnussen led a major open-wheel race for the first time in forever. That bad news is the Dane’s NTT IndyCar Series debut was cut short when his No. 7 Arrow McLaren SP Chevy appeared shut down on Lap 35 of the 55-lap contest.
“Just lost power, I pulled the clutch in and the engine died,” he reported over the radio.
Starting P21, Magnussen hovered in the high teens and low 20s in the early stage of the Road America race, was running P18 when the second caution came out, jumped to P1 as race strategist Billy Vincent elected to leave him out as the majority of the field pitted under yellow, led until pitting on Lap 31, fell to P22, and then coasted to a stop a few laps later to record an unfulfilling P24 while standing in for Felix Rosenqvist.
“All-in-all this weekend has been a fun experience,” Magnussen said. “I’m very thankful to Arrow McLaren SP for the opportunity. I want to wish Felix a speedy recovery and to be back where he should be in the car. I’m going to leave here with a big smile on my face although we didn’t finish the race due to a mechanical issue. I’ve had a very fun experience and want to say thank you to everyone involved.”
AMSP president Taylor Kiel had hoped for more with Magnussen, but saw the No. 7 fail to finish its third consecutive event with various forms of mechanical, engine, or electrical issues.
“Yeah, it was tough,” Kiel said. “That’s a good word for it. It was another disappointing result for the No. 7 Vuse Arrow McLaren SP Chevrolet, so have to figure out what’s going on there and make some changes to put ourselves in a good position for the second half of the season to try and collect points.”
— NTT INDYCAR SERIES (@IndyCar) June 20, 2021
Magnussen won’t have to wait long to earn a more representative finish as his Cadillac Chip Ganassi Racing team—winner of the most recent IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship round—have the six-hour Watkins Glen endurance race coming up next weekend.