Traffic costs Chilton Fast Six appearance at St. Pete

Max Chilton will start seventh at St Pete despite traffic - Credit: James Boone

Max Chilton drove strongly throughout qualifying for the first race of the Verizon IndyCar Series season on Saturday, but the British racer believes traffic cost him an appearance in the Firestone Fast Six.

The Chip Ganassi Racing driver will start seventh but found himself compromised by team-mate Tony Kanaan during the second phase of qualifying, with the Brazilian returning to the track following a mistake right in front of Chilton, forcing him to brake and prevent him from improving his lap time.

Despite the frustrations of qualifying, Chilton feels confident heading into race day, and is excited to see what happens as he continues his preparations for the first race of his second season of IndyCar racing.

“I was happy with the Gallagher car and felt I really got everything out of myself,” said Chilton. “I knew coming into qualifying that we had a fast car for sure.

“We hit traffic and didn’t get through and that was frustrating obviously. I think we could have been fourth in the second segment and advanced, but that’s the way it goes sometimes, and we can fight with a good car tomorrow which I’m excited about.”