Gallagher Takes Maiden Battery Tender MX-5 Cup Win at Mazda Raceway
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Gallagher Takes Maiden Battery Tender MX-5 Cup Win at Mazda Raceway

From: MX-5CUP.com

Patrick Gallagher, of Thornville, Ohio, cashed at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca by taking his first career SCCA Pro Racing Battery Tender Mazda MX-5 Cup Presented by BFGoodrich Tires win in Championship Round Six as part of the Monterey Grand Prix. Peter Portante, of Plainville, Connecticut, was second with Drake Kemper, of Toluca Lake, California, bringing his car home third.

It took three years of trying, but Gallagher won his first Battery Tender Mazda MX-5 Cup race after a hard-fought battle for the lead. While Gallagher officially led all but one lap of the 25-lap race at the 11-turn, 2.238-mile course, that only tells part of the story. Gallagher, driving his No. 44 Howard Concrete Pumping MX-5, took the lead from polesitter John Dean by the completion of lap one, but was unable to break away from the rest of the lead group.

On lap nine, while trying to go for the lead, Kemper got on the inside of Gallagher going into Turn Two. As a result, Kemper went wide and pushed Gallagher out to the edge of the track. That opened the door for Peter Portante to take the lead. Portante completed the move holding the lead until they completed the lap. On lap 10, Gallagher made his way back around his teammate on the approach to the 'Corkscrew' to retake the lead. Gallagher's lead would once again be challenged during a restart following two laps of a full-course yellow, on laps 13 and 14. However, Gallagher was able to stand up to the challenge and seal the victory.

Portante piloted his No. 24 Intercity Lines MX-5 to second place. While he did have the lead on lap nine, following an opportunistic pass in Turn Two, Portante was unable to stay out front following a small driving error. He was then locked in battle with Kemper and Dean to sort out positions two through four.

Kemper drove the wheels of his No 99 Royal Rugby/Mazda Motorsports Development/BFGoodrich Tires MX-5. That was evidenced when Kemper's car pushed wide in an attempt to take the lead early in the race. Toward the end of the race, Kemper also ran wide at the exit of Turn Six. He was able to recover and secure third place.
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