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Matt Cresci Scores First Ever Battery Tender Global MX-5 Cup Pole

Elkhart Lake, Wisc.  (22 June 2017) –   Battery Tender Global MX-5 Cup presented by BFGoodrich Tires rookie driver Matt Cresci turned a setback into a massive advantage on Thursday as he scored pole position at Road America with a fast lap flyer of 2:43.7317-seconds.  The qualifying session set the field for Rounds 5 & 6 of the 2017 championship, which is being staged as part of the Verizon IndyCar Series event weekend at the fabled Wisconsin circuit.

After an electronics issue early in the qualifying session sent him to the pits, the young driver from San Jose, California decided to try slick BFGoodrich Tires on the rapidly drying circuit. It worked.

Cresci’s time was more than 3.5 seconds clear of the field, in a championship that regularly sees the top-10 cars separated by less than one second.

“It wouldn’t have happened if there wasn’t an issue that I had to fix” said Cresci, who emerged as the Mazda  Road to 24 Scholarship winner ahead of the 2017 season. “I may have had a problem with the ECU with some moisture, so we swapped it out. When I came in I said we will be either last or first if we put on the slicks and I ended up getting super lucky and got the pole! I’m really excited to get this result. The whole session I was completely solo so I had no traffic and had the whole track to myself so was able to set some great times.”

With the rest of the field staying on track with the rain-specification BFGoodrich Tires during the session, the times behind Cresci were very tight through the front of the field.

Leading the rain tire runners was Ara Malkhassian (No. 11 ALARA Racing) with his quick time of 02:47.4310-seconds locking the experienced racer into a spot on the front row. Malkhassian has over 100 Global MX-5 starts to his credit, and is looking forward to making the most of his starting position on a track that he loves.

“The car was handling great and I was lucky enough to catch a draft and get a good lap,” said Malkhassian, who earned the Battery Tender Hard Charger Award in Indianapolis. “If it rains, or if it is clear, I don’t really care what the weather conditions are like tomorrow. I honestly just love this track and I’ve won here before and I love coming back to it.”

2009 Global MX-5 Champion Todd Lamb (No. 84 Atlanta Speedwerks) scored third on the grid, with Luke Oxner (No. 77 Wine Country Motorsports/White Racing) set for fourth alongside the previous series champion for Friday’s 40 minute sprint race.

Another returning series champion John Dean (2015), will start from fifth on the grid, with fellow former series champion (2016) Nathanial “Sparky” Sparks set for sixth on the grid.

Friday’s race will go green at 12:40 PM local (1:40 PM ET), with live streaming once again being provided by Mazda at